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All drivers unsigned after restore


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A few days ago, I had to replace my hard drive and restore from backups. Ever since, every new device I install puts up unsigned driver warnings. Further, sigverif shows that pretty much all the files in the OS are now seen as unsigned...


This gives me a feeling of impending doom...


First, is this a known problem? How to fix without wiping the disk and doing a re-install (thus rendering all those backups irrelevant)?


Second, what's the right restore process to guarantee that my machine is in exactly the same state it was in before I replaced the drive? Here's the procedure I followed:


1) Run one last backup

2) Replaced the boot drive

3) Installed Win XP off the CD for this computer.

4) Update to SP2 with an SP2 update disk from Microsoft.

5) Go on Windows Update and download all updates. (the machine was fully up to date before).

6) Install retrospect client

7) On the retrospect console, start restore choosing the option to replace everything on the destination drive using the snapshot from step #1.

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Nope. Signatures are stored in catalog files (do a dir \windows\*.cat /s and you'll see 'em). I've checked the cat files against the backup and they match. Since I still get signing errors, that means that the binaries no longer match the .cat - either they're corrupt, or just a version mismatch. (Thus you can see why I'm now nervous about this system).


The other question that's interesting to me is: did I do the system restore properly? (see original post). If that wasn't the correct procedure, then I'll go back and do a restore properly.

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The steps you took to restore look fine - with one exception. I'd do the Retro restore first, then catch up on updates from MS. Unless, of course, you did the backup just yesterday [i.e., after the last set of patches from MS].


On driver signing, we're saying the same thing. Those .cat files are part of the driver package. Nothing Retro is going to do is going to change the contents of the driver files. Unless, as you mention, Retro has corrupted the .cat files. I could see this for a file, but not a whole bunch of files.


But, if Retro had corrupted a bunch of files, it would be really amazing that it just corrupted the .cat files and not a whole bunch of others. If everything else looks good, there's something else going on [i think]. Are you seeing evidence of any other corruption after restoring?

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Tried doing it that way - install->restore->winupdate, but the machine couldn't boot after restore. Kept getting blue screens that would flash by before the machine rebooted.


One caveat: the install CD I have for this machine is SP1. I did this so it was the same machine, product id => license. (I'm out of product ids). I seem to recall that SP2 doesn't take SP1 pids.


Given your feedback & Hofstede's maybe the thing to do is use and SP2 disk & pid, but don't activate, then restore and hope the licensing all works out fine.



The only other evidence I have for corruption is little things like the fact that Vegas & Office prompting to be reinstalled (could just be registration & different volume id of new disk), and the fact that I often get site timeouts on web sites (i.e. just random weird behavior).

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  • 1 month later...

The problem was starting with an SP1 disk. I redid the process starting with an SP2 disk and I didn't have the signing problems.


It still took 2 restores to get it to work (first restore didn't have simple things like the desktop & screensavers set the same, so I did a second restore on top of that and it seems to be working).

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