Client Restore from WHS Backup - Failure - guidance and a question RRS feed

  • Question

  • Good Morning everyone and thank you in advance for any help and suggestions with this issue.  


    Some of you may know me, I am technical, but I have run into a bit of a snafu with a restore, and would really like to bounce what I am seeing off the rest of the community.  Maybe some of you have an idea or have seen this before.

    I have a client PC on my network that backs up (fully, both drives) to the WHS on a nightly basis.  I run a RAID (striped) array on this client machine (3 x 60GB ssd) that needed firmware updates to the drives.  No big deal.  I break the raid array apart and do the firmware updates and rebuild the array.

    I planned on going into the WHS by using the Recovery cd and just laying down the images of the drives again, and after launching the recovery, and going into the advanced disk management, I was able to set partitions up as well as properly assign drive letters. 

    Back in the next process, I chose the backup images that were to go to each of the drive sets and said OK.  2 hours later it showed complete, and both sets of drives (the ssd's - primary, and the secondary raid set of mechanical drives) both had the data back on them.  Problem is when I went to boot the machine, it came back with a 'no operating system found' error 'insert media to continue' ect.

    I scratched my head.....twice......and then realized where my problem may be, and this, good people, is where I am unsure how to make this work.


    When windows 7 (sorry, yes, the client machine is win7 64bit) does its initial install, it sets aside a 100MB partition on the primary drive for system info.  I never created that partition when I went to do the system backup restore.

    The problem is, I am unsure how to even create that partition in the first place.  Is it just unallocated space that is set aside and then specially formatted by the install?  Does it need to be a logical drive in an extended partition?  I am aware that you cant see it from within the OS, so it has to be hidden somehow, or formatted in a special way...i just dont know.


    so what I need to know is, HOW do I prepare this raid set so that its structure is correct, that when I go back into the WHS recovery cd and run the backup restore, It knows to put all the system information in the right place in that 100MB system partition, as well as then moving the C and the D drives data from the backup back to the right place.


    again, I know that the RAID array makes this one more step, however, being able to go into disk management during the recovery process seems to be pretty cut and dried.  since i have access to create partitions and set drives drive letters, while I have complicated the process by a couple steps, it is still the same result on the end.


    I DID try just leaving the Raid set built but unallocated, thinking the backup would be smart enough to do a bare-metal recovery, however this is not the case.  Unless you go into disk management during the process and set up your drives, they are not seen as viable places to do restores to.


    HELP! heh.  Again, I really appreciate all of your time, and thank you in advance for any help.  I am hoping there are a few of you out here who have tested and worked with the restore process.  I wasn't even planning on doing this this way.  The actual end goal was to get the firmware done, and do a fresh install of everything then ACRONIS image this thing off for future.  However when I got to thinking about it, what better way to test the WHS recovery stuff than while I am in a position to verify that these backups being taken are actually worth their salt.


    This will also be of great help for the future as I am actively selling and supporting WHS environments to clients, and this area of the process is important for me to master.


    Thank you all again for your time, hopefully someone has some insight.  Please don't hesitate to ask for more information, if I have not been clear, then I will gladly clarify.



    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 3:24 PM


  • No, you can create it using the disk management tool. See this KB article for more details on the restore process you'll be going through.

    Also, I'll note that you will need to restore one "disk" (array) at a time.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Javad0g Wednesday, August 4, 2010 5:08 PM
    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 4:53 PM

All replies

  • The 100 MB "System Reserved" partition should get backed up with the rest of the disk. You will need to (manually) create both partitions, then restore both partitions, designate the correct one as the boot partition, etc.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 4:04 PM
  • Sir, thank you for the quick response.  the 100MB system reserved did get backed up.  I can see it there as one of the 3 that did.


    for a visual:


    C:\ = 3 x 60GB striped array, bootable

    D:\ = Secondary storage 2 x 300GB mechanical striped array

    WHS showes both of those drives completely backed up along with the 100MB system reserved portion for a total of 3 re-storable 'partitions'.


    where I am running into some confusion is with the System Reserved 100MB partition.  Since a standard install of the OS (win7) creates that 100MB 'system reserved' partition before the actual OS install, it is never seen in the operating system.  And therein lies my problem.  The WHS recovery will allow me to go into disk management and create partitions and assign drive letters, however I have no idea how I am creating that 100MB reserved space.  Since it is not seen, how is that partition addressed by the OS. 

    Do I need to create an extended partition and then make a 100MB logical drive, but during the format, NOT assign it a drive letter?  Or does it need to be a primary partition, again 100MB but not assigned a drive letter?

    WHS shows that there was data there that it grabbed, I just don't see how I get that data back to that 100MB system reserved partition, since if i just leave 100MB 'unallocated' WHS cannot see it to run the restore process against it for that partition of data.

    When I have relaunched the WHS recovery, it now shows all the drives with the 'free space' where it should be, which means that I am assuming that the C drive and the D drive have been restored.  And the big assumption I have made since this problem with the OS not booting, is the assumption that I somehow have to have that System Reserved section of the primary HDD properly identified or no matter what the OS wont boot.

