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Archive for the ‘Vista’ Category

How to Restore using HP Vista Home Premium Recovery Manager

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Posting this because I could find NO answer to this. Hope it helps somebody else.

Had a HP Pavilion notebook running Vista Home Premium that failed an update rendering the laptop unusable. (Tracking that sad fact down is another story.) But a wipe and reload using the Recovery Manager was in order. Upon pressing F11 at reboot, I went through the process, using the built in backup facility that was included.

However, after the recovery, finding out how to restore these files proved difficult. One HP page titled “Using HP Backup and Recovery Manager” would, one would think tell you how to backup, but it suggests you instead go to another link titled “How to Back up User Files” which has a section titled “Backing up your files using HP Recovery Manager” AND it tells you precisely how to do it. But it never tells you a thing about how to RESTORE!

HP chat support was more than useless: they told me it was really a Windows backup (which it wasn’t) and suggested I read “HP Notebook PCs –  Use Windows Basic Backup and Restore Center to Back Up Files in Vista” – wrong! Then they said that I had to use the HP Backup and Recovery Manager which is only available on HP “business notebooks” — presuming those with Windows Vista Business or better. Finally, they suggested I do a recovery – doh! I just had!! [As an aside, I was delighted that HP sent me a survey to complete, but found when I went to it, the site was broken with any browser I used. Sheesh!!]

So, with only another Nerds* guidance I went about solving this through trial and error. What I noticed was that the Recovery Backup had stored the stuff in a directory called “\MINWINPC\Backup Files 2008-10-16 143543” It created in this folder two files: Backup001.exe and Backup002.fbw

Interestingly, the exe file was larger than the fbw file; a whopping 3.6GB. Hovering over it indicated that it had a file description of “RestoreWiz Application” with a file version of

So, having no other choice I double clicked the EXE file and waited while it tried to load that big file. Vista prompted me to see if I should allow the file to run. I said, okay.

It ran through the same process as the original backup, asking if I wanted to restore a series of file types with checkboxes. As I had backed all up, I left them all checked.

It indicated that it was going to put all of the files into a folder \System Recovery files. In that folder was a file called RestoreWiz.txt which had a very large log of what had taken place during the restore. Amazingly, it had a lot more than just data, it had 5.2 GB of everything from Program Files to Device Drivers, all stuffed recursively into a folder called “C”. I used this to salvage user data files and will scrap the rest.

*Thanks to James Perih, Nerds On Site for his helpful suggestions and for being a sounding board!


Written by scottledyard

2008, October 20th at 6:18 pm

Posted in HP, Vista

Windows 2003 Small Business Server – Client Setup

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For posterity sake, here are the screen shots for setting up client computers from an SBS server. I decided to include the initial user setup which provides for an automatic “next step” of setting up the computer. So there are two “push” parts: User setup and client computer setup and two “pull” parts: Assigning user to the computer / migrating their profiles and installing software via the Client Setup Wizard

Part I

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Written by scottledyard

2007, July 16th at 1:54 pm

OpenSource VirtualBox better than its proprietary competition

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I remember my first experience with Firefox when I noticed that it was free AND better. Wait, something free should have some tradeoffs, right? Well I’ve had that experience again, this time with VirtualBox. Read on or just go get it now! Yes, it runs in Vista, XP, Linux and Apple (beta.)

How I got to VirtualBox

It was early ’06 when my friend Mark Wash said I’d better get up to speed on virtualization technology. I yawned. I don’t get it; who need to run a machine inside a machine? Suffice it to say, I soon “got it.” So, I set out to find which would be best for my needs (multi-OS, need for sandboxing, etc.) and my budget (oh so low). Microsoft’s was out since I wanted multi-OS. I liked VMware’s functionality and experience. The trial version showed its stuff. The availability of the VMPlayer was great. The beta versions were ridiculously slow.

Then, there was Parallels. Can you say “carbon copy?” It seemed to be identical. But little by little, the gaps in what it could do became more apparent. Many VMWare features were listed in Parallel’s support forums as “maybe someday” features. But the price! How could I go wrong? Without making this a Parallel’s bashing post, it was clear that using an Ubuntu guest within an XP was somewhat frustrating since the guest tools didn’t really work, nor did USB support. And an XP guest within an Ubuntu host? Don’t even go there! I suppose the version for Macintosh is more reliable.

