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WHS Restore to a new HD - partition management issue. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am runnng through a test restore procedure in case my HDD fails.  I am trying to restore to a brand new HDD of the same capacity.

    The client PC boots off the Restore CD fine and I can load the drivers for the Mass Storage cards (RAID).  Off course there are no found drives to retore to, so I enter the Advanced Disk Management function to "manage" the new HDD.

    I can create a new "C" drive as a primary partition and make it "active".  However, due to the coniguration of the the original HDD with 4 additional partitions, I need to create an extended partition in which I can create 4 logical partitions to restore the other partitions to.  In the Disk Management option I can only appear to create a "simple" volume and that makes it a primary partition. 

    I have thought about just restoring the "C" partition first and booting off that and then manaully recreate an extended partiton and logicals, but call me paranoid, but on XP on the client machine I always move the User Profiles to a partition other than the System Drive.  So if XP booted off the "C" it won't find any user profiles to log onto and fails.

    How, using the WHS restore Disk Management feature, do I recreate the exact same structure of Primary x 1- Extended x 1 - Logical x 4 drives that are in my backup and which I want to restore fully?

    Thanks
    • Edited by Dr T Sunday, November 16, 2008 1:14 PM
    Sunday, November 16, 2008 1:13 PM

Answers

  • You will probably have to connect the drive to another computer to recreate the appropriate partition structure, or use a bootable disk of some sort (BartPE, Vista recovery mode, etc.). In terms of home users, what you have is a fairly advanced configuration.

    When you recreate the partitions, it's important that you make sure they're at least as large as the partitions you want to restore. WHS will only restore to a disk or partition that's at least as large as the one that was backed up. And if you connect the disk to another computer for the restore, you can run the entire restore while connected to that other computer (assuming it's also enrolled with WHS). Just run:

    %ProgramFiles%\Windows Home Server\ClientRecoveryWizard.exe
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Dr T Sunday, November 16, 2008 2:39 PM
    Sunday, November 16, 2008 1:35 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • You will probably have to connect the drive to another computer to recreate the appropriate partition structure, or use a bootable disk of some sort (BartPE, Vista recovery mode, etc.). In terms of home users, what you have is a fairly advanced configuration.

    When you recreate the partitions, it's important that you make sure they're at least as large as the partitions you want to restore. WHS will only restore to a disk or partition that's at least as large as the one that was backed up. And if you connect the disk to another computer for the restore, you can run the entire restore while connected to that other computer (assuming it's also enrolled with WHS). Just run:

    %ProgramFiles%\Windows Home Server\ClientRecoveryWizard.exe
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Dr T Sunday, November 16, 2008 2:39 PM
    Sunday, November 16, 2008 1:35 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Ken.  I was fast coming to the same conclusion!

    As a supplementl question, before I try the trial restore to a new HDD, I was looking at the current HDD as reported through the WHS restore CD boot and Disk Management screen.

    Now, due to having sructured the "live"drive in conjuction with othrdrivesand set ups, the drive letters reported through the console are not the drive letters when the HDD is up and running the OS.  I.e. the normal "C" drive is now reported as "F" , and the other partitions to have different letters.

    If I was to restore to the current HDD, do Ihave to remap all the drive letters in the Restore Disk Mgmt screen to reflect the drive letters when they are in use?  (the default restore "mapping" suggests restoring "C:WINXP" to "F:WINXP".

    Thanks for the prompt reply !
    Sunday, November 16, 2008 1:47 PM
  • You will need to make sure you restore to the correct partition, yes, as the WHS restore wizard will overwrite everything on whatever partition you restore to. However, you shouldn't (all else being equal) have too much trouble with the partition order at the end of the process, when the disk is reinstalled in your PC and booted. As far as Windows is concerned, it should see itself as being in the same environment, and should (in theory) preserve the old drive letters. If not, well, I suspect you already know how to deal with that issue (and know what it looks like when your PC boots that way...).

    Or are you asking "Should I change the F: to C:?" In that case, the answer is that if F: is the partition you're restoring to, no you shouldn't change it; see above...

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, November 16, 2008 1:58 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks, again.

    Yeah, it ws the last question I was concerned about, but from the point of changing the drive letter in the Dsik Mgmt console rather than selecting another "C" drive, which actualy doesn't exist in the console.  I was/am concerned that if WHS restore restores "C" off the server to the correct partition on the HDD "F" , that in the boot.ini or something, WHS restore would write a header to the partitions to mark it as "F" and when I reboot off "C" it could throw a wobbly!  Do I make sense at all?

    PS, please excuse typos, I am on a laptop and my finger coordinates are all at sea!
    • Edited by Dr T Sunday, November 16, 2008 2:20 PM
    Sunday, November 16, 2008 2:19 PM
  • Further issues now that I have manually created the partitions off boot diskettes prior to booting the Restore CD.

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whssoftware/thread/5c3b17ab-56fe-448d-b8bb-f236ed7bd0a0

    This is quite tiresome and irkome!!!
    • Edited by Dr T Sunday, November 16, 2008 9:35 PM
    Sunday, November 16, 2008 9:35 PM
  • Ken Warren said:

    You will need to make sure you restore to the correct partition, yes, as the WHS restore wizard will overwrite everything on whatever partition you restore to. However, you shouldn't (all else being equal) have too much trouble with the partition order at the end of the process, when the disk is reinstalled in your PC and booted. As far as Windows is concerned, it should see itself as being in the same environment, and should (in theory) preserve the old drive letters. If not, well, I suspect you already know how to deal with that issue (and know what it looks like when your PC boots that way...).

