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Windows 7 Recovery Environment: Adding iSCSI Initiator to it for bare metal recovery?

Posted on 2010-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hello,

We are using Windows Server 2008 backup to save our server to a LUN on an iSCSI QNAP NAS unit.  It has been working great for over a year, but I need to figure out how to perform a bare metal recovery from an iSCSI device.  I've created a WinPE disk that actually uses the Windows 7 Recovery Environment .wim.  When I boot from the CD, it properly loads the Recovery Environment.  I've seen a lot of discussion on the net about adding Microsofts' iSCSI files, registry settings, etc, to the image (see filelist in Code Snippet).  I've completed this task and when I launch from my CD, open the Recovery Environment's command window, and enter net start msiscsi, I get a file not found, system error 2.  I have seen a few comments that say it is not possible to use iSCSI within the Recovery Environment, as I am trying to do...  I hope that there is a way because in a stressful server down situation, I would like to simply load a CD and restore the server, rather than doing a lot of work-arounds.  I have downloaded StarWind's iSCSI Initiator, but have not found any documentation on how I can load it into the .wim.  I hope that someone can help me solve this task...  If it is possible to complete this task, I will publish the details in order to help others...

My current work-around is to go to a computer on our LAN and mount the desired LUN for the backup data on the NAS unit.  Next, I share that drive, boot the WinRE disk on the server, and restore the backup from the shared folder.  This works, but I would love to simply boot a WinRE disk start the iscsi service, open the configuration panel, and restore the server.

Anyway, I would appreciate your help with this question.

Thanks,

Mike
Here are the MS iSCSI files that I have copied from a Win7, 64-bit installation.  I copy them to the corresponding folder in the mounted WinRE image.

System32\iscsicli.exe
System32\iscsicpl.dll
System32\iscsicpl.exe
System32\iscsidsc.dll
System32\iscsied.dll
System32\iscsiexe.dll
System32\iscsilog.dll
System32\iscsium.dll
System32\iscsiwmi.dll
System32\Drivers\msiscsi.sys
System32\DriverStore\FileRepository
System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\iscsi.inf_amd64_neutral_eab9a76056c5eb71
System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\iscsi.inf_amd64_neutral_eab9a76056c5eb71\iscsi.inf
System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\iscsi.inf_amd64_neutral_eab9a76056c5eb71\iscsi.PNF
System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\iscsi.inf_amd64_neutral_eab9a76056c5eb71\iscsilog.dll
System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\iscsi.inf_amd64_neutral_eab9a76056c5eb71\msiscsi.sys
System32\en-US\iscsicli.exe.mui
System32\en-US\iscsicpl.dll.mui
System32\en-US\iscsicpl.exe.mui
System32\en-US\iscsidsc.dll.mui
System32\en-US\iscsiexe.dll.mui
System32\en-US\iscsilog.dll.mui

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Question by:mjgardne
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simonseztech earned 1500 total points
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by:mjgardne
ID: 33658763
I want to thank simonseztech for the suggestion...  I've started reviewing it and will see whether it will do what we want to do.  At first glance, it seems that we can create a WinPE bootable disk with iSCSI support, but I did not find any detailed instructions on how to accomplish this task.  

The Internet is buzzing with hundreds of people trying to accomplish what I've described, so I am a little surprised that this is the only suggestion beyond the work around that I've proposed.  Since this suggestion is closer to solving my problem than my work around, I am accepting it.
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by:simonseztech
ID: 33658831
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Author Comment

by:mjgardne
ID: 33658839
Thank you!  I will check them out.  Have a nice weekend!
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