Monthly Archives: October 2012

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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How old is this Windows installation?

I’ve often been faced with this question when sitting at a client’s site and debating whether the quickest fix isn’t perhaps a reinstall of the OS. It always helps to know when the system was last (re)installed. Thanks to this blog (, I found the answer. (And as is usually the case I wasn’t even looking for this at the time).

There is a little command called sysinfo which is documented on Technet. Simply open a cmd prompt and run the command. Scroll back up and you should see the following lines: