Vista Complete PC Restore, 0x80042401, DiskPart, WbAdmin

I picked up a new laptop, a Lenovo T61P to go alongside ( or, more likely replace depending on the “powers that be” ) my existing HP NC8430.

I wanted to kick start the process of moving from one machine to the other or of running the two in tandem by imaging my existing hard-drive to the new machine.

My existing hard-drive is a 200GB 7200rpm disk and the new one is a 160GB 7200rpm disk. I have about 50GB free on my existing hard-drive so that doesn’t seem too limiting.

I used the Vista “Complete PC Backup” feature and that worked a treat on the source machine in terms of creating the image.

However, then the fun and games started.

I booted the new PC from a Vista DVD ( note – this was a Vista RTM DVD as I don’t have an Sp1 DVD and that might be the root cause of the problem I encountered ).

I went into the “Repair my PC” screen and then tried to restore the complete image backup. No dice. I kept getting error 0x80042401 which is in many online forums and says something along the lines of “You have too few disks in the machine or the disk(s) you have are too small”.

I went through a long process on this, cutting down the size of the transfer by only backing up the C: drive and playing with various options until I learned to spend some time in the recovery console ( also launched from the Vista DVD ) and, specifically, using 2 commands from there – diskpart and wbadmin.

In the end, the way that I got this all to work was by first using wbadmin to take a look at the backup image that I’d used. I’d use something like;

wbadmin get versions -backupTarget:z:

where z: is the USB drive that has the imaged backup on it.

That’d then give me a version id that I can use in other commands such as;

wbadmin get items -backupTarget:z: -version:01/01/2008-00:00

where the version parameter came from the previous get versions command. This would now show that I had 2 “items” in my backup for my C: and my D: drives from the original PC.

I then used diskpart to try and create partitions on the new machine that matched partitions on the old PC in terms of size and filesystem in as much as possible. I’m not sure how essential this actually is but the sorts of commands that I ended up running were things like;

list disk

list partition

list volume

select disk

select partition

select volume

create partition

create volume




clean ( when it all goes wrong – take care which disk you have selected before doing this )

Once I had that in play, I used something like;

wbadmin start recovery -backupTarget:z: -recoveryTarget:c: -itemType:volume -items:c: -version:01/01/2008-00:00

to actually perform the recovery and it seemed to do what the UI wouldn’t do.

When I actually tried to boot the machine with the new drive image in it, it kept blue-screening.

I scratched my head a lot over this until I made a random guess and switched the SATA setting in the BIOS to “Compatibility” rather than AHCI and that resolved that one for me. Not sure whether I can then reconfigure that at a later point but it got me over the blue-screen hurdle for the moment.

All in all, I’m glad that it works but it doesn’t feel like it should be rocket-science to image a hard-drive from one place to another. I’ve a feeling that the GUI experience is less limiting if you have an Sp1 disk rather than a RTM disk.