Restoring a machine from a Windows Home Server

I’ve been having a few issues at work with certificates and wifi. So, the other night I decided to do a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate onto my laptop. It’s not as easy as I’d like with my Sony Vaio, as there are drivers for Windows 7, but Sony doesn’t document the sequence that they should be installed in for maximum success (and let me tell you – it’s easy to mess up and have problems).

Fast forward several days later and I’m sitting at work again – still having troubles, even after having reinstalled everything! I brought in a second laptop and it too was having the problem. OK. It’s not my laptop. ARRRRGH!

After some significant time spent with a guy from our IT department, we decided to ignore some of the scary warnings that were being presented to me – and forge ahead and successfully connected to the 802.1x network configuration. (“No valid trust anchor for this profile?”)

I decided rather than continuing to restore all of the software, etc. that I had setup prior to doing the fresh installation of Windows 7, I’d use the restore feature of my Windows Home Server.

I downloaded the latest Restore CD from Microsoft and proceeded to follow the instructions. I was reading through some of the technical details of how it all works while waiting for the download and read that there was even a way to get drivers for the laptop if the default drivers available on the restore CD weren’t sufficient. Cool.

I booted from the Restore CD, followed a few steps and a dialog showed up that suggested that it couldn’t find drivers for my network card. OK. I know there’s a work around. I grabbed the files which are stored with the backup of my laptop, and copied them to a USB stick and tried the option to scan for the files. Nothing. Recopied. Nothing. Try different port. Nothing. What the heck??!? I won’t be able to use the backup if I can’t get the network connected.

I keep getting the error, “No Drivers were found for your hardware.” But, THEY ARE THERE! I SWEAR THEY ARE!

I grabbed the memory stick and stomped it into a million pieces.

OK, actually I decided to reformat the stick just to see if there was something odd about it.

I brought up the format dialog and it was suggesting I reformat the USB stick as exFat. Oh drat. That’s what it was formatted with. I reformatted the USB stick as FAT32, copied the files and now my restoration is off and running with an estimated 1 hour and 44 minutes to go over my gigabit network.