Recovering an Incomplete Backup on a Now Crashed Laptop RRS feed

  • Question

  • I wasn't sure if this post here or somewhere else. Please let me know.

    I successfully completed an installation of WHS on my server last Thursday. My desktop (client) computer backed up without an issue. I connected my laptop client computer Friday and had to reboot the laptop. The backup got to about 59% but then failed. I kicked off a manual backup Saturday afternoon and within about 20 minutes, the laptop was locked up again.

    When I rebooted the laptop, the hard drive was toast and would no longer boot up. My question now is... Is there a way to view and recover the files that seem to be partially backed up from the laptop now on the Home Server?

    I've read the post Fixing Database Inconsistency errors, but I am not sure this is the route for me. Basically I am trying to take an incomplete backup and restore what I can.

    Thanks in advance.
    Monday, June 22, 2009 6:09 AM


All replies

  • You can NOT open, view or restore from partially backed up partitions. If the laptop has more then one partition you may be able to open / restore from partitions that were backed up succesfully.

    Are you sure the hard drive is "TOAST", or could it also be some "minor" problem which is preventing system boot. Perhaps you can provide some more info on the client machine (OS, describe in more detail what happens you try to boot)
    Monday, June 22, 2009 9:53 AM
  • Brubber,

    Let me clarify my intentions. I don't necessarily want to restore the entire system of the laptop. I would like to glean some files from the backup. Let me know if that isn't possible.

    This is a new Dell laptop as of March 1 with Vista Home Premium. As far as the HDD, upon bootup, I first get "internal" text showing on the DOS-like screen, followed by "No bootable devices..." text. Diagnostics provide no help since all tests pass. There is a "** Hard Drive -- DST Short Test ** <newline>Test Results: Not Applicable" output somewhere in the diagnostics. The laptop's BIOS shows SATA Operation set to AHCI vs ATA where the factory default is AHCI.

    This is a SATA drive that I have pulled out and connected to my desktop computer through a spare SATA port on the motherboard. Upon bootup of my desktop, it doesn't "see" the disk. Going into the desktop's BIOS setup doesn't help either as it physically appears that it is not there.

    Let me know what you think. Thank you.
    Monday, June 22, 2009 2:44 PM
  • If a partition was partially backed up you can NOT restore any files.

    Personally I would advise you to boot into Vista repair environment from original Vista install disk if you have one. Detailed instructions overhere.

    If you don't have one:

    1. ask your OEM supplier for a bootdisk or

    2. buy (for $7 if I'm correct) the Anytime Upgrade disc from Microsoft or another vendor:



    The Windows Vista Anytime Upgrade disc also has a bootable Vista recovery environment, the same one that is one the Vista installation disc. or

    3. download Vista Recovery DVD from neosmart website

    The Windows Vista Anytime Upgrade disc also has a bootable Vista recovery environment, the same one that is one the Vista installation disc. or

    3. download Vista Recovery DVD from Windows Vista Recovery Disc Download


    Other Interesting threads may be Re: No boot after restore, Re: Unable to Boot from restored System Volume and Recovered client computer won't boot.

    • Proposed as answer by brubberModerator Tuesday, June 23, 2009 10:08 PM
    • Marked as answer by Ruge Tuesday, June 23, 2009 10:09 PM
    Monday, June 22, 2009 3:06 PM
  • Brubber,

    Thank you for these ideas. I do have a bootable Vista OS disk and ran through the battery of methods to recover my hard disk with Repair your computer. Although Windows is reporting:

    Root cause found:
    MBR is corrupt.

    Repair action: Disk metadata repair
    Result: Failed. Error code =  0x57
    Time taken = 24336 ms

    ...the physical drive is never actually recognized. I have gone as far as trying to reinstall the OS using the bootable OS disk, but when it asks to set the primary partition, "Disk 0" shows 0.0 MB allocated and 0.0 MB free. The Next button is disabled as designed.

    Bootrec.exe doesn't work either since the primary drive is just not there... but I digress from the Windows Home Server thread. At this point, Dell is sending out a new hard disk and I will lose some of my data.

    I may spend some time digging through the Home Server data that I think was backed up. Are there some hackarounds with the partial backups that I may be able to use? The actual data I need likely amounts to 300 - 400MB.

    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 4:33 AM
  • AFAIK there's really no way to access partial backups.

    There's a tool to "disassemble" the backup database files, however I think it's of no practical use for your purpose. Even when you can disassemble the database you will have a very hard time putting the files together, if possible at all.

    Sorry I can't help you any further.
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 9:11 AM