xPETEZx

Full Restore via PXE

20 posts in this topic

Hey Guys,

 

Browsed this forum a fair few times, helped me on various issues with Server 2012R2 Essentials.

 

Have my first question. 

 

I run 2 WSE2012R2 servers with the Essentials role added. Both I have setup with various client computers and all are setup for full backups. Mix of Win 8.1 Pro and Win 10 Pro clients.

The backups run great. As does doing the restores of files. No issues.

 

To be prepared I wanted to test the Full System restore using PXE boot. I installed the service on the server. Then PXE booted a Gen2 VM. (To try a UEFI restore)

The machine PXE booted fine and I managed to get all the way to the disk Partition section.

I tried this with a Gen2 VM about 4-5 times, and I would say 3 of the times I was prompted to format the disk myself. The other 2 it auto-formated the disk as it was before.

When I had to manually format the disk, I tried just creating it myself using the GUI or using Diskparted as instructed here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj713539.aspx

 

Out of the 4-5 restores I did to a VM, only 1 of them was able to boot straight out the box. Nothing needed. 

One of of them I needed to boot into Windows Setup, run Diskpart set a drive letter to the C volume then run bootrec /scanos bootrec /rebuildbcd and bootrec /fixboot to get the machine to work.

 

The other 3 times I could not get the VM to boot at all. Got messages about winload.exe being missing or 0xc00000e error saying I needed to repair the install. (Which didnt work)

 

I also tried a restore on a Gen1 VM, but this failed as the machine I was restoring did have UEFI bios, so made sense it failed.

 

Lastly, I also tried a physical PC restore. Windows 10, but no UEFI bios.

The restore completed, but again the machine failed to boot with the 0xc00000e error. 

 

I have only been test restoring. So my machines are all good. Its really just to know it will work if I ever needed it in anger. 

Glad I tried. Because what seems so simple on the surface is turing out to be far more difficult than expected.

 

Can anybody give some pointers with the PXE boot full system restore?

 

I think my problems all arise around the partition creation.

As I said I have had the wizard offer me to create the volumes, I have created them with the GUI and I have created them with Diskpart.

Each time I made sure only to continue if I do NOT get the prompt saying something to the effect of "This restore includes a boot volume, this is not being restored or set to boot" (Cant remember exact phrasing)

 

Any help appreciated!

 

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Do "bootrec /fixboot" first, then "bootrec /rebuildbcd". IT should be in that order specifically, and you shouldn't need all of the commands.

 

If that doesn't work, run a Windows Install. Reboot it wwhen it starts copying files over (or wait), then you can restore.

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Are the volumes getting created?  I ran through all these command last weekend when rebuilding a Surface Pro 3 that had BitLocker on it.  Some of the devices don't like to PXE boot unless the boot partition is already there and has to be as large as it was previously.  Only way to do this is through DiskPart.

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Yes the volumes create. When I attach the vhd or physical disk to another system, everything looks to be there.

All but the one time I managed to fix the system by using bootrec /rebuildbcd the command found no OS.

 

So you guys recon start a windows install on the blank disk to get the right partitions, the restore over it?

 

Any of you used it in anger?

 

As said, I did try with both diskparted and the GUI tool.

Only successfully one time.

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I would manually create the partitions needed.  There are some old threads on here about this.

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I would manually create the partitions needed.  There are some old threads on here about this.

I did on some of my tries.

 

I used the link at the top from MS as a guide.

 

This worked once, but the rest of the times I either had to then do rebuildbcd or failed to get the machine to boot.

 

Its a slight shame. I am sure if I do ever need to use this in anger, ill get it to work. At that point Ill have no choice.

 

Was hoping to set this up for family and give them simple instructions to use it. But all this disk formatting, BCD rebuilding etc is not for them.

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Have you looked at the free Veeam backup product?  It works pretty good.  Just create a shared folder on the server to point the backups to, install the product (very lightweight) and create the boot media.

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Unless I am missing a version, it looks like there is no free version of this.

 

Not keen to spend more money on a solution I already have. Ill stick to using the one built in to WSE2012R2. 

 

Going to try the USB Key method for my family. See if that works more reliably.

 

If that too is problematic, ill just have to have work through the issues, or clean install windows then use the connector to restore data. (Or is it possible to restore the OS with the connector too? Think its just files)

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I must have had a search fail. Could not find that when I googled.

 

Is this what you use in place of the WSE backups? Or run both?

 

Looks promising. Will give it a shot! Thanks.

