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Compound Questions - Software and Hardware Upgrades RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am in a bit of a sticky situation, and before I start anything I want to make sure I have as much information as I can get as I do not want to take a chance and potentially lose all of my data. I have been reading up on various threads here and have gotten tidbits of what I think I need, but I'm hoping that I can narrow things down a bit more. I know next-to-nothing about the WHS process (I've been learning as I go, which is the opposite of what I normally do), so bear with me as I will likely ask a lot of questions.

    So here's my situation:

    My evaluation copy of WHS just ran out last night and my OEM copy of WHS just got delivered today. As near as I can see, I should hopefully be able to throw in the WHS DVD and use the "Reinstall Server" option to upgrade to the full version.

    Currently I have WHS installed on an old computer. It has 3 1TB SATA drives; one is connected to the motherboard and two are connected to a PCI Expansion card. I have very carefully labeled each drive and where it is connected. WHS server is installed on one of the 1TB drives.

    1) When I go to do the Reinstallation I should keep all the hard-drives connected, yes?
    2) Will there be any problem with detection or installation with the hard drives attached to the expansion card? When I first installed WHS, it detected the card, installed the drivers, and detected the drives all on its own. My worry is that this won't happen immediately though and I could lose whatever is on those hard drives if they aren't around during the Reinstall.
    3) If the above could be true, would it be safer to do a New Install instead?
    a) While doing a New Install, I should follow these instructions I found in another thread?
    [quote]Unfortunately, once a Server Reinstallation fails, there seems to be no way to attempt it again.  I think you're only option at this point is to do a New Installation.  What you need to do is unplug all of your secondary drives (so the data will stay there).  Then, I would remove the primary drive (the one with the OS installed) and hook it up to another computer.  Browse to D:\DE\shares and copy all of the data that's in there that was not in a share with Folder Duplication to another computer (or, for extra protection, copy all data in that location regardless of Duplication).  Once you are 100% sure you have pulled everything from that location that you want/need, put the drive back in the server and do a New Installation on to that drive.  (Again, make sure it is the only drive hooked up at this point.)  Once the installation is complete, do the WHS Shuffle:

    1) Login to the server desktop
    2) Hook one of your other drives up to the server, but do not add it to the storage pool
    3) Move data from that drive (path is X:\DE\shares, where X is the drive letter of the drive you hooked up) to the network shares using the icon on the desktop (do not move the data to D:\shares)
    4) Once all of the data is off of that drive and on the server, add that drive to the storage pool and wait for balancing
    5) Continue to do steps 2-4 for each other secondary drive
    [/quote]
    b) While doing a New Installation, I won't lose any data on the main hard drive, will I? I would hope that WHS would just install onto the partition it made previously, and then keep all the rest of the data on the drive.

    And now is where things get tricky (if they weren't already).

    I would like to upgrade the hardware in the server; the motherboard, CPU, RAM, and video card only. This upgrade, however, likely won't happen until sometime in March when I upgrade my primary computer (at which point I will shift my primary components into the server; the same way that the server was created in the first place).

    1) I assume WHS will not be happy with this. The "new" motherboard has plenty of SATA ports so I won't need to use the expansion card anymore, but taking that out of the equation (in addition to having new hardware in general) will confuse everything. What would I need to do during the hardware upgrade so that I don't lose all of my data? Do I have to do another Reinstall, or even a New Install?
    2) Since March is outside of the 30 days available for Activation, what would I need to do once everything is switched over? Is it a phone-call to Microsoft, or is there some other convoluted method for that whole situation?

    I think that covers all my bases for the time being. I apologize for the massive post, but I'm incredibly ____ about knowing as much as I can about what I'm about to get myself into; that and I worry like crazy about something going wrong and losing vast amounts of data (which has happened several times in the past, before I ever had a server).

    Thanks in advance for any help I can get, and I look forward to talking with anyone who pokes their head in.
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 7:39 PM

Answers

  • I am in a bit of a sticky situation, and before I start anything I want to make sure I have as much information as I can get as I do not want to take a chance and potentially lose all of my data. I have been reading up on various threads here and have gotten tidbits of what I think I need, but I'm hoping that I can narrow things down a bit more. I know next-to-nothing about the WHS process (I've been learning as I go, which is the opposite of what I normally do), so bear with me as I will likely ask a lot of questions.

    So here's my situation:

    My evaluation copy of WHS just ran out last night and my OEM copy of WHS just got delivered today. As near as I can see, I should hopefully be able to throw in the WHS DVD and use the "Reinstall Server" option to upgrade to the full version.

    Currently I have WHS installed on an old computer. It has 3 1TB SATA drives; one is connected to the motherboard and two are connected to a PCI Expansion card. I have very carefully labeled each drive and where it is connected. WHS server is installed on one of the 1TB drives.

    1) When I go to do the Reinstallation I should keep all the hard-drives connected, yes?

    Yes.

    2) Will there be any problem with detection or installation with the hard drives attached to the expansion card? When I first installed WHS, it detected the card, installed the drivers, and detected the drives all on its own. My worry is that this won't happen immediately though and I could lose whatever is on those hard drives if they aren't around during the Reinstall.

