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HDD Failure Windows Server 2008 - Now what?

Level 2


We've had a HDD failure (I think) our server will no longer boot. There is no Raid error being displayed, I assume that whatever has happened has damaged both drives at this stage. (there are 3 drives in total)

We had Backup Exec 2010 installed - It's been useful a few times recovering damaged or infected files from the Dell cartridges we swap out each night. I'm confident we have a working backup of the entire system on these cartridges.

I assume the correct way forward would be to obtain 3 brand new replacement drives, then reinstall the Server OS to it's minimum form, download and install Backup exec 2010 and then do a recovery which should put the snapshot back in place?

My problem is two-fold

  1. Apparantley we have no recovery media for Windows Server 2008 - The server was supplied by a local council I.T department a few years ago, they are saying media has been supplied, however it doesn't exist - Also I would expect a License sticker/key on the chassis of the server, this doesn't apear to be there either.
  2. Assuming I manage to get hold of three replacement drives, and a copy of the media/license - I'm in the same situation for Backup Exec 2010 - Nobody seems to know any information on the license for the software, it is not on the original invoice for the server, the local council are being less than helpful and suggest that we are on our own.

I'm not really sure where to go from here - I can't install the OS, or the software - I might be missing something with the recovery procedure and I'm kind of hoping that there is a plan B to get me around this situation - Obviously if the recovery happens I will be able to provide license info for Backup Exec - Maybe I can get the software in Trial mode or something?

Suggestions more than welcome

Thank you!



Employee Accredited Certified

Well a restore of the system state might put the OS license back - assuming Microsoft Licensing does not decide to refuse any re-activation that it might request (and assuming you backed up the System State.)

Also if you backed up the complete C: drive then the BESERNUM.XML file should be in one of your backups and you can use this file with the Import button   to reload your Backup Exec licenses. You can use BE 2010 R3 in trialware to restore this file.


Problem is you may not be able to just download Backup Exec 2010 R3 as due to US export restrictions you have to prove who you are and then we make software available based on the licenses in your account. You would almost certainly have to speak directly to our customer care team (via a support line phone call) to see if you can get access to a download. You can download BE 16 and use that in trialware for 60 days (which should allow a restore) as long as you have 64bit OS and hardware. You can download BE 16 for trialware from

BTW the basics of a manual DR restore of the server that BE runs on is

1) Install OS (with same nameand similar disk layout - can be in a workgroup)

2) Install same version of BE to a different path to that originally used

3) Configure, Inventory and catalog the storage containing the backups

4) Perform any required drive / data restores

5) Perform System State restore

I believe there may be documention in Technotes that covers some of this and it might work with a different BE versions (because of teh different path install) - but we will never have tested that.


One final comment BE 2010 R3 and earlier is no longer officially supported by us, so you do need ot plan to get inot a newer version if you want use supported sofwtare and get official assistence

Thanks for the reply - I got lucky!

Bascially the Raid setup showed the 2 drives as 'degraded' and offline - I simply forced them online, rebooted and now we have a working server.

I'm currently taking a snapshot and moving this to an external drive :)

Employee Accredited Certified

Sugges you find teg BESERNUM.XML file and also make sure you have the complete installer for BE 2010 R3 as well as the latest Servcie Pack saved somewhere that does not rely on you finding them from the internet in a hurry if this happens again.