    Or are you asking "Should I change the F: to C:?" In that case, the answer is that if F: is the partition you're restoring to, no you shouldn't change it; see above...


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)



    In the end what I did was boot off my first RAID (operational) to configure PartitionMagic to copy the partitions to the other RAID array.

    So:
    RAID PRIMARY:
    C: WINXP   (primary partition #1)
    F:  PERSONAL (logical #3)
    G: EXTRAS (logical #4)
    H: GAMES (logical #5)
    P: PROGRAMS (logical #2)


    At first I just copied the first three partitions in order (WINXP, PROGRAMS and PERSONL). PQMagic rebooted and copied them.  XP rebooted off the original disk and it saw the drives (and assigned new drive letters) .  I then reconfigure PQM for copying the last two partitions.  It did its stuff and I loaded XP of the original OS to see if all was fine.  It was.

    So I then shut down.  Physically detached the origal OS RAID.  Set BIOS to boot of the othe RAID and as I thought, it wouldn't boot.

    So I broke out my XP disk and "Repaired" by going to the console, setting FIXBOOT and FIXMBR for the "new" c drive.  Reboot.

    Windows burst into life!  Great.  Until I came to log in when I get the message

    "Windows cannot load the user's profile but has logged you on with the default profile for the system.  DETAIL: The system cannot find the file specified".

    That sounds to me as though windows is ignoring my drive mapping above from the original RAID and assigning its own drive letters and now cannot find my profile which I had moved off the WINXP or System Drive to my PERSONAL drive.

    How do I get around this conundrum?  I thought  "plain" partition copies off one drive to another (with an intermediary reboot to check al was done as planned) would have done the trick.  I'm sure I read somewhere that XP writes to the partition header the letter that it was assigned to last (excluding the activeC drive).  Or was I dreaming?

    Any advice welcome!



    I forgot to add that if I try to log in it won't. It says logging off an I am returned to the login screen.
    • Edited by Dr T Sunday, November 16, 2008 11:12 PM
    Sunday, November 16, 2008 11:06 PM
  • I think I may have found what I was talking about the drive letters....

    From
    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/notes.htm


    The other issue is that NT-family OS's "remember" drive letters by recording the signatures of the corresponding partitions in the XP registry. When you clone partition-1 to partition-2, the registry goes with it. But then when partition-2 tries to boot it will remember that the partition signature corresponding to partition-1 is where 'C:' was, and it may assign partition-2 a different drive letter. That's bad. The solution is to make XP forget the remembered drive letter assignments. The registry tweak to clear the partition signatures will do that. Make the registry edit on partition-1 before cloning it to partition-2, then XP won't remember any previous drive letters and will build the registry partition signatures anew the first time it boots.

    An even easier method is to use BootIt's [Clear Sig] button. That deletes the DiskID in the MBR (similar to Kawecki's trick), thereby forcing XP to ignore the old partition signatures and rebuild the registry table the first time it boots.

    Now my problem is that my drive letters are completely out of sequence with the physical partitions.  So even if I tweaked the registry on Partition 1 Drive 1 and copy to partition 1 Drive 2, that drive will likely reassign new drive letters which don't correspond to my origial letters anyway.

    So what I propose to do is to set back the administrator profile to be resident on "C" (registry tweak and recreate the profile and settings).  I'll reclone the C drive and log in as Admin and change the drive letters on the other drives.

    What a pulava!

    Sunday, November 16, 2008 11:32 PM
  •  I now realise my mistake in not clearing out the "mounteddevices" key before copying the partition, that and having my Admin account userprofile not on the C drive.  With hindsight, a BAD move.  Admin should be left on C for emergencies like this!  DOH!

    So, booted up on my working XP, deleted all drives on the second RAID, rebooted, edit registry and cleaned out "mounteddevices" apart from the default (can always F8 restore to last known good config if I screw up).  Shutdown XP and booted off floppies for Partition Magic to copy the (amended) C drive and all the others. 

    Once copied I **shoud** be abe to log in as Admin (had tried it on the working system and all files etc were resident and working fine on C), and then change the drive letters so that my moved userprofiles will get picked up on the 2nd RAID which is now the OS boot system.  Once proven I'll change my computer name, delete the "old name" computer off the Backp Computer in WHS, run Clean UP, and then configure WHS for the "new name".

    Only once I have done that and my system is working as expected, I'll do a full system backup for "keeps" and then, and only then, will I revisit the procedure to do a full system restore to my "other" (soon-to-be-made-blank) RAID. 

    I hope I don't run into that issue with the older version of the restorewizard which appeared to screw me up.
    Monday, November 17, 2008 1:15 AM
  • Dr T said:

    I think I may have found what I was talking about the drive letters....

    From
    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/notes.htm

    ........

    So what I propose to do is to set back the administrator profile to be resident on "C" (registry tweak and recreate the profile and settings).  I'll reclone the C drive and log in as Admin and change the drive letters on the other drives.

    ...........



    The "registry tweak" for the volumes and moving the Admin account back to the C drive worked.  I managed to clone the disks and get booted up and running on the second RAID card.  I'm just backin up to the WHS now, and then I'll try a System Restore of the C drive back to other RAID and boot off that for completeness.

    Watch this space.  (probably my other thread about the RestoreWizard version problem!)
    Monday, November 17, 2008 11:05 AM