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Network failures on four out of four PCs! RRS feed

  • Question

  • So I built a WHS system because I didn't want to suffer through another HD crash.  It has more power than need be but that's OK.  I have two desktops and two laptops that are running Windows XP perfectly and now getting regular backups with no errors or warnings.  Great!

    I thought I should try out the recovery process before the next emergency occurs.  Not so great!  In all cases below I copied the appropriate "Windows Home Server Drivers for Restore" directory to a flash drive and inserted it before booting the WHS Home Computer Restore CD.

    Toshiba M35X-S311 laptop:  It has XP Home, 1GB memory with BIOS v1.90.  Booting from the CD and choosing either RAM size memory option yielded a BSOD with "The BIOS in this system is not fully ACPI compliant. Please contact your system vendor for an updated BIOS."  No newer BIOS available!

    Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop;  It has XP Home, 256MB memory with BIOS A23.  Booting the restore CD showed no network driver until I clicked Scan for Drivers. The restore proceeded to the point where it found the WHS.  I entered the WHS password and got an error message: "An unexpected network error has occurred during PC Restore".

    The Desktops are almost identical with P4 (1.7gHz and 2gHz), ASUS (P4T-E and P4T) MB, 1GB memory and current BIOS. One runs XP Home; the other XP Pro.  Both have D-Link DGE-530T gigabit Ethernet cards.  Trying to restore shows no network driver - I clicked Scan for Drivers.  No network drivers are found.

    0 for 4 is beyond unacceptable!  Is this a write-only memory?  What can I do to let me do restores as advertised?

    Thursday, January 15, 2009 8:45 PM

All replies

  • Don,

    Not a good start! But at least you've done the right thing in trialling before a disaster.

    On the laptops, have you ensured that any wireless adapters are disabled prior to attempting recovery. Recoveries can only be done on a wired connection, and having the wired and wireless connections can break the process.
    For the two D-Link adapters, have you tried downloading drivers from the makers and uilising those. It's possible that the recovery process isn't accepting the version you already have.

    As an aside, I now do all my restores on one machine only; The ClientRestoreWizard of WHS Client software allows a user to select any machine's backup as the starter and any destination, so I use an external disk dock where I 'stick' the replacement drives and after restore completion, just install the recovered drive into the appropriate Client. This started as we have 4 Clients now, which are away at school, so needed a quick method of getting them back up and running.

    Colin



    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Thursday, January 15, 2009 9:11 PM
    Moderator
  • The Toshiba has the wireless disabled; The Dell doesn't have the PCMCIA wireless card inserted.

    All four are working fine with WXP.  I assumed that the drivers directory was constructed out of the running drivers.  Which should mean that they ought to work with WHS restore.

    I can try using DriverMax to copy the running drivers for the desktops.  I already did this with the Dell with no difference.

    If I could just get one to work then your technique would be a way out.

    Don
    Friday, January 16, 2009 1:33 AM
  • Don A. said:

    The Toshiba has the wireless disabled; The Dell doesn't have the PCMCIA wireless card inserted.

    All four are working fine with WXP.  I assumed that the drivers directory was constructed out of the running drivers.  Which should mean that they ought to work with WHS restore.

    I can try using DriverMax to copy the running drivers for the desktops.  I already did this with the Dell with no difference.

    If I could just get one to work then your technique would be a way out.

    Don


    What Colin is suggesting might work, even if the restore CD you tried didn't.  The ClientRestoreWizard.exe inside Windows is more robust and other people have gotten it to work when nothing else would.
    Friday, January 16, 2009 4:50 AM
    Moderator
  • This is valuable information that Colin has provided, but I have to comment that it is also ridiculous that with four PCs and not able to get any of them to restore, the user is expected to restore to an external caddy, and then re-insert the drive into the system for the restore to finish.  This obviously wouldn't even work in a RAID configuration and I also can't imagine the typical home user that this product is aimed at jumping through these hoops when they want to do a simple restore on a system that has crashed.

