Last night, after doing a backup of my laptop from Vista (built in backup) as well as a manual backup with the Windows Home Server client, I did a full restore.

The reason I did this was that Dell kindly put a restore partition on my hard drive. It was 10Gb in size and when you have a 100Gb drive which ends up being 81Gb after losing the 10Gb you feel like you have been short changed. I dont need a recovery partition as Dell use it for the poor people who kill their system. They tell you to run the recovery tool and it reimages your Dell back to the original. I’m sure its great for those that need it but I’d rather get my full 100Gb (or as close as I can get).

I was nervous. It’s beta software after all, but everything went fairly smoothly. I had to switch to a network cable as it would not restore over wifi. (a good thing). I had the option of opening the disk manager, which is essentially the same tool you get under Manage in Vista. I deleted all of the partitions and created a new one. I did a quick format, and in hind sight I probably should have done a full format.
It saw the server and gave me a choice of all the available backups after asking for my password. I selected the manual backup and away it went. I then went to bed but it was showing a restore time of 1hour and 20 mins.

This morning it was sitting on the finished screen so I clicked the finished and it rebooted. It booted into Vista (it did show that it had not been shut down properly but i selected normal boot). Once I was in windows It told me that it had a bunch of problems with drivers etc telling me i should update them. I rebooted and it did a check disk on boot up and found a whole load of problems. I’m not sure why this happened but It seemed to fix them (orphaned files and that sort of thing) all and everything is now working normally.

This leads me to a question. Do I trust that everything is ok? How do I know? Is there a tool that one can run that does a full integrity check of all of your files? Much the way a clickonce application checks no files have been modified. It would be nice if there is a tool (and there may well be) that checks your system files are all healthy.

I just got an email letting me know that Windows Home Server CTP is available so I’m hoping that Beta 2 upgrades ok. The manuals say that it will be upgradable when it is released.

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