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Recovery Wizard is unable to find WHS RRS feed

  • Question

  • I recently purchased a HP EX 490 WHS and having it working properly doing backups I thought I would try doing a client restore so that I would be familiar with the process.  Unfortunately, this failed because the restore wizard could not find the server.

    Here's how it went:

    I booted from the recovery disk on a wired Win 7 machine and started the recovery process.  After it finds my hardware, it says that it can't install the drivers for my network card. I wasn't prepared for that one but I obliged by downloading the needed drivers from the server and provided them via a flash drive.  Once it installed the network adapter, and it said it did, then it tried to connect to WHS.  It couldn't not find it.  And it couldn't find it if I manually entered the name of the server either.  Since there is no provision to enter the server's IP address the whole process was stuck.  I had to back out. 

    I don't understand this, which must be name resolution problem.   I can easily connect to the server normally with no issues using the console or the server name and remotely with a browser but here it couldn't find it.  The server has a fixed IP address outside the router's DHCP automatic dynamic range.  The network is running fine.  The router properly provides DHCP addresses for the clients.  I haven't a clue why the restore wizard couldn't find the darn server.

    Although I use OpenDNS as my DNS servers in the router I wouldn't expect it to try and find the server this way and I shouldn't have to wire the client directly to the server to get this to work, should I?  For a home server this seems complicated.

    I hope somebody can provide some hints as to why the WHS couldn't be found.

    Thank you.

     


    Manny Carvalho MS MVP Windows
    Friday, September 3, 2010 5:56 AM

Answers

  • This is for the moderators who keep proposing posts as the answer.

    The solution to this specific issue - the recovery wizard not being able to find the home server - was due to the lack of network connectivity.  This was caused by using the drivers for the network adapter that WHS extracted and marked for using in a recovery.  Apparently some "configuration" information or something is missing and causes these network drivers not to work even though it appears that it's installed properly.  The fix is to download the original drivers from the vendor and present those to the recovery wizard when asked during the recovery process.  The driver installs in an identical manner as the ones extracted from WHS, although there's no apparent difference while doing this, but works.  Once the "proper" drivers are used then the server is found and the recovery process can finish.

    The network adapter involved here is Atheros AR8121 which apparently has the same problem as the Realtek drivers mentioned in this FAQ: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whsfaq/thread/b14e3cf2-7b02-4569-8c26-c75b7a58d6e7  How to update Realtek NIC drivers during Bare Metal Restore

    Thank you all.


    Manny Carvalho MS MVP Windows
    • Marked as answer by Manny Carvalho Sunday, September 5, 2010 3:58 PM
    Sunday, September 5, 2010 3:58 PM

All replies

  • Hi there

    First of all, are you using the latest recovery cd? I think this is the one.

    What NIC are you using? If this is a realtek NIC, there's a section in the FaQ regarding those drivers. The realtek drivers on the CD are way too old and will cause a conflict.

    I'm pretty sure this is a driver issue, you shouldn't have to change anything on the router if things was working before.

    However, if this was not a test run and you actually do get this problem when restoring there are some other options. If you can't get the whs restore to use your nic, one easy sollution is to use another computer connected to the whs. Connect the hard drive from the win 7 machine to the working client (usb-sata is ok, internal sata is usually faster) and once in windows, locate and run the %programfiles%\ClientRestoreWizard.exe which will allow you to restore the other computer to the drive you removed from that computer.

    Regards,

    Stefan, Sweden

    Friday, September 3, 2010 6:23 AM
  • Hi Stefan,

    I just purchased the EX490 last week and did check with HP about that exact point.  This is the latest recovery CD.

    This is a built in NIC on the Asus motherboard.  I went to another PC and downloaded the drivers that Home Server says are required from a backup of the PC I was recovering.  The recovery program found the driver on the flash drive and it said it installed the NIC properly.  I'll let you know exactly what the NIC is later in the day.  I don't remember it at the moment and I have to leave soon.

    I get that about other recovery options but I was thinking that this whole process should be easier and I'd like to understand why there's a failure here so that under a "real emergency" I can get this restore process to work as intented.  I mean, I can easily recover this system drive with Shadow Protect from the backup stored in my second internal drive but I purchased the EX490 as a second option so I'd really like to figure out what happened.

    Thanks for your time.


    Manny Carvalho MS MVP Windows
    Friday, September 3, 2010 2:38 PM
  • "Why there's a failure": If it's a driver issue, it's one of the following:

    • If your target client is a 64 bit installation of Windows, the drivers won't work in the Restore CD environment. That's a 32 bit WinPE 2.0 (i.e. Vista) based environment.
    • If you have a Windows 7 installation on the target client, the drivers may be coded specifically for that OS, using APIs not available in previous versions.
    • If you have certain network interface chipsets, there seems to be something about the way the drivers install into the operating system that prevents the "Windows Home Server Drivers for Restore" drivers from working properly. My bet is on some configuration information that's stored in a non-standard location, but it doesn't matter; these drivers don't work from "... Drivers for Restore", only when injected in a fashion similar to the Realtek procedure in the FAQ section. In this case, make very sure you have the right driver for your NIC chipset, and the Vista x86 version of that driver. Probably nothing else will work.
    • Other (unknown) failures.

