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Loss of Drive = Loss of ALL Backups?! RRS feed

  • Question

  • I had 5 drives in my home server totaling 3.4 TB. 1 day after adding my 6th drive, a 1TB Samsung, one of my original 5 drives, a 1 TB Maxtor, failed. I then removed the "missing" Maxtor and it told me that I lost all of my backups. Is this supposed to happen? Isn't there any redundancy of the backups? If there isn't how do I backup specific backups? I have an usb drive I'm using to backup the folder shares but I didn't see an option to backup the backups?

    Thanks.
    Monday, November 24, 2008 3:07 AM

All replies

  • EJR50 said:

    I had 5 drives in my home server totaling 3.4 TB. 1 day after adding my 6th drive, a 1TB Samsung, one of my original 5 drives, a 1 TB Maxtor, failed. I then removed the "missing" Maxtor and it told me that I lost all of my backups. Is this supposed to happen? Isn't there any redundancy of the backups? If there isn't how do I backup specific backups? I have an usb drive I'm using to backup the folder shares but I didn't see an option to backup the backups?

    Thanks.


    Sorry to say this, but you are right, there's no redundancy of the backups. If you really need your backups you could have the disk diagnosed by a professional data recovery company. There's a few things you can do to prevent this type of disaster in future.

    1. Enable duplication of backups using the instructions overhere
    2. Do a regular manual backup the of the client backup database using the instructions in this Home Computer Backup page 23/24
    3. Both of these can also be done using the Add-in WHS Backup Database-Backup (WHSBDBB) made by Alex Kuretz
    