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WHS-RECOVERY breaks connector software RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am getting "An unknown network error has occurred" when attempting to run the connector software. I have tried every torubleshooting step that I can find. This only happens when I restore the backup image of my WHS using WHS_RECEVOERY.EXE. It happens at the stage where you run connector setup via network, get a long delay between chossing the server name and entering the password. After entering the password you get the error. To confirm that the recovery software is causing this issue, I installed a clean copy of WHS, patched it in steps, checked connector software each step. After fully patching, the connector software worked fine. Made a backup using WHS_IMAGE.EXE. Then restored the backup image to the server using WHS_RECOVERY.EXE with no switches - just overwriting the C drive. This completely breaks the connector software, no workarounds will fix it. Have even tried moving it to another network to make sure it's not an IP thing- it's still broken. Any ideas?
    Sunday, May 31, 2009 1:12 AM

Answers

  • It works for me. I use the OPK tools to quickly reset my test server to a known base state.

    Note that this is (or was, I don't have a current OPK disc with me) covered in the OPK documentation, including the OOBE requirements.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by RossPK Monday, June 1, 2009 11:30 PM
    Monday, June 1, 2009 4:09 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I am getting "An unknown network error has occurred" when attempting to run the connector software. I have tried every torubleshooting step that I can find. This only happens when I restore the backup image of my WHS using WHS_RECEVOERY.EXE. It happens at the stage where you run connector setup via network, get a long delay between chossing the server name and entering the password. After entering the password you get the error. To confirm that the recovery software is causing this issue, I installed a clean copy of WHS, patched it in steps, checked connector software each step. After fully patching, the connector software worked fine. Made a backup using WHS_IMAGE.EXE. Then restored the backup image to the server using WHS_RECOVERY.EXE with no switches - just overwriting the C drive. This completely breaks the connector software, no workarounds will fix it. Have even tried moving it to another network to make sure it's not an IP thing- it's still broken. Any ideas?
    Are you using the the OPK CD?  I've personally never used it (no need/desire to build my own image since I have a pretty bare-bones WHS install), but have you checked Using OPK to create a custom WHS build / recovery image for pointers?
    Sunday, May 31, 2009 2:30 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes, these are the imaging utilities from the OEM pre-installation CD. There aren't too many pointers required, simple command line syntax - eg: to build image over the network syntax = "whs_image.exe /i D:\restore\whsimage" to restore image including partition table = "whs_recovery.exe /i D:\restore\whsimage /w", (where D:=drive letter,  /i=image name, /w=wipe disks).

    It all seems to work perfectly, build the image, restore the image, everything seems to work fine - but the WHS connector software will not install on any PC's after a server has been rebuilt from the backup image. None of the published workarounds fixes the issue.
    After having spent a lot of time with WHS over the last year or so, there is just no way I will continue to use it without some method of imaging for the OS and tombstone drive in case of primary disk failure.
    So, the imaging tool on the OPK seems to have a bug, but due to lack of use or awareness nobody has noticed. Norton Ghost tends to put a replacement boot drive outside of the pool as a new unknown drive, so it's not a working solution either. I have just tried Macrium Reflect and it seems like it may do the job. I successfully cloned a Maxtor 80GB system disk to a Samsung 160GB replacement drive - just required renaming of the drive in the registry so that it shows correctly in the storage pool. I will do some more testing to see how it handles the data partition.
    Sunday, May 31, 2009 3:13 PM
  • Yes, these are the imaging utilities from the OEM pre-installation CD. There aren't too many pointers required, simple command line syntax - eg: to build image over the network syntax = "whs_image.exe /i D:\restore\whsimage" to restore image including partition table = "whs_recovery.exe /i D:\restore\whsimage /w", (where D:=drive letter,  /i=image name, /w=wipe disks).

    It all seems to work perfectly, build the image, restore the image, everything seems to work fine - but the WHS connector software will not install on any PC's after a server has been rebuilt from the backup image. None of the published workarounds fixes the issue.
    After having spent a lot of time with WHS over the last year or so, there is just no way I will continue to use it without some method of imaging for the OS and tombstone drive in case of primary disk failure.
    So, the imaging tool on the OPK seems to have a bug, but due to lack of use or awareness nobody has noticed. Norton Ghost tends to put a replacement boot drive outside of the pool as a new unknown drive, so it's not a working solution either. I have just tried Macrium Reflect and it seems like it may do the job. I successfully cloned a Maxtor 80GB system disk to a Samsung 160GB replacement drive - just required renaming of the drive in the registry so that it shows correctly in the storage pool. I will do some more testing to see how it handles the data partition.

    Are you trying to image only the C partition (or C and D both)?  Are you installing any add-ins/apps before creating the image?
    Sunday, May 31, 2009 4:36 PM
    Moderator
  • The OEM OPK backup & restore tools only image the partition table & C drive. Pretty much any other imaging software will image the D drive under DOS, but that's not a big deal at this stage.
    It goes like this - clean install from OEM DVD. Install .net 3.5, test connector software, it installs OK. Remove PC, install IE8 on server, test connector again - OK. Install rest of updates including PP2, -test connector software - it's all OK. Make the backup image using OEM WHS_IMAGE.EXE, then do a C drive over-write using WHS_RECOVERY.EXE to the same hard disk, connector software no longer installs on clients.
    It's very strange, but as I said, I am now finding that Macrium Reflect seems to be doing the job properly.
    Monday, June 1, 2009 12:09 AM
  • The instructions and tools in the OPK are intended only for the creation of a recovery disk from a server that has not yet been put into production, and with a single hard disk. You can restore that image to a server with multiple disks, but the initial image should be of a servier with one disk, and which has not been through OOBE.