    Another possibility is name resolution issues. These can stem from a poorly configured local name server (if you run DNS locally), from name servers configured on your gateway (perhaps you use OpenDNS, which does non-standard things with DNS lookups that fail, or perhaps your ISP's name server does Bad Things™), and from the ever popular Other (unknown) failures. In the case of name resolution issues, configure your server to obtain network configuration by DHCP, then connect the client to be restored to the server directly (no switch, no router, no Internet, just a wire from here to there) and reboot both. They will both use APIPA, which guarantees they are on the same subnet and should find each other.

    If nothing else works, drop back 10 and punt: use a workaround.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, September 3, 2010 2:55 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the response Ken.

    The target client is a 32 bit Win 7 machine.  It's an ASUS P5QC motherboard with a built in Atheros AR8121 network adapter.  I got the drivers from the backup on WHS and the wizard installed them and said it was OK.  Are you saying that the drivers that WHS found and stored may not be the right ones?  I'll go and read the FAQ on the Realtek drivers - even though that's not what I have - and see what it says.

    It may well be a name resolution issue but I don't run a DNS server.  I do use OpenDNS, which I can try without, and a static IP address for WHS.  Doesn't the wizard look through the LAN IP addresses to find the server?  Do you know how it actually resolves the server name.  It's too bad I can't just enter the server's IP address.  That sure would be simpler if this is the problem.

    I  understand that I could connect the client to the server using APIPA addressing but I want to make this work as intented.  I mean, after all, shouldn't one be able to restore a PC without taking out the hard disk, connecting it to the server directly, or punting a workaround?  It is possible it's my fault for setting something wrong on the network but I'd really like to try and figure out what the problem is without workarounds.

    I appreciate the input.

     

    Edit: I looked at the Realtek FAQ and I might add that at first the wizard did not find my network adapter and installed no drivers.  I had to install them via the flash drive.  My source for the driver was WHS rather than ASUS but hopefully WHS got the right driver.  Once it scanned the flash drive the wizard said that the proper adapter was loaded and ready to go. 


    Manny Carvalho MS MVP Windows
    • Edited by Manny Carvalho Saturday, September 4, 2010 3:45 AM added FAQ comment
    Saturday, September 4, 2010 3:20 AM
  • Drivers: not so much "not the right ones" as "missing some configuration data". But that's only a guess. 

    Name resolution: it works the same way it does in a full Windows environment. It goes through various options in a particular order and DNS is the first thing it tries. If your server is "found" through DNS lookup but it's not really your server that's found (this can occur with OpenDNS, because they do some non-standard stuff with failed lookups) the wizard will fail.

    Making it work the way it was intended: APIPA is one of the ways to make a restore work. It's a measure you take when you think you have a name resolution issue, you can't track it down (or can, but can't/don't want to fix it for some reason), and you want to do a restore anyway. APIPA isn't a workaround, it's a standard way to deal with dynamic addressing in the absence of a DHCP server. Best is always to find and fix the problem, but sometimes "best" isn't practical and I'm a practical kinda guy.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, September 4, 2010 3:51 AM
    Moderator
  • The problem as to why the wizard couldn't find the server is resolved and the responses above lead me to the solution.

    Thinking the server name resolution was the problem I removed the static IP address and set it within the range of the router's DHCP addresses.  I got the same error about not being able to find the server.  It seemed to me then, that the issue had to be more fundamental and probably lay in network connectivity as mentioned above.

    Unfortunately, there is no way to figure out if there is a network connectivity issue while in the wizard that I could see.  I assumed [I should of learned by now never to assume anything] that since I installed the network drivers from the WHS drivers to use folder and that the wizard installed the drivers that network connectivity was working.  Wrong!

    I downloaded the drivers for my network card from ASUS directly and used those when the wizard asked instead of the drivers WHS had extracted.  It installed it exactly the same as before and showed identical results but this time it did find the server.  I have no idea what the difference is since the drivers appear identical to me but as Ken says there must be some "missing configuration data."

    Twenty minutes later my system partition had been recovered and I'm writing this post from that system.

    The whole experience is a bit disappointing frankly.  As nice as WHS is this is a major pitfall.  There's no product documentation that indicates this is even a possibility and reading the manual makes the whole process seem very easy.  Frankly, I think most users would have given up.  Network connectivity is critical to get this product to work as designed.  Leaving a user out in the cold with no tools when the problem happens is a significant error by the product team.

    There needs to be a way to determine whether or not there is a network connectivity issue when starting a recovery.  It's such a critical step and to leave it up to a sorry worded error message that provides no tools is disheartning.  Hopefully, the next product iteration will be better at this.

