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Using OPK to create a custom WHS build / recovery image RRS feed

  • Question

  • The principal reason for my wanting a mechanism to back up the system partition is so that (in the event of the primary disk failing), I don't have to spend X hours installing motherboard drivers, additional services, scheduled tasks, etc.; if the re-installation process automated this then I wouldn't mind so much .  The OPK CD seems to come with tools that'd do the job.  I was wondering if anyone here had experience using them and what you think of it as a solution?
    Friday, February 8, 2008 5:15 PM

Answers

  • I don't know that this information is useful to your average Windows Home Server end-user, but if you're building a system yourself you could consider going down the OPK route to save yourself some bother in the future should you ever need to restore the system partition image.

     

    HOWTO: Create a custom image of Windows Home Server using the OEM Preinstallation Kit CD

     

    1) Install Windows Home Server

     

    Important: Only connect one hard drive to your server throughout the process of creating the image.  You can add additional drives much later on, after you have booted into the image 'for the first time' and completed the provisioning process.

     

    Install WHS on the machine you are targetting; simply install in the usual manner following on-screen prompts. 

     

    Towards the end of the installation you will eventually reach a blue full-screen Welcome page (known as the OOBE, or out-of-box-experience), do not continue any further!

     

    According to the OPK documentation you should press CTRL+ALT+DELETE and use the Task Manager to 'kill' the 'Windows Home Server Setup' application.  Do this every single time you boot into Windows from here on until you have completed the SYSPREP stage discussed later

     

    2) Install additional drivers

     

    Install any additional drivers you may need.  I would strongly recommend that you place a copy of any drivers you install in a folder, e.g. 'C:\Drivers'.  It is not a necessary step but should you ever run into problems you'll always be able to refer to them without any hassle.

     

    3) Customize Home Server Console

     

    At this point, you are allowed limited access to the console. You may create additional network shares and pre-populate them with content.  You cannot enable folder duplication.  You can install add-ins, etc.  I would probably avoid going as far as to pre-create users but you can certainly enable the Guest account.

     

    4) Install additional services, applications and scheduled tasks

     

    Again this bit is very much up to you.  Don't forget to create/add any exceptions you need to Windows Firewall (!)

     

    Note: While making tweaks I would avoid activating your copy of WHS at this point, for the simple reason that if you later restore your image onto a different hard-drive you will most likely need to re-activate WHS.

     

    5) WHS SYSPREP

     

    This is the point of no return, once you start this process it is too late to make additional changes to the image and you will have to start from scratch.

     

    Copy the SYSPREP folder from the OPK CD to C:\SYSPREP and start up a command prompt:

     

    CD C:\SYSPREP

     

    Place the WHS DVD in the DVDROM drive ( X: ) and type:

     

    WHSSYSPREP.CMD X:\SVR_2003

     

    Once SYSPREP has finished 'compiling' it will prompt you to continue; it will strip the security ID, network specific config, etc. from your machine and shutdown when it is complete.

     

    6) Make a backup of your system partition

     

    Use a bootable USBKEY or CDROM to make a backup of your system partition; I used Acronis, but Ghost, DriveImage XML or any other WindowsPE-based software should work just fine too.  You'll notice that your D: partition doesn't exist, don't worry.  Any content you pre-populated your network shares with has been 'baked' into the system partition, when you've completed provisioning your Windows Home Server that content will move to the correct place.

     

    7) Booting into Windows Home Server 'for the first time'

     

    If you're recovering from a previous installation now would be a good time to reconnect all your hard drives. However, if you want to perform a new installation, wait until you've completed provisioning the server before adding the hard drives.

     

    On powering up the system, Windows Home Server will go through post-setup configuration and will reboot a couple of times.  Once completed you should be able to login to the Desktop.  It's worth checking that all your devices have been detected correctly; if not you can help WHS along by directing it to the C:\Drivers folder you created earlier.

     

    8) Provisioning Windows Home Server

     

    Important: Before you can begin using your Windows Home Server, you must complete this final step.

     

    Using the appropriate CD, install the Windows Home Server Connector software on a 32-bit XP or Vista machine.  The software will search for your new home server and prompt you for additional details to complete the setup of your Windows Home Server. 

     

    ---

     

    That's it - hopefully you've got this far without any errors and you now have Windows Home Server configured to your taste.  If you're happy with the build then all that is left to do is activate your copy of Windows Home Server.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 8:29 PM
  • It all makes sense now!

