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disaster w/ recover installation - will not reboot RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm having a sticky problem that requires a history of my installation...   My current problem is this:

     

    I am trying to do a "recover" install (I hosed my WHS installation - DO NOT try to set share permissions from anywhere beside the console, I did this in an attempt to get my XBOX Media Extender to see WHS and "broke" it!)...

     

    When I insert the DVD, it will boot from it and go through the recover install process.   Upon first reboot it will not continue, but goes right back to the very first installation step (booting from the DVD, rather than the primary master that was supposedly just prepared by the DVD installation program).  It's as if it is trying to install WHS on a different HD than it's supposed to (I have a 40GB set to Primary Master) and I cannot get it to do the recovery.  I'm stuck in an installation loop.

     

    Upon first installing WHS, I only had the 40GB drive in there (I wanted to be sure it would install before committing my other HD's to it).    After successful install (although dealing with a VERY finicky installation DVD) I put my other HD's into the machine (including a PCI ATA card) and started transferring my data to it.

     

    So, I tried, in an effort to get my XBOX to see WHS through my Media Center PC (a problem which I've since discovered the solution to), I tried to manually set the permissions of a shared folder directly from the terminal.  BAD IDEA.  The thing froze, and wouldn't boot ever again (would get stuck after the CTRL-ALT-DELETE) screen even if left overnight.    I tried everything I could think of to get even one time access to my data drives, but to no avail.

     

    All is not lost, I thought, as I discovered the "recover" installation option.   So, I did that, and it went through the process of resetting up the primary drive (or so I thought) and everything looked good as I booted up from the DVD, and seleted the recover installation option.   Upon initial reboot, it booted from the *original* install of WHS (which was kind of creepy!).   So, I took the primary drive out, put it in one of my other PC's and formatted it (to be sure to get rid of that original install).   I put it back in and the recover installation option is still there, so I try again.   This time, upon reboot the only thing it will do is boot from the DVD.    It will not boot from the Primary Master.   My guess is that somehow WHS install is installing to the WRONG HD.   I now have 7 HD's in there with lots of data that I'd rather not lose (all the really important stuff is on an external HD, so it's not a big problem, but will be somewhat of a pain to reconstruct this data.).    I've double checked the settings of all my HD's, and the 40GB drive that is and was my primary drive is the primary master (as it was on the first initial successful installation).

     

    Now, I'm sure that I could do a "new installation" and dictate which HD to install to, and I'd have WHS back up and running in no time (which after 7 days of messing around with this, and my wife tired of me spending each evening in the basement I might just go ahead and do), but this seems an odd situation.   WHS knows and can see that there is a previous installation (I presume by recognizing the data drives) and is allowing the recover option to be selected, but seems to be installing on the wrong drive (and I can only presume means that it's formatted on of my data drives!).   This CAN'T be a good thing, and needs to be looked into!

     

    Would I be able to remove all drives but the primary master and do a recover, and then "sneak" the other drives back in during on of the reboots?     I would assume that this situation would not give me the recover option, however....

     

    If anyone has any ideas, I'd be greatful!

     

    Ron

    Sunday, April 1, 2007 8:59 PM

Answers

  • If you have your only copy of essential data on the dead WHS, I would strongly urge you to start by shutting it down, removing each drive and recovering your data off of it. Do this one drive at a time and reconnect the drives exactly as they are now when you're done with them. If you don't do this first, I think you're at significant risk for losing some or all of your data. Then it depends on how much risk you're willing to take. I don't think you'll be able to disconnect the drives, then "sneak" them back in. Probably the safest route is to fully rebuild the server (and abandon the current build), which is what I assume below.

    You should remove (leave disconnected) all the data drives (or maybe all but one data drive that you've already recovered all the data you want off of) and reinstall WHS. Don't do a rebuild, or upgrade, do a full installation. WHS will format all connected drives.

    Now take one of the disconnected drives and connect it. (For internal drives, you'll have to shut down WHS, then restart it when the drive is connected. For external drives, follow the connection order specified by the manufacturer.) When it's available to be added to the storage pool in WHS Console, stop. Go to the server desktop (RDP). Copy the data off the drive into the network shares. (You may have to assign the drive a drive letter. Do so if required, then unassign the drive letter when you've got all the data off the drive.) Now add the recently connected drive to the storage pool. WHS will format it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    You'll probably have to remove/reinstall the connector on your client PCs. You'll have to recreate users on WHS, reset any permissions, redo share duplication, reinstall any third party applications you may have installed, etc. But you should have your data back.

