Category Archives: 7159

Windows Home Server "Unknown network error has occurred during PC Restore" Problem

This week I had to restore my son’s PC due to a game he had installed that rendered Windows 7 in a state it was unable to reboot or recover from.

Fortunately we have a Windows Home Server, so I was not worried. All it would take was to restore to the previous backup – automatically made the day before.

Well, it turned out it wasn’t so easy.

Windows Home Server stores drivers with the backup but the restore program is a 32bit program and this machine had a 64bit version of Windows 7.

After adding 32bit drivers for the wireless network card, I tried to restore the PC, but the restore program was unable to find the server with the wireless network card and was unable to detect the on-board Ethernet card.

I downloaded 32bit drivers for the on-board Ethernet card, grabbed a long Ethernet cable and tried again. Now the restore program was able to find the server and start the restore.

The problem was that, after a while, the restore would end with an Unknown network error has occurred during PC Restore error.

After a few tries, I figured out that the error occurred about the time the the router assigned IP lease expired – 1 hour. After extending the lease time, the restore was able to complete.

I still find Windows Home Server great, but it could be better if:

  • Client PCs could boot directly from the server through a network boot.
    I’m not sure if this is possible, but it would be a very nice thing to have.
  • The restore program should have a 64bit version and be able to use the 64bit drivers of the client PC.
    Or, alternatively, ask for 32bit drivers when the connector is installed in the client PC.
  • Improved network support.
    I still don’t know what the real problems were, because I eventually was able to restore the PC and I’m not a networking expert.

Comprehensive instructions on what to do when networking is not working with the restore CD environment by Olaf, can be found here. It doesn’t mention the lease problem, though.

From Vista To 7 With WET And WHS

My son inherits my old machines.

His current one was a machine that started with Windows Vista x86 Ultimate RTM, then SP1 and finally SP2. Also, along the way, several versions of Microsoft Office, .NET, Visual Studio, SQL Server and much more.

I usually have dozens of applications installed. Retrieving license keys and installing them a gain is such an hassle that I choose to upgrade whenever I can.

Now that Windows 7 is out and there’s a beta of Office 2010, my son wanted to upgrade the machine.

Because the machine had already gone through all those updates and he didn’t like the way I had partitioned the disk, I recommended him to format the disk and do a clean install.

One of the hassles of a clean install is that you loose all your settings such as Internet Explorer settings and favorites and Microsoft Outlook accounts and PSTs (specially if you have IMAP accounts).

Since I had already successfully used Windows Easy Transfer to migrate my work laptop from Windows XP (x86) to Windows Vista x64 Enterprise, I told him not to worry.

Windows Easy Transfer guides you through the process of transferring files and settings from one Windows installation to another.

With Windows Easy Transfer you can transfer:

  • Files and folders.
    Everything within the Documents, Pictures, and Shared Documents folders. Using advanced options, you can select additional files and folders to transfer.
  • E‑mail settings, contacts, and messages.
    Messages, account settings, and address books from Microsoft Outlook Express, Outlook, Windows Mail, and other e‑mail programs.
  • Program settings.
    Settings that keep your programs configured as you had them on your old installation. You must first install the programs on your new computer, because Windows Easy Transfer does not transfer the programs themselves. Some programs might not work on this version of Windows, including security programs, antivirus programs, firewall programs (your new computer should already have a firewall running to help ensure safety during the transfer), and programs with software drivers.
  • User accounts and settings.
    Color schemes, desktop backgrounds, network connections, screen savers, fonts, Start menu options, taskbar options, folders, specific files, network printers and drives, and accessibility options.
  • Internet settings and favorites.
    Internet connection settings, favorites, and cookies.
  • Music.
    Electronic music files, playlists, and album art.
  • Pictures and video.
    Pictures—which includes any visual file type (for example, .jpg, .bmp, .gif) – and personal videos.

After saving everything to the .MIG file, all it took was installing Windows 7, Office 2010 and import the settings back.

To get the other files and folders that were on the disk before being formatted, since we have a Windows Home Server that backs up all the PCs in the house , all it was needed was mounting one of the old backups as a disk and copying the files back.

It’s so easy that he did it al by himself while and he just turned 14. So, if you need to do something like this, don’t stress. It’s that easy.

PDC2008: Is My House On The Cloud Or Is The Cloud In My House?

This year’s PDC is mostly about the cloud.


Everyone is talking about the cloud: cloud services, cloud computing, etc. but I’m not sure everyone has the same understanding of what the cloud is. Let’s say it’s a cloudy concept.


So, what is this cloud thing, anyway?


Let’s take Windows Home Server (WHS) as an example. Microsoft provides a set of services through homeserver.com that allows me to control my home server and access my other PCs in the home network. I guess I could say that homeserver.com is a cloud platform that puts my house in the cloud.


On the other hand, WHS is built on top of Windows Server 2003 which allows me to take full advantage of its web server (IIS) to expose services through homeserver.com. Services that could be for my personal use or that I could provide to others, thus putting my house on the cloud.


At a larger scale, that’s how I see the cloud and it’s usage. An indistinct universe of service providers and service consumers where some are just providers, others are just consumers and others are both (service aggregators, value added brokers, etc.)


I guess that Microsoft’s view in regards to the cloud and WHS is aligned with mine because there will be two PDC sessions about this:


  • Tue 10/28 | 5:15 PM-6:30 PM | 409A
    Presenter(s): CJ Saretto, Fabian Uhse

    Learn how to build applications and services deployed on Windows Home Server that power PCs and devices throughout a connected home. See an example home automation and energy management service, and watch the creation of an on-premises service that exposes HVAC, window shades, and lighting controls to all devices on the home network. Hear how to package the service as a Windows Home Server add-in, quickly create a configuration UI, deploy a PC application for controlling the service, and demonstrate control from other devices such as TVs and cell phones.

  • Wed 10/29 | 10:30 AM-11:45 AM | 409A
    Presenter(s): Brendan Grant, CJ Saretto

    Learn how to leverage the Remote Access platform in Windows Home Server to expose on-premises services running in the connected home to the Internet. See how to expose a home automation service running on Windows Home Server to the Internet, and watch a demonstration that shows how to expose services that may be hosted on other devices inside the connected home using Windows Home Server as a gateway. Finally, see a sneak preview of Home Server and Live Mesh working together to further enhance the remote experience for the connected home.


Windows Home Server Resources

And, suddenly, a cloud in your future is not a ad thing, quite the opposite.

Windows Home Server + Tsunami Tidal: To the Family 2.0

During TechDays Portugal 2008, Microsoft Portugal and JP Sá Couto S.A., via its Tsunami brand, launched the first Portuguese machine with Windows Home Server: the Tsunami Tidal.

To mark the event, Tsunami held a contest offering one of these machines to the best sentence about it.

When you hear everyone talking about Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, Life 2.0 and being at an event that promoted a World 2.0, the sentence that immediately popped my mind was: To the Family 2.0.

And it was with this sentence that I won the contest.

As I was giving my session wihle at the same time, Tsunami kindly allowed me to receive the price by proxy: my friend Nuno Gomes.

See the videos and photos of the event.