Having backups of your computer on your Windows Home Server (WHS) is great until you experience a network driver issue while trying to restore a broken client PC or laptop.
You might, for example, be trying to restore a Windows 7 64 bit computer, only to find out that the WHS restore CD environment is 32 bit (and therefore requires 32 bit drivers for your network card). Or the restore environment may just not contain the specific driver that you need.
There are various things that you can do in this situation – but wouldn’t it be great if you already had a collection of drivers on hand that you could try before you have to go looking for drivers yourself?
Well the kind folks at Tranquil PC have put together a collection of drivers for just this purpose!
You can either look for your individual driver: ftp://188.8.131.52/LAN_Drivers/
Or you can download the driver pack and extract it to a USB jump drive for safe keeping: ftp://184.108.40.206/LAN_Drivers/LANPACK.zip
If you still cannot find the correct drivers Tranquil PC also shows you how to locate the correct drivers from your WHS backups:
To copy drivers from a computer backup
1. Connect to the Windows Home Server Console.
2. On the Computers & Backup tab, click the computer that you need drivers for.
3. Click View Backups.
4. Select the most recent backup, and then click Open.
5. Select a volume to open (any volume will work), and then click Open. A window opens showing the files and folders in the backup.
6. Plug in your USB flash drive.
7. Copy the Windows Home Server Drivers for Restore folder from the open window to your USB flash drive.
8. Remove the flash drive, and then insert it into the computer that is being restored.
Now you can use the USB flash drive to install drivers for your computer’s hardware when restoring a computer. The drivers you are most likely to need during a computer restore are the network driver and the storage-device driver.
If you still have issues with network drivers then you will need to find the 32 bit Vista drivers for your network device.
Thanks to Tranquil PC for providing this great resource! I intend to cover other restore methods in later blog posts.