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Restoring a Windows 7 Client at a Remote Location

    Question

  • I have a user located 4000+ miles away who had their laptop's hard drive replaced. I have a recent complete backup of their device on a 2012 R2 Essential Service (in the client backup folder) and I need to restore it.

    From what I understand and from a quick test I performed, when they boot from the USB recovery drive the laptop looks for server only on the local network. The PE environment on the recovery drive does not allow a VPN connection to the server to be established. Entering the public IP address or the xxxx.remotewebaccess.com name does not work either.

    Is there a way to export the necessary files from the server's client backup folder to an external drive so that I can physically send files for restoration?

    Can the USB recovery drive be modified to add the option for VPN?

    The user will not be able to directly connect to the server network for another 5 months, so a remote recovery would be ideal.



    • Edited by Westlakes Wednesday, June 27, 2018 3:41 AM typo
    Tuesday, June 26, 2018 3:01 AM

Answers

  • Robert was correct. When I tried a router configured to connect to the server's network by VPN it looking promising. The restore wizard started and the server could be manually found by entering the local IP address. However, the next step failed.

    I ended up resolving the issue by restoring the client backup to a hard drive installed in another PC. Since this PC was not the same type as the client laptop as soon as the restore was complete I shutdown and did not let it attempt to boot. The remote user installed the drive and everything worked.

    • Marked as answer by Westlakes Sunday, August 12, 2018 3:37 PM
    Sunday, August 12, 2018 3:37 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    As far as I know, it does not support.

    >Windows PE does not support wireless connections. Because of this, the computer being restored must be physically connected to the small business network.

    Quote from “Restore a full system from an existing client computer backup”:
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server-essentials/manage/restore-a-full-system-from-an-existing-client-computer-backup

    Best Regards,
    Eve Wang

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2018 5:44 AM
    Moderator
  • Do you have a laptop with same hardware available to you?

    You could put a new disk in that, do the restore then ship that drive to the user 4000 miles away.


    Robert Pearman @titlerequired Windows Server Essentials.com

    Thursday, June 28, 2018 3:20 PM
    Moderator
  • Unfortunately I do not have a similar laptop available.

    I am going to experiment by using a router with a VPN client which is configured to connect automatically to the server's network. I am hoping that because the router will connect to the server's network from a remote location that the recovery program will see the server as being local.

    Saturday, June 30, 2018 1:04 AM
  • Thanks Eve. You quoted the limitation that I cam trying to work around.
    Saturday, June 30, 2018 1:05 AM
  • It is unlikely to work as the detection of the essentials server uses Layer 2, not Layer 3.

    Robert Pearman @titlerequired Windows Server Essentials.com

    Monday, July 2, 2018 9:46 AM
    Moderator
  • Robert was correct. When I tried a router configured to connect to the server's network by VPN it looking promising. The restore wizard started and the server could be manually found by entering the local IP address. However, the next step failed.

    I ended up resolving the issue by restoring the client backup to a hard drive installed in another PC. Since this PC was not the same type as the client laptop as soon as the restore was complete I shutdown and did not let it attempt to boot. The remote user installed the drive and everything worked.

    • Marked as answer by Westlakes Sunday, August 12, 2018 3:37 PM
    Sunday, August 12, 2018 3:37 PM