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Windows Server 2012 Thread, System recovery/Windows Server Backup in Technical; I think I've hit an annoying shortfall in Windows Server Backup. So, with the hope of someone being able to ...
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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    System recovery/Windows Server Backup

    I think I've hit an annoying shortfall in Windows Server Backup. So, with the hope of someone being able to save me having to image the thing from scratch with something more capable (and whilst I have to sit and watch)....

    I have a 2012 server where, annoyingly, the entire thing works off a single 1TB RAID5 array. 1 drive in 3 partitions.
    I have a new server to shift it all to. I intend to do this properly rather than the laughable RM standard, so it has a RAID1 array of 146GB for the system drive, and a larger RAID10 array which will host the other 2 partitions.

    However, Windows Backup is entirely oblivious to this. To recover just the C: drive, I would *have* to have at least 1TB array/drive on the new, target server. NO! Bad Microsoft!

    I can't seem to get around this by doing anything manually (wbadmin from winre), I just constantly get "The disk that is set as active in BIOS is too small to recover the original system disk. Replace the disk with a larger one and retry the restore operation (0x0042407)

    That's just daft. I may end up using Acronis Enterprise or similar to image onto a large drive then image across again but that's just nasty and time consuming; I was hoping to have this done in a day!

    Anyone know of a cunning workaround? If I can even just get C restored I can restore the rest as files/applications but that's just too easy for MS. I mean, they're separate VHDX files in the backup, I don't understand why the ultimate volume size should ever matter as long as the targets are larger than each partition! (Original C partition is 50GB).

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    MordyT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post

    I have a 2012 server where, annoyingly, the entire thing works off a single 1TB RAID5 array. 1 drive in 3 partitions.
    Exactly what was the purpose of doing this? I fail to see any advantage at all then running the drive flat.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    RM are not well known for following industry best practice.

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    MordyT's Avatar
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    Well, all I could recommend is doing a proper server migration instead of restoring to new hardware...

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    I'd also recommend a proper migration but am aware that the RM junk may stuff that.

    Maybe disk2VHD could be of help by imaging the partitions then you could setup boot from VHD on the new server.

    Personally I would not use a separate raid1 for the OS drive and would chuck the lot into a raid 10 or raid6 storage pool then partition that as overall it would be faster with more spindles for everything. I'd also look at migrating the RM stuff to a virtual machine under server 2012 Hyper-v which will make all this stuff trivially easy and better in future and allow you to spin up other servers or migrate easily at will regardless of hardware.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Thankfully there's no RM software, just the hardware (ok it's Intel, but it was set up by RM and when we got a company in to get rid and go vanilla, they stuck with the partitioning/drive layout. More to the point, the school couldn't afford to change it).

    Acronis is doing the job very nicely currently. A proper migration would have been nice but time is limited. Thanks for the input though, just a shame the Windows Backup is so thoroughly borked!

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Thankfully there's no RM software, just the hardware (ok it's Intel, but it was set up by RM and when we got a company in to get rid and go vanilla, they stuck with the partitioning/drive layout. More to the point, the school couldn't afford to change it).

    Acronis is doing the job very nicely currently. A proper migration would have been nice but time is limited. Thanks for the input though, just a shame the Windows Backup is so thoroughly borked!
    Glad its going well, I stand by my VMing statement for when you have time though, you'll be saving yourself in the long run by having it setup as VMs rather than old school physical installs.

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    VMing is out of the question due to the backup device being used unfortunatley. I'm a huge advocate of virtualisation, the majority of my main site is ESX based and we're very happy with it. This is quite a typical primary school setup, the server on it's own runs:

    Windows, AD, DNS, DHCP, File services, Printing
    WDS, WSUS
    SIMS
    Impero
    UniFi

    It's due to that amount of services that I've been trying to avoid a migration. In an ideal world I'd have that load separated in VMs but that also means we have to be wary of licensing. This (including the new server we've managed to borrow) is all being done on 0 budget!
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 24th July 2014 at 12:47 PM.

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