Restore CD woes RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've had my WHS v1 up and running for 2 years now, and it's been great.  Then, Monday night, one of my clients died.  W7, 32-bit.  Something got corrupted and it couldn't do any DNS lookups.  So, it's time for a restore.

    Now the pain begins.

    I stick in the restore CD and boot it.  It finds my hardware, but can't find my server.  I won't bore you with the next 3 hours, but it turned out to be a NIC driver problem.  So, for those of you who like to plan ahead for disasters:

    1. Realize that just because the restore wizard can SEE your hardware does not imply that it has drivers to talk to it.  
    2. A successful backup contains a folder called "Drivers for restore".  As soon as you get your first successful backup for a client, open the backup, extract that folder IN ITS ENTIRETY to a flash drive, because you'll need it during a restore.
    3. Now here's the fun part: the restore CD is based on the PE 2.0 (Vista) AIK.  The drivers in the "Drivers for restore" folder are based on the client OS.  So if you want to ensure that the restore wizard can talk to your hardware, you'll have to determine exactly what NIC you have, then go to the mfr's site and download VISTA drivers for it.  If there are none, XP drivers are probably the next best choice, I think.  Then, replace the drivers (*.inf, *.dll, *.sys) in the net* flash folder with the Vista ones.  In my case, the default W7 NIC driver did not work, although the wizard searched my flash drive and reported it found drivers.  How cool is that?!
    4. You need to repeat steps 2 & 3 for each client WHS backs up.
    5. Save the "Drivers for restore" folders for each client somewhere safe, with the CD.
    6. On each client, boot the CD, plug in the corresponding flash drive and let the wizard find the drivers.  Then proceed to the server search.  Make sure the it can find your server on the network.  When the time comes to do a restore, you really need this to work.
    7. Consider always having at least 2 PCs attached to WHS.  I had my wife's XP box to fall back on, or this would've taken days.

    <Rant on:>

    The whole restore process really sucks.  I realize the OS version/driver version issue makes this tough, but the wizard really needs better reporting of the hardware/driver state, and needs to somehow support XP, Vista and W7.  I can't even imagine the issues mixing 32 and 64 bit systems brings.

    I do computers for a living; can you imagine someone with minimal tech skills navigating this?

    <Rant off>

    I hope this helps someone.


    Thursday, June 30, 2011 6:56 PM

All replies

  • ... The whole restore process really sucks.  I realize the OS version/driver version issue makes this tough, but the wizard really needs better reporting of the hardware/driver state, and needs to somehow support XP, Vista and W7. ...

    Heh. I wouldn't say "sucks", per se. It is harder to use than promotional material makes it sound, however.

    The issue with different driver versions isn't as bad as it looks. In most cases, manufacturers use identical network drivers for all three operating systems you mentioned. If they don't, you hit the kinds of issues you encountered.

    x86 vs. x64 differences are a problem. The restore environment is 32 bit, and so a true 64 bit driver won't work. Worse, there is hardware out there (Realtek integrated NICs, for example) where the extracted driver just won't work at all, no matter what you do. In that case, you generally need to do exactly what you did, i.e. go to the manufacturer's site and find a driver that does work.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, June 30, 2011 7:10 PM
  • Like I said in another post, buy a copy of Norton Ghost for each machine and avoid spending 3 hours/restore....
    Friday, July 1, 2011 5:17 PM
  • I had a similar problem.  I have a Toshiba laptop satellite P505 Windows 7 64 bit.  Tried to reimage my laptop using the restore CD.  Would not see my network adapter.  I tried the option of copying the drivers from backup to a flash drive and still could not see to load the network adapter.

    Called Toshiba to see if there was a reason it would not load and they suggested that I had a software conflict issue on boot up even though my network was working well in Windows mode.  They suggested I reset to factory settings and that would fix it.  I did and no it didn't fix it.  One saving grace is that I manually copied my library of documents to the server.   Called them back and they said I was now out of their scope of knowledge...great

    Read online that I could try using a different version of network adapter driver like the vista 32 one and found it online and copied it to my flash drive.  

    Placed restore CD in and loaded the driver off of flash drive and saw it.  Yay I thought I was home free now.  I connected to WHS and it asked for my password and connected me to my backups.  I selected latest successful one.  Read the files without any problems.

    Gave me a msg calculating how long it would take and BAM  Network error message.  Said I could not connect anymore.

    I cancelled and tried to access my laptop through windows and nothing..totally corrupted my software on my laptop.  Recovery wouldn't even work.

    I am now resetting to factory settings again and will probably have to load each program with the original CD back on the laptop one by one.  So much for the WHS saving me.


    If you have any ideas what I can do...I would appreciate any feedback.



    Friday, July 1, 2011 8:08 PM
  • You will not see the USB Flash drive folders; however you shold ask the setup to show driver and it will search for them and will display your network adapter driver. You can then accept it and continue the restore setup.
    Friday, July 1, 2011 11:41 PM
  • Did you ever get this to work?
    Monday, July 4, 2011 3:33 AM
  • If you are asking me, the answer is  NO.  I had to rebuild my computer from the factory settings.


    As I stated in the previous message, I did get it to connect to the network using the USB flash drive.  It connected to the network and allowed me to sign in and click most recent backups.  Next message was showing me the time it was going to take to restore and then 30 seconds later got a message that said Network adapter error.   After I tried to retry and got the same message again, I rebooted my laptop and I got  a recovery message error and then failed to recover.  At this point I could not even load windows 7.  It was completely dead.    Only option was to restore to factory settings.

    Since I have built my laptop back up by putting the original programs from CD back in, I am too nervous about trying to restore from the server again.


    I think that my toshiba laptop will be one of those that will never be able to connect to restore from boot unless there is a new version of the restore CD that will load network drivers for Windows 7 64 bit.






    Monday, July 4, 2011 6:11 PM