WHS Restore CD and Realtek NIC

I’ve been testing out the Windows 7 beta on one of my laptops this week. And following my own best practices, I made sure I installed the WHS connector on it and made several backups during my testing. So, yesterday I tried (unsuccessfully) to join the Win7 laptop to a SBS2008 domain. (Yes, I’m aware of my changes required on SBS 2008 to allow Windows 7 to join the domain via http://connect). But still, it failed.

So, when I got home I wanted to restore my laptop to its state before my attempt to join it to a domain. Talk about wasting valuable time!

First, I couldn’t find my Restore CD. So, I downloaded the WHS Restore CD (PPK1 version) from Microsoft’s web site. But, in trying to burn the ISO image, I encountered two bad CD’s in a row. Fortunately, the third CD worked. Once I got the CD created, I booted my laptop from it only to find that it could not find my WHS server. Think, Kevin … I told myself … it has to be an issue with the NIC driver. Sure enough, a quick Google (errr, Live Search), and I found instructions on how to grab the drivers from the WHS Backup directory, put them onto a USB stick, and then at the appropriate time request the WHS Restore CD to scan for additional drivers.

No good. Still could not see the server. More searches and I discover that other people had encountered the same issue. Common denominator? A Realtek NIC was involved! I went to the Realtek support site, and download the drivers, and put them onto the USB stick. Still no good! More searches all indicated that grabbing the drivers from the Realtek web site should do the trick. So I went back one more time, and for some reason, the files I download this time from the Realtek site were different than the drivers I had downloaded 20 minutes before. (I later discovered that my original search for Realtek drivers had taken me to an outdated web page on their support site).

I dumped the drivers onto the USB stick and voila! — the WHS Restore CD found my server, and six minutes later I had my laptop restored.

Hope this helps!


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