It was as I was lamenting these issues in an Ubuntu forum that someone asked if I’d tried VirtualBox. No, never heard of it. Turns out it only came out in January, 2007 as you can see in their progress log . Having worked with various open source projects, one tries not to set high expectations, but off I went.

Eureka! A “just works” experience

I can’t even guess how complex it must be to program a VM, but VirtualBox makes it look easy. It just works! The availability of a version for the most recently released version of Ubuntu was a nice touch. Installing this was amazingly easy for a Linux application. The interface is clean, new VM setup a cinch and maintenance of VMs is easy to monitor. Oh, and want to move a virtual drive from one OS to another? Just put it in an accessible spot, go to the virtual disk image manager and add it, then create a virtual machine linking to this disk. I setup a fat32 partition so these can be accessed from either OS without being moved.

The feature set of VirtualBox is impressive, providing a much more ambitious goal than Parallels. Taking snapshots (not an option in Parallels) works slick. Click to close the guest window and it can save the state of the machine very quickly. Just try stuff like the host + A to automatically resize your guest screen. So slick.

Figure 1-Note Shared Clipboard can have copy / pasting going in either direction, both or disabled.

You can have a remote display allowing you to setup a virtual machine on a remote server and send all only the KVM info across to your client machine. There’s a complete CLI functionality that provides for an amazing range of control. (These last two I’ve not explored yet.)


  • VirtualBox now supports using VMDK files so that you can take a disk image created under VMWare and just start using it in VirtualBox (a wish list item in Parallels I might add.) Though I didn’t need this ability, I tried grabbing an old VMDK image I had backed up to try it. I received a nasty error message, perhaps because there were snapshots on that VM?
  • Initially upon installing v. 1.4.0 into a Vista host, I found that after my Ubuntu guest auto-activated my mouse in the window, my keyboard was gone and the mouse was confined inside the edges of my Ubuntu guest! This required a hard reset of the machine. I uninstalled VirtualBox, reinstalled and have not had the same disconcerting issue.
  • The default “host key”, the right Ctrl key, is not my first choice and so I change this to my scroll lock key. Now don’t laugh: It’s probably obvious to most, but when they say host + F they mean “hold down the host key while pressing F” Somehow, it just seemed wrong to hold down the Scroll key and this led me into wondering why no hot keystrokes worked.
  • Note that when Ubuntu auto updates the Linux kernel, the VirtualBox will abend upon running after the next reboot. I panicked and changed the grub menu default to us the prior kernel at boot time until a nice forum poster named onero gave easy instructions for an update.

Written by scottledyard

2007, July 1st at 9:38 pm

Yikes! MS Office 2007 has a bug right outta the chute

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Yikes, I install Office 2007 and what pops up when I first run Word but:

MSOffice07 bug

Come on, Microsoft.

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Written by scottledyard

2007, March 25th at 7:16 am

Posted in Vista

Leaning towards XP: A trial of Vista (Take 4?)

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Vista is less irritating as a new OS than 95 and XP were. But it’s still not quite there yet.
Here are some Vista Pros/Cons as I’ve seen them:
Local / IP printer setup is self detecting and automatic. Sweet!
UAC is a great improvement for security.
Snipping tool to make a jpeg from part of the screen is super, especially compared with PrintScrn + Paint = bitmap.
Previous version of file. This could be very handy.
Operational similarity to XP, learning curve for techs is not so bad.
WinKey-Tab to switch is very cool, though the first key stroke always displays the screen your already on.
Gadgets are fun. Google’s are about as good.
Various privileges for wireless access points is
DVD player built in is nice.

Lack of 64 bit support is disappointing; pathetic even. Who will run this OS without a 64 bit CPU?
Windows Live OneCare is annoying and should run at low priority.
Performance is lower, perhaps not as low as I expected, but slower than XP.
Hibernating is not any faster, though that was a promised enhancement.
Video driver doesn’t work right, even when I went to ATI web site.
DRM feature of DVD player are suspicious. (e.g., doesn’t work if wrong date is entered.)