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I only use this now.  The tricky part is getting the boot media setup

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I tried it... it didn't go so well, Backups didn't complete, caused the system to lag out, and the restore didn't go very well, (worse that listed here). 

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I have used PXE to restore in  anger multiple times without any issues. I have 2012 R2 with the Essentials role,

 

I have never used it to restore VM's. All my restores have been to physical machines.  I have not used a USB key since I migrated from WHS2011.

 

I have used PXE on previously installed machines when I want to restore to an earlier point in time.

 

I have also used it instead of cloning when moving the OS from a HDD to SSD or vice versa. In this case I always format using the restore process and let it select the partition sizes. The only time I have had to fiddle around is the case when you want to move to a smaller HDD or SSD.

 

I have never had to use Diskpart or fiddle with bootrec.

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I tried it... it didn't go so well, Backups didn't complete, caused the system to lag out, and the restore didn't go very well, (worse that listed here).

You referring to veem? Doesn't sound good if you are.

I have used PXE to restore in anger multiple times without any issues. I have 2012 R2 with the Essentials role,

 

I have never used it to restore VM's. All my restores have been to physical machines. I have not used a USB key since I migrated from WHS2011.

 

I have used PXE on previously installed machines when I want to restore to an earlier point in time.

 

I have also used it instead of cloning when moving the OS from a HDD to SSD or vice versa. In this case I always format using the restore process and let it select the partition sizes. The only time I have had to fiddle around is the case when you want to move to a smaller HDD or SSD.

 

I have never had to use Diskpart or fiddle with bootrec.

That's good to hear.

Did you need to intialize the disks before hand? Or where you reusing disks?

Basically what state where the disks in for the tool to offer to format and create partitions for you?

 

I'll give it another go with a physical PC but with a uefi BIOS.

See how I go.

 

Thanks for the comments all.

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I have not been able to successfully PXE boot to my WSE2012R2 server.  Restoring via USB has worked flawlessly, but PXE fails with "PXE-053 - No Boot File Received".  The Essentials server is a VM with 2012 R2 server with the Essentials Experience, running on a 2012 R2 Hyper-V host.  I had tried to install and utilize DHCP on the Essentials server, but clients weren't finding the DHCP server.  I have now installed DHCP on a separate physical 2012 R2 server and it is working as expected, except I still can't PXE boot.  Under Client Restore in the Dashboard, I've installed PE 8.1 and then 10 and it says the Client Restore service is running.  This is my home server that replaced WHS v1 and everything else that I've used the server for has worked properly.  I have a WDS server that I built at work and it works properly.  I think there is something missing from the WDS installation.  My other thought is that somehow with it being a VM, it can't be "seen".  Which doesn't make sense to me either.  I'm missing something or the server is missing something, I just don't know what it is.

 

Any theories will be appreciated.

 

db

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Try restarting the server, if you haven't already.

 

Also, try manually adding boot images to the WDS server.

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Just coming back in here 12 months after my last post in this thread to say that I have now migrated from 2012 R2 with the Essentials role to 2016 Essentials.

 

I just has to restore a client in anger as the HDD failed.

 

It didnt go so well. I restored to exactly the same model  HDD (250GB Seagate in a N54L).

 

When I re-booted it had the Winload.exe error and I had to resort to /RebuildBCD process to fix it.

 

I have done a bit of searching and there are plenty of hits on how to fix this issue, but none on the root cause and how to eliminate the problem going forward.

 

Has anyone come up with the answer since the lost post on this thread?

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I used Acronis 2017 to clone my system drive. I deleted the C: partition. Created an empty C: partition. Backed up this empty SSD with Acronis. Used Acronis to restore backup after performing diskpart clean on SSD. I performed a client restore of only the C: partition.. Server was able to see disk was bootable and wanted to overwrite bootable partition. I told it, No. Restore completed successfully. Server did report errors on drive. I scanned drive and it found no errors. I haven't reinstalled the drive back into the computer yet. I ran the client restore from the server due to my lab configuration.

 

I'm going to save the Acronis backup of the empty drive so in an emergency I can quickly restore my system.

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I reinstalled the drive. System booted and ran automatic repair. Automatic repair successfully repaired system without any intervention. It found my Vista installation on a separate drive. I used msconfig to delete Vista from boot. Now system boots directly into Windows 10 Pro. 

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I had a different result the next time I tried to do a restore. It did not boot. I have switched to Veeam Endpoint Backup. Which I love. All bare metal restores will now be performed using this software.

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