    MS has spent a lot of time and effort fixing other aspects of WHS, it seems as though they need to spend some time giving us restore tools that are far more robust than what is currently available.

    I previously made the suggestion that they include a utility with the connector software that actually builds the restore disk with the drivers on the machine that Connector is installed on.  This was shot down as being "unrealistic" and "unneeded" but clearly we DO need tools like this, which is what virtually EVERY OTHER backup/archive solutions company provides to make sure that restores go smoothly and QUICKLY!
    Friday, January 16, 2009 3:34 PM
  •  
    jmpage7310 said:

    which is what virtually EVERY OTHER backup/archive solutions company provides to make sure that restores go smoothly and QUICKLY!

    I cannot agree here - at least according to a report in a German IT montly digest I read recently, the quality of the recovery CDs of various imaging/backup tools in the most cases was awfull - and in many situations not even prepared to restore something via network, as WHS tries to accomplish.

    But yes, more ways could never be a fault, I i.e. would like to see the ability to export the backup of a PC or volume to a .wim file from within the console either as native function or as Add-in.

    Did you download the most current ISO image for the Client Restore CD, which handles clients with less than 512 MB better?

    Laptops usually offer some more difficulties due to hidden vendor partitions and other specialities.
    Some reasons, why restore over network can fail and the process of restoring with ClientRestoreWizard.exe is also documented in this FAQ.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, January 16, 2009 3:48 PM
    Moderator
  • I am simply basing this off of my own experiences.  I have restored clients with Acronis Echo Workstation as well as various Symantec tools and it has been very easy and painless.  They offer boot discs that essentially boot Linux with a full set of drivers and tools to help with restores both from restore media as well as over the LAN.

    I think that WHS could be much more robust in this area.  It's evident that the WHS restore scenario that was tested was for a simple single partition workstation on a LAN.  While this probably does cover 80% of users that's just not going to be good enough, especially with the increasing commanality of laptops with hidden/special recovery partitions, systems with RAID-1 or RAID-0, etc.

    Many still consider these disc configurations "exotic" but I sure seem to see them an awful lot.
    Friday, January 16, 2009 4:28 PM
  • I notice that all of your PCs are older models; this may explain the ACPI error you mention for one of them. Unfortunately, ACPI support is required. If that is indeed a factor with the Toshiba laptop, then you may have to use an alternate method such as the one Colin suggested.

    For the others, I would try to obtain Vista drivers for the network adapters in them, and use those drivers instead of the ones that Windows Home Server backup extracts. This is sometimes required because the Restore CD uses WinPE 2.0 for GUI support, which sometimes can't load XP drivers (this is dependent on the driver, and it's not something that can be forced in the restore environment).


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, January 16, 2009 4:42 PM
    Moderator
  • For the desktop:  I have downloaded and burned the latest ISO image for the Client Restore CD.

    I downloaded the DGE-530T Vista driver from the D-Link web site and put that on a flash drive.  After scanning the flash drive, the driver now shows up and the WHS seems to be found.  When I enter the server password, after a delay I get the error message: "An unexpected network error has occurred during PC Restore" just as with the Dell laptop.

    The error window has a link for more troubleshooting info but it refers a MS web page on WHS troubleshooting.  And the WHS connector works fine running under XP so I can't imagine there's a real network problem.

    Since the driver folder that's part of the backup for a machine is different for each machine, I thought that it was tailored for the unique drivers that the backup process identified.  It seems peculiar that you would have to try to get other drivers for an OS that you're not running.  That process and doc. could be improved.

    As for the Toshiba laptop, it's newer (2005) than the other 3 systems and the BIOS version claims: "This BIOS version is Windows XP compatible and supports Plug and Play, and ACPI functionality." 

    And why is ACPI a requirement anyway since one wouldn't have to worry about power configurations when just trying to restore a backup set to a new drive??

    So, I'm still no further along than when I started testing the restore process.


    -- Don
    Monday, January 19, 2009 3:57 PM