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WHS Re-Install Failure after failed PP1 install RRS feed

  • Question

  •   I installed a retail copy of WHS on my Dell Power Edge 1300 Server several months ago (2x P3-500 & 1GB ram).  I only used one 500GB IDE drive to avoid corruption issues (on a Promise Ultra100 TX2 to get past the 137GB limit).  Everything worked fine and I've been backing up 4 machines with it regularly with no problems.
      When PP1 came out, I downloaded it and Installed it (after backing up critical data to another machine).  After rebooting the server seemed to be working fine (I login via the console occasionally since it is hooked up to my KVM anyway). 
    I didn't really see anything new in the interface other than the PP1 indicator in the HS Console System Info tab, but the upgrade seemed to work.  Within a few days the WHS was non-responsive and the CPU was pegging out at 100% all the time.  It took a half hour just to log in and get task manager running.  It said that task manager was taking over 60% cpu and several other system processes were taking other chunks.  Of course killing task manager doesn't make it go any faster, it was just a scape goat.  Eventually it got in to a reboot loop where it would be up for 10-30 minutes before rebooting.

      So, I did a WHS repair install (or whatever it is called) from DVD and after giving it drivers for my IDE controller on USB key it saw the drive and went to work re-installing the OS.  At the end it throws the error "Restoring the archiver data failed: cannot complete this function.  Windows Home Server Setup Failed" and to look at the log and fix the problem (error code 0x800703eb).  The problem is a missing C:\qs.ini file - which does not exist anywhere on either drive partition.  I tried Windows Update and downloaded/installed everything but IE7 (which indicates that the partially installed machine has net and HD access).  Every time I reboot it comes up with "Finalizing the Install" and trying to restore the archiver data - which fails due to the missing ini file. There is no option to continue, ignore, blow away my backups, or anything.  Just an infinite loop of "you are missing this file, please correct it".  There is also an error in the log about reg.exe failing to process I:\Folders\{guid} - "The specifed file is not a registry file".

      So, could PP1 have changed the way this re-install works, or it can't deal with the PP1 upgrades and fails to re-install?

       Should I dummy up a qs.ini file template, try re-reinstalling from scratch, or what?

    Please help

    Friday, August 1, 2008 8:12 PM

All replies

  • Try another server reinstallation. You'll need to supply drivers twice. The first time is during the initial graphical portion of setup, so that setup will detect all your drives and give you the reinstallation option. The second time is right after the first reboot, at the beginning of text mode setup; this is sometimes referred to as the "Press F6" prompt. For this one, you will almost certainly have to supply the drivers on a floppy.
    Friday, August 1, 2008 9:21 PM
    Moderator
  • Um, this time when I boot of the DVD and give it drivers it only gives me the option of "New Installation" instead of reinstallation... I would rather not loose everything on the data drive if I can help it.  I don't suppose there is any way of backing up the backups on the machine and restoring them after it reformats the drive?
      I tried hitting F6 during the hard-drive reboot (even though I still don't have a working floppy drive) and it never gave me an option to put in a driver disk.  After the Server 2003 boot up screen and Finalizing WHS Install screen I still get: "Restoring the archiver data failed: Cannot complete this function (Error code 0x800703eb)."
      The error log clearly shows that it knows about the Promise Ultra IDE Controller - I don't think the driver is the problem, certainly not enough to wipe the machine blank for it.

     Any other ideas?
    Friday, August 1, 2008 11:26 PM
  • The Home Computer Backup technical brief tells you how to back up and restore your backup database. That said, have you tried the usual: check all cables, make sure that memory is properly seated, etc? In particular, have you tried another DVD drive?
    Saturday, August 2, 2008 12:38 AM
    Moderator
  •   What you may be missing, is that the previous reinstall has wiped out the previous WHS install completely and replaced it with a minimal W2k3 install.  There is NO WAY that I can boot off of a different DVD and have it find my old WHS install that is no longer there.

      I was really hoping that there was a way of completing the re-install in-progress (by getting past the qs.ini problem).  It is so close to being done (It just needs to install the home server specific stuff).

      An OS install that requires you to install HD drivers twice during the process (and the second of those at a time that the user is not prompted and should be in hands-free mode) otherwise it will brick your system is an epic fail.  I did not have to install drivers twice when I installed the OS from scratch, so it seems strange to require it on a re-install.
     
      Thanks for the backup procedures.  I will investigate my backup/restore options and see if it is worth doing before blowing away the entire machine and starting from scratch.

      Sorry, but I am not a happy camper.
    Saturday, August 2, 2008 2:10 AM
  •  BraveDaun wrote:
    What you may be missing, is that the previous reinstall has wiped out the previous WHS install completely and replaced it with a minimal W2k3 install.  There is NO WAY that I can boot off of a different DVD and have it find my old WHS install that is no longer there.

