As my HAL/hal-info git repos were lost last year at people.freedesktop.org, I restored them from my last existing local checkouts. I simply copied the local checkout/repo to the server and created a new git repository as proposed in the git user manual:
git clone --bare ~/hal hal.git
But as I, some months later, tried to switch to my hal-0_5_12-SUSE_CODE11 branch, there was no such branch. To be exact: there was neither this branch nor any of the upstream branches. I couldn't find any information on the web how to solve this problem. Everything I tried didn't work. When I cloned the new repo from the upstream repo, all branches where available.
At the end I found my own solution once I compared the .git/refs/ directories of the cloned repo from the upstream and the local repo. Looks as if the clone command don't copy the branches under .git/refs/remotes/origin/ to .git/refs/heads/ if you use a local repo/checkout as source. Here is what I did to get my branches available again:
find refs/remotes/origin/ -type f | grep -v -E 'HEAD|master' | xargs cp --target=../hal.git/refs/heads/
I don't know if there is an other, more standard, way to do this. I couldn't find anything else and at least it solved the problem for me.