    Please keep us up to date on how this goes.
    Monday, April 2, 2007 3:50 PM
    Moderator
  • UPDATE:

     

    I've lost much of the data that was on the WHS server (but all my music and photos and such are safely backed up, so anything I lost is no biggie).

     

    Turns out that WHS *was* in fact "recover" installing to the wrong HD.   I had four drives connected to the MB:

     

    PM :  40GB

    PS:  Sony DVD Drive

    SM:  80GB

    SS:  300GB

     

    So, I gave up on the recovery option.   I discovered in the process of the "New Installation" process that for some odd reason, no matter what order I set up the drives in (I tried several different cabling configurations), WHS would ALWAYS want to see the 80GB as "Disk 0" and would install to that.  So, my initial installation of WHS to the 40GB drive, was only possible because it was the only drive in the computer.     Upon the first attempt at recover, the installation process reformatted my 80GB drive, and hosed all my data....   Does this sound like a bug?    I thought that WHS was supposed to properly recognize and install to whatever disk was installed as the Primary Master.

     

    So, to make peace with WHS I installed the 80GB as the PM, and reinstalled everything.   I really like this setup.    They better allow WHS as a seperately purchasable OS, because I'm going to get pretty hooked on this thing!   Smile

     

    Ron

    Monday, April 2, 2007 6:33 PM

All replies

  • If you have your only copy of essential data on the dead WHS, I would strongly urge you to start by shutting it down, removing each drive and recovering your data off of it. Do this one drive at a time and reconnect the drives exactly as they are now when you're done with them. If you don't do this first, I think you're at significant risk for losing some or all of your data. Then it depends on how much risk you're willing to take. I don't think you'll be able to disconnect the drives, then "sneak" them back in. Probably the safest route is to fully rebuild the server (and abandon the current build), which is what I assume below.

    You should remove (leave disconnected) all the data drives (or maybe all but one data drive that you've already recovered all the data you want off of) and reinstall WHS. Don't do a rebuild, or upgrade, do a full installation. WHS will format all connected drives.

    Now take one of the disconnected drives and connect it. (For internal drives, you'll have to shut down WHS, then restart it when the drive is connected. For external drives, follow the connection order specified by the manufacturer.) When it's available to be added to the storage pool in WHS Console, stop. Go to the server desktop (RDP). Copy the data off the drive into the network shares. (You may have to assign the drive a drive letter. Do so if required, then unassign the drive letter when you've got all the data off the drive.) Now add the recently connected drive to the storage pool. WHS will format it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    You'll probably have to remove/reinstall the connector on your client PCs. You'll have to recreate users on WHS, reset any permissions, redo share duplication, reinstall any third party applications you may have installed, etc. But you should have your data back.

    Please keep us up to date on how this goes.
    Monday, April 2, 2007 3:50 PM
    Moderator
  • UPDATE:

     

    I've lost much of the data that was on the WHS server (but all my music and photos and such are safely backed up, so anything I lost is no biggie).

     

    Turns out that WHS *was* in fact "recover" installing to the wrong HD.   I had four drives connected to the MB:

     

    PM :  40GB

    PS:  Sony DVD Drive

    SM:  80GB

    SS:  300GB

     

    So, I gave up on the recovery option.   I discovered in the process of the "New Installation" process that for some odd reason, no matter what order I set up the drives in (I tried several different cabling configurations), WHS would ALWAYS want to see the 80GB as "Disk 0" and would install to that.  So, my initial installation of WHS to the 40GB drive, was only possible because it was the only drive in the computer.     Upon the first attempt at recover, the installation process reformatted my 80GB drive, and hosed all my data....   Does this sound like a bug?    I thought that WHS was supposed to properly recognize and install to whatever disk was installed as the Primary Master.

     

    So, to make peace with WHS I installed the 80GB as the PM, and reinstalled everything.   I really like this setup.    They better allow WHS as a seperately purchasable OS, because I'm going to get pretty hooked on this thing!   Smile

     

    Ron

    Monday, April 2, 2007 6:33 PM
  • WHS has a requirement for a minimum 80 GB primary drive. That's probably why it tried to install on the 80 GB drive. Then it failed to boot into that install because it wasn't the first boot device available.
    Monday, April 2, 2007 8:57 PM
    Moderator