Restoring your O/S onto new Hardware with Windows 7 and Vista

This really isn’t a difficult article to write, since the process I am about to explain is very easy.

Restoring a backup to a new system with Windows 7 or Vista is beautiful and smooth.   It really is. 

I’ll be blunt … “They finally got backup RIGHT!”

Not just a little bit right but “Holy be-*bleep* amazing I wish I had this for the last ten years!” Right.

You see the restore is no longer WHOLLY dependant on the hardware.   Just a little bit.   The important stuff.

If you’re old O/S was 64 bit, the restore must be 64 bit too (ergo the platform you’re restoring to has to be 64 bit.

You have to have at LEAST the same amount of PHYSICAL drives as the source computer.  Even if one of those drives is hang off a SATA cable to make it work.

See ?  not a lot.   Here’s the cool part.  You can step UP in hardware.   Any technician out there who has ever upgraded a client workstation or server knows what I am talking about.  The “HAL” game doesn’t get played anymore.

Do you know what it takes to use the backup ?  How about an External box?  A lan drive?

Very little.  Of course if you have Windows Home Server, you’ve already been experiencing this Nirvana. 


Here’s how nice the Restore is.  I’ve restored a Bitlockered O/S backed up from ONE computer to a non Bitlockered system on a Domain.  When I was done, I just logged in and went back to work.

That’s right.  No rejoining the machine to the domain.  I may have had to add in some network drivers but my cached lan credentials were there too.   Applications ran EXACTLY as if there were on the old machine.

Just to show you how nice it is on Servers, a good friend Used the SBS 2008 Restore (same technology as Vista and Windows 7 backup) to restore from a Virtual Instance to a Physical Instance.

O/S booted up, Active Directory fully instact.  You would have though nothing had chancged.

So if you’re wondering about an inexpensive Backup solution for a Small Business?  Sometimes the best solution is right in front of you.  Built in

The Energized Tech

Powershell – Active Directory – Show Group Memberships for a User


A good friend called up today.

“Sean, my Favorite MVP!”

… He was buttering me up, this was going to be a tricky one.

“I need a script quick in Powershell to show me what Group Memberships a user holds in Active Directory and I need it NOW!”

When he says “NOW!” it’s that kind of “NOW!”

So a quick look at all the available properties of GET-ADUSER

GET-ADUSER –identity Joe.Schmoe –Properties * | GET-MEMBER

Shows a simple property called “MemberOf”.  Seems a little too easy.

GET-ADUSER –Identity Joe.Schmoe –Properties MemberOf | Select-Object MemberOf

Pulls down the answer.  I am about to leap out of my chair when I see it’s a Data Set, you know { gibberish, gibberish, jibbledyduff, cantexportthisstuff }

But that actually isn’t a problem.  Running a “GET-MEMBER” against the results like this

GET-ADUSER –Identity Joe.Schmoe –Properties MemberOf | Select-Object MemberOf | GET-MEMBER

shows me (ironically) another property attached to MemberOf called…… Wait wait, are you ready? —- MemberOf

So quickly keying in that to pull down the property.

(GET-ADUSER –Identity Joe.Schmoe –Properties MemberOf | Select-Object MemberOf).MemberOf

Voila!  We have our list of GroupMemberships for Mr. Schmoe

Incidentally, if you’d like to use the Quest Commandlets, it’s IDENTICAL!

(GET-QADUSER –Identity Joe.Schmoe –Properties MemberOf | Select-Object MemberOf).MemberOf


Now would you like this as a function?

here you go!


Function global:GET-ADUSERMEMBERSHIP ( $Identity ) {
(GET-ADUSER –Identity $Identity –Properties MemberOf | Select-Object MemberOf).MemberOf


And you’re ready for dinner.  Plug in the identity any time now!


Remember, the Power of Shell is in YOU

the Energized Tech

MDT 2010 – How easy it is to change

Just a quick comment on MDT 2010 (Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010)

If you haven’t looked into it and still using other more costly imaging technologies, SERIOUSLY look into it.

Changes are a breeze.

My boss looked over at me and said “Kearney, I’m calling you out….”

No, no actually he DIDN’T say that. 

“Make a New Image in MDT 2010 with Windows 7 and Office 2010 to update the corporate image, make it snappy!”

Now we all know what the old methods were like.  Install the O/S.  Install the Apps.  Prep the system with Sysprep or using some imaging Technology from Symatnec or free third Party utils.  Two words for it.

“TIME CONSUMING” and most of all, usually hardware dependant.

MDT 2010, well I barely had to think about it.

I obtained the Windows 7 Media, added it to the system.   I obtained the Office 2010 added IT to the system.

I customized my selections to use Office 2010 and Windows 7 instead of the older O/S and Office but keep the same base apps.

Then I generated a Media Folder and .ISO file.

Want to guess how long it took?  about 15 minutes, and most of that was generating the folder structure and ISO file.  I’m pushing the estimate a bit high too.  The imaging process (because it’s a clean, proper and mostly automated install) is NOT dependant on Hardware either!

Then I was able to take that VERY Deployment folder and put it onto a bootable USB key, or burn it to DVD.   If I wanted to get really creative?  Add in WDS and have PXE boots from workstations for the install.

The cost?  I’m certain any system this EASY must cost money.   Nope.  Nothing. Nadda.  Just time to download it and the Windows AIK.  The beautiful part is the images aren’t even tied to a single SITE!  As a small Business owner, I remember having to keep alternate images for our clients.  With MDT 2010 I could have been running ONE computer to add in the New Office application or ZIP program to the client image.

I love when things are simple AND Free!  Thanks Microsoft and THANK YOU Michael Niehaus!  This thing rocks. 🙂

The Energized Tech