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.