Sunday, February 24, 2008

A tail of two Defi's

Well we attended the Defi ceremony this Tuesday. A wonderfull time was had by all especially since the French spoken in the presentation was quite nice and simple so we had some chance to understand it.

After the presentation we were subjected to free Wine and Hors d'oeuvre which was even better.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Windows Complete PC Restore operation failed 0x80042401

Modern living and working sometimes forces us into unwelcome compromises



Whilst working it is often more economic to give your posessions away rather than eat into your "expensive quality time" and prepare a sale.



However, in an effort to buck the trend I decided to (try) and sell my faithful Shuttle SN25 to a friend for use as a server.

His simple request ... please hardware Mirror Raid the disks, so that in the event of a failure of a disk I am still okay.

It is not as simple as adding another disk since when a Hardware raid array is created the underlying disk is blanked.


This then is my memory of Monday's rather sleepless night with solution so that you will never have the same problem.

Task: Take a running Vista system, backup the 100Gb Vista partition on the 500GB hard disk using Vista backup and Restore Center, put in two fresh 750GB disks and restore the OS from the backup onto the new Hardware mirrored disks.

The overall problem is that although the backup is easy the restore just does not work. In more detail:
  • Use the Backup and Restore Centre to write a full OS backup to a new SATA disk
  • Shutdown machine and place 2 750GB disks into Shuttle SN25P
  • Enter BIOS with the delete key and switch on hardware RAID. Then select the 2 SATA ports on which the new disks are connected.
  • Reboot and press F10 to go into Raid BIOS config menu
  • Select 2 disks to be hardware mirrored together
  • Reboot with original Vista DVD, 2 news disks and backup disk connected
  • Go Past initial Language and keyboard screen
  • Select Repair System
  • Select Complete System Restore
  • Vista finds the backup to restore so select it
  • Wait for the failure messages like:

There are too few disks on this computer or one or more of the disks is too small...

The Windows Complete PC Restore operation failed 0x80042401

An investigation revealed a few stupid problems. As booted the disk with the backup on it came up as C: and the raid disk came up as D:. The Vista recovery option screen was trying to restore the C: image to the C: disks (no option to change) since the xml files of the backup correctly knew that the image was from a C: drive, so it had to go back to the C: drive.

Some time later with a re-jigging of cables the RAID disk came up as C: and I now USB connected backup disk seen as the G: drive. Completed the dialog to restore G: to C: and ...

The Windows Complete PC Restore operation failed 0x80042401

So it just does not work! and lots of Interweb articles say this too. Emotions run high. So here is how to get it working...

  • A Complete PC Backup can only be restored if the number of drives in the restore PC match the number of drives in the backed up PC and the drives must be of equal or larger size." If this is indeed true consider how you will be connecting you disk with the restore image and other disks on the new system to obey this rule.
  • Use the Backup and Restore Centre to write a full OS backup to a new SATA disk. Remember the size of the original OS partition
  • Shutdown machine and place 2 new 750GB disks into shuttle SN25P
  • Enter BIOS with the delete key and switch on hardware RAID
  • Reboot and press F10 to go into Raid BIOS config menu
  • Select 2 disks to be hardware mirrored together
  • Reboot with original Vista DVD in , the 2 new disks and backup disk connected
  • Go Past initial Language and keyboard screen
  • Start a ^Command Prompt
  • Start DISKPART
  • Use commands to see what disks are connected

diskpart
list disk
list volume
list partition

  • You need to setup the new RAID disk to be have a partition at least as big as on your source system, format it and then assign it letter C:

DISKPART>
list disk # disk seen as disk 0 in my case
select disk 0
create parition primary size=150000 # thats 150GB
format fs=ntfs label="System Disk" quick # format it
list volume # check it
assign letter=C # make it C
# if another volume already C change that to something
# else first
exit # quit diskpart

  • Use list volume command to figure out disk letter of backup image e.g. F:
  • Now find the exact backup

wbadmin get versions -backuptarget:F:
# this lists out the exact date and time we need for next cmd

  • Now start the restore

wbadmin start recovery -version:02/11/2008-18:24 -itemtype:volume -items:c: -backuptarget:F: -recoverytarget:C:

  • Restart diskpart and make the partition active

diskpart
select disk 0
active
list partition
select partition 1
exit

  • Optionally you may need to reboot from Vista DVD and do a Repair and Restart if the partition still will not boot
  • When Vista finally starts it will notice that the underlying hardware boot disk has changed so it prompts for a final reboot