Saturday 7 March 2009

SBS 2008 – Restore Failed – Element not found 0x80070490

We have been spending some serious time tearing into SBS 2008 by breaking all sorts of things to see what happens and to figure out how to fix them.

In some cases, we are successful in getting the fix in, and in others we are still on the short end of the learning curve.

The big confidence builder in all of this is the fact that the built-in SBS backup is phenomenal! The ability to restore various aspects of the server up to and including the server itself is simply the best out of the box backup system we have worked with on any Microsoft OS product.

We have restored the bench SBS 2008 box so many times from so many backups we made during our testing that the built-in SBS backup is a viable contender to stay on the box as the de facto backup solution for SBS 2008.

The one spot we have not tested yet is the built-in backup’s ability to restore to different hardware. Though, from what we can see, the ability is there as the restore process gives us the ability to install drivers prior to running the restore.

While working on one of the restores, we ended up receiving this error:

09-03-05 SBS 2008 Recovery Fail - 0x80070490

Windows Complete PC Restore

The Windows Complete PC Restore Operation failed.

Error details: Element not found. (0x80070490)

It did not take much to find the reason behind the error: Performing a Recovery Using Complete PC Restore.

It seems that even though have the USB Boot Priority disabled in the BIOS, the boot order was set as follows:

09-03-06 SBS 2008 - Backup - BIOS Settings

USB HDD Set as Default

The recommended action in the WindowsNetworking article was to keep the USB HDD unplugged until it came time to scan the backup drive for the backup being used to restore the system.

Once we left the USB drive unplugged during the POST and subsequent SBS DVD boot, we were able to accomplish a successful restore.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac!

Windows Live Writer


Anonymous said...

Thanks, This tip helped me restore my Vista system.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


You are very welcome. I am glad that the post helped you out.


Martin said...

Worked for me too - thank you. Its people like you who make the internet the fantastic resource it is, giving up their time for the sake of others.

Thanks once again.

Anonymous said...


I was getting this exact error trying to restore a backup off the network, Web server 2008. I turned off booting off usb and network. But I still get the same error. Very frustrating because this error is not very helpful.
If I had any hair, I would be pulling it out.
Thank you for your post it gave me a ray of hope. Microsoft does some things very good and some things very bad. Very poor error information and I cannot find any information on this error.


Victor Camacho said...

Follow up because you were only one posting about this error.

I was trying to restore a backup of Windows Web Server 2008 that was installed on a Citrix XenServer. Wierd configuration, drive 0 24G as D:, drive 1 100G as c:. Backed up full system and then tried restore to bare drive, and then partitioned drive. Error - The complete PC Restore failed. Element not found 0x80070490. I added second drive to sata1 and this did not work.
So set sata0 to 80G drive and sata1 to 250G drive.
I then went back into recover and on the last step I went into advanced and unchecked reboot when done and the unchecked the check disk option.
I do not know if unchecking the two options or arranging the drives to match the virtual drives worked but the system restored.

If I run more tests I will post.
I wish MS would supply more information than the poor error message. Especially with something as critical as restoring backup.


Anonymous said...

Why does Microsoft not just put in proper error messages, like remove the dam drive before you boot. It would make life so much easier!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for this tip. I was getting the same error trying to restore a backup from usb-hdd to my hp dl 380G6 with W2008SRV. I try something different ways, but always the same error occurs. Then I went back into recover and on the last step I went into advanced and unchecked reboot when done and the unchecked the check disk option. The system were restored.
Thanks and Greetings

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this tip. I was getting the same error trying to restore, got to the point where I was thinking of rolling back to SBS2003 that had been a reliable servant for soo many years.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much this post saved my bacon at 5am on a Sunday morning.

Anonymous said...

What a godsend!!

Now I just need to figure out what is causing my server to do the reboot loop!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Phil.. would have beat my head for hours on this one...

-your old compadre... Pete from Logical Computers-

Anonymous said...

Much appreciated! It saved me much frustration with a restore to an HP ML110. Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

worked perfectly for me to restore my sbs2008.
thank you very much

finalbeta said...