    So you're using the tools in an unsupported fashion, I'm afraid.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, June 1, 2009 1:42 AM
    Moderator
  • Yes that is correct Ken.  I am indeed only using one hard drive, references to D drive are in regard to the second partition on the primary drive. However I will admit to having completed the OOBE prior to imaging, even though I have resealed with SYSPREP. Are you telling me that it will work properly if I observe the OOBE bypass procedures?
    Monday, June 1, 2009 3:05 AM
  • It works for me. I use the OPK tools to quickly reset my test server to a known base state.

    Note that this is (or was, I don't have a current OPK disc with me) covered in the OPK documentation, including the OOBE requirements.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by RossPK Monday, June 1, 2009 11:30 PM
    Monday, June 1, 2009 4:09 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for pointing me in the right direction Ken.

    I tried a basic imaging "backup" on a clean install without OOBE'ing and it worked fine at backing up the C drive - no connector problems. I also made an image using the correct sysprep method, which also works perfectly and regenerates the D drive.

    Off topic, but while I was at it I decided to make myself an updated WHS disk. Did it the hard way, one at a time with the "integrate" command. Worked a treat, just leaves the system a couple of small (non downloadable) updates short of being fully patched. PP2 won't download or install until OOBE'd.  Managed to swap out .Net 3.5SP1 for the .Net 2.0 installer as well, but this requires manually agreeing to installing it during setup. Small price to pay for a pretty much fully patched system when the install is done - just install drivers & sysprep.  

    Still doesn't satisfy my desire for an ongoing server backup process, but  will save heaps of time when I do need to re-install.

    FYI, this is a test setup also using dual core HT (4 logical core) Atom CPU & onboard Realtek PCI-E 8111C giga-lan. It's performance with WHS is brilliant, just limited by 3 onboard disk controllers. Still - it has a PCI slot. Cheers.
    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 12:09 AM
  • RossPK - can you elaborate a bit on what exactly you did when you said "just required renaming of the drive in the registry so that it shows correctly in the storage pool" because I too use Macrium Reflect to back up my WHS OS and in the event of a drive failure (it will most likely be replaced by a different/larger drive) I'd like to be prepared so the new drive shows correctly in the storage pool.
    Thursday, June 3, 2010 10:29 AM
  • Zypee, if you attempt to restore a system drive image that isn't extremely "fresh" you will likely lose access to some files in your shares, and possibly your backup database as well. It's possible (though unsupported) to clone a Windows Home Server system drive, but because of the way Drive Extender uses the D: partition, it's not possible to back one up and restore it at an arbitrary later date.

    The recovery method that Microsoft has designed for system builders is server reinstallation/recovery, if the system drive fails.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, June 3, 2010 12:38 PM
    Moderator
  • Since asking how it was done in this thread some time ago, I have come to the conclusion that you cannot image the OS for WHS reliably UNLESS you have done it with the imaging tools from the OPK disk. Even then, there a are a heap of issues that need to be observed. Firstly, you need to create the recovery image from a "clean" install that has never experienced the OOBE by pressing Ctrl + F4 at the login screen. Secondly, if you have ever run your server in such a fashion that data has been installed on the actual "D" drive (partition 2 drive 0), this data needs to be included in the image. Also, data cannot be recovered from many 3rd party SATA controllers, such as J-Micron controllers, even if you have the Vista mode drivers loaded to your recovery media. As a workaround, I have found that removing the drives from these controllers and placing them on SATA to USB bridges during the recovery process works just fine. You can then plug them back in to the original controllers once WHS is up & running. Finally, as the WHS "listener" recovery media is a Windows Vista PEImage based media, you will need the Windows Vista AIK & Vista drivers for your motherboard if you want to load AHCI or RAID drivers during recovery. Best to make it up on a flash drive so that it can be updated regularly.

    You can successfully use Windows Update to apply patches and update IE etc prior to creating your image, although PP2 & PP3 will not install to a WHS that has not been through the OOBE process. These have to be updated after the image & data recovery has been finished. The PP3 version of WHS can be downloaded as a demo from the MS web site and only needs a couple of files swapped from the original disk to be a fully functioning WHS PP3 version. However, the imaging tools from the PP1 OPK disk do not work with a PP3 disk, and the updated PP3 OPK can only be downloaded from the OEM part of the MS web site...so I haven't been able to do it yet. I know that's not much help, but if someone could get me the PP3 OPK, I would be more than happy to create a tutorial on how to create WHS recovery images.

    By the way, WHS does take ages to install & update from scratch, so the imaging tols are worhtwhile learning about. I can replace the boot drive in a WHS machine, re-install the recovery image over my network & have it up & running with all data recoverd to the pool, the latest updates installed, dot nets & IE7 in around 20 minutes. Cheers.

    Saturday, June 5, 2010 4:38 AM