    I appreciate both Ken's and Stefan's support on this.  I would not have figured this out without their assistance.  Thank you very much to you both


    Manny Carvalho MS MVP Windows
    Saturday, September 4, 2010 8:08 PM
  • This is for the moderators who keep proposing posts as the answer.

    The solution to this specific issue - the recovery wizard not being able to find the home server - was due to the lack of network connectivity.  This was caused by using the drivers for the network adapter that WHS extracted and marked for using in a recovery.  Apparently some "configuration" information or something is missing and causes these network drivers not to work even though it appears that it's installed properly.  The fix is to download the original drivers from the vendor and present those to the recovery wizard when asked during the recovery process.  The driver installs in an identical manner as the ones extracted from WHS, although there's no apparent difference while doing this, but works.  Once the "proper" drivers are used then the server is found and the recovery process can finish.

    The network adapter involved here is Atheros AR8121 which apparently has the same problem as the Realtek drivers mentioned in this FAQ: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whsfaq/thread/b14e3cf2-7b02-4569-8c26-c75b7a58d6e7  How to update Realtek NIC drivers during Bare Metal Restore

    Thank you all.


    Manny Carvalho MS MVP Windows
    • Marked as answer by Manny Carvalho Sunday, September 5, 2010 3:58 PM
    Sunday, September 5, 2010 3:58 PM
  • Hi Guys. Reading the above and understanding no more than half of the solution detail can I ask for a simpler form of help.

    I have a laptop that is backed up on a WHS and the Laptop is now suddenly very sick.  (Blue screen after about 10 minutes of operation or sooner if  I touch the WHS connector or System Restore.)  This is a W7 system and is the first 64 bit operating system that I have added to my home network.

    All attempts at WHS Recovery have failed due to Recovery not being able to see the server, despite drivers having been picked up, by one of my other systems, from a backup of the laptop.   

    Do I understand correctly from notes by Ken Warren on 3 Sept that the Restore function does not support a 64 bit environment?  Much or possibly all of the discussion after that was about handling the problem in a 32 bit environment so I guess does not apply fully to my case, but it seemed to contain some useful info even if it was aimed at too technical a level for me to follow it fully.

    So, for the the 64 bit environment, what can I do to recover my laptop using only mildly technical skills?  I have the drivers CD that came with the Laptop and I think it has 32 bit LAN drivers on it as well as the 64 bit ones I assume I have installed.  Can I do something with the Drivers CD to get the 32 bit drivers into the flash drive and so get the Recovery process into contact with the LAN?   If so can you give me some basic process description on how do I do it please?

    Regards

    Mike

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 2:13 PM
  • Hi again Guys,

    Problem fixed - mainly by stopping myself from looking for a too technical solution.

    The solution for getting recovery going for a simply configured 64 bit W7 system:

    1. Get onto a working client system on your WHS network, taking a flash drive and the Drivers CD for the system that needs recovering.

    2. Insert your flash drive. Open WHS console, open a previous backup from the client you want to recover.  Copy the folder called 'Windows Home Server Drivers for Recovery' from the backup to your flash drive.

    3. Now insert the CD that came with the PC you want to recover into the working client.  Find where the drivers are stored - probably in a folder called 'Drivers'.  Copy any folders that look like they might contain 32 bit drivers onto the flash drive.

    4. Put the WHS Recovery CD into the client you want to recover and power on. When you get the option to load drivers, insert your flash drive. 

    I write this as my previously dead/dying system is reloading.  A mighty thanks to the developers for figuring out that someone as dumb as me might come along.  So when I threw in a bunch of stuff that I thought probably contained what they wanted, they dug through it, found what they wanted and set the recovery on its way.

    Regards

    Mike/Punda 


    Regards Mike
    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 3:23 PM
  • Problem fixed - mainly by stopping myself from looking for a too technical solution.

    The solution for getting recovery going for a simply configured 64 bit W7 system:

     

    1. Get onto a working client system on your WHS network, taking a flash drive and the Drivers CD for the system that needs recovering.
    2.  Insert your flash drive. Open WHS console, open a previous backup from the client you want to recover.  Copy the folder called 'Windows Home Server Drivers for Recovery' from the backup to your flash drive.
    3. Now insert the CD that came with the PC you want to recover into the working client.  Find where the drivers are stored - probably in a folder called 'Drivers'.  Copy any folders that look like they might contain 32 bit drivers onto the flash drive.
    4. Put the WHS Recovery CD into the client you want to recover and power on. When you get the option to load drivers, insert your flash drive. 

     

    I write this as my previously dead/dying system is reloading.  A mighty thanks to the developers for figuring out that someone as dumb as me might come along.  So when I threw in a bunch of stuff that I thought probably contained what they wanted, they dug through it, found what they wanted and set the recovery on its way.

    Regards

    Mike


    Regards Mike
    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 3:27 PM