This is a great guide, I had the same problems as you had.

My setup was a little different though. I had to restore a complete server over remote KVM. A USB disk was attached to the computing module with the backup image on it. So I couldn't just unplug the USB disk when I got the element not found error...

I decided to have a look at the BIOS myself.
I changed the USB boot priority to disabled. I also changed the hard disk order. Because if the USB disk was attached at a previous boot, it would be on top of the list already. (Philip, I thing that is why you still could not restore after the change)
After these changes. The restore did start for me.

I'm off to sleep now, hoping by morning I will have a bootable system...
Thank you for the article.

Anonymous said...


If I was young and cute I'd kiss you!!

dietmar said...

A quantum leap in in help for 'microsofted' people !! Thanks a lot.
In my case, it helped already changing the boot order of hdds in BIOS once (target drive first, source drive second).
After that, everything worked perfect as -it should.

jrswindler said...

Im trying to do this on windows 7 and im still getting the error element not found.

Hampk said...

And don't forget to keep the USB pen drive with your RAID drivers unplugged until asked for as well..!

Many thanks for your post - SBS2008 restoring nicely now :)

Anonymous said...

Amazing. I am certain you saved me countless hours of troubleshooting. Thank you very much.

- Previously very stressed disaster recovery specialist

Anonymous said...

Wooooow, its working fine, i lost alot of time for this error..
Thanks alot

Anonymous said...

Thank you, restoring a 2008 server is that easy when you have this missing link.

Anonymous said...

This worked for me:
1. go to advanced then uncheck all.

Should have tried that option 5hrs ago. Damn!

Anonymous said...

Thank you guys SO much!!!!
This was driving me INSANE!!!

Anonymous said...

Another thank you for this most welcome tip when faced with this error....

Jabein said...

You are THE MAN. You saved me spending hours and days to resolve this.

I was replacing a SBS 2008 installation on a HP Proliant ML110 using P212 Smart Array. Was wondering why was it failing when all seems in place. your article is a God send.

Thanks you my friend :)

Anonymous said...

You are THE MAN. You saved me spending hours and days to resolve this.

I was replacing a SBS 2008 installation on a HP Proliant ML110 using P212 Smart Array. Was wondering why was it failing when all seems in place. your article is a God send.

Thanks you my friend :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Philip-leaving teh source USB HDD unplugged worked for me too! dp

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot! It is working :) I made restore SBS2008 with raid 1. Before I changed the HDDs with largest capacity. I thought it a problem but my think was wrong.
Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, This Blog/Article is still helping people out there. Thought you should know. Nice Job!

Anonymous said...

I had the exact same issue today on my SBS 2008 restore. A nice quick fix which worked, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Nice tip, helped me a lot !!

Rody Whitfield said...

Worked on my Windows Server 2008 Standard. Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! Luckily, your solution was first on the list when I did a search on the error. I have already wasted enough time with this raid controller. I am tired and want to go home. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Same error here.
I was actually booting from an ISO on a USB thumb drive. Tried lots of different things booting from USB, but nothing worked. Once I read your post, plugged in a DVD drive and booted from an actual DVD (with no USB plugged in), it worked.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip....
Hope works for me....

Unknown said...

Thank you very much! I was starting to panic when I wasn't able to get a restore going after a failed disk repartition attempt.

Unplugging the USB hard drive initially did the trick for me.

Thanks again.

rony said...

it worked...
was using bootable USB (works with server 2008 r2 btw) , found an old CD of server 2008 and booted from that....
unchecked all in advanced too

thx !!!

Anonymous said...

Same here, thank you for your blog.
I managed to get the server back by restoring from my image using DVD. Tried alot of way using USB boot but jumped into errors after errors.

So for anyone jumps into my situation, this is what I do:

- Create CD boot from your windows version iso. Always keep a version of CD boot by your side.

- Remove all USB from your server, only plug-in your external hdd containing the image after your setup shows "found no image to restore"