    You'll need drivers for it if you're using it as a SATA controller (instead of IDE/Legacy mode).  Frankly, I don't see how you installed WHS the first time without the drivers as there are no SATA drivers in the WHS image (unless your card is already in IDE/Legacy mode).

    3) If the above could be true, would it be safer to do a New Install instead?

    As long as you select Server Reinstallation, it shouldn't touch your data at all.  It only wipes the 20 GB OS partition.

    a) While doing a New Install, I should follow these instructions I found in another thread?
    [quote]Unfortunately, once a Server Reinstallation fails, there seems to be no way to attempt it again.  I think you're only option at this point is to do a New Installation.  What you need to do is unplug all of your secondary drives (so the data will stay there).  Then, I would remove the primary drive (the one with the OS installed) and hook it up to another computer.  Browse to D:\DE\shares and copy all of the data that's in there that was not in a share with Folder Duplication to another computer (or, for extra protection, copy all data in that location regardless of Duplication).  Once you are 100% sure you have pulled everything from that location that you want/need, put the drive back in the server and do a New Installation on to that drive.  (Again, make sure it is the only drive hooked up at this point.)  Once the installation is complete, do the WHS Shuffle:

    1) Login to the server desktop
    2) Hook one of your other drives up to the server, but do not add it to the storage pool
    3) Move data from that drive (path is X:\DE\shares, where X is the drive letter of the drive you hooked up) to the network shares using the icon on the desktop (do not move the data to D:\shares)
    4) Once all of the data is off of that drive and on the server, add that drive to the storage pool and wait for balancing
    5) Continue to do steps 2-4 for each other secondary drive
    [/quote]

    I think that was my post.  :)  That is unsupported (since it requires logging into the server desktop).  You should connect the drives to a client and copy it through the network.  Having said that, yes that will work as well.

    b) While doing a New Installation, I won't lose any data on the main hard drive, will I?

    A New Installation wipes everything (which is different than Server Reinstallation).  So to answer your question, yes you will lose data on that (and every other) drive with a New Installation.

    I would hope that WHS would just install onto the partition it made previously, and then keep all the rest of the data on the drive.

    And now is where things get tricky (if they weren't already).

    I would like to upgrade the hardware in the server; the motherboard, CPU, RAM, and video card only. This upgrade, however, likely won't happen until sometime in March when I upgrade my primary computer (at which point I will shift my primary components into the server; the same way that the server was created in the first place).

    I'm going to throw out 3 suggestions here:  1) Don't use recycled/used hardware on your server.  The older the hardware is, the more likely you're going to have some sort of hardware failure.  After all, if you're keeping all of your important data on it, do you want to trust that data to older (and more likely to fail) hardware?  2)  Don't worry about the video card at all.  Just get a motherboard with on-board video since a high-end video card has no real function on WHS (at least if you use the server as designed), plus it will just draw more power needlessly.  3)  Don't bother going through the whole process twice (at least I wouldn't).  If you can afford the hardware now, do it now.  If not, you might consider just waiting and do everything at once.

    1) I assume WHS will not be happy with this. The "new" motherboard has plenty of SATA ports so I won't need to use the expansion card anymore, but taking that out of the equation (in addition to having new hardware in general) will confuse everything. What would I need to do during the hardware upgrade so that I don't lose all of my data?

    Server Reinstallation.

    Do I have to do another Reinstall, or even a New Install?

    Chances are you will need to do another Server Reinstallation (unless your 2 computers are compatible enough so that the OS will boot with the new hardware).

    2) Since March is outside of the 30 days available for Activation, what would I need to do once everything is switched over? Is it a phone-call to Microsoft, or is there some other convoluted method for that whole situation?

    Technically, you can't upgrade your hardware and activate your license again (part of the MS OEM licensing restrictions as the license is tied to the motherboard).  Having said that, other users have done just that by calling MS and activating again.

    I think that covers all my bases for the time being. I apologize for the massive post, but I'm incredibly ____ about knowing as much as I can about what I'm about to get myself into; that and I worry like crazy about something going wrong and losing vast amounts of data (which has happened several times in the past, before I ever had a server).

    Thanks in advance for any help I can get, and I look forward to talking with anyone who pokes their head in.

    Thursday, January 14, 2010 5:12 AM
    Moderator
  • If a server reinstall not is offered, the data recovery process is also outlined in the FAQ How to recover data after server failure.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:00 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I am in a bit of a sticky situation, and before I start anything I want to make sure I have as much information as I can get as I do not want to take a chance and potentially lose all of my data. I have been reading up on various threads here and have gotten tidbits of what I think I need, but I'm hoping that I can narrow things down a bit more. I know next-to-nothing about the WHS process (I've been learning as I go, which is the opposite of what I normally do), so bear with me as I will likely ask a lot of questions.

    So here's my situation:

    My evaluation copy of WHS just ran out last night and my OEM copy of WHS just got delivered today. As near as I can see, I should hopefully be able to throw in the WHS DVD and use the "Reinstall Server" option to upgrade to the full version.

