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Restore two (2) Windows XP systems but one (1) cannot boot? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,
     
    We have two Windows XP system we tested with.  Both were successful in the backup process.  Both are IBM ThinkPad T43.  The differences are one is a 15- and the other is 14-inch display.

    The 14-inch display system has no issues to backup, restore, and reboot.  160 GB HD 10% filled.  Backup and Restore within one hour.

    The 15-inch display system can backup and restore but cannot reboot.  160 GB HD 90% filled.  Takes 12+ hours to backup and 1+ hour to restores

    We formatted both HD, not using Quick Format, both indicated Active, Primary Partitions for C.

    We read numerous discussions here it it appears to work but when it doesn't there doesn't seem to be any good troubleshooting guides.

    Regards,
     
    • Edited by kariya21Moderator Sunday, October 26, 2008 9:11 PM removed component numbers
    Sunday, October 26, 2008 7:27 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    A few more details might help us diagnose. what happens when you try to boot the computer, is there any errors shown or what, are you using a wired connection, does the system require any drivers?

    Not sure that the backup time is important apart from that appears to be an extremely long time to backup a system to the WHS. For example, after the initial backup of this laptop, the subsequent ones take less than 4 minutes.

    Colin




    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Sunday, October 26, 2008 8:12 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello,
    I assume, one of the machines had a vendor hidden partition on the disk, which has not been in the backup and does not exist on the harddisk now. So the information in the boot.ini points to the wrong partition number, therefore the system cannot boot.
    After restoring using the Recovery CD you have the option, to verify and edit the boot.ini. Of course this is not of much help for a computer novice.
    You can try the following also later (booting with a Vista DVD and using the system repair options, a BartPE CD or attaching the disk to a second machine and edit the boot.ini from there):
    Open the command prompt.
    Enter following commands (each ending with Enter key):
    c:
    attrib -r -s -h c:\boot.ini
    notepad boot.ini


    (What you now see, you get also shown, if you use the Check boot.ini button on the WHS restore CD after restore is finished (you should download the latest restore CD for this to function properly).)

    You will now see something like
    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Window XP Professional" /noexecute=optout /fastdetect


    Because one partition is gone change the (2) in both lines to (1).
    Save the file, close notepad and change the attributes back by

    attrib +r +s +h c:\boot.ini
    exit


    Reboot the system and check, if it comes up now.

    If you have none of the above possibilities, boot from your XP CD, press R if asked if you wish to repair an existing installation, enter the Administrator password of that installation if requested and run bootcfg /rebuild. Details of that method can also be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314477

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Sunday, October 26, 2008 8:23 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello,

    The 14-inch display system, this worked, was a factory system
    The 15-inch display system, this didn't work, had its disk replaced and was re-built with XP distribution not using the IBM supplied Recovery Disks.

    We did notice during both Restores that for the 14-inch back it show two partitions.  For the 15-inch there was only one.

    Are there any instructions on how to use WHS to replace the system disks? 

    Regards,
    Monday, October 27, 2008 11:36 PM
  • Hi,

    To use WHS to restore a Client, just install the new drive in the Client, then boot from the Restore CD. As long as you are on a wired connection, this is the recommended method. If drivers are needed for the Client, then these are available in any related backup, in a folder named Drivers For Restore. Just copy them to a USB stick or similar, and have them available when the Restore CD boots. Initially, you have the option of creating just a C: drive, or partitioning the drive if required, after that, the system should just pull the files down from the server and leave you with a complete Client.

    Colin






    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Tuesday, October 28, 2008 2:21 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello,

    At the end of the Restore it allows you to look at the boot.ini file.  The contents was as follows:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Window XP Professional" /noexecute=optout /fastdetect


    The file contents was the same when we had a one or two partitions. 
    When we had two partitions they were: 
        100 GB NTFS
            5 GB FAT32

    We noticed that when the Rescue and Recovery disk creates the 2nd partition it was 5 GB FAT32 partition and identified as EISA Utilities.

    We do not have a Windows XP Professional distribution CD we only have the IBM Rescue and Recovery discs (8).  We didn't see any selection that indicates Repair .....

    Regards,
    Sunday, November 2, 2008 3:00 PM
  • Maybe you run into a Lenovo trap (a special MBR), as it is described here:
    http://gregpye.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/laptop-recovery-nightmare-but-solved/
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Sunday, November 2, 2008 5:37 PM
    Moderator
  • We finally got it to work but we're not sure how or why.  We'll share some of the procedures.  We're looking for another spare PC to try again.  Our Test machine has a permanent failure, so timely.

    1. Format HD - 1 Partition as 150 GB NTFS - Restore but won't boot
    2. Format HD - 1 Partition as 140 GB NTFS; 2 Partition as 10 GB unformatted - Restore but won't boot
    3. Format HD - 1 Partition as 140 GB NTFS; 2 Partition as 10 GB NTFS - Restore but won't boot

    4. Installed system with Rescue and Recovery disc - 1 Partition 145 GB NTFS; 2 partition 5 GB - EISA or hidden - Restore and booted

    5. Format HD - 1 Partition as 140 GB NTFS; 2 Partition as 10 GB FAT32 - Restore and booted
    5. Format HD - 1 Partition as 145 GB NTFS; 2 Partition as   5 GB FAT32 - Restore and booted

    For all installations boot.ini looked like this:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Window XP Professional" /noexecute=optout /fastdetect


    #5 and 6 are the configurations that allowed us to successfully restore and boot.  We didn't have to use any other distribution media for "Repar the system".

    Thanks for the guidance.

    Regards,
    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 7:19 AM
  • So it seems, that Lenovo has its special requirements for the disk preparation to let it boot.
    Maybe one of these requirements is the FAT32 service partition.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 7:37 AM
    Moderator
  • Olaf Engelke said:

    So it seems, that Lenovo has its special requirements for the disk preparation to let it boot.
    Maybe one of these requirements is the FAT32 service partition.

    Not quite. I'm pretty sure Lenovo does create a custom MBR as you previously speculated. That custom MBR relies on the recovery partition being present, so as long as it's there, you must also have the recovery partition. 

    I don't have a Lenovo laptop available to check, but it should be possible to correct this by booting from e.g. an XP installation disk and entering the command line recovery console. There, type "fdisk /mbr" which should rewrite the MBR with a standard one. Now try a restore.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 10:45 PM
    Moderator