After purchasing a new, much faster laptop disk, I wanted to try Vista (4th time?) and so installed the fresh disk and put on Vista 64 bit. Bad move: Even Windows Live OneCare won’t work with 64 bit. Shame. Here’s a text log I kept as I setup the 32 bit version.

6:37 AM 2/8/2007 – Yesterday I installed the 64 bit version and had some imcompatiability issues. Sound wouldn’t work, there were two other “yellow” items in device manager. I tried to get Windows Live OneCare and it isn’t available for 64 bit! How lame. Adios 64 bit.
This morning I finished installing the 32 bit version. Went through 6 updates and I also opted for four optional updates (for ATI video, Synaptics touchpad, the USB mouse and a general update.) As with the 64 bit version, my laptop ranks a 2.5. Details:2.5 – ATI MOBILITY RADEON Xpress 200 Series 3.1 – Gaming video 383 MB Total available graphics memory3.7 – Processor AMD Turion(tm) 64 Mobile Technology ML-344.0 – RAM (1GB)5.0 – Hard disk (new 7200RPM Seagate PATA drive) After update, my ATI went to 2.4!
Installed Windows Live OneCare, Installed SyncToy and synced 5th grade from Flash Key
Issue: Doesn’t hibernate correctly. Screen goes black and eventually PC shuts off. Upon restart, screen remains black with a moveable mouse, hard disk light runs every once in a while, but it never comes on. Requires hard reset. Later: Found the screen is just black. If I Ctrl-Atl-Del and type in my password, it resurrects!
Issue: The monitor setting dialog keeps coming up, upon logon.
Installed SyncToy and setup “5th grade” sync.
ToDo:Setup Parallels – Re downloaded file; extracted win version
Setup podcasts
Setup Picasa
Setup Office / Update Office
Setup TrueCrypt
10:35 AM 2/8/2007
Installed Picasa, Juice (podcast client), and Parallels. Couldn’t connect to internet (in Good Sam)Set clock back to Jan and disabled inet time sync prior to Office Setup.
Installed MS Office07 beta from CD.
Set CD/DVD drive to Z:
Set 3 Western Digital MyBook to drives N:, O:, and P:
7:35 AM 2/9/2007 – Located ATI drivers on line (dated 1/31/07) and installed. Seemed to make no difference.
More ToDo:Setup PowerShell
NO TrueCrypt: Their site says it won’t work in Vista and a new version supporting Vista is due out soon. I’ll use bit locker
NO iTunes: Apple has announced in the last day or so that their software won’t work with Vista. So I’ll try an alternative podcast client.
NO Juice: Juice installed, but when I try to run it, it gives a weird error saying “See the logfile ‘C:\Program Files\juice\juice.exe.log for details.” Turns out there is no such file, but there is one that ends with .manifest instead of .log. Weird. Tried the Program compatibility Wizard for install file and regular program and no luck.
Ran Windows Live OneCare tune-up. slow goin.
YES Parallels. Ran Parallels. Seems to work fine!
NO Bitlocker. Guess I’ll need to setup BitLocker since TrueCrypt is not available just yet.
What the!!! When I go to Control Panel, bitlocker it says my partitions are not set up right and that if I’ve already setup a 2nd partition (which I have!) I will have to re-install Vista. NOT going to happen real soon. Pretty stupid, seems to me.

Looks like Vista is not quite ready. True, I’m running RC1, but have kept up with updates and I’d think any major issues would be updated, no?

