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Windows Disaster Recovery failed - "incomplete"

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I have run into an unexpected, and unexplainable error in doing a Windows 10 Disaster Recovery.  Did I miss something or do I need to file a support case with Retrospect?

Having solved my drive letter issues, I was able to run a Disaster Recovery process.  I'm now running Retrospect 17.5, and using a newly created Disaster Recovery USB.  Retrospect 17.5 allows a USB drive as the Disaster Recovery software media, even if the manual doesn't cover that feature.

The procedure notified me that the entire contents of the target drive would be deleted.  (See below).  Then I selected the target drive.  Note that I couldn't use Wizard Mode because my drive letters got shuffled around by the Win PE execution environment.  In Advanced mode, I selected the right drive and partition, using the existing partition names.

The procedure then deleted some files and folders in the target partition, but then quit running after about one minute, with an "incomplete" message.  I even ran the DR procedure a second time, with the same result.  I thought that the sessions would be recorded in Retrospect, so I didn't need to do screen photos.  I was wrong.  If someone needs to see screen photos, I will have to repeat this entire process.

However, the DR procedure did NOT delete the existing partitions on the target drive, but it did screw things up so that I couldn't boot my system.  To protect against this issue, a while ago I started using the free version of a system-disk oriented utility, Macrium Reflect, also a favorite of the Tenforums cogniscenti.  It doesn't hold a candle to Retrospect, since all it does is back up and restore drive partitions, but it's simple and reliable.  Every time that I have tried to do a Retrospect Disaster Recovery and the my system wouldn't boot, I simply did a partition restore using Reflect.

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UPDATE:

In my system configuration, the NMVe SSD derive contains my C drive, Windows + programs  and D drive, which contains all my user data.  The Retrospect catalog is normally contained on D, but I moved it to a USB drive before attempting another restore including system state.

This time I got this very unexpected message:

image.png.ced47288f8f62fda868f425bd7976aa8.png

And then the restore terminated early (again ...)

WinPE is my Retrospect Disaster Recovery USB stick.  Why would that be wiped?  I clearly selected Drive D on Disk 1 as my restore target.

image.png.9c8771b12186dfc878e42b5cead549d1.png

Is there any hope for getting this restore to work right?  I'm going to do a bug report with Retrospect support right away.

 

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x509,

Assuming you have actually submitted a Support Case as you said you would up-thread, I admire your determination.  However IME you are in for a lot of pain while pushing it through to a fix.  The problem is that Retrospect Engineering requires that Tech Support reproduce any reported bug on its own equipment.

I experienced that as a problem in May 2018, when I submitted a Support Case on the -530 problems I was still experiencing on Retrospect Mac 15.  As this post in another thread shows, I actually offered to lend some outdated networking hardware to Retrospect Inc.—since the -530 problems started on 30 January 2017 when I upgraded an Ethernet switch without changing my Retrospect 13 software.  The post shows R. T. S. refused to accept the hardware, although they had previously said they couldn't reproduce the -530 bug without it.

AFAICT your problem involves a combination of multi-partitioned SSD hardware and third-party software, the third parties being MiniTool—the maker of Partition Wizard—and some obscure company in Redmond WA (🤣 )—the maker of Win PE.  Good luck with getting that problem reproduced by R. T. S..

OTOH I don't think the august Documentation Committee is likely to publish a revision of the Retrospect Windows UG or the relevant Knowledge Base article that says "Forget about our previously-touted Disaster Recovery feature; do a partition restore with the free version of Macrium Reflect instead."

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David,

Yes, I can be determined.  That has been very important to me over the years.

I did file a support case.  https://www.retrospect.com/support/case/5004U00000sShTs.

I didn't say a word to Retro support about Minitool Partition Wizard (PW).  PW does its work and leaves no fingerprints.  If you inspected my entire system, drives C-G, and then M-Q, you could not tell that I was using PW.  Drive letter assignments can equally be done with the Control Panel Administrative Tools. 

In my support case, I did disclose the use of Macrium Reflect, but only to explain how I get my system working again after the Restore failed.  Retro support asked for my operations log, and provided helpful instructions for how to save off that log.  Unlike previous attempts to restore, this one actually seemed to work, with files being copied to the C drive.  Just one eensy-weensy little problem.  "System State" could not be restored, and that generated hundreds of lines of error messages.   And then when I tried to reboot, the boot drive was so badly trashed that my system BIOS prompted me to enter a "boot floppy."  I am not making this up.  When did you last buy or even use a system with a floppy drive?  I don't know if Windows 7 even supported floppy drives.  I can't buy a motherboard today with a floppy drive cable connector.  Waste of good gold-plated pins and board real estate.

