Missing Mediaid.bin file

Recently I got asked to backup a Vista machine. I’m not a big Vista fan, so this was the first time.

I went ahead and backed up the entire machine onto my external USB hard drive, no problems.

However when it came to restore to a new vista machine I found myself with the following error:

The restore did not finish successfully. Error code:
The backup file could not be found. Check your hardware configuration or restore from a different backup (0x8100001A).

Through the wonders of the internet I discovered the Microsoft Knowledgebase article appropreately titled “Error message when you use the Restore Files option to restore a backup file on a Windows Vista-based computer: “The restore did not finish successfully. Error code: 0x8100001A”“.

As it turns out I must have deleted the “what seems to be unimportant file” Mediaid.bin which the backup utility places in the root of the backup drive, with no reason or explanation.

I soon learned the importance of this file as usefully (sarcasm) the article says:

If the backup location is inaccessible, or if the Mediaid.bin file is corrupted, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services (CSS) for help rebuilding the Mediaid.bin file.

Great, I’m really not going to be calling them, there must be another way…

Fortunately there was, and so to rebuild the “Mediaid.bin” file these are the steps to take:

  1. Download and unzip “sdutil.zip” and rename the containing “sdutil.ex_” to “sdutil.exe”.
  2. MOVE “sdutil.exe” to your backup drive. (eg: G:\)
  3. Right click on “sdutil.exe” and click “Properties”, click on the “Compatibility” tab at the top, and tick “Run as administrator”, follow the instructions. (If you don’t do this you’ll see “Access is denied. (0x80070005)“)
  4. Find the “Catalogs” directory and COPY the “GlobalCatalog.wbcat” to your backup drive (eg: G:\)
  5. Go to Start > “Start Search” and enter: cmd, click on the “cmd” program from the list.
  6. In the black command prompt window enter your backup drive (eg: G:), press enter, and the prompt will change to “G:\>”
  7. Now in that same window type: sdutil mediaid GlobalCatalog.wbcat [backup drive (eg: G:\)]and press enter.

A Mediaid.bin file should now appear on the backup drive and you should be able to continue with your restore as normal.

Note: “sdutil.exe” only runs on Windows Vista, it will not run on Windows XP.