Written by scottledyard

2007, February 10th at 1:46 pm

Posted in Vista

Setting up Vista #2

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A while back, probably in August, I installed Vista Beta 2 on an AMD64 laptop and found its performance to be ridiculous. I re-installed XP (the laptop was due for a reinstall anyway.) A while later I recieved Vista RC1 in the mail and set it aside, still quite skeptical. Sometime in December I installed it on a PC “A”, an Intel P4 w/ 512MB RAM and a BIOS video. I worked okay, though it had a ranking of 1.0, due to the video driver and low memory (isn’t max 5.9?) Aero glass wasn’t an option. I mostly wanted to see how it would work as a WinSrv03 client. I found it surprisingly XP-like in how you administer it, though one of the first things I noticed is that it sets up a few extra virtual network connections all by itself. Hmm?
But I’ve updated PC “C” some lately (see detail specs below) and decided to try Vista.
XP’s disk config is/was:

  • C: 250GB Maxtor PATA-Win boot and Documents and Settings
  • E: 40GB Samsung SATA-Financial records and Photos
  • F: 40GB Samsung SATA-Program files and Page File

So I unplugged all this, plopped in an additional 40GB Samsung and installed Vista on it. I noticed in the install that it will stop working on 30/05/2007 (Microsoft’s date format.) Oh well.
It all went fairly well and probably took two hours. Some issues:
It did not suggest that I actually use the 40GB drive and, though it was an NTFS drive it did not let me format it. Instead I had to zap the partition, then just told it to use it. It went from there.
It suggests that it will update itself on the fly, but never asks for the wireless network keys so of course it CAN’T. Updates are fairly automatic after that.
There were 3 optional updates offered. Two were for NVidia. I chose them all and found the the system reset DURING the update just as I was typing something. Then it booted, I got no screen and the hard disk ran for over 15 minutes. I did a hard reset, bypassed a Safe Mode offer screen and found that those same updates are still offered in Win Update. I decided to bypass those for right now!
Windows Live Protection is not installed by default, but when you tell it to look for an anti-virus solution, it is listed, though surprisingly, not at the top of the list. I installed a trial version of it. Windows Defender is not redundant with this I guess, as it is installed by default. Can’t quite make out yet where these two and Windows Firewall overlap, if at all.
It works well, so I re-hooked up the three drives and rebooted (BIOS re-defaulted to boot from IDE) and I’m cleaning up the XP install and will see about shrinking some partitions. I’ll keep XP bootable in the event I want to just fall back on it when Vista self-destructs in May.
The rating of the system turns out to be 4 due to the use of the processor. The detail ratings are:

  • 4 – CPU
  • 5.
  • 5.
  • 5.
  • 5.

Detail specs on PC “C”:

  • MSI K8NGM2-FID Socket 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
  • AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 2.0GHz 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor
  • G.SKILL Value Series 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
  • 3 SAMSUNG SpinPoint P80SD HD040GJ 40GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive – OEM
  • 1 Maxtor IDE disk
  • LITE-ON DVD Burner Black ATAPI/E-IDE Model SHW-1635S RTL
  • BFG Tech BFGR76256GTOCE GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card
  • SAMSUNG 941BW Black 19″ 4 ms (GTG) DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 500:1
  • LITE-ON SK-1789/BS 2-Tone 104 Normal Keys 14 Function Keys PS/2 Wired Slim Keyboard
  • Rosewill RCR-100 USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader

Written by scottledyard

2007, January 14th at 9:30 am

Posted in Vista

In the lab on a rainy (hope for snow) evening

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First went to setup the Vista RC1 PC as a domain workstation. Pretty much works the same. I had to:

  • Change the IP to static IP of with the DNS server being
  • Change the computer name, in this case to redboot70, then reset the machine.
  • Use the Network ________ to add a computer and (optionally) a user, in this case I added the yeslek domain account onto the PC.

Vista bug?
After I logged in as my own (scott) Fam account, I went to the user management using the redboot account and found that “scott” was not listed as one of the users. Could this be a bug in Vista?

Now, I’m ready to setup the redboot69 PC as a domain controller. Here goes….

Well, that was uneventful (I’m also setting up XP Pro on .68 using the automated install diskette) and at the bottom I’ve included the screens.

Yikes, this BLOG won’t post my screen shots! Am experimenting. Turns out they have to be hand uploaded. Kind of a pain, but it may work.

Ah well, I need to take a quiz…

Written by scottledyard

2006, November 30th at 5:28 pm

Posted in Active Directory, Vista

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