Windows 2003 Server Recovery

To recover a Windows 2003 server from scratch, for example to recover to new hardware in the case where the old hardware has entirely failed, the steps involved are essentially these :

  1. Install a clean copy of the operating system
  2. Reconfigure the server.
  3. Install the appropriate version of the Legato Networker client (in this case version 7.3.3)
  4. copy the required DLL files from the source cd. This step is optional. They can be accessed from the CD in recovery console mode.
  5. recover the system from backup using the Networker client. All drivers, patches, configuration changes, domain settings etc. are taken care of by the Networker recovery.
  6. Use the recovery console to replace HAL.DLL and NTOSKRNL.EXE

For Windows 2003 servers, there is an added complication. Due to this bug, we have to place 2 files from the original installation (HAL.DLL and NTOSKRNL.DLL) in a separate directory on the server, and overwrite them before starting the recovery process.

1. Windows 2003 installation from clean media

  • Make sure the system will boot from cd, insert the Windows 2003 SP1 cd and reboot the server.
  • Press Enter at the setup windows now screen.
  • Press F8 to accept the license agreement.
  • Press ESC to install a new copy of Windows.
  • Select the existing windows NTFS system partition (usually C:) for the installation. Press Enter.
  • Press C (always ?) to continue at the warning screen.
  • Select 'Format the partition using NTFS (quick)', and press Enter.
  • Press F (always ?) to format the drive.

Setup starts to copy files to the newly formatted partition. This usually takes less than 5 minutes. The system the reboots automatically, and the GUI installation continues. 39 minutes to completion.....

  • At the Regional and Language option screen, click Next.
  • At the Personalize your software screen, enter IST Support, and University of Waterloo at the 2 prompts and click Next.
  • Enter the product registration key and click Next.
  • At the Licensing mode screen, select 'Per device or per user' and click Next.
  • Enter the computer name and the administrator password and click Next.
  • At the Date and Time Settings screen, verify the date and time, select the Eastern Time Zone (GMT-0500) and click Next.

The setup process then begins to install the network

  • At the networking settings screen, leave the default (Typical Settings) and press Next.
  • Important At the Workgroup or Computer Domain screen, leave the computer in a workgroup (default) and click Next. The recovery process takes care of rejoining the computer to the domain.

Setup continues to install menu items, register components etc. 16 minutes to completion ..... Saves settings... 9 minutes to completion. When the server reboots, do not press a key so that it boots from CD. Let it boot from the hard drive and complete applying computer settings etc.

2. Reconfigure the server

  • When you log on as administrator, you will be prompted to install the latest security patches and configure automatic updates. Cancel this step by clicking Finish. You will have to acknowledge another warning and click Yes.
  • Exit also from the 'Manage your Server' screen.
  • The display might be at 640x480 and you can adjust this as required.
  • Open network connections, and enter the information recorded previously for IP address, gateway, netmask, etc. Save and close the network connections.

3. Install the Legato Networker Client

At the time of writing this document (28th August 2007), the version of the Legato Networker client software we are using is 7.3.3. These are the steps required to install the client.

  • Log on as administrator.
  • Start Windows explorer, and browse or map a share to \\uwfile\depot$. You will be required to enter ADS credentials in order to access this resource.
  • Navigate to \\uwfile\depot$\pcdepot\LegatoNetworker\Networker7.3.3_x86. If you're recovering a 64 bit server, navigate to \\uwfile\depot$\pcdepot\LegatoNetworker\Networker7.3.3_x64 instead. There are 2 files in this directory - Networker.msi and
  • Right click on Networker.msi and select Install.
  • At the security warning screen, press run.
  • At the Welcome screen, press Next.
  • At the customer information screen, accept the defaults and press Next.
  • At the installation type screen, leave the default (client) and press Next.
  • At the ready to install screen, press Install.
  • At the server selection screen, use the Add button to add to the list of servers and press Next. You might get a message saying hoover is already in the server list. Just press Yes.
  • click Finish at the Setup Complete screen.
  • The Networker Change Journal Manager starts automatically and is by default enabled for all drives. Press OK to complete the installation.
  • Update the Networker start command in All Users->Programs->EMC Software to add "-s" to the end of the command.

4. Copy the dlls from the CD

To workaround the bug mentioned above, you need to copy the original versions of hal.dll and ntoskrnl.exe from the installation cd to a temporary location on the hard drive.

  • Open c:\windows\repair\setup.log using notepad and search for hal.dll. It will point to the version of the hal it took from the cd. In this case there was a line pointing to halaacpi.dll.
  • Create a TEMP directory on the C dirve and run these commands (where E is the CDROM drive, and halaacpi is the required HAL) :
   expand e:\i386\halaacpi.dl_ c:\temp\hal.dll
   expand e:\i386\ntoskrnl.ex_ c:\temp\ntoskrnl.exe

5. Recover the system

  • Start the networker recover - Start -> Programs -> EMC Software -> Networker User
  • The source client is the name of the server you've just rebuilt. It should be the default. Press OK.
  • The destination client is the name of the server you've just rebuilt. It should be the default. Press OK.
  • At the catalogue window, check the box beside the server name in the left window. This will cause all drives and the system state to be recovered. It takes a few minutes to evaluate the list.
  • Click the start button to begin the recovery - 38917 files to go !
  • You should be prompted at the first conflict for overwriting existing files. Select the option to overwrie the file and suppress all further prompting. This will cause all files to be overwritten.
  • You will be required to reboot (to replace in-use files) after the recovery, This reboot will likely fail with this message
        Windows could not start because of an error in the software. 
        Please report this problem as : load needed DLLs for kernel. 
        Please contact your support person to report this problem.

6. Use the Recovery Console to overwrite the problem dlls.

Follwed the steps from KB article 314477.

  • Start the computer by using your Windows 2003 CD-ROM. Press any key to boot from the CD.
  • After the setup files are finished loading press R to repair using Recovery Console.
  • When you are in the recovery console, select the installation to log on to (usually number 1), and then press ENTER.
  • Login to the Administrator account by typing the password for this account, and then press ENTER.
  • At the recovery console command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
For Uni-Processor systems: 
expand cd-rom:\i386\ntoskrnl.ex_ drive:\Windows\system32
For Multi-Processor systems: 
expand cd-rom:\i386\ntkrnlmp.ex_ drive:\Windows\system32\ntoskrnl.exe 

Cd-rom is the drive letter of your CD-ROM drive, and drive is the drive 
letter of the hard disk on which windows is installed. 
  • If you receive a prompt to overwrite the file, press Y.
  • Type exit, and press ENTER at the command prompt.

The system will reboot, and should come up properly this time. -- KevinScully - 29 Aug 2007

Topic revision: r4 - 29 Aug 2007 - 20:52:00 - KevinScully
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