    Ken, thanks again for your insight and help, I hope I offered more clarification or if I am just not making sense, please say so....*smile*


    really appreciate your time





    by 'manually' create, do you mean NOT using the Disk Management section of the WHS recovery process?  You want me to boot with something like fdisk and create those and manually set the C drive as 'active'?

    and again, if so, what are the environment parameters of that 100MB 'system reserved' space, if you know.


    Thank you again,


    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 4:19 PM
  • No, you can create it using the disk management tool. See this KB article for more details on the restore process you'll be going through.

    Also, I'll note that you will need to restore one "disk" (array) at a time.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Javad0g Wednesday, August 4, 2010 5:08 PM
    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 4:53 PM
  • Sir, thank you so much for your time and the article.  After a cursory read through, that looks like exactly what I need to do, so I will start from the beginning and follow the process.


    you said that I need to do each partition or disk set separately?  For clarification, launch WHS recovery, do the 'system reserved' [reboot], then C:\ [reboot], finally D:\ [reboot].


    Not a problem, I will get back to you in about 2.5 hours, (estimated time for complete restore from the ground up), and let you know how this goes.  I am looking forward to testing this recovery process, certainly going to be a time saver as well as a security blanket of knowing this process and how it works.


    Thank you again sir, very much appreciated

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 5:11 PM
  • No, by "disk" I mean what Windows will see, in disk management, as a disk: the volume on your array into which you will restore one or more partitions. The KB article makes clear exactly how to proceed, I think.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 5:36 PM
  • Good afternoon again!


    I am happy to say I am typing this from the restored computer.  Thank you again for all your help Ken, I want to take a minute and walk through the process with you, so you can see where the failings were and what I ran into.


    Once I walked through the KB article, I went into the WHS recovery cd and brought up the front end restore process.  I went in, and using the Disk Management, deleted the partitions that were there (I wanted to start fresh per the article and walk through step by step), and then recreated the 100MB System Reserved space, not assigning a drive letter to it, setting it Active and then formatting it NTFS.

    Once that was done, I did the restore of the System Reserved space (100MB) and then rebooted the system.  Came back into the WHS and proceeded with setting up the primary partition that would then be the C:\ operating system, however in that reboot, the restore process had given the System Restore partition a drive letter which was C:\.  I had to remove that drive letter, create the new partition and then labeled that C:\, and then proceeded with the recovery of THAT partition (still not addressing the D:\, which was still 'unallocated space')


    Rebooted again, in expectation of the system at least coming up, and at that point would have continued by booting back into the WHS recovery and restoring the D:\ set of drives (again, RAID, but a separate set of hard drives).


    However, it would not let me continue.  I got an error that told me windows could not start (Windows Boot Manager was on the screen) due to not being able to access all devices.  My assumption is there was pointers in the System Reserved space expecting  a drive to be there that wasnt there (even if it wasnt the bootable drive), and so therefore would not continue.



    I went back into the WHS, and basically started over.  I went into disk management after locating the WHS, and deleted ALL of the partitions and the drives.  I then set the 100MB System Reserved drive, formatted it NTFS and did NOT assign a drive letter to it.  Once it was created I set it to active.  I then created what would be come the C:\ partition, assigned it a drive letter of C:\ and formatted it, naming the volume as I had previously named before the backup and restore (Prob not an issue either way, but I wanted to make sure I was as close to 'original install' as possible).

    I then went and set created the Extended Partition and created the logical drive D:\ and allocated the space as needed to it, formatted it and named it.

    Once that was all done, I exited out of Disk Management and then chose the 3 sets of backup pieces and sent them to their designated partitions.

    WHS recovery then kicked off, doing all THREE of those partitions at once.  The process took 2 and a half hours, but once completed, I rebooted and the system came up completely.


    There were a couple of clarification issues in that KB article that should be pointed out. 


    1.) the System Reserved space does not need to be named.  I know this may be a bit trivial, but for some, this may be a concern, and one that does not need to be worried about.  It can name itself NEW VOLUME, and that does not play into the recovery process.


    2.) The restore does need to be completed all at once.  I was not able to restore the System Reserved section, and then come back and restore the others one at a time. (maybe I was misunderstanding this part of the process, but all drives embedded in that backup need to be done at the same time so the drive letters for the restore are correct when it comes time to reboot.)


    Again, I want to thank you for your help Ken.  This process was NOT painful. It was complicated but not 'hard'.  Most importantly, it is a very settling feeling to know that if you DO have a failure, and your backups of your environment  have kicked off and not errored out, you can depend on being able to do a 'bare metal' recovery of your systems, knowing they will work.


    Little learning curve in the process, but I am now confident of the process and know I can replicate when needed.


    Thank you again for your time,



    (Ken, with your permission, I would like to send you a PM)



    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 9:10 PM