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Is a system drive restore possible without using the restore CD. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am putting a new system together to replace one I am currently using. I have WHS and it has been working fine for me. I would like to know if it is possible to take the SATA drive I am going to use as the C drive on my new system, place it in a USB enclosure, then restore my current C: drive backup from WHS to it? 
    Monday, February 9, 2009 6:57 PM

Answers

  • Yes, in theory. Connect the drive to any computer with the connector installed, then run the following program:

    C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server\ClientrestoreWizard.exe

    This is the same program that runs from the Restore CD, just hosted in the operating system of the PC you use for the restore instead of a WinPE environment.

    However, that is only a small part of the equation. If you change any hardware, then you will need to deal with driver differences, probably including the hardware abstraction layer (HAL). Probably you will have a better experience if you install Windows fresh on the drive, then restore only essential data.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, February 9, 2009 8:58 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Yes, in theory. Connect the drive to any computer with the connector installed, then run the following program:

    C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server\ClientrestoreWizard.exe

    This is the same program that runs from the Restore CD, just hosted in the operating system of the PC you use for the restore instead of a WinPE environment.

    However, that is only a small part of the equation. If you change any hardware, then you will need to deal with driver differences, probably including the hardware abstraction layer (HAL). Probably you will have a better experience if you install Windows fresh on the drive, then restore only essential data.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, February 9, 2009 8:58 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for your quick response.

    I knew there would be a number of issues that would arise if I just restored my current c: drive, but I have so many apps and utils on my system that re-installing them one at a time seemed more daunting than wrestling with all of the error messages I would get when I tried to make the C: drive work in the new system.

    So I am going to give this a try and see what happens. I may have to do as you suggest.

    EVERYONE PLEASE READ AS AN FYI. I had copied my c: drive to my new drive using Acronis Migrate Easy (trial version). The new system booted up and I started getting errors (as I expected) but then I got the Microsoft Assurance message about this was not the machine my MS XP was licensed for and I had 3 days to reregister it. I got less than a day and a half. The next day (after wrestling with these other error messages and slowly getting rid of them)  I got the Microsoft Assurance message that my time to reregister had expired and XP would no longer be allowed to boot up. So that was the end of using that copy of XP on the new system. I could never get Acronis to copy the drive again and I finally gave up on doing the restore in that fashion.

    I added the above FYI paragraph because I thought this info might be of value to others out there.
    Monday, February 9, 2009 10:40 PM
  • A number of people have tried it; it's not a supported restore scenario for WHS, but if you can deal with the driver issues, great. I don't recommend even making the attempt, to be honest. I think you'll be better served just reinstalling Windows and those programs you actually use, and restoring data from a backup.

    If you decide to proceed, the best approach is probably going to be to assume that the PC won't boot. After restoring the drive image, delete the file hal.dll (normally found in C:\Windows\System32) and replace it with a fresh copy from your original Windows installation media (if you only have recovery CDs it will not be possible to get this to work). Google "hal.dll" for more information on this.

    You will still have activation issues; you will effectively be replacing all your hardware, so you will have to reactivate.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, February 9, 2009 11:06 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you very much for your help. I decided to follow your advice and everything eventually worked out. I would like for everyone to know that because of some malware issues I had to restore my WHS backup a few times. I used different copies until I found a copy that hadn't been infected. The restore worked perfectly every time. I am using WinXP Pro, so that may have also been part of the reason I have had such great success in restoring.  Thanks again. This forum is a terrifc help.
    Saturday, February 28, 2009 3:51 PM