Atomated System Recovery facility in Winxp

  Phrixos 12:52 26 Oct 2005


When I try to use the "Automated system restore" facility in Windows XP (SP2), it doesn't work, and I get a blue screen error message.

Here are the details as taken from MSKB 314686:

When you attempt to use Automated System Recovery (ASR) to restore to a replacement system or disk, you may receive the following error message, even if the new system disk appears to be the same size as the original system disk:
Setup was unable to restore the configuration of your system
because of the following error:

The capacity of the current system disk drive is
insufficient, and cannot be used to recover the
partitions on the original system disk.

The replacement hard disk drives must be at least as large
as the disks present on the original system.
This behavior can occur if the replacement disk is slightly smaller than the original system disk, even though they are shown as having the same amount of space. This can occur because two disks that appear to be of the same size may not have the same number of sectors, due to differences in disk geometry and rounding errors in the display of disk space.
To resolve this behavior, use a replacement disk that has identical disk geometry to the original disk, or use a larger disk.

Could anybody tell me what the hell all that means?

What "replacement hard disk"? What "new system disk"? And What "original" system disk? I'm not trying to replace a hard disk here.

(Could Microsoft BE more obtuse?)

My C: partition is not even 1/4 full--so what's the problem? (


  MAJ 13:14 26 Oct 2005

What problem were you having that you needed to use the ASR facility, Phrixos?

  Phrixos 19:55 26 Oct 2005


System behaving erratically, files corrupted and cannot delete them from the hard drive, system shutting off at random, and even automatically resetting the BIOS as well (how is it that an operating system can so that?)

I am about to replace the hard drive anyway, and want to start with a fresh system--if that is still possible.

Basically however, I have run into this problem before. I don't see the sense in Microsoft having an ASR facility if it can't be used when needed. (Same with its "Lask Known Good Configuration" facility--as useless as an ashtray on a motorbike, once you've had an unwanted shutdown.)

I want make sure that he next time I have to do a reformat, I don't run into this problem again.

Forewarned is forearmed.


  woodchip 20:00 26 Oct 2005

If you have a full XP disc run System File Checker. from Run Box typr SFC /SCANNOW

  Iron Maiden 20:07 26 Oct 2005

Just for the record, i know this won't help you, iv'e used ASR about 6 or so times onto new drives & existing drives, never had any problems

  Phrixos 09:22 27 Oct 2005

Thanks woodchip, but as I said, my primary reason for wanting to know this at this stage is for the next time I have to reformat, so I don't run into this blind alley again.

Does anybody know what I did wrong--so I don't do it again?


  Iron Maiden 19:53 27 Oct 2005

May seem a stupid question, but you did make a ASR backup first ?. When you do a ASR restore it will automatically reformat your HD so it should be irellivant how full/empty it is now,it will reinstall XP,system state & all files & programs back exactly as they were at time of back up. if you are restoring to the same drive you should have no problem.

  Phrixos 23:24 27 Oct 2005

Yes, I had made the backup first. To be entirely accurate, I have successfully used ASR before, under an entirely different and very basic configuration, where everything was on C:. So I know how its done. I just can't figure out why it refuses to do it now, with a partioned drive. As I said before, my C: is only 1/4 full.


  Iron Maiden 07:28 28 Oct 2005

May be it won't work because as you state you are having problems with your system. Also there would be no point restoring from a backup of a corupt sytem

  Phrixos 08:45 28 Oct 2005

Isn't that the point of the ASR facility?

Of course your point would be correct if I had created the ASR "from" a corrupted system, but no. It was created from a fresh, new system.

If anyone from Microsoft is reading this, tell your programmers to WAKE UP! A user needs to know what can might wrong with ASR, BEFORE it does--and why. Anything else is just Windows-dressing!

To get back, though, to my original question, does anybody know what is meant by the terms and in the context of ASR:

"replacement hard disk"
"new system disk" and
"original" system disk?

If not, I think that says something. (Don't you?)


  Iron Maiden 19:33 28 Oct 2005

"replacement hard disk"
"new system disk" and
"original" system disk?

What they mean is the disk you are trying to restore to is smaller than the one the backup was made from

You mention that C is a partitioned drive. if you have used something to change the partition size since the ASR backup was made then restore won't work. The files on the ASR floppy have exact info with regards drive info both physical & logical if the partition on your drive doesn't match this it wont work

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