A user on the smallbizserver.net forums had an sbs server crash and had to restore it.  Instead of reinstalling then manually installing(like i did in an earlier post) he leveraged the VHD’s to restore directly form the backups(something sbs seems to have a hard time doing).  Here is the text:

1) No concrete errors from WSB eventlog.
2) When trying the repair option from the SBS2008DVD, Unknown on Unknown device, Windows 2008 may appear at the Select OS to repair dialog box. Or it could be blank for the new drive.
3) When attempting complete PC Restore, operation will fail despite having enough HD space with error:
“The Volume ID could not be found. (0x80070495)”

When I ended up doing:
1) Find a Server 2008 machine. I need WSB that to access the backup image from the backup drive. Logon with admin rights.
2) Attached the drive containing the backup to the Server 2008 machine. The drive will be automatically assigned a letter but the user may not have access to the backup drive’s content (yet).
3) Launch WSB.
4) Attempt some recovery operation with WSB. For eg, restore some directories from the backup image onto a temp location. This gives the system access to the backup drive contents.
5) At this point, open up a windows explorer, and look for the backup VHDs on the backup drive via the drive letter. Copy them out to a separate directory. The VHDs will be named with GUIDs, rename them to shorter filenames.
6) Find a WS2008R2 or Windows 7 machine. They have native VHD mounting capabilities.
7) Mount the VHDs via disk managements.
8) Use HDD cloning applications to clone the different VHDs to other hard disks. I used Norton Ghost14 on my W7 machine. Make sure to clone the system drive (C:) with options to set bootable(active) and copy MBR.
9) Move the cloned disk(s) back to the original server. And reset BIOS to boot from the correct disk with the restored system partition.
10) Try booting. If everything is ok, you will get an error regarding something about ntloader.exe.
11) Boot with the SBS2008DVD again. Choose repair. Go into a command prompt.
12) CD into C:\windows\system32. This should be your restored system drive.
13) fire up bcdedit. Output will probably show unknown in several entries.
14) Reset the unknown entries with commands like bcdedit /set {default} device partition=C:

At this point, reboot. I was able to successfully recover the server this way. Definitely a real hassle. How the BCD on the backup images got corrupted, I have no idea. And this shouldn’t be so difficult to fix as all the underlying data is fine……..

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