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Install Win2K Server to a different Root directory

Posted on 2005-04-13
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I am writing up and testing a Disaster Recovery Plan.  A few servers we use are Win2K Servers that we have backed up using NTBACKUP.  In understand how to restore (I think), from research, I have determined:

1. Install Win2K with same service pack to a different root like C:\TMPNT
2. Run Restore from NTBACKUP and restore all files and registry, overwriting all files.
3. Boot and Test.

My questions are:

How do I install to a different root?  The install from the box gives me no option, is this in the boot.ini file or something and I need to change it and create a new CD?

Can I delete C:\TMPNT when I am done?

Thanks
WG
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Question by:WilyGuy
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Accepted Solution

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ezraa earned 375 total points
ID: 13775161
If you install Win2000 by booting off the CD you will be able to change the installation path if the \Winnt directory exists.

You can also create a custom windows 2000 installation by creating a winnt.sif or unattend.txt file and add in the line:
    TargetPath="TMPNT"

You can also edit the TXTSETUP.SIF file and look for the line: DefaultPath=\WINNT

I would recommend you read up a bit on customizing a bootable installation CD:
  http://www.mcmcse.com/win2k/guides/unattend.shtml
   http://unattended.msfn.org/
your windows CD should come with the windows 2000 resource kit that contains the Preinstallatin Reference (ref.chm) which has a very good explanation of this as well.

Another option is to have a Windows PE CD - this is a cd that can boot a working windows shell off a cd that would allow you to run NTBACKUP, without using any files on the HD. (google for Barts PE Builder)
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by:Carlo-Giuliani
ID: 13777470
I have done quite a bit of work with disaster recovery of Windows servers.  You don't really need to install in a different root....you can restore right over top of a new install.

If restoring over top of a new install, the new install must be the same language and edition (W2K Server,  W2K Advanced Server, W2K3 Web, W2K3 Enterprise, etc.) as the system you are restoring.  I would also recommend that the service pack level of the new install be the same or *older* than the system you are restoring.

Does your recovery plan assume you will have identical hardware?  Trying to restore a Windows system onto different hardware introduces a very unpredictable set of problems.
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by:WilyGuy
ID: 13785628
So far so good.  I changed the TXTSETUP.SIF Default Path.

I also managed to slipstream the SP4 onto the Install disk (2 steps in 1).

I will bump the points if anyone wants to answer:

I did the restore with overwriting all files (I had backed the system state and chose it on the restore).

Why do I get the "Windows 2000 could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt \WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEMced...."  error?
I restored the system state.  I see talk on google of renaming system to system.old and renaming system.alt to system, but none of the above exists???

Upon the Repair option, I can login into TMPNT or WINNT

What files to copy at that poiint?
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Expert Comment

by:Carlo-Giuliani
ID: 13785861
So, if I understand what you have done:
 - You sucessfully installed Win2K in a non-default directory ( C:\TMPNT)
 - You then restored a backup.  This include the entire C: volume *and* the system state, right?
 - boot then fails with the message you show above

What is the size of the restored \WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM file ?



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by:WilyGuy
ID: 13793369
I am developing the DR plan for the company.  We use V2i for most servers, but a few are NTBACKUP'd.

ALL on TEST system
I have wiped the drive and re-installed Windows in a C:\TMPNT directory.  I was lead to believe I could restore and reboot, then remove the old directory (c:\tmpnt)

I have installed using that and done the restore, it asks for a reboot and then tells me the registry is corrupt or missing.  I have gone into restore mode and renamed the c:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\System.sav to system.  (There is NO system or system.alt)
I also tried using the c:\winnt\repair\regback\system file, but it also would not work

Finally I tried copying the system and/or the system.alt (renaming) from c:\tmpnt\system32\config over to the winnt side....again I get innaccesible boot device blue screens.

SO I took your advice and clean installed to c:\winnt and did the restore.  It did not prompt for reboot, but I did one anyway.