After I did a C drive restore with Macrium Reflect, my system was able boot up again with no problem.

Since I just bought Retro 17, I'm within my 30 day support period.  And if I don't get a good response from the front-line support guy, then I will definitely escalate the issue.  Thanks to my career in software product management, I know how to write an escalation email.  :)

As for Retrospect and Macrium Reflect, as they used to say, "flames to /dev/null."

 

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x509,

In Nigel Smith's admirable analytical phrasing, "Has this ever worked? If it had but has stopped, what changed?"  Specifically, I understand why you monkied around with your "Backup 2020" and "Data" partitions, but what led you to do Disaster Recovery afterwards?  Have you done this before using MiniTool Partition Wizard, and then run Retrospect Disaster Recovery on the partitions afterward?  Why did you run Disaster Recovery in this case?

IMHO you need to mention your use of MiniTool PW in your Support Case, because—from your screenshots above—WinPE seems to be getting confused.  Maybe that's because Microsoft has changed something in the new version of WinPE, or maybe it's because MiniTool PW does something to disk addresses of partitions that doesn't faze ordinary Windows but that does faze WinPE—and that Microsoft didn't test for.  Again, it's all about R.T.S. being able to reproduce your problem so that Engineering can fix it.

And what I'm getting from "reading the tea leaves" is that these days it's very difficult to get Engineering to do anything to fix bugs in the existing variants of Retrospect.  When I've recently attempted to phone the Worldwide Director of Sales, I'm always hearing about meetings going on.   IMHO those meetings are probably about developing a simplified Retrospect Console that will run on Windows or Mac machines to interface with a "backup server" running on a beefed-up Drobo (or possibly other varieties of Linux-based NAS).  And I think that the efforts of the StorCentric Slasher, which I've covered in several topics in the Retrospect Mac 9+ Forum, are directed towards turning the Retrospect Mac User's Guide into a UG for that Console.

In order for you or me to goose the Director of Worldwide Sales about getting Engineering to fix bugs in the existing variants of Retrospect, he needs the Case Numbers of relevant Support Cases.  What you listed in the second paragraph of your immediately-above post is not such a number; it is merely a link to the Support Case system.  When I followed that link, it merely gave me the sign-on page for that system—where I needed to enter an e-mail address and password.  I don't know your e-mail and password for that system—and I'm not asking for it; using my own e-mail and password simply allowed me to go to a "Support" page listing my own Support Cases.  Authorized Retrospect "Inc." personnel have the ability to view all Support Cases regardless of who submitted them, so in e-mails to the Director of Worldwide Sales I list the Support Case number for whatever problem I'm asking for action on.  Please post yours in this thread, and I'll urge that it be fixed.

 

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David,

Your point about Minitool Partition Wizard is valid.  I can only say that stupid-simple Macrium Reflect Free has no issues working with partitions that have been resized with PW.

I have never tried to do a Disaster Recovery before (well, actually I did but that was a disaster ...) but I decided that I needed to implement that process after my desktop system got hit with really nasty malware, the kind that can't be remedied with confidence, short of wiping Windows and starting all over.

It's discouraging to read your comment about Engineering.  That said, there seems to be just one support technician assigned to my case, and his responses are good.  He asked me to do a screenshot based on the attributes of my backup snapshot, per this picture. 

HOWEVER .... I can't seem to get to a Properties window for the selected snapshot, and just replied to that effect to the support technician.

Just for grins, I tried to restore after deleting the C partition and the related Windows "hidden" partitions for a GPT boot drive.  No joy there.  Retrospect couldn't simply restore to empty space on the physical boot drive.  I did not try to reformat the entire drive first, or to restore to a different SSD.

At this point, I've given up trying to restore my November 1 backup.  But I still want to get this procedure nailed down for the next time.  And there will always be a "next time."  You may think I'm "determined" but I'm also frustrated and annoyed right now.

state win.jpg

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David,

I went back to my installation logs and I did not use Minitool PW on the C drive or any of the GPT hidden partitions.  I used PW only on D (DATA) and other partitiions installed in the remaining space on the 1 TB SSD drive after the C Windows partition was created.  I deliberately created a C partition much larger than I would need for now, so that I would likely not have to touch that partition for years.

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