Jump to content

Disaster Recovery No Good in an ACTUAL disaster

Recommended Posts

Hi All...


I am hoping someone might be able to help. We have one very critical PC that I have used Retrospect Multi-Server 7.5 to backup. Today I thought I would test out the Disaster Recovery module and see if I could restore my backup to another PC.


Now given the scenario that we have lost our entire office due to some disaster, I have the great task of restoring everything needed to bring the business to an operational state. Now, how can I rely on our backups if this simple test doesn't work?


Assuming the scenario that we have lost our office and sourced brand new equipment or have hired equipment to get us up and running again. This means that our servers and this PC would not have the EXACT same hardware.


So to test the Disaster Recovery Module I have attempted to restore the PC to a brand new PC we have just purchase. Everything went like it said it would in the DR Information Sheets.... Until I rebooted after the restore.


I get the error: "We apologize for the inconvenience caused, but windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this.... etc etc etc" I am given the options to start in SAFE MODE or Start WINDOWS NORMALLY. Either option will not get me into Windows. I have seen the article telling me to fix the BOOT.INI file but the PC I backed up I know for sure only has the one partition anyway, but still i followed the instructions and I even followed the instructions on the Microsoft site that the article links to. Still NOTHING!


(For those interested... here is the link http://kb.dantz.com/display/2/_index1.asp?tab=faq&r=0.5698445)


Now if anyone can suggest anything to make this PC load windows I will be greatly appreciative. I am quite concerned that if we did have a disaster that we could be in a lot of trouble. If I can't get this to work on a simple windows XP machine, what hope do I have with restoring my Windows SBS 2003 server?


Sorry for babbling on in this post.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is the new system the same motherboard as the one from which the backup set was created? Key is the IDE drivers.


Did you use a DR CD or install a fresh copy of Windows from an install disk? If you did install from an install disk, is the OS at the same level as the the one from which the backup set was created?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply.


The motherboard is different to the one that the backup set was created. Which I understand that some drivers are going to be an issue. But I wasn't expecting this much of an issue.


I have tried the DR CD when that didnt work, I thought I would install a fresh copy of Windows (which I have tried twice now) one time I had it with just the windows installation and SP2, but the other time was with all the latest windows updates. I dont think that is the issue.


My guess is it is some sort of driver issue that is causing it from failing to start up. I don't know if this helps, but I did notice when I attempt to start in SAFE MODE, the last thing to appear on the screen is AGP440.SYS. Then after that it reboots.


Isn't windows smart enough to detect that there is new hardware that it needs to install?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Just an update for anyone that maybe interested. Almost all attempts have still failed. I have tried all different hardware. There is only one option left, and that is to use exactly the same hardware right through. I did find a link though that says It should be possible to move a Windows Installation from one computer to a computer with different hardware, but it was a MS Article and uses NTBackup.




I am still a bit concerned that if our office were to burn to the ground that I might not be able to get my servers up and running easily. It appears that a full restore only works on the exact same hardware. If that hardware isn't available... then what? My biggest concern is the system state for my SBS server. As that contains Active Directory. If I restore the system state onto a new server with different hardware (should my server not be available in the event of a disaster) I may not getting it fully functioning properly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would Acronis or Ghost be any different? Would we still have an issue with hardware if it turned out that we could not restore to the exact same hardware that was used for the original back up?


Has anyone used Retrospect for restoring an entire system to a server or pc with different hardware?


Or what have others used that has done this successfully?



Link to comment
Share on other sites


Has anyone used Retrospect for restoring an entire system to a server or pc with different hardware?


Yes, I have, several times. But using Retrospect for Macintosh, not Windows. Reason it works there is that there are only two versions of the Macintosh OS (server and non-server), and each version runs on all applicable hardware variants. That's one of the advantages of Apple's closed system - a disk can be pulled from one system and run on another.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Retrospect won't do a full restore to different hardware. Here are the steps I take to solve this-


Setup your new hardware.

If your crashed system had XP SP2, you must restore over the top of the same service pack version. So, clean install XP SP2 on the new system.

Give the clean install a new, temporary computer name.

Install the NIC drivers, if necessary. Restart.

Install the Retrospect client and log it in at the server.

Begin your full volume restore.

After your restore finishes, but before you restart the new client machine, edit the Boot.ini file to make sure it is pointing to the correct partition. (Check the KB for more info on this. Many OEM systems have multiple partitions due to utility partitions, etc. It is good to have a UBCD4Win boot CD to edit your Boot.ini file offline.) Restart.

The client PC won't boot. Boot from your XP SP2 disc and run a Repair install. This will put in the necessary HAL and storage drivers.

After restart, reinstall the latest drivers for your new hardware from the manufacturer's website.

Restart again and run all of the hotfixes at MS Update.

At the Retrospect server, forget the temporary client you logged in earlier. Confirm that the old client name will communicate.


The key here is the Repair install after the failed restore. Hopefully, EMC will write a boot CD for Vista that will boot a system, talk to the Retrospect server and act as a client, then merge the necessary drivers and registry keys to accomodate the new hardware. AFAIK, this functionality is built in to Vista's new backup app.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am having a similiar problem only mine is for real. The mother board went out in my old computer, instead of buying a new motherboard I bought a new pc. When I try and do a restore it can not find the files even though I can see them on my backup drive. Am I completely out of luck or is their some way I can get back my old files.


Please help...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It isn't clear what you are trying to restore from.

It isn't clear if you tried any of the tips provided in this thread.


I quote rhwalker.

Please provide:

(1) complete version number of Retrospect

(2) complete version number of Retrospect Driver Update

(3) complete version number of the OS

(4) complete description of hardware being used.

(5) complete description of the steps you are doing

(6) complete description of the problem

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...