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XP Disaster Recovery hangs after restore&restart


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I spent quite some time studying product review, user manuals, relevant Windows information, as well as running eval/trial versions (when available) of the 4-5 products in this category for use on my XP-Home. In terms of features, documentation, etc., I was zeroing in on Retrospect Express, until it failed an actual disaster recovery test. One thing I'm very confused about is that Windows XP documentation very explicitly states that "Automatic System Recovery" (ASR) is NOT supported on the Home edition, and only works on the XP Pro version. RBE and other "file backup" software reply on XP's ASR. IMHO, Retrospect ought to disclose whether or not (and to what degree) they augment/change/rely on the Windows ASR mechanism!




For the ultimate test, (it was nice that RBExpress was one of the few that gave a fully functional trial copy unlike, say, DriveImage2002!) I made a full backup set of my system partition, created the ISO bootable CD, studied the printed instructions, and proceeded to disconnect my primary HDD and restore the system on my second disk (already prepared with an empty NTFS volume as its first partition).




The pseudo-XP(!) DR CD booted fine and proceeded to install the XP and all the way down to actually completing the RBE restore and the subsequent restart. Then, once XP gets past its black splash screen and switches to its light blue screen and hangs with no disk activity (I waited at least 15 minutes! mouse moves, but no kbd response). At this point, the instructions explain that RBE is automatically run during windows startup and restores the COM+ and Registery information before one FINAL restart.




Also, I was apparently entitled to free tech support during the 1-st 30-day, so I spent more than a half hour with them. In my case, the person seemed hopelessly helpless! Through the session, they didn't even try to verify or find out the usual brain-dead obvious things such as what's my hw config, which ide chan "Was" and "is" my disk on, did the partition file sys change from fat to ntfs, etc, etc. etc.! Essentially, they only claimed that they simply never have seen this problems!




Nevertheless, I experimented a couple of times, but every time the exact same thing happened. If you've read this far, I'll just share some more details with you:




The original system disk was on an on-board raid (no raid enabled though), but since I couldn't make the XP installation script "see" the disks on the RAID channels (Yes, I did try "F6" to load the extra drivers). I also put the test disk on both pri and sec "main" ide channels of motherboard. I also tried both restore options (see below) with "Entire Disk" and "Corresponding Files" options. Other than those, I don't really see any other HW configuration or software setup issues as relevant or unusual to mention! probably the only thing I didn't try was to actually remove the only PCI card I have - i.e. my lan card, but I do know XP has drivers for it anyway!






Regards & Good Luck.




PS - FYI: the printed instructions are at odds with my actual observation for XP:


1. This is completely missing from the paper instructions :: after the 2-nd restart into the process, the DR-XP asks you to create users for the system. Immediately after that RBE shows a confirmation popup that asks you to restart the PC in order to commence the disaster recovery.


2. Once the RBE restore wizard takes over to choose the backup set and snapshot, the instructions do not specify whether one has to choose the "Entire Disk" or "Corresponding Files" restore options.


3. The instructions should also make clear that during the first two restarts, even though the installation might ask you for your XP installation disk, you should continue to use the DR disk. (may seem obvious, but a "real" disaster recovery is no time to be guessing).



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