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Help! Cannot restore backup


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I am using Retrospect v6.5. I recently had my hard drive fail in my Dell laptop, and am trying VERY hard to get a working computer from my last full backup set (about a month old).


So, I boot from the original XP disk that came with my laptop (XP Pro service pack 1a). I should mention here that the backup set was made after the update to SP2.


Then I install Retrospect and repair the catalog.


Then I restore the entire volume.

One of two things happen: if I don't put the XP disk back in, I get an error saying that some critical Windows components were changed and that I should reinstall them. If I put the XP CD in before the restore, it doesn't give this error (I assume its getting those files from the disk some time in the restore process).


Either way, when the restore is finished and I try to restart the computer, I get this error on a black screen:

'Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected disk. Check boot path and disk hardware.'


Now, I am sure the hardware is fine, so what is going wrong? I should also point out that I received another XP install disk from Dell when they sent me the new hard drive, but for some reason it is XP Home edition (with SP2). I also tried that one with the same result. Not sure why they sent me a Home edition when I originally had Pro.


I am extremely frustrated and not thrilled with the prospect of rebuilding everything from scratch!


Can anyone help me? Thanks!

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1) You MUST install the EXACT same version of Windows you had installed at the time of the backup. If your backup contains XP Professional SP2, then you must install XP Professional SP2 before you do the restore. SP1a or XP home SP2 will not work.


2) You may need to modify the boot.ini. See http://kb.dantz.com/article.asp?article=5445&p=2

Edited by Guest
added the boot.ini stuff
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As long as I'm here, could I ask one more thing?


In my disaster recovery instructions, after telling me to boot with the XP disk, it says to recreate the following partitions:

1. C Drive C: (NTFS: 52.4 G)

2. F LACIE (FAT32: 232.9 G)


Do I really need to have the external hard drive connected and partition it during this stage? What I have been doing is just going forward with the setup with just the C drive, then connecting my external HD later for the restore procedure. Also, is it important that the external HD is named 'F' or is the letter that gets assigned fine?




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My only concern about the boot.ini situation is that in the page to which you referred me, it looks as though they are stepping through the process of saving the original Dell boot.ini before reformatting. However, I have already been though the attempt at disaster recovery! The original 31MB FAT partition that it talks about is already gone. How do I restore that lost partition or at least get around the fact that the restore will look for it?


I really appreciate your help, and I think we are getting close to the solution!



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You don't need the lost partition. Configure the disks any way you want, then follow the steps. The directions clearly say:


1. Install Windows 2000 or XP


2. Install Retrospect


3. Find or recreate the Backup Set catalog file


4. Within Windows Explorer show hidden files ? Tools> Folder Options> View>


Check: Show Hidden files and folders


Unckeck: Hide extensions for known file types and Hide protected operating system files


5. Locate the boot.ini file on the hard disk. Make a copy of the boot.ini file to floppy disk


6. Launch Retrospect


7. Run Restore Entire Volume


8. Before Reboot, replace the restored the boot.ini file on C: with the one from the floppy disk.


9. Reboot.

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Oh wait, I think I understand. The boot.ini file from the newly reformatted drive is saved before the restore, then it replaces the one that was originally backed up. That makes sense.




p.s. d'oh, I was trying to get this message out before you responded to the last one! Thanks for your patience.

Edited by Guest
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OK, I just ran through the instructions up to 'Locate the boot.ini file on the hard disk'. This was after recreating the backup set and making hidden files visible.


However, using the search function on the C drive, the search turned up no 'boot.ini'! I can only find a 'desktop.ini' (also found bootstat.dat, bootcfg.exe, bootok.exe, bootvid.dll, bootvrfy.exe, and dmboot.sys)


Now what? Thanks much!

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Yes, I followed the directions to the letter. Somehow, the reinstall of XP did not result in a new boot.ini file.


So, when I got home, I followed the directions from the webpage http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000648.htm. It explains how to rebuild a boot.ini file using the recovery console. After reboot, I found the boot.ini file in C:. I moved it to an external hard drive and will move it back to replace the backup version.


So, currently I am running the full restore in Retrospect and crossing my fingers!


Thanks so much for your help thus far. I will let you know what happens when it completes!

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Well, it worked...for the most part.


The only remaining issues are the broken drivers. For instance the display is now set at 4 bit color and coarse resolution and it tells me that the driver is not compatible with the new operating system. Also, the wireless card is not showing in the system tray, etc. Is this a normal issue?


So, here are my final questions (really):


1. should I download (or find on CD) the current drivers and piece everything back together?


2. or should I reinstall the original operating system (XP Pro sp1a from the original installation CD) then update to SP2 (which I downloaded to CD), then restore the backup? Keep in mind that what I did this time is install XP Pro SP2 from a new disk (not from Dell). In other words, I'm just wondering if using the old XP version first, then the SP2 update, would result in the drivers being compatible.


Again, I want to thank you for helping me get everything working again. There is no way I would have figured out the boot.ini problem without your help! This experience has been so much better than what one normally finds when looking for help from a software company. Actual customer service!

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