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Citrix PVS Reverse Imaging with Windows Backup

31. August 2016

During the last weeks I had different problems with the “known” Reverse-Imaging Technics. One of them was the after reverse Imaging a Windows 2012 R2 Server the Server Manager didn’t start any longer.

Faulting application name: ServerManager.exe, version: 6.3.9600.17238, time stamp: 0x53d0b3e7
Faulting module name: ntdll.dll, version: 6.3.9600.18233, time stamp: 0x56bb4ebb
Exception code: 0xc0000374
Fault offset: 0x00000000000f1b70
Faulting process id: 0x1214
Faulting application start time: 0x01d1de6cee400844
Faulting application path: E:\Windows\system32\ServerManager.exe
Faulting module path: E:\Windows\SYSTEM32\ntdll.dll
Report Id: 2c2107c1-4a60-11e6-80f6-0050568817e7
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:

Another was that the Server Manager wasn’t able to refresh the Roles and Features. So I wasn’t able to see (or add) any installed Roles / Features.

I tried different options to fix the problems – e.g. dism – none of them worked.

Sometimes even the complete reverse imaging failed with the following error.

Failed to load registry key {_BCD_} on \Boot\BCD. The system cannot find the path specified. (0x00000003)
Volume to Volume stopped
Volume to Volume lasted  834,7 seconds
Failed to convert Boot Configuration Data. The system cannot find the path specified. (0x00000003)

Also it didn’t make a difference if I used the P2PVS Tool….

…or the old BNImage.
The errors were different – but the reversed image was not usable.

So I started to look for a different method and found one: The integrated Windows Backup.

Before you can start you need to extend (or add) a separate drive from your Master-VM so that a backup of the whole system drive fits on it. I just extended the Cache Disk. You can’t use the local system drive for the backup.

As you can see my Cache Disk has now 200GB – more than enough for a 100GB System drive.

The next step is to install Windows Server Backup Feature from the Server Manager.

Confirm the installation.

And Close the installation when it’s finished.

Now start the Windows Server Backup and select Local Backup on the left side. On the right side choose Backup Once.

You can now only select Different options.

In the next step it’s important to select Custom – otherwise you can’t exclude e.g. the Cache Drive.

Now you have to Add Items for the backup.

Select System state, System Reserved and Local disk (C:).

Your selection should now look like this:

As the Backup Destination pick the local drive (which you extended or added at the beginning).

A last check if everything is correct before you can start the Backup.

Windows is now creating the backup which will take some time (like reverse imaging…).

After the backup it is important to clean the local system disc (not the PVS one the system is booted from Winking smile)

You can try to just format it…
… but I sometimes had problems with just formatted disks. So I suggest to remove the current disk from the VM and attach a new one with the same size.

The next step is to boot the VM from a Windows-Installation-Iso (with the same OS you plan to reverse image). Select your Language/Time/Keyboard and continue.

Now don’t choose Install now instead click on Repair your computer.

Go to Troubleshoot…

… and select System Image Recovery.

The shown OS Version must match your installed OS.

The wizard now detects the backup on the local disc – only if you created multiple ones you need to Select a system image.

No changes needed here.

Start the Restore with Finish.

You need to confirm that the local disc will be formatted and the system is restored.

The restoring starts…

.. after a successful restore an automatic reboot follows. The VM will still boot from the PVS.

So open the properties of your Master-Target Device and select Boot from Hard Disk.

That’s it. After another reboot your VM can start from the local Hard-Drive.

Hope the article was helpful for some of you Smile

  1. chak permalink

    Thank you. Had tried 2 other methods and failed. This worked for me ….
    Just wondering, when you did the wsb Backup, did you had to have the server in Private mode/maintenance version ? I did, wondering if we can just take the back up while its in readonly mode..

  2. Interesting. Removing the System Partition may be helpful as well-
    But I’ll have to try this method to see if I like it- thanks for sharing!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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