How to restore a client PC, if the network connection does not work in the CD based restore environment RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Windows Home Server has the feature, to allow a complete restore of a client PC. This restore needs a working network connection to function. Sometimes this network connection cannot be established after booting from the Windows Home Server Home Computer Restore CD, because:
    • drivers for the installed network adapter are not available in the basic Vista PE package, which is the base for the recovery environment
    • the drivers in the clients folder "Windows Home Server Drivers for Restore" are copied to an USB stick, but not accepted in Vista PE (be also aware, that the recovery CD is a 32 Bit environment, so if your drivers are from an installed  64 bit Vista, they cannot work)
    • the most current network drivers (try Vista 32 Bit drivers as best choice) from the maker of the network card or the chip fail as well (after you have unpacked these drivers to an USB stick)
    • the network connection gets established, but data transfer fails due to network errors
    • the connection is wireless, which is not supported for restore (Windows PE cannot handle encrypted connections and the amount of data to be restored does not fit well into the bandwidth of most wireless environments)

    In such cases you need:
    • a second client PC with Windows Home Server Connector software installed and a free port to attach a hard disk from the first PC (this can be IDE or SATA as the original disk is or a USB to IDE/SATA adapter cable)
    • knowledge, how to remove and connect a hard disk

    If these prerequisites are given, perform the following steps:
    1. Disconnect the power plug from each PC, which you need to open to access the hard disk.
    2. Detach the disk from the PC, which you want to restore. (Don't forget, that a hard disk is a sensitive electronic and mechanical device.)
    3. Attach it to the second PC as a secondary drive (either by connecting to an internal port or with an USB to SATA/IDE connector).
    4. Boot that PC up.
    5. Restore the disk by running ClientRestoreWizard.exe, which can be found in Program Files\Windows Home Server on the client PC. Be carefull here with the selection of the target disk to not overwrite the wrong disk with the backup from the other PC!
    6. After restore has been completed: Shut down the second PC and move the disk back to the original PC.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Monday, December 15, 2008 12:53 PM

All replies

  • Alternatively you can try following method involving a 32 Bit Windows 7 bootable device like the installation DVD (DVD or USB stick):
    From Computer Restore CD copy following files into a folder WHS on an USB stick:

    Create a restore.cmd batch file in that same folder with following content:
      @echo off
      for %%a in (*.dll) do regsvr32 /s %%a

    Boot from the Windows 7 external media and select, that you wish to repair the Computer. Open a command prompt and locate the folder WHS. (Tip: If you run notepad and use it's File/Open dialog, you can easy see, which drive letter is assigned to that USB stick).

    In the command prompt, change to that drive (replace X: with the drive letter spotted before) and then to the folder with following commands:
    CD \WHS

    Execute the restore.cmd, which has been created before (one or two files may generate error messages on registration attempt, this is an expected behavior).

    Since Windows 7 installation media has more hardware drivers included, you have better chances, that the connection works.

    Best greetings from Germany

    Friday, June 1, 2012 7:34 AM