Can't restore Server 2012 R2 backup

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by xxJackxx, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    I lost the content of a hard drive of my domain controller. I have the Windows System Image backup that ran last night. I have attached it with a USB drive, tried to access it through the network, and all methods leaving the restore process saying there is no backup. What am I missing?

    Or... is it possible to convert this backup to another product and restore it? I will have the boss buy whatever product that is if it will work.
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    xxJackxx,

    Where did you save the backup image? Have you moved the image from its original site? What is the name of the folder that contains the backup image? Can you mount the backup image as a virtual drive?
     
  3. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    It was saved as a network backup on an external drive on another server. The name of the folder is the hostname of the DC. It is still intact in that location. I have tried copying it to other locations while leaving the original as is. If I put it on a USB drive I can change to that drive letter and see the contents but the restore process does not. If I assign an IP to NIC1 on the DC that is down, it would appear that I can access the network share, but it comes back blank. I have not yet tried to mount the backup as a virtual drive.

    Edit - Ok I am able to mount a copy of the image on my desktop machine, it looks fine. Don't know why the restore process can't find it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    In my testing of Windows Imaging I found the backup is created in X:\WindowsImageBackup

    (X: is any drive letter)(WindowsImageBackup must be in the root)

    If the folder isn't in the root or has a different name the restore won't work.
     
  5. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    I copied it out of that folder and put it both in the root of a share and the root of a USB drive. Nothing either way.

    Edit - If I run wbadmin it tells me there is a recoverable image in the original location and gives me the time stamp and such. I guess I need to figure out how to run this from the command line and hope for better luck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Did you copy the WindowsImageBackup folder or the contents?
     
  7. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    I copied the entire WindowsImageBackup folder. I don't have a lot of hope for this situation at this point.
     
  8. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    I found a site where someone with a similar problem mounted the .vhdx as a drive, made an image of that using 3rd party backup software, and then restored that image and claimed it worked. Any thoughts? I guess I will be trying it tomorrow before I give up and have to manually reconfigure a domain controller.
     
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I was just about to suggest mounting the image but I haven't tried imaging the mounted drive. Give me 20 minutes and I'll try it.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Amazing. It works. I imaged the 2 mounted drives with IFW and restored them to an empty SSD with IFL. A BCD Edit from IFL Part Work was needed and Win7 loaded. There was a message about a Corrupt winlogon.exe and the mouse didn't work. A restart made chkdsk run but the mouse still didn't work. Good luck.
     
  11. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Interesting. Thanks for testing that out. :thumb: It will be the first thing I try tomorrow when I go in.
     
  12. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Short version:
    It works!

    Long version:
    FYI... I went into work this morning, unfortunately just for this, and copied the .vhdx file to my workstation with Windows 10 and Acronis already installed (the workstation version is far cheaper than the server version, hard to get other people to spend money) and proceeded to mount the image file. From there I made an image with Acronis of the contents of the mounted volume. I put it on a portable external hard drive and plugged it into the server. I then booted with the Acronis boot disk. I restored the image to the C: partition of the server (I had installed a new instance of Windows Server yesterday, just in case I had to run with it) and told it that it was to be a bootable partition. It finished and I rebooted the server. The first boot took several minutes, but it brought me back to Thursday night's disk state with no issues or errors. I'm pretty pleased that it is running again, but I hope to never have another experience like that.

    Thanks again for your help and suggestions!

    P.S.
    I had read on a site yesterday that the reason this is a problem in the first place is that though the Windows Backup utility makes disk images in the .vhdx format, the restore utility on the Windows Server DVD is looking for a .vhd and does not recognize the image file. I don't know for a fact if that's true, but I'm willing to believe it considering how it worked (didn't).
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Thanks for the feedback. My desktop computer creates .vhd files and not .vhdx. Virtualization is not enabled in the BIOS if that's the cause. Windows Image Backup has gone down a further notch in my estimation and it was already on the bottom of the list of imaging apps.

    The images aren't compressed and are roughly double the size of images created by other imaging software.
    There is no option for resizing the restored partition.
    You can't restore into a smaller partition (eg if you want to transfer your OS to a SSD).
    The images can't be Validated/Verified.
    You can't move the backup image to another folder as the restore process won't find it.
     
  14. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    It would seem that if it is a .vhdx it can't find it anywhere. I'm no fan and even less of one now. I was just in the bad situation where the boss wanted the server rolled out and I couldn't get him to buy a license for something better. Which I still need him to do. This is the only server left running it. At least I know how to deal with it if it ever happens again. I hope the info is useful to someone else that finds themselves in the same situation. It's like they say, experience is the thing you get right after you needed it...
     
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