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Windows Server 2012 R2 UEFI Restore Impossible?

I'm trying to do something that is dead simple, but frustratingly it's killing me...  One little thing, just trying to backup and restore Windows Server 2012 R2 on an Intel i7 PC that's in UEFI mode with GPT partitions on a SATA SSD drive.  Symantec System Recovery 2013 SP2 x64 v11.0.2.49853 has no problem going through the paces of restoring the backup, but afterward Windows fails to boot.

I even went to the extent of wiping the C drive (and all the partitions), reinstalled WS2012 R2 Data Center GUI (nothing else except a network driver and SSR), backed up freshly installed WS2012 R2 to an external USB drive using SSR installed inside Windows, wiped the C drive (and all the partitions) and restored the backup, but all that effort didn't matter.  PC still won't boot Windows.  I also tried restoring the 100MB EFI Partition first, followed by the operating system and Recovery partitions, still no help.

The only odd thing I see is inside the WinPE SRD, About - Symantec System Recovery Disk shows versions that seem old even though it was just extracted from the latest v11.0.2.49853 download zip file (although the SRD .iso file date of 12/15/13 is older than the SSR SP2 11.0.2 update that supposedly fixed UEFI problems).

Symantec System Recovery Disk

Symantec Recovery Toolkit 11.0.0

Version 11.0.0.49496

Copyright 1994-2012

Please scroll down to access my troubleshooting documentation "Symantec System Recovery 2013 x64 SP2 v11.0.2.49853 UEFI Restore Problem.pdf" with a detailed collection of photos showing the entire backup and restore process.  Do you see anything usual or something that I'm doing wrong?Please help because obviously I am unhealthily obsessed with this problem! ;)

Thanks!

FWIW, I have reviewed these articles, comments and tips about SSR and restoring UEFI partitions:

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=HOWTO84141

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH177792

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH128386

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH207176

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH200291

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH200293

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/ssr-201020112013-and-restore-anyware-uefi

And, tried these suggestions too:

https://neosmart.net/wiki/0xc0000225/

 

1 20140802_113743 - Copy.jpg

2 20140802_175352 - Copy.jpg

8 Replies

Can you open a support ticket

Can you open a support ticket for this issue?

Unfortunately no active

Unfortunately no active support contract which is why I spent hours precisely documenting the issue repleat with evidentiary photos.  I've seen research studies with less detail and effort

What i'm trying to do is very simple.  What's broken?

OK, maybe I can get some

OK, maybe I can get some support for you.

Can you check the original

Can you check the original installation of Windows - which partition is marked as active for booting?

When you do the restore using the system index file (.sv2i), the partitions should be laid out as they were on the source machine when they were backed up. In other words, it should set the relevant partition as active. You should be able to see this on the final screen of the restore wizard ('Drives to Recover').

The wrong partition being set active is the most likely cause I believe.

Also, can you confirm the hardware make/model of the machine you are restoring to.

Hi Chris, Thanks for jumping

Hi Chris,

Thanks for jumping in!

The Windows C partition is marked active (since it's GRT, more accurately, it's marked as the Boot partition).

For about the 8th time, I just re-installed WS2012 R2 again and backed up using SSR 2013 R2, wiped disk 0 and restored.  Still no boot.

Hardware is Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H motherboard, Intel i7-4770K CPU, 32GB RAM, Samsung 840 EVO SSD SATA.

Please have a close look at the information filled PDF document I provided that's gushing with details about this situation and note the following warning that occurs twice immediately after the Drives to Recover screen:

Invalid Disk Layout

The disk layout of the selected target drive does not match with the one in the recovery point.  A data restore will be performed.

That error pops up even though the disk 0 is empty.

There's also a slight difference in Unallocated space and the layout order of the partitions in the backup compared to the restore (again, detailed pictures included in the PDF attachment).


Here's diskpart after Installing Windows Server 2012 R2 Data Center GUI (before backup, wipe and restore):

C:\>diskpart

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.3.9600

Copyright (C) 1999-2013 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: WIN-3PO9NQDF7V9

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          931 GB      0 B        *

DISKPART> select disk 0

Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> detail disk

Samsung SSD 840 EVO 1TB
Disk ID: {393783DE-957E-4684-84D8-17D7AF04D6AD}
Type   : SATA
Status : Online
Path   : 0
Target : 0
LUN ID : 0
Location Path : PCIROOT(0)#PCI(1F02)#ATA(C00T00L00)
Current Read-only State : No
Read-only  : No
Boot Disk  : Yes
Pagefile Disk  : Yes
Hibernation File Disk  : No
Crashdump Disk  : Yes
Clustered Disk  : No

Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  -------
Volume 0     C                NTFS   Partition    930 GB  Healthy    Boot
Volume 1         Recovery     NTFS   Partition    300 MB  Healthy    Hidden
Volume 2                      FAT32  Partition    100 MB  Healthy    System


DISKPART> list partition

  Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
  -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
  Partition 1    Recovery           300 MB  1024 KB
  Partition 2    System             100 MB   301 MB
  Partition 3    Reserved           128 MB   401 MB
  Partition 4    Primary            930 GB   529 MB

DISKPART> select partition 1

Partition 1 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> detail partition

Partition 1
Type    : de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac
Hidden  : Yes
Required: Yes
Attrib  : 0X8000000000000001
Offset in Bytes: 1048576

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
* Volume 1         Recovery     NTFS   Partition    300 MB  Healthy    Hidden


DISKPART> select partition 2

Partition 2 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> detail partition

Partition 2
Type    : c12a7328-f81f-11d2-ba4b-00a0c93ec93b
Hidden  : Yes
Required: No
Attrib  : 0X8000000000000000
Offset in Bytes: 315621376

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
* Volume 2                      FAT32  Partition    100 MB  Healthy    System

DISKPART> select partition 3

Partition 3 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> detail partition

Partition 3
Type    : e3c9e316-0b5c-4db8-817d-f92df00215ae
Hidden  : Yes
Required: No
Attrib  : 0X8000000000000000
Offset in Bytes: 420478976

There is no volume associated with this partition.

DISKPART> select partition 4

Partition 4 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> detail partition

Partition 4
Type    : ebd0a0a2-b9e5-4433-87c0-68b6b72699c7
Hidden  : No
Required: No
Attrib  : 0000000000000000
Offset in Bytes: 554696704

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
* Volume 0     C                NTFS   Partition    930 GB  Healthy    Boot

 

DISKPART> list volume

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0     C                NTFS   Partition    930 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 1         Recovery     NTFS   Partition    300 MB  Healthy    Hidden
 Volume 2                      FAT32  Partition    100 MB  Healthy    System

DISKPART> select volume 0

Volume 0 is the selected volume.

DISKPART> detail volume

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
* Disk 0    Online          931 GB      0 B        *

Read-only              : No
Hidden                 : No
No Default Drive Letter: No
Shadow Copy            : No
Offline                : No
BitLocker Encrypted    : No
Installable            : Yes

Volume Capacity        :  930 GB
Volume Free Space      :  917 GB

DISKPART> select volume 1

Volume 1 is the selected volume.

DISKPART> detail volume

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
* Disk 0    Online          931 GB      0 B        *

Offline                : No

DISKPART> select volume 2

Volume 2 is the selected volume.

DISKPART> detail volume

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
* Disk 0    Online          931 GB      0 B        *

Offline                : No

DISKPART>

I have tested this here with

I have tested this here with a new installation of 2012 R2 and it worked fine for me. This was with virtual machines, not physical. There is a possibility the problems you are seeing are specific to the hardware you are using.

The volume layout of my 2012 R2 UEFI install is identical to yours.

I restored to a new VM with a blank disk. When restoring, I selected the system index file (.sv2i) by browsing using the 'system' option from the drop-down box. I did not need to make ANY changes from this point. As I said before, when selecting the sv2i file, everything gets restored in the same way as when it was backed up.

I would just clean/wipe the disk you are restoring to (basically make sure the target disk is blank), then try a standard restore using the steps I mentioned above. I see no reason why this should not work for you.

Hope this helps.

Hi Chris, On multiple

Hi Chris,

On multiple occassions, I have restored the backup exactly as you have.  Doesn't help. Windows still doesn't boot.  It's easy to understand that restoring to a VM is an entirely different animal than restoring to a VM.

I agree, there shouldn't be any reason the restore doesn't work, but it still doesn't work

How can this issue be escalated?  I can provide remote access to the physical hardware.

Can urgency be put on this problem.  It's a production server that needs to get back online and that's not possible until the restore issue is fixed.

 

Chris, After another 10 hours

Chris,

After another 10 hours of troubleshooting (it's critically important that SSR be able to actually restore the backups for which we all depend on it), I figured out the problem and it is attributable to SSR.  The problem is caused the a failure of SSR to properly configure the Boot Configuration Data store after a restore.

I'm able to manually reset the BCD using this command:

bcdboot f:\windows /s e: /f UEFI /v

which properly writes the BCD and Windows FINALLY boots!

SSR also fails to restore and properly write the BCD to recovery its own LightsOut Restore Boot Menu item (and it appears the entire LightsOut function doesn't work (won't boot) either after restore).

Would you pass this the developers and send me a free SSR license and three years of support for all the effort I've expended doing the job of several Symnatec employees.