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Slow restore: 5-7 days to restore 25GB? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi

    I have an HP LX195 with WHS 2003 and only the 640GB internal drive. It's been backing up 6 machines (1 server and 5 Windows 7 desktops) for almost three years. The network is 100% gigabit (NICs, Dell 2824 switch, CAT6 cables). Since all data is on the server, the desktops are pretty "thin":  20-35GB of data each.

    In the past, I've been able to restore a Dell desktop in just a few minutes. Recently I added some Lenove M58p desktops. A hard drive (Western Digital Caviar 250GB) in machine X failed. I moved the hard drive from machine Y to X and did a WHS restore. That finished successfully in about 3 days.

    When the replacement drive arrived under warranty, I put that in machine Y. The WHS restore disk said it found a gigabit network card, so I'm assuming it has the right driver. The first WHS restore was showing 7 days to complete, but failed after about 5 days with this message:

    Event Type: Error
    Event Source: HomeServer
    Event Category: Backup
    Event ID: 266
    Description: Restore of MACHINEY C:\ by machiney has failed.

    I saw one post that recommend using Disk Manager to quick-format the partitions, so I did that and restarted the restore, choosing an earlier backup. This time it's showing 5 days to complete.

    According to the switch, the  the current port speed to this node is 1000M.

    A "chkdsk d:" on the WHS did not show problems. Here's the defrag report on WHS volume D:

    Analysis Report

        Volume size                         = 576 GB
        Cluster size                        = 4 KB
        Used space                          = 310 GB
        Free space                          = 267 GB
        Percent free space                  = 46 %

    Volume fragmentation
        Total fragmentation                 = 3 %
        File fragmentation                  = 7 %
        Free space fragmentation            = 0 %

    File fragmentation
        Total files                         = 651
        Average file size                   = 1,006 MB
        Total fragmented files              = 43
        Total excess fragments              = 18,500
        Average fragments per file          = 29.41

    Pagefile fragmentation
        Pagefile size                       = 0 bytes
        Total fragments                     = 0

    Folder fragmentation
        Total folders                       = 57
        Fragmented folders                  = 2
        Excess folder fragments             = 60

    Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
        Total MFT size                      = 912 KB
        MFT record count                    = 861
        Percent MFT in use                  = 94
        Total MFT fragments                 = 2

    What's going on? Obviously 3-7 days to restore 25GB is not acceptable. Is there some task I need to run on the WHS box to merge file segments?

    Thanks,

    Mark Berry
    MCB Systems

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012 4:45 PM

Answers

  • I lost count of how many times this network restore failed over the last several weeks. Turning off ACHI and booting from an the X FILES restore USB stick didn't help. Finally, though, I found that all I had to do is directly attach the PC's drive to the WHS (using a USB converter), and run the restore wizard on WHS itself. The restore completed in 29 minutes!

    This was with an HP LX195 (WHS v1). I expected that I would need to run a startup repair after putting the disk back in the PC, but it booted right up without any further repairs.

    The restore wizard on the server is at C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server\clientrestorewizard.exe. There is also a 64-bit version, but the 32-bit version worked for me.

    Two tips:

    • The Disk Management utility on WHS (aka Server 2003) did not seem able to create partitions of the exact size that I needed to restore on the Windows 7 disk. So I started the restore across the network while the disk was still in the PC, canceled it as soon as it said "Restoring," and moved the disk to the WHS box. At that point, the partitions were created and ready to go.
    • By default, the wizard wants to write the first partition of the backup onto the WHS D: drive. I kinda doubt that would work since D: is in use (it's the WHS's data drive), but don't try it. Just manually assign the backup partitions to the ones belonging to the USB drive (in my case E:, F:, and G:).

    Here's a post with more details:

    http://www.wegotserved.com/2009/11/17/how-to-restore-a-client-computer-without-using-the-client-restore-disk/

    Not sure why this approach isn't more widely known but I'm glad to have a restore solution when the network route doesn't want to work.

    Mark Berry
    MCB Systems

    • Marked as answer by mcbsys Friday, November 30, 2012 5:57 PM
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 9:08 PM

All replies

  • Second restore also failed, this time without a message in the WHS event log. I just came back to the machine after a week to find it had rebooted with this message on the screen:

    Status: 0xc000000e
    Info: The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible.

