Friday 3 April 2009

First Successful Windows Vista ShadowProtect Restore! No Winload.exe Error!

We have had a very disappointing series of problems with restoring any Windows Vista images made by ShadowProtect.

Many black screens later, there is finally information out there on the “why” the problem happens. The main reason has to do with the way Vista keeps track of the system’s partitioning and OS location.

Apparently the newer versions of Acronis’ imaging product compensates for this new partition management structure in Windows Vista. Unfortunately, the folks at StorageCraft are a little behind the game on this topic.

The last restore attempt we made with a client’s system failed with a WinLoad.exe error.

So, it turns out, after a lot of searching, that one needs to perform a preparatory step on the Windows Vista box before creating the ShadowProtect image:

bcdedit /set {default} device boot
bcdedit /set {default} osdevice boot
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device boot
bcdedit /set {memdiag} device boot

Place the above series of commands into a batch file and run the batch file As Administrator on the soon to be imaged Windows Vista box.

09-04-03 BCDEdit Before and After

LEFT: Before the BCDEdit commands were run.

RIGHT: After the BCDEdit commands were run.

Running the commands on the Vista box strips out the specific partition=C: settings in the BCD in three places and replaces it with boot.

By making those settings generic, we were finally able to restore a box that we were having RAID array problems with once we replaced a faulty disk in the array and recreated the array instead of allowing the rebuild to run for multiple numbers of hours.

Previous posts:

Getting this problem figured out sure took a lot of stress off our work here in the shop and out in the field as we were not confident we could provide a fallback measure with ShadowProtect for Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 which uses the same partitioning structures.

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! (previous blog post)

Windows Live Writer


Nate said...

Thanks for the feedback Philip. A couple of other users have reported similar issues and so we have an engineer working on this issue now.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


You are very welcome!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Phil!!! I have a feeling this will also resolve the Windows 7 RC boot issue, not sure yet, but about to give it a go!

ipwnetworks said...

Wow...Great post...looked ALL over the Storagecraft Knowledgebase and could not find anything like this post.

I followed what you wrote in this post and Worked Fantastically after struggling for a lot longer than I should have attempting other fixes.

Keep up the Great Work!!