WHS

Baremetal restore from WHS with no working network driver.

One of our notebooks suffered catastrophic hard drive failure and I needed to do a bare metal restore from Windows Home Server. Thankfully I haven’t fully decommissioned it yet since I haven’t yet found a suitable backup replacement. After a quick trip to my suppliers, who swapped the drive out in less time than it took to drive to them, I popped in the recovery cd and followed the prompts until it got to the driver section. Of course, to prevent things from being too easy, it couldn’t find a network driver. This is apparently not that uncommon since the PE environment is a basic one and can’t support all drivers. No problem, I mount the backup image via the WHS console on a second PC and copy the “Windows Home Server Drivers for Restore” folder onto a USB stick. Pop the USB into the notebook and press scan, still doesn’t find it. I google a bit and find that this is again not that uncommon an issue.

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My Windows Home Server Journey

Well I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who was quite peeved with Microsoft’s decision to can Windows Home Server. I know this is old news, and the canning of Drive Extender even older news, but since their decision only impacts my life now, it’s only become relevant to me now.

My faithful Windows Home Server v1 has served me well over the past couple of years but has recently started to develop some annoying quirks. Like freezing. And then freezing during the POST, and then freezing during boot and then, well, you get the picture. So it was time to go shopping! I purchased the HP N40L  as it was cheap, quiet and I figured I wouldn’t have any driver issues with whatever OS I decided to replace WHS with. You can watch a review here.

So now the search was on, I had a couple of choices: stick with WHS v1, buy WHS 2011, install an opensource solution or use Storage Server 2012. Continue reading

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