     

    You might try pulling the primary drive from your server and formatting the C partition on that drive (where the OS is stored).  If you get rid of all traces of the OS on that partition, it might allow you to try a Server Reinstallation again.

     

     BraveDaun wrote:
    I was really hoping that there was a way of completing the re-install in-progress (by getting past the qs.ini problem).  It is so close to being done (It just needs to install the home server specific stuff).

    An OS install that requires you to install HD drivers twice during the process (and the second of those at a time that the user is not prompted and should be in hands-free mode) otherwise it will brick your system is an epic fail.  I did not have to install drivers twice when I installed the OS from scratch, so it seems strange to require it on a re-install.

     

    Have you added any drives or other hardware to the server since your original OS installation?

     

     BraveDaun wrote:
    Thanks for the backup procedures.  I will investigate my backup/restore options and see if it is worth doing before blowing away the entire machine and starting from scratch.

    Sorry, but I am not a happy camper.

    Saturday, August 2, 2008 5:10 AM
    Moderator
  • You know, I can't remember if I started with two drives in this machine and pulled one shortly after installing (using proper remove HD from storage pool procedure).  I don't think so though, I this is probably my 4th WHS install (I used a trial version on another machine and installed a few times without putting in the key or activating).  After a few months of trying different hardware combinations out I think I installed this one fresh and clean with just the one drive.  There are actually 3 other drives in the machine, but they have not been hooked up (power or IDE).  I was waiting for PP1 before expanding my storage across multiple drives.
      Of course the unasked question is, once I get this thing re-installed... do I dare install PP1 again, or will it just freak out like it did last time?  Maybe if I install it right off, before setting up any add-ins or doing anything else with it?
      I'll try the reformat of C in a couple of days when I have some more time.

     Thanks
    Saturday, August 2, 2008 6:29 AM
  •  BraveDaun wrote:
      What you may be missing, is that the previous reinstall has wiped out the previous WHS install completely and replaced it with a minimal W2k3 install.  There is NO WAY that I can boot off of a different DVD and have it find my old WHS install that is no longer there.

      I was really hoping that there was a way of completing the re-install in-progress (by getting past the qs.ini problem).  It is so close to being done (It just needs to install the home server specific stuff).
    No, I got that. If you've tried replacing the DVD drive and just rebooting to complete the "in process" install and that fails, then you're stuck with recovering data (with a single drive, all the files on the server are on the second partition in <driveletter>:\Shares\etc. and the backups can be found as per the technical brief I linked earlier) and a new installation, in all probability.

     BraveDaun wrote:
      An OS install that requires you to install HD drivers twice during the process (and the second of those at a time that the user is not prompted and should be in hands-free mode) otherwise it will brick your system is an epic fail.  I did not have to install drivers twice when I installed the OS from scratch, so it seems strange to require it on a re-install.
    Windows Home Server isn't a retail product. It's an OEM/system builder product, and yes, for a consumer the install process has gigantic warts. But an OEM or system builder is assumed to have a very high level of technical knowledge, and since the process is, in theory, masked from the consumer (who has presumably bought a pre-configured unit) I don't think it's worth the effort it would take to smooth the process. In addition, the Windows Server 2003 install process is probably sealed, and would require a whole separate build tree to alter significantly.
    Saturday, August 2, 2008 2:45 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    I also encountered the similar problems with a server repair re installation my symptom was with the qs.exe at the finilization of server it just sat with the progress bar empty for hours the hard drive seemed to be active but nothing on the screen. After deciding this wasnt working as normal i decided to hunt around to no avail i did locate all the necesary files but of course qs.ini file is not there only its un edited version qs_somthing.ini so i thought id try installing any updates that windows wanted ( 3 were mentioned including Internet Explorer 7) after they installed It asked for a restart wich i agreed to and when it restarted the install re started as it had many times before but it completed without a hickup this time. I know this is probably of no use to you at this point but hopefully it helps someone else as it worked for me. ( now to restore my bodged Backups of my websites /shudder).  My reasons for the re install in the first place was after an upgrade from vista Home Premium to Ultimate the connector software would not complete and therefore backups were unavailable this problem is now fixed aswell with the re install ( i feel the server had trace files pointing to the PC from old OS but im just an I T student no MS cert as yet) quite pleased with WHS with a little knowelege its quite adaptable to most occaisions.
    Sunday, August 17, 2008 12:59 PM
  • I'm having the same problem.  How did you get it finally installed.  I'm acquiring my drivers now and putting it on a USB thumb drive before i begin another installation.   have you give up or did you try another network solution.  

     

    Scott

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012 6:41 PM