Weekly quickTIP

Is Complete PC Restore Incomplete?

Plus: finding your inner hacker

My column last week on Vista's new backup and restore options generated a frustrated e-mail today from reader Al Degutis of Professional Insight. Degutis is getting a restoration hangover while trying to use the new Vista "Complete PC Restore" to move an installation from one drive to another.

Degutis says that Complete PC Restore may not be so complete: "I tried to use [Complete PC Restore] on my Vista Ultimate system to move it to a larger drive. It failed with:

===================
Windows Complete PC Restore operation failed.
Error details: There are too few disks on this computer or one or more
of the disks is too small. Add or change disks so they match the disks
in the backup and try the restore again. (0x80042401)
====================

"I searched around and found a few other people online who have reported the same problem, even when trying to go from/to the same size drive. I'm starting to think that Complete PC Backup sessions are tied to that specific hard drive. This is not useful if the drive crashes and is unusable."

The Microsoft Web site on Complete PC Restore says, "You can restore your PC back to its original state, or to a replacement PC." However, a look through a number of forum posts shows that others are seeing this same error when attempting to restore a backup to a different drive. The error message above appears to suggest that the disks must match the disks in the backup.

Due to hardware constraints, I was unable to attempt to replicate the problem. So, have you seen an answer to Al's problem -- or even a similar problem? If so, share it with us and send your solutions to gshields@redmondmag.com!

Tech Help—Just An
E-Mail Away

Got a Windows, Exchange or virtualization question or need troubleshooting help? Or maybe you want a better explanation than provided in the manuals? Describe your dilemma in an e-mail to the MCPmag.com editors at editor@mcpmag.com; the best questions get answered in this column and garner the questioner with a nifty Redmond T-shirt.

When you send your questions, please include your full first and last name, location, certifications (if any) with your message. (If you prefer to remain anonymous, specify this in your message, but submit the requested information for verification purposes.)

quickTIP Extra: Be the Enemy
In The Art of War, Sun Tzu declared "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." Knowing the enemy in the IT world can be just as important.

If you've ever wanted to learn some skills in the art of Web page hacking or are just looking for a nice diversion from the daily drudge of cube life, surf on over to http://www.hackerskills.com. Like the computer screens in that old movie Cloak & Dagger, Hacker Skills presents you with little more than a welcome screen sporting the taunting words "Level 1" and an empty box asking for a password.

What do you do next? You figure it out. Level 2 awaits, along with over a hundred other levels to test your Web site cracking skills. Sometimes more a puzzle than an actual cracking exercise, at the very least each level helps develop your skills with JavaScript, HTML and PHP scripting while keeping it fun.

I've made it to Level 12 before getting completely stumped. Gotten farther? Let me know....

About the Author

Greg Shields is Author Evangelist with PluralSight, and is a globally-recognized expert on systems management, virtualization, and cloud technologies. A multiple-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert, and Citrix CTP awards, Greg is a contributing editor for Redmond Magazine and Virtualization Review Magazine, and is a frequent speaker at IT conferences worldwide. Reach him on Twitter at @concentratedgreg.

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