locked
Drives marked as "Missing"... RRS feed

  • Question

  • Evening Guys...


    I have 4 x 1Tb drives set up on my newly built WHS machine so far with about 3Tb of data copied over from the drives on my "old"server (which was a Windows XP machine). I'm copying data *OFF* the drives from that machine over onto the WHS box and then adding the newly emptied drives to the WHS box storage pool.


    For some reason this evening WHS has decided that two of the internal SATA drives that it has been accessing fine up until a couple of hours ago are now to be labeled as "Missing" from the storage pool (but listed as available but "Not Added"), a third 1Tb drive is still listed as a member of the storage pool but its status is listed as "Not Added" even though it is still shown as part of the storage pool.


    All the data that had been copied to the server is now showing as having "file conflicts" (across several shares - "Movies", "Phil's Documents" etc.) and there appears to be no way of getting WHS to re-add the drives (which it can still see) back to the storage pool without erasing the drives first.


    As far as I can see that's about 350 movies gone as well as a load of documents that *SHOULD* have been "safe" because they were set up in a duplicated share under WHS but which must have been duplicated across the two drives which are marked as "missing". I can see no obvious way to get WHS to re-import the two drives (I've tried doing a repair on the one which is still listed as part of the strage pool but that has made no difference) and the drives don't appear to be in any sort of standard format so the chances of recovery using the usual suspects in the data recovery world are probably pretty slim. Of course the file structures are held separate to the files themselves so aside from still appearing teasingly intact if you browse the network shares from a PC on the network (but of course if you try to access anything it comes back with "Access denied" because the file contents no longer exist) there's nothing to work with on the supposedly "failed" drives in the way of a roadmap of what files are what.

     

    As far as I can tell the catalyst for this event was my adding another 2 x 1Tb SATA drives to the server earlier this evening (not to the storage pool, just to the server itself) which should be OK to do as they're in hot swap caddies.


    Has anyone any suggestions as to how I can get WHS to try rebuild these drives back into its storage pool or how I can go about getting the data back off them?


    Cheers


    Phil

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 12:18 AM

Answers

  • Hi Phil,
    I think have read before (without being able to point to the place), that the NForce drivers are not very reliable in the Server 2003 environment - so maybe you should see, if you can get more up to date drivers and while doing this also the Bios.
    If the SATA cables are some of a very cheap kind it may cause also issues.
    In relation to the disks it could be sometimes identical information in the MBR (maybe an identifier, which should be different), which confuses WHS (speculative statement). Usually we see in such situations simply the unability to add the disk to the storage pool.
    It may possible help to reinitialize each disk via diskpart, as described here (although this will also delete all data from these disks).

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by Bassfiend Wednesday, December 24, 2008 12:03 PM
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 9:02 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Bassfiend said:

    Has anyone any suggestions as to how I can get WHS to try rebuild these drives back into its storage pool or how I can go about getting the data back off them?


    Remove the drives from the WHS box and put them back in the XP box. The files should still be there if you didn't re-add them to the pool, causing them to be formatted. Once you've recovered your files, add the drives back in WHS, 1 at a time, but do not enable duplication until you've copied over all of your files.

    Also, make sure you have the proper storage drivers.

    Good luck...

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 12:23 AM
  • Oh God - I hope it's that easy! No - I didn't re-add them to the pool so fingers crossed I hope they'll still be intact in that case!

    I'll try it later when I'm back from work and let you know how it goes ... thanks for the info. :-D

    Phil
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 6:23 AM
  • Hi Phil,
    to see your files you need to enable Show hidden files and folders in Windows Explorer options (Control Panel/Folder Options). After you have done, you well see a hidden folder DE on the attached DATA volumes of your WHS, which may contain files from all shares, duplicates, parts of these files or even nothing, dependent from how WHS distributed the stuff among the disks.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 7:18 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Olaf - I've got one drive in my XP machine at the moment and I'm copying data off it as I type here ... that was a bit of a scare and I'm not sure that everything is there but it's much better than it could have been! :-O

    I suppose the next question is how to get rid of the references in WHS to the "missing" drives ... I was able to remove one but two remain and cannot be removed because WHS says there are file conflicts - I've deleted all the shares that I set up on WHS so I guess I just need to get it back to its virgin state ( the data drives that were in it are no longer in the WHS box but are on my desktop machine to copy the data from so are "safe").

