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Restoring HP Proliant without the Data partition?

Created: 17 Mar 2009 • Updated: 22 May 2010 | 15 comments
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 I have a HP Proliant DL360 with one HDD with 2 partitions, C: the Data drive created during setup and E: the OS.

I am trying to restore just the E: partion to another server, a HP Proliant DL380, but it will not boot after doing a restore as I do not have the boot info of the C: drive. How can I get aroung this? And do I need to you restore Anywhere if moving from a Proliant DL360 to DL380?


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YPNSD's picture

The difference between 360 and 380 hardware is pretty small, and you are just restoring the E drive so restore anywhere isn't really necessary.

But if I understand you correctly you are trying on restore the E: drive to a computer that doesn't have an OS yet? If so then it will never work. You need an OS in order to boot your computer. Just make sure you have one, enough disk space available then launch using the recovery CD and restore the file to an empty disk or empty partition on the new computer, that should work.

Hijinxx's picture

 Hi There 

Just to clarify. The DL360 has 2 drives (C the utility drive and E the drive with the OS ect) and I just want to move the E drive with the OS on it to a new sever/drive, that is not possible? 

YPNSD's picture

Ah understood you wrong. Normally the OS is stored on the C drive instead of the E... I assumed it would be the same situation here.

When you used "restore anywhere" did you select all the options that have to do with the MBR and creating an active partition? If not, doing that might help.

marcogsp's picture

During the restore process, please try selecting the option to "Restore Original disk signature" and to mark the partition as Active(bootable).  I know the documentation says that you don't have to do this for the "standard" drive letters (E: being one of them) but this is not always true.  Your boot partiton is not assigned the drive letter C: which is the most common and expected drive letter.  I also agree with YPNSD's suggestion to restore the MBR

I would still do a Restore Anyware recovery.  I'm not familiar with the hardware you are working with, so I can't comment on the ability of the respective HALs to share an image.  However, this is a perfect opportunity to hone your skills with Restore Anyware.  In a real disaster with the folks on mahogany row peering over your shoulder, you'll want to know this process inside out.

Hijinxx's picture


When I try to restore, with or without Restore anywhere, I get the error message NTLDR is missing

Hijinxx's picture

Even  when I select, Set drive active, Restore original disk Signiture and restore MBR   I get error "NTLDR is missing" 

marcogsp's picture

A missing NTLDR file would explain why the recovered system will not boot.  This file is definitely required in order to get a NT family OS to boot.  NTLDR may also  be corrupted and the OS is throwing out a generic boot failure error. Also, the recovered system could still be having trouble locating the boot partition with the info provided in the MBR.

Try capturing another image from the original system and doing a restore with the new image.  Failing that or if you were in a disaster recovery situation, you might be able to finish the recovery with an "install in place" of the OS.  I briefly outlined the procedure in the following post:

I encourage you to try this procedure just for the practice.  In a real disaster recovery scenario with your supervisor peering over your shoulder, you'll be able to calm some fears if you know how to do an "install in place."

Best of Luck!

marcogsp's picture

I found a couple of technotes that may help with your particular hardware and situation.

My gut feeling is that editing the boot.ini file will be necessary.  Your original boot partion was most likely the second partition, on the original drive.  Recovering to a drive with only one partition will require the boot.ini to reflect booting to the first partition.  I could kick myself for not thinking of this before! ;-)

Hijinxx's picture

 That is correct, it is the second partition on the oringinal disk. But I cant edit the boot.ini within the recovery enviroment as when i select the option edit boot.ini it tells me it cant find it. Would it just be easier for me to restore both partitions? or is there an other way to edit the boot.ini. 

The oringinal machinie is up and running so is there anything I can do with that then maybe that would be a option? 

Your help is much appreciated. Thank you.

marcogsp's picture

I thought about this some more at lunch time so I'm making some edits to my original response:

As I previously admitted, I have no familiarity with your hardware.  Does the C: partitition have the NTLDR, and boot.ini files on it?  If so, then you have a separate boot partition and system partition scenario.  This was more common in the early NT 4.0 days when rocks were soft and hard drive capacities were lower than they are today. If so, then restoring the C: partition would be the easiest way to get the test system going again.

If you are up for the challenge, you could try restoring the three above mentioned files from the C: partition image to the E: partition  of the test  system. You would still have to edit the boot ini file.  My original instructions below still apply. 

Assuming that that your SRD is the newer version built on MS Vista, boot into the recovery environment and click on the Analyze tab.  Open "Explore my Computer" and verify the drive letter that the SRD thinks your recovered drive is.  If you explore that drive, you should be able to see the boot.ini file, but won't be able to edit it here.

Exit out of "Explore my Computer" and run "Open Command Shell Window."  Change the drive letter to the letter of the recovered drive, and get to the root of the drive with "cd \" if not already there.  Next run the command "Attrib -h -s boot.ini"  Next run the command "notepad.exe"  Edit and save the boot.ini to reflect the correct partition.  Then run the command "Attrib +h +s boot.ini" to reset the original file attributes.

If you are familiar with the fixboot and bootcfg commands, these may also be needed.  You should be able to run these from the SRD.  If not, then the original installation CD booted in repair mode will do this.  Fixboot will write a new bootsector to the recovered drive. Bootcfg can also help with scanning for windows installations and writing their entries into the boot.ini file.  using the /? parameter on each of these commands will get you the details you need

Hopefully this will work for you.

Hijinxx's picture


Sorry for the late reply, was away for the weekend. Unfortunatly it is the case that the boot.ini ect.. are on the C: partion of the original system. I tried coping them over to the new system and just changing the boot.ini  and it looked good for a while but then windows had error at startup probably because the drive letter dosent correspond to the old server.    I will try to restore both partitions but last time I did that it swaped the drive letters around. Is it possible to change the drive letters in the recovery enviroment?

Thx again.

marcogsp's picture

Yes you can do this.  Just select the option to "Restore original disk signature"  and it'll be done auto-magically.

Hijinxx's picture

 Ok got that. now im restoring both drives what options do i need for each one? On the original system the C: drive contained the NTLDR, and boot.ini files, and the E: drive contained the OS. Whit that in mind when restoring the C: drive do i need Set Drive active and Restore MBR, restore oringinal drive signiture I am sure I do? And like wise when restoreing the E: drive what options should I have ticked there? 

marcogsp's picture

For the C: drive, go ahead and set the drive active, Restore the MBR, and Reset the original drive signature.  I do it as a matter of course for all my restores.  Supposedly it is not required, but it doesn't harm anything, and saves having to do it later in case the original restore does not work.  If you are confident that the hardware is very similar, then you can skip the Restore Anyware option.

For Drive E: the only option required is the restore original drive signature.

Hijinxx's picture

 Finally i got it too work. I had the reformat and partition the drive and do restore anywhere on both partition with a newer recovery disk and it looks good.

Thank you very much for all your help.