I have had to reload all my drivers (which they were all there, I just deleted the devices in Device Manager and they re-acquired), I also get messages about duplicate names on the network.  It is NOT part of the domain (so it would appear anyway).  Also, the Antivirus isn't starting (likely because the registry isn't right)....

HELP. (I've upped the points)
WG
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Assisted Solution

by:Carlo-Giuliani
Carlo-Giuliani earned 375 total points
ID: 13793809

Hmm.....I see several different issues here

1) Why did using C:\TMPNT fail

I think the system state restore restored over the registry of your TMPNT system.  This is because it is not a file system restore, but uses registry APIs to backup/restore.  That is why you found no system hive in the WINNT directory.  Unfortunately, I don't think NTBackup is smart enough to let you restore the system state to a system that is not actually running.   This may have changed in Win2003 with the shadow volume backup option.  So you got a WINNT system with no registry, and a messed-up TMPNT system.

2) Reload of drivers
 
You never answered the question about how well your test hardware matches the system you are restoring.  If it does not match *exactly* Windows will reinstall most or all devices.  It will be successfull only if the drivers are available, so restoring a system that had SCSI disks onto IDE disks (for example) is likely to fail.  

You will probably also have to reconfigure the entire network settings (TCP/IP address, etc.).  This is because Windows does not recognize the new network adapter as a replacement.  In fact, when you set the IP address you will get a message that an adapter already has this address (but go ahead).  You maybe did not encounter this problem because you may be using a different IP address for your testing.

3) Domain connection

How recent is this backup?  Windows changes the machine password automatically (weekly?), so it could have changed between the time you backed it up and restored it.  We had this problem with a few machines out of 40 restores....it is just a matter of timing.  Also, are you trying to connect to the orignal domain?  If yes, I'm not suprised you have duplicate name issues...have you taken the orignal machine offline?  If you are connecting to a test copy of the domain, how did you create your domain controllers?  If your domain controllers are using an older copy of the domain, then the same kind of password synch problem can occur.  

3) Antivirus service

If it uses a domain account, that could be the problem.  There are lots of other reasons possible, depending on how you test environment is set up.  You registry should be OK.  


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Author Comment

by:WilyGuy
ID: 13806160
1. Understandable how that could happen.  Once I do the regular install it shouldn't matter.

2. We are assuming same hardware. I had to "uninstall" all of the devices that weren't sure of drivers, do a scan and miraculously it found all the drivers in winnt\inf, etc.

3. Obviously we have to remove the PC/Server from AD so that on reinstall it can be the only one with the name.

4. AVG Antivirus Network doesn't want to initialize or something.

I have since removed and re-added to the network and it isn't working still.

Cany someone send me there recovery process using NTBACKUP?
Thanks
WG
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Expert Comment

by:Carlo-Giuliani
ID: 13807650

#3....ah, you have made a mistake here.   When you restore the system state, you restore the complete registry including the SID of the original system.   You should not remove the machine from AD....the restored machine will look exactly like the original to AD (aside from a machine password that could be out of date).    This is a bit tricky for testing...you should take the original machine offline before booting up the restored machine, or have a test copy of the domain.
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by:WilyGuy
ID: 13808922
Still same problems exist.  It told me Duplicate name problem.  Still no AV working, other Service based items simply not there.

I have had to go to a different model whereby I rebuild the server.  Seems like it will take less time.
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by:Carlo-Giuliani
ID: 13809154

My experience is that rebuilding servers from scratch just is not realistic for most organizations.  Very few organizations are able to keep track of everything they have done to set up their servers.  Restoring from complete backups is the only realistic option in most cases.  It's not easy, but it's the only thing that really works.

What exactly is the message you are getting about "duplicate names"?

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LVL 15

Author Comment

by:WilyGuy
ID: 14147557
Since the original issue was creating a different root, EZRA got points.  The addition of the DR issue, though never resolved (mainly due to time constraints) was addressed by Carlo.

I thank you both for the time you spent.  It seemed like SUCH an easy task, but obviously it just didn't create the solution I was looking for.  Sorry it took so long to accept and award.

WG
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