    DiskMgr shows the Windows partition is RAW, not NTFS formatted as it should be. (Same as before.) Isn't it supposd to do the format first, then do the restore? So even if the computer spontaneously rebooted, the drive would still show as formatted?

    I wondered if this could be an issue with using AHCI. Tried turning it off, but then the CD-ROM was inaccessible so I couldn't boot from the WHS restore CD.

    Any suggestions?

    Mark Berry
    MCB Systems

    Monday, November 5, 2012 4:51 PM
  • I'm afraid I can't help but I'm interested in any answers. I'm currently trying to restore a 810GB of data on a 2TB disk from WHS v1 over a Gigabit ethernet, which has taken 5 days so far. The restore wizard progress bar is 'complete' (with estimated time to completion of 24692 days), but my LAN status shows that over this period 1,024,000,000,000 bytes have been transferred, and is still growing at 3MB/sec. Assuming the progress bar is uselessly inaccurate, I'm not sure if I have to wait on it transferring 2TB-worth before I can expect a full restore.

    A painful lesson not to use WHS for storage drives.

    Monday, November 12, 2012 10:14 AM
  • I feel your pain. Please post back as to whether it does finish after transferring 2TB. Are you monitoring that through a switch? I guess I could try that.

    I'm on about my fourth try now, probably due in part to the workstation not having a UPS. Sure wish I understood what was different about what I am doing now vs. restores that have gone through in a couple hours in the past. The only difference I am aware of is that now I'm restoring to a Lenovo and then it was a Dell. Maybe I need to find an older Vista driver for the Lenovo instead of accepting the default...

    Mark Berry
    MCB Systems

    Monday, November 12, 2012 4:14 PM
  • I lost count of how many times this network restore failed over the last several weeks. Turning off ACHI and booting from an the X FILES restore USB stick didn't help. Finally, though, I found that all I had to do is directly attach the PC's drive to the WHS (using a USB converter), and run the restore wizard on WHS itself. The restore completed in 29 minutes!

    This was with an HP LX195 (WHS v1). I expected that I would need to run a startup repair after putting the disk back in the PC, but it booted right up without any further repairs.

    The restore wizard on the server is at C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server\clientrestorewizard.exe. There is also a 64-bit version, but the 32-bit version worked for me.

    Two tips:

    • The Disk Management utility on WHS (aka Server 2003) did not seem able to create partitions of the exact size that I needed to restore on the Windows 7 disk. So I started the restore across the network while the disk was still in the PC, canceled it as soon as it said "Restoring," and moved the disk to the WHS box. At that point, the partitions were created and ready to go.
    • By default, the wizard wants to write the first partition of the backup onto the WHS D: drive. I kinda doubt that would work since D: is in use (it's the WHS's data drive), but don't try it. Just manually assign the backup partitions to the ones belonging to the USB drive (in my case E:, F:, and G:).

    Here's a post with more details:

    http://www.wegotserved.com/2009/11/17/how-to-restore-a-client-computer-without-using-the-client-restore-disk/

    Not sure why this approach isn't more widely known but I'm glad to have a restore solution when the network route doesn't want to work.

    Mark Berry
    MCB Systems

    • Marked as answer by mcbsys Friday, November 30, 2012 5:57 PM
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 9:08 PM
  • Just did a quick test on Server 2012 Essentials.

    clientrestorewizard.exe exists in two locations:

    C:\Program Files\Windows Server\Bin\ClientRestore\785AD7EA-0C16-4F43-8AB5-F2904D22483F\X86
    C:\Program Files\Windows Server\Bin\ClientRestore\785AD7EA-0C16-4F43-8AB5-F2904D22483F\X64

    Running the x86 version on the server aborts after selecting the source computer. Makes sense since I'm running it in a 64-bit OS (the server itself).

    Running the x64 version works all the way through to "Select volumes to restore." I stopped the wizard at that point since I do not have a target volume attached that needs to be restored.

    So it looks like this "trick" of directly attaching a hard drive to the server will work with Server 2012 Essentials too.

    Mark Berry
    MCB Systems

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012 1:03 AM