    Gosh I feel so daft; the OPK works just fine! The error message above I recieved because I tried to launch the WHSOOBE locally on the server itself; I didn't realise that actually you're supposed to complete the process by installing the 'Windows Home Server Connector' on a different machine and use that to 'drive' the process!  Once you do that all is peachy! 

    To summarise, once you've run WHSSYSPREP.CMD you can take an image of your machine this is your 'customized primary volume image' which you can restore as many times as you like.  When you finally get around to booting up WHS 'for the first time',  you complete the installation/recovery process by installing a fresh copy of the WHS connector on another machine.

    Additional notes (Optional Step 6): the OPK also comes with tools to create a bootable USBKEY that'll run a special instance of WinPE; this may be used to boot WHS in cases where the system partition is corrupt or simply empty/blank.  Using the tools provided you can re-image it with your customized primary volume image; using these tools is optional, you can use any other preffered method of restoring your customized primary volume image onto WHS.

    a) WHS_RECOVERY_SERVER.EXE runs within the instance of WinPE you booted up from on your WHS.

    b) WHS_IMAGE.EXE runs on a different machine to WHS, connects to the WHS_RECOVERY_SERVER to capture and create two files containing an image of your WHS' customized primary volume.

    c) WHS_RECOVERY.EXE - runs on a different machine to WHS, you tell it where the image is stored and it connects to the WHS_RECOVERY_SERVER and re-images the primary volume on your WHS.

    Hope this helps anyone who's interested in this stuff.  When all is said and done it's pretty easy to put together a custom system partition image containing drivers, latest updates, addin's and preferred services; making restoring your OEM WHS system that much less painful.
    Sunday, February 10, 2008 8:34 PM

All replies

  • I haven't done it. Conceptually, it's not difficult. It's likely to be as time consuming to create a custom installation disk as just doing the reinstallation including drivers, services, etc.
    Friday, February 8, 2008 9:24 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes, very likely it will - however it would be reassuring to know if the worst happened I could get back up and running quickly; makes dealing with the failure of a disk that much less painful.  Now all I have to do is find a spare PC to play with; as you can imagine I'm not too inclined to play with my production build now that it's up and running !
    Friday, February 8, 2008 11:31 PM
  • Even if you can figure out how to create custom installation media, you will still have to reinstall WHS (with added components) and wait for that to finish. The time you will save in having the configuration built in to the reinstallation will be minimal compared to that. And you'll likely have at least one extra installation of the OS (so that you can sysprep it).
    Saturday, February 9, 2008 4:29 AM
    Moderator
  • Or use RAID1 (with a decent controller) for your system disk.

     

    Personally I do most of the WHS "risky" playing currently in a VM. If it causes no probs there I know it's reasonably save to try on actual server.

    Saturday, February 9, 2008 4:34 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks brubber, using a VM is a great idea (as is the RAID idea however I don't think I could get financial approval from the wife!).

    Ken I don't know if you've come across this, if the primary drive fails and you try to re-install using the standard WHS image, the whole process of recovering / rebuilding your data / tombstones from your other drives will fail if WHS hasn't been able to determine a  suitable network card driver. 

    As a result the network subsystem isn't properly initialized so this happens:

    [02/02/2008 18:39:09  7f0] Progress: 80%
    [TRACE] GetSharePath : Exited (0x80070490)
    [02/02/2008 18:39:09  7f0] ERROR: Could not retrieve software share path (0x80070490)
    [TRACE] PublishFiles : Exited (0x80070490)
    [TRACE] Step_InstallQ : Exited (0x80070490)
    [02/02/2008 18:39:09  7f0] Installing Windows Home Server failed. Error 0x80070490.

    I don't dispute creating a custom WHS build will take some time, but in my case it's virtually a necessity!  If the process breaks down as above, it's possible to copy the data from your drives onto another drive and then start from scratch with a new install, but (from personal experience) this is much more labourious than taking the time to create a custom build.
    Saturday, February 9, 2008 11:52 AM
  •  runtime360 wrote:
    Ken I don't know if you've come across this, if the primary drive fails and you try to re-install using the standard WHS image, the whole process of recovering / rebuilding your data / tombstones from your other drives will fail if WHS hasn't been able to determine a suitable network card driver.

    How certain are you that it's only the lack of a network driver that's causing this? I ask because one of the PCs I ran WHS on during the beta had an off-brand NIC that required me to load a driver. I'm sure I was able to do at least one reinstallation without supplying a network driver. I can't test with that configuration any more because I've since repurposed most of the hardware...
    Saturday, February 9, 2008 3:44 PM
    Moderator
  • I would say pretty certain - the only way to be 100% sure would be to go ahead with the custom build to ensure it has all the drivers it needs.   Based on the error logged, my hunch is that WHS is unable to locate \\SERVER\Software as the network subsystem isn't initialized.  I can't think of any other reason since both my hard drives are detected out-of-the-box.

    To date I'd been able to fresh install without NIC (adding the network driver subsequently); re-installing is where the problem occurs. and it seems reasonable that might be because the process is a little more involved and perhaps wrongly assumes the network functions are present.

    I'm currently setting up some VM images for testing with the OPK; if the process is straightforward and the re-install works in the way I'm hoping, then I'll apply that to my production system.  I'll post any noteworthy results.
    Saturday, February 9, 2008 4:59 PM
  • I had a go at following the Windows Home Server OPK documentation; everything proceeded very smoothly - made a couple of minor customizations and moved straight onto running the sysprep tool.  After the sysprep completed, the machine shutdown as expected, allowing me to take an image; however I was surprised to find that drive D had been deleted in the process.  Perhaps it would be recreated on booting up?

    No such luck!  If you boot up the machine it all looks good - Windows says it's preparing to run for the first time, starts creating profile etc. and eventually you boot into Windows... what is strange here is that it doesn't land you at the OOBE Welcome screen, instead it takes you right into the desktop where you are met with WordPad and a copy of the EULA.  All the drivers and apps look fine, but you soon find all is not as it seems.  The 'folders' and 'shares' directories are created on the root of  'C:' ! Drive D doesn't show up, Disk Manager reveals that the partition is still unformatted.  Unsurprisingly most WHS services are not running.

    All in all a bit of a disaster.  I'm sure I followed the steps to the letter (I repeated the process twice to be sure), but you're welcome to try and see if your results differ.
    Sunday, February 10, 2008 2:46 AM
  • runtime360, what you describe sounds like the result of not killing the Windows Home Server Setup task at the beginning of your system preparation. If you proceed past the Welcome screen you've gone beyond where you can successfully use sysprep. (Actually I think you could go a bit farther, but not all the way through.)

    The removal of the D: partition is normal. It will be recreated as part of server setup, which won't run if you proceed to far into WHS Setup pre-sysprep.
    Sunday, February 10, 2008 6:50 AM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    what you describe sounds like the result of not killing the Windows Home Server Setup task at the beginning of your system preparation.


    Hi Ken, you might think so but I can assure you, every single time I booted into Windows (I restarted twice following things like applying Windows updates) while customising the image (i.e. before running sysprep), when faced with the Welcome OOBE screen, I flipped into Task Manager and killed the running 'Windows Home Server Setup.exe' task as instructed.

    I don't know whether my testing in a VMware environment has anything to do with my experience (it shouldn't?); it would be great though if you have the time to spare, you might try to reproduce my findings; the whole process went a lot quicker than I thought it would (largely because I installed on a VM from ISO image rather than physical CD/DVD).

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 11:55 AM
  • It takes about 35 mins to install into the VM and since it's virtually automated until the OOBE Welcome screen I decided to have another go.

    Just prior to SYSPREP I made a clone for further testing.  I examined the WHSSYSPREP.CMD; theres a section of the script that is particularly interesting:

    echo    WHS console
    reg delete "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\HomeServerConsole" /v FirstTime /f >> %_log% 2>> %_err%

    echo    OOBE
    reg delete "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run" /v OOBE /f >> %_log% 2>> %_err%
    reg delete "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\install" /v OobeInProgress /f >> %_log% 2>> %_err%

    echo.
    echo Setting OOBE registry

    reg add "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\install" /v OOBE /t REG_DWORD /d 4 /f >> %_log% 2>> %_err%
    if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto :err


    Just before executing WHSSYSPREP.CMD my registry reads as follows:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\HomeServerConsole]
    "ShowConsoleVersion"=dword:00000001

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]
    "IMJPMIG8.1"="\"C:\\WINDOWS\\IME\\imjp8_1\\IMJPMIG.EXE\" /Spoil /RemAdvDef /Migration32"
    "IMEKRMIG6.1"="C:\\WINDOWS\\ime\\imkr6_1\\IMEKRMIG.EXE"
    "PHIME2002ASync"="C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\IME\\TINTLGNT\\TINTSETP.EXE /SYNC"
    "PHIME2002A"="C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\IME\\TINTLGNT\\TINTSETP.EXE /IMEName"
    "OOBE"="C:\\Program Files\\Windows Home Server\\whsoobe.exe /server"
    "VMware Tools"="C:\\Program Files\\VMware\\VMware Tools\\VMwareTray.exe"
    "VMware User Process"="C:\\Program Files\\VMware\\VMware Tools\\VMwareUser.exe"


    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\install]
    "stage"=dword:00000400
    "step"=dword:00000000
    "mode"=dword:00000000
    "OEM"=dword:00000001
    "OOBE"=dword:00000001
    "OobeInProgress"=dword:00000000
    "VersionMS"=dword:00060000
    "VersionLS"=dword:05dc0006
    Sunday, February 10, 2008 2:07 PM
  • Some progress!

    Once again restarting to find myself missing the OOBE Welcome screen, I discovered that executing the following seems to get WHS back to a functional state (with D, shares, console operating as expected) barring an 'unknown error'  which occurs towards the end of the process:

    "C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server\whsoobe.exe" /remoteRecovery

    whsobe.log:
    [10/02/2008 03:06:24  158] m_PartnerManager.JoinServer returns 0x80004005.
    [10/02/2008 03:06:24  158] ERROR: hr=0x80004005 (at func: CPagePromisses::UpdateServer, d:\qhsv1_rtm_qfe\qhs\src\client\oobe\src\pagepromisses.h (405)) hr 0

    I don't know if this results because I am skipping the activation step; as far as I've been able to ascertain - 0x80004005 is a pretty generic error.  I need to do some further testing to verify if the state of WHS at this point is sound.
    Sunday, February 10, 2008 3:58 PM
  • It all makes sense now!

    Gosh I feel so daft; the OPK works just fine! The error message above I recieved because I tried to launch the WHSOOBE locally on the server itself; I didn't realise that actually you're supposed to complete the process by installing the 'Windows Home Server Connector' on a different machine and use that to 'drive' the process!  Once you do that all is peachy! 

    To summarise, once you've run WHSSYSPREP.CMD you can take an image of your machine this is your 'customized primary volume image' which you can restore as many times as you like.  When you finally get around to booting up WHS 'for the first time',  you complete the installation/recovery process by installing a fresh copy of the WHS connector on another machine.

    Additional notes (Optional Step 6): the OPK also comes with tools to create a bootable USBKEY that'll run a special instance of WinPE; this may be used to boot WHS in cases where the system partition is corrupt or simply empty/blank.  Using the tools provided you can re-image it with your customized primary volume image; using these tools is optional, you can use any other preffered method of restoring your customized primary volume image onto WHS.

    a) WHS_RECOVERY_SERVER.EXE runs within the instance of WinPE you booted up from on your WHS.

    b) WHS_IMAGE.EXE runs on a different machine to WHS, connects to the WHS_RECOVERY_SERVER to capture and create two files containing an image of your WHS' customized primary volume.

    c) WHS_RECOVERY.EXE - runs on a different machine to WHS, you tell it where the image is stored and it connects to the WHS_RECOVERY_SERVER and re-images the primary volume on your WHS.

    Hope this helps anyone who's interested in this stuff.  When all is said and done it's pretty easy to put together a custom system partition image containing drivers, latest updates, addin's and preferred services; making restoring your OEM WHS system that much less painful.
    Sunday, February 10, 2008 8:34 PM
  • Thank you very much for sharing this! I'll bookmark this one!

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 9:33 PM
    Moderator
  • Just a follow-up:

    I applied the process described in this thread to my production WHS yesterday and it all went very smoothly!  I am now able to re-image C: and be up and running within minutes.
    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 1:47 PM
  • Can you perhaps write simple step by step instruction for the whole process (from creating the image to restoring from image). Hopefully WHS team or mod will then put this in the FAQ section.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 6:54 PM
    Moderator
  • I don't know that this information is useful to your average Windows Home Server end-user, but if you're building a system yourself you could consider going down the OPK route to save yourself some bother in the future should you ever need to restore the system partition image.

     

    HOWTO: Create a custom image of Windows Home Server using the OEM Preinstallation Kit CD

     

    1) Install Windows Home Server

     

    Important: Only connect one hard drive to your server throughout the process of creating the image.  You can add additional drives much later on, after you have booted into the image 'for the first time' and completed the provisioning process.

     

    Install WHS on the machine you are targetting; simply install in the usual manner following on-screen prompts. 

     

    Towards the end of the installation you will eventually reach a blue full-screen Welcome page (known as the OOBE, or out-of-box-experience), do not continue any further!

     

    According to the OPK documentation you should press CTRL+ALT+DELETE and use the Task Manager to 'kill' the 'Windows Home Server Setup' application.  Do this every single time you boot into Windows from here on until you have completed the SYSPREP stage discussed later

     

    2) Install additional drivers

     

    Install any additional drivers you may need.  I would strongly recommend that you place a copy of any drivers you install in a folder, e.g. 'C:\Drivers'.  It is not a necessary step but should you ever run into problems you'll always be able to refer to them without any hassle.

     

    3) Customize Home Server Console

     

    At this point, you are allowed limited access to the console. You may create additional network shares and pre-populate them with content.  You cannot enable folder duplication.  You can install add-ins, etc.  I would probably avoid going as far as to pre-create users but you can certainly enable the Guest account.

     

    4) Install additional services, applications and scheduled tasks

     

    Again this bit is very much up to you.  Don't forget to create/add any exceptions you need to Windows Firewall (!)

     

    Note: While making tweaks I would avoid activating your copy of WHS at this point, for the simple reason that if you later restore your image onto a different hard-drive you will most likely need to re-activate WHS.

     

    5) WHS SYSPREP

     

    This is the point of no return, once you start this process it is too late to make additional changes to the image and you will have to start from scratch.

     

    Copy the SYSPREP folder from the OPK CD to C:\SYSPREP and start up a command prompt:

     

    CD C:\SYSPREP

     

    Place the WHS DVD in the DVDROM drive ( X: ) and type:

     

    WHSSYSPREP.CMD X:\SVR_2003

     

    Once SYSPREP has finished 'compiling' it will prompt you to continue; it will strip the security ID, network specific config, etc. from your machine and shutdown when it is complete.

     

    6) Make a backup of your system partition

     

    Use a bootable USBKEY or CDROM to make a backup of your system partition; I used Acronis, but Ghost, DriveImage XML or any other WindowsPE-based software should work just fine too.  You'll notice that your D: partition doesn't exist, don't worry.  Any content you pre-populated your network shares with has been 'baked' into the system partition, when you've completed provisioning your Windows Home Server that content will move to the correct place.

     

    7) Booting into Windows Home Server 'for the first time'

     

    If you're recovering from a previous installation now would be a good time to reconnect all your hard drives. However, if you want to perform a new installation, wait until you've completed provisioning the server before adding the hard drives.

     

    On powering up the system, Windows Home Server will go through post-setup configuration and will reboot a couple of times.  Once completed you should be able to login to the Desktop.  It's worth checking that all your devices have been detected correctly; if not you can help WHS along by directing it to the C:\Drivers folder you created earlier.

     

    8) Provisioning Windows Home Server

     

    Important: Before you can begin using your Windows Home Server, you must complete this final step.

     

    Using the appropriate CD, install the Windows Home Server Connector software on a 32-bit XP or Vista machine.  The software will search for your new home server and prompt you for additional details to complete the setup of your Windows Home Server. 

     

    ---

     

    That's it - hopefully you've got this far without any errors and you now have Windows Home Server configured to your taste.  If you're happy with the build then all that is left to do is activate your copy of Windows Home Server.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 8:29 PM
  • Thanks a lot!

     

    Next to having a quick reinstall in case of system failure it's very convenient to have the image if your running "destructive tests".

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 9:01 PM
    Moderator
  • I understand the proces but have a question about making a image for the intel SS4200-WHS. I can't make the image on the machine itself because it has no keyboard, mouse and graphic adapter. I can make a image on another machine but like to include the network drivers in the plug and play section of the image because i'm not certain it will recognize the network card (intel 82573E).

     

    Can you explain how i can install those drivers ? Or do you think it will recognize them by itself ?