    Phil
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 2:50 PM
  • Hi Phil,
    these file conflicts may also be remains of backups and such tombstones, which are now pointing to the nowhere.
    If there is really nothing important any more and you got your data also from drive D: (and from the other data volumes) I would recommend to perform a fresh install (maybe leave the DATA disks, which you cannot copy to somewhere else disconnected from the machine for that time). This is the way with the lowest amount of complications I assume. I also never experienced product activation causing difficulties on a subsequent installation of WHS.

    Run all Windows Updates for the OS first, before connecting the disks again (copy content locally or remotely via Explorer from the DE\shares folder to subfolders in the Shared folders on server shortcut, before you reintegrate the remaining DATA disks into the storage pool). You can also add the disks step by step, this could help to determine, which drive is in which position if you need to replace a drive later. Adding the client PCs again by running discovery.exe from C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server and adding the user accounts, configure remote access and install add-ins  should be the last steps.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 6:26 PM
    Moderator
  • Cheers Olaf,

    I'd pretty much arrived at the same solution myself and have already reinstalled the OS. Guess what? I can recreate the problem again so I think I've found a bit of a bug... :-(

    All my 1Tb drives are the same - Western Digital WD10EACS units - and my motherboard (an ASUS M2N32WS) has ten SATA ports on it generated by two different controllers. I *THINK* what's happening is as soon as I add the 2nd WD10EACS drive to the nForce SATA controller then WHS believes that the 1st WD10EACS that was on the nForce SATA controller has dropped offline and is unavailable and it screws up the whole system - oh yes, and appears to trash any data that was on the 1st WD10EACS that was on the nForce controller too so I have lost about 150 movies. :-(

    I'm trying to do a bit of research into what exactly the root cause of this is but it kinda looks like it might be a bit of a show stopper for WHS. :-(

    Phil
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 7:57 PM
  • Hi Phil,
    I think have read before (without being able to point to the place), that the NForce drivers are not very reliable in the Server 2003 environment - so maybe you should see, if you can get more up to date drivers and while doing this also the Bios.
    If the SATA cables are some of a very cheap kind it may cause also issues.
    In relation to the disks it could be sometimes identical information in the MBR (maybe an identifier, which should be different), which confuses WHS (speculative statement). Usually we see in such situations simply the unability to add the disk to the storage pool.
    It may possible help to reinitialize each disk via diskpart, as described here (although this will also delete all data from these disks).

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by Bassfiend Wednesday, December 24, 2008 12:03 PM
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 9:02 PM
    Moderator
  • I should have a PCI-X 8 port SATA 3Ware RAID controller somewhere ... don't suppose you know offhand whether they can be used as just a batch of SATA interfaces so I don't have to use the mobo ones?

    Phil
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 11:53 PM
  • I'd suggest setting the BIOS to see the mobo ports as IDE drives, it may be more stable and it shouldn't require the nforce drivers. I'm not sure about the 3-ware controller but probably.
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Wednesday, December 17, 2008 2:23 AM
  • OK - just to tie up loose end here ... I uninstalled the nForce drivers and let WHS use the standard MS drivers and it currently seems happier but I haven't had chance since to really spank it hard yet to find out whether it is more stable.

    Thanks for all the help guys...

    Phil
    Monday, December 22, 2008 12:38 AM
  • Bassfiend said:

    OK - just to tie up loose end here ... I uninstalled the nForce drivers and let WHS use the standard MS drivers and it currently seems happier but I haven't had chance since to really spank it hard yet to find out whether it is more stable.

    Thanks for all the help guys...

    Phil



    Hi Phil,

    Did you have a chance to submit a bug for this? It appears that the bug might be in the nForce drivers but we should probably have something tracking this in our database.

    Thanks
    Lara Jones [MSFT] Windows Home Server Team
    Monday, December 22, 2008 9:05 PM
    Moderator
  • No I didn't - how do I submit a bug formally? (I think it is the nForce drivers though - it's been behaving itself fairly much since).

    I have a couple more to throw in the pot but I would hope they've already been picked up as they're pretty blindingly obvious.

    Cheers

    Phil
    Wednesday, December 24, 2008 12:03 PM
  • Some links for registering to Connect and the Windows Home Server beta which allows you to report bugs you can find in the sticky posting on top of this forum.
    Best greetings from Germany and merry Christmas
    Olaf
    Wednesday, December 24, 2008 6:48 PM
    Moderator
  • ...and a very Merry Xmas to you too Olaf!

    Phil
    Thursday, December 25, 2008 12:03 AM