    Currently I have WHS installed on an old computer. It has 3 1TB SATA drives; one is connected to the motherboard and two are connected to a PCI Expansion card. I have very carefully labeled each drive and where it is connected. WHS server is installed on one of the 1TB drives.

    1) When I go to do the Reinstallation I should keep all the hard-drives connected, yes?

    Yes.

    2) Will there be any problem with detection or installation with the hard drives attached to the expansion card? When I first installed WHS, it detected the card, installed the drivers, and detected the drives all on its own. My worry is that this won't happen immediately though and I could lose whatever is on those hard drives if they aren't around during the Reinstall.

    You'll need drivers for it if you're using it as a SATA controller (instead of IDE/Legacy mode).  Frankly, I don't see how you installed WHS the first time without the drivers as there are no SATA drivers in the WHS image (unless your card is already in IDE/Legacy mode).

    3) If the above could be true, would it be safer to do a New Install instead?

    As long as you select Server Reinstallation, it shouldn't touch your data at all.  It only wipes the 20 GB OS partition.

    a) While doing a New Install, I should follow these instructions I found in another thread?
    [quote]Unfortunately, once a Server Reinstallation fails, there seems to be no way to attempt it again.  I think you're only option at this point is to do a New Installation.  What you need to do is unplug all of your secondary drives (so the data will stay there).  Then, I would remove the primary drive (the one with the OS installed) and hook it up to another computer.  Browse to D:\DE\shares and copy all of the data that's in there that was not in a share with Folder Duplication to another computer (or, for extra protection, copy all data in that location regardless of Duplication).  Once you are 100% sure you have pulled everything from that location that you want/need, put the drive back in the server and do a New Installation on to that drive.  (Again, make sure it is the only drive hooked up at this point.)  Once the installation is complete, do the WHS Shuffle:

    1) Login to the server desktop
    2) Hook one of your other drives up to the server, but do not add it to the storage pool
    3) Move data from that drive (path is X:\DE\shares, where X is the drive letter of the drive you hooked up) to the network shares using the icon on the desktop (do not move the data to D:\shares)
    4) Once all of the data is off of that drive and on the server, add that drive to the storage pool and wait for balancing
    5) Continue to do steps 2-4 for each other secondary drive
    [/quote]

    I think that was my post.  :)  That is unsupported (since it requires logging into the server desktop).  You should connect the drives to a client and copy it through the network.  Having said that, yes that will work as well.

    b) While doing a New Installation, I won't lose any data on the main hard drive, will I?

    A New Installation wipes everything (which is different than Server Reinstallation).  So to answer your question, yes you will lose data on that (and every other) drive with a New Installation.

    I would hope that WHS would just install onto the partition it made previously, and then keep all the rest of the data on the drive.

    And now is where things get tricky (if they weren't already).

    I would like to upgrade the hardware in the server; the motherboard, CPU, RAM, and video card only. This upgrade, however, likely won't happen until sometime in March when I upgrade my primary computer (at which point I will shift my primary components into the server; the same way that the server was created in the first place).

    I'm going to throw out 3 suggestions here:  1) Don't use recycled/used hardware on your server.  The older the hardware is, the more likely you're going to have some sort of hardware failure.  After all, if you're keeping all of your important data on it, do you want to trust that data to older (and more likely to fail) hardware?  2)  Don't worry about the video card at all.  Just get a motherboard with on-board video since a high-end video card has no real function on WHS (at least if you use the server as designed), plus it will just draw more power needlessly.  3)  Don't bother going through the whole process twice (at least I wouldn't).  If you can afford the hardware now, do it now.  If not, you might consider just waiting and do everything at once.

    1) I assume WHS will not be happy with this. The "new" motherboard has plenty of SATA ports so I won't need to use the expansion card anymore, but taking that out of the equation (in addition to having new hardware in general) will confuse everything. What would I need to do during the hardware upgrade so that I don't lose all of my data?

    Server Reinstallation.

    Do I have to do another Reinstall, or even a New Install?

    Chances are you will need to do another Server Reinstallation (unless your 2 computers are compatible enough so that the OS will boot with the new hardware).

    2) Since March is outside of the 30 days available for Activation, what would I need to do once everything is switched over? Is it a phone-call to Microsoft, or is there some other convoluted method for that whole situation?

    Technically, you can't upgrade your hardware and activate your license again (part of the MS OEM licensing restrictions as the license is tied to the motherboard).  Having said that, other users have done just that by calling MS and activating again.

    I think that covers all my bases for the time being. I apologize for the massive post, but I'm incredibly ____ about knowing as much as I can about what I'm about to get myself into; that and I worry like crazy about something going wrong and losing vast amounts of data (which has happened several times in the past, before I ever had a server).

    Thanks in advance for any help I can get, and I look forward to talking with anyone who pokes their head in.

    Thursday, January 14, 2010 5:12 AM
    Moderator
  • If a server reinstall not is offered, the data recovery process is also outlined in the FAQ How to recover data after server failure.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:00 AM
    Moderator