Using WHS Computer Backup to upgrade a PC

This morning I used Windows Home Server’s Compter Backup capability to “upgrade” my main workstation’s HDD. Here’s how I did it…

My main PC at home has a 60GB WD Raptor 10k RPM drive in it. For some reason that escapes me, long ago I had configured it such that I was only using one of these drives and I had it partitioned into two partitions (C: 40GB and D: the rest). Why I did this I can’t remember, but it had turned into a royal pain in the butt because I kept running out of free space on the C: drive.

I store all my music, photos, video, etc… on Shared Folders on my home server so I don’t really need tons of disk space on my PC. However, with all my apps installed I was pushing up against 40GB disk space and managing where things went between the C: and D: drive was annoying.

So this morning I decided to fix it by using the Home Computer Backup capability of Windows Home Server…

  1. Even though my Home Server tray icon indicated “Green” I ran the Home Server Console to verify that my PC actually did get backed up last night. It did.

  2. I put the Home Computer Restore CD in the DVD-ROM drive of my PC and rebooted, and pressed a key when it said “Press any key to boot from CD-ROM..“

  3. After about 2 minutes the Home Computer Restore wizard appeared.

  4. Stepping through the wizard I got to the part where it asks what drives you want to restore.

  5. I clicked on the disk manager button and used Disk Manager to delete the 2 partitions on my 60GB drive and created a single new partition.

  6. Then, back in the wizard I told it to restor my “39GB C: drive“ to the empty “60 GB C: drive“.  I hit Next and.. took my son to his Lacrosse game.

  7. When I got back restore process was completed. I hit Next again in the wizard and the machine rebooted.

  8. When it started back up I was in Vista with a single 60GB C: drive.

  9. I had some folders on the old D: patition, so I ran the Home Server Console and choose “View Backups“ for my PC.

  10. I drilled into the backup from last night, choose the D: drive and clicked on “Open…“

  11. I was presented with an Explorer window showing me the folders on the D: drive as it was last night.

  12. I simply dragged the files to my C: drive and in a few minutes everything was back on C:.  I had to tweak “Steam“ (the Half-Life game engine) to look at C: instead of D:, but that was easy.

This product rocks! I am so proud of my team and so excited to ship the darn thing so more people can experience how great it is too.

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