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WHS - can't restore Win 7 Ultimate backup to a new drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • I had almost completed a clean Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit install (on a 2nd, previously used by me hard drive) when I started noticing serious disk performance issues.  I had already installed the WHS connector software and had completed several successful backups, so I figured I was cool.  Ran a diagnostic utility on the drive, and it's bad.  So I go out and pick up a new drive (different band, same capacity), install the drive (I had unplugged my other drive which had Vista installed on it), loaded the restore CD, and start the process.  After partitioning the new drive in the exact same configuration as the old drive (.1GB drive without drive letter assigned which was created by Win7 - I think this is for some sort of diagnostic stuff), 128GB OS partition (C:), 128GB apps partition (D:), 648GB or so for storage (E:).

    So, I assigned each "drive" in the backup to its mate on the new drive, the restore process runs for 20 minutes or so, then I get the ready to restart message, so I pop out the restore CD and restart.  Goes into BIOS, then it gives me a boot device not found message.  So I boot to the restore CD again, go into disk manager, and see that for some reason, the .1GB partition has been assigned to C (it shouldn't have a drive letter assignment), what should be C has been assigned to D, and so forth.  So, basically, it looks like the files are there, but the drive letters aren't assigned the way I had them.  So I reassign drive letters in disk manager, and I still get the boot device not found message.

    So, I'm stuck.  I don't want to re-do a complete clean install of Win 7 (for one thing, it's on OEM version that's been activated), is there a way out of this problem?

    Thanks

    Pete
    Saturday, January 9, 2010 11:40 PM

Answers

  • Pete:

    Drive letters may be different when running the restore CD - this is completely normal. The reason is that the restore CD is running the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) and the Win 7 boot partition will be mounted and visible to WinRE. The same is not true when running Windows 7 - the boot partition will not be visible. So when each OS assigns drive letters they will come out differently.

    The 100 MB partition is the Windows 7 boot partition. Did you make this partition active? If not you can do this from Disk Management when booted to the restore CD.

    Also check the boot order in the BIOS. On some PCs this may get changed when a new disk is attached.
    Sunday, January 10, 2010 2:32 AM

All replies

  • Pete:

    Drive letters may be different when running the restore CD - this is completely normal. The reason is that the restore CD is running the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) and the Win 7 boot partition will be mounted and visible to WinRE. The same is not true when running Windows 7 - the boot partition will not be visible. So when each OS assigns drive letters they will come out differently.

    The 100 MB partition is the Windows 7 boot partition. Did you make this partition active? If not you can do this from Disk Management when booted to the restore CD.

    Also check the boot order in the BIOS. On some PCs this may get changed when a new disk is attached.
    Sunday, January 10, 2010 2:32 AM
  • I'm embarrassed.  I forgot to mark the partition as active.  Thanks for the help!
    Sunday, January 10, 2010 8:20 PM
  • Please help!!!

    I am having the same problem.  I have verified each time that I have marked the 100mb partition as active and it still comes out the same.  First missing bootmgr and when I run the Win7 repair it changes my C drive to D drive. I've even had it change my no drive letter assigned 100mb partition to an assigned E drive partition.

    I am somewhat confused because in some posts I see people say that you have to backup and restore the 100mb partition first.  I don't see a way to backup the 100mb partition and have it restore from the WHS.

    I have 5 Windows 7 machines and this is first one I'm trying this on.  I hope this doesn't mean I can't restore any of them.
    Wednesday, February 3, 2010 12:57 PM
  • Have you included the 100 MB partition in the backup? If so, you should be able to restore it.

    What is your current status? Does Windows 7 boot but the drive letters are incorrect? Or do you mean that the drive letters are incorrect when viewed from the WHS restore CD or a Windows 7 DVD in the repair environment?
    Wednesday, February 3, 2010 1:30 PM
  • Hi, I'm dealing with this same issue right now, it's so confusing.  I'm restoring at the moment and what I did was just restore the primary partition and not restore the .1 gb partition that win7 makes.   So, it's showing restoring C: to D: because the winre labelled the .1gb as C.  

     

    Also the restore is sooooo slow it  could take days to restore 200gbs.  I watch the bytes sent / interval on the whs box and it's at 0 for 3 or 4 mins. then it will pulse up to 3 or 6 MB / sec for a split second and go back to zero again.  The box being restored says it will take 5 hours and 18 mins but the time keeps going up.

     

    I hope it all works out ok in the end?

    Thursday, June 17, 2010 10:26 PM
  • At best, this version of WHS does not make it easy to restore a Windows 7 client.  Possible, but not easy.  Steps I had to go through in replacing a hard drive.

    1. Used this method of attaching to a second PC: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whsfaq/thread/e3cd8791-5456-479b-943e-6399092363a7

    2. Use Disk Management to create a 100 MB partition first on the new hard drive.  Format the rest of the drive as a separate partition.  I did not assign drive letters to either partition.

    3. Run ClientRestoreWizard.exe and restore the 100 MB partition first to the 100 MB partition created in step 1.  Go back to Disk Management and mark as active.

    4. Rerun ClientRestoreWizard.exe and backup the "C" drive to other partition created in step 1.

    5. Find your Windows 7 install disc.  You'll need it to perform a repair when you first boot-up.

    6. After running repair, it will boot up as normal.

    7. WHS recognized my "C" drive, but, not my original 100 MB partition.  I had to update the back-up for the client to add the "new" 100 MB and delete the "old" one from the back-ups.

    Hope this helps someone else and if there's a better way, please post.

     

    Saturday, June 19, 2010 6:14 PM
  • I reported the same grief a couple months ago, where a full restore caused either an infinite reboot loop or a "would you like to try a repair" boot message and consistent failure to repair.  I ended up doing a full reinstall, and was royally irked at the failure of what I thought was a reliable backup solution.  The disk (C: and D: partitions) seemed to have all the directories I expected; it simply wasn't bootable desite numerous attempts to FIXBOOT and FIXMBR.

    Just yesterday I took a brand new drive out of the box and decided to try another WHS restore, which also required going into Disk Management and formatting the drive as part of the process.  To my pleasure, unlike the previous debacle, this disk booted up just fine.

    So with a small sample size, the initial hypothesis is that a restore of Windows 7 is at least sporadically unreliable from WHS.

    I'm now also doing Windows 7 image backups once a week to an external drive; I think tonight I'll reformat the new drive and try an image restore from that other backup.  If it works, I'll feel more confident that at least one of the two will work the next time I end up in a messy situation such as you encountered.

    Art

    Saturday, June 19, 2010 11:53 PM