     

    Regards,

     

    Constant Govaard

    Monday, March 31, 2008 3:30 PM
  • If the Intel box has a video header on the MB, you can probably find out what the correct pinout is from them and create a custom cable that will allow you to hook up a monitor. Same for the keyboard and mouse, or you can probably use a USB keyboard and mouse.

    An alternative is to identify all the hardware, then do an installation on fully compatible hardware with KVM connectors and sysprep that. You can then swap the drive in to the Intel unit.
    Monday, March 31, 2008 5:18 PM
    Moderator
  • SS4200 has PCIx 1x slot, for that you may use Matrox G550 LP videocard (G55-MDDE32LPDF)

    But it just doesn't fit in the chassis, you also need PCIx 1x extension cable.

    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 6:57 AM
  • is it possible to include updates before using OPK to create a custom WHS build / recovery image
    what happens if you try and use the OPK after the 'Windows Home Server Setup.exe' has completed and after you have finished Booting into Windows Home Server 'for the first time'?. i dont have athe spare resources test these questions on unfortuanely

    Thursday, December 3, 2009 4:20 PM
  • I hate to be thick here but the process described above by rutnime360 seems to deal primarily with the backup.  What are the details for the restore?  Do you just use a normal restore with your Disk Imaging software on a new hard drive with your WHS PC?  If so where would that come in the above process?

    Can you use PING (which is free)?
    • Proposed as answer by dbvandyke Thursday, December 24, 2009 8:24 PM
    Thursday, December 3, 2009 10:58 PM
  • I have a WHS OEM machine that I built myself and has been running solidly for almost 2 years now. I built it on a very old motherboard (ASUS P4G8X Deluxe to be exact), but now I want to "move" my WHS installation and data to a new Biostar TP45E Combo based system. I understand about the different architecture, chipset, drivers, blah, blah, blah, I can deal with that side of the project. What I need to know now though, is the process outlined here seems to indicate one must start with a clean install of WHS, then build upon that and create the image. Where do I begin in the posted process with my existing 2 year old machine, which has many customizations including SharePoint, Power Pack 3, all other updates, plus up-to-date drivers?

    Thank you! Your post is AWESOME by the way RunTime360!!! Thanks so much for your work and sharing. You are a STAR!
    Thursday, December 24, 2009 8:36 PM
  • Since your copy of Windows Home Server has been used for an extended period of time, you will not be able to use the procedure outlined above. (That procedure presumes that your server has never been taken through the OOBE setup phase.)

    Instead you can move all your drives to your new server, then immediately do a server recovery (don't bother trying to boot; you have enough differences between the two platforms that you're extremely unlikely to succeed). Some things to be careful about:
    • Make sure your system drive is seen as the system drive by Windows Home Server setup.
    • Make sure all of your data drives are seen by setup.
    If you have drives that aren't seen by setup, you may not be presented with the recovery option, only "New installation". In this case, at the hardware detection screen you will need to add drivers for your disk controllers. If your system drive isn't seen without drivers, you will need to supply drivers for that controller twice. The first time is at the same hardware detection screen, and the second time is just after the reboot into text mode setup, at the "Press F6" prompt. In the latter case you will need the drivers prepared according to your disk controller manufacturer's instructions for making an "F6 floppy" and you will need to supply them on floppy.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, December 25, 2009 3:40 PM
    Moderator
  • Since your copy of Windows Home Server has been used for an extended period of time, you will not be able to use the procedure outlined above. (That procedure presumes that your server has never been taken through the OOBE setup phase.)

    Instead you can move all your drives to your new server, then immediately do a server recovery (don't bother trying to boot; you have enough differences between the two platforms that you're extremely unlikely to succeed). Some things to be careful about:
    • Make sure your system drive is seen as the system drive by Windows Home Server setup.
    • Make sure all of your data drives are seen by setup.
    If you have drives that aren't seen by setup, you may not be presented with the recovery option, only "New installation". In this case, at the hardware detection screen you will need to add drivers for your disk controllers. If your system drive isn't seen without drivers, you will need to supply drivers for that controller twice. The first time is at the same hardware detection screen, and the second time is just after the reboot into text mode setup, at the "Press F6" prompt. In the latter case you will need the drivers prepared according to your disk controller manufacturer's instructions for making an "F6 floppy" and you will need to supply them on floppy.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)


    Thank you Ken for your very helpful and detailed reply!

    :D

    Friday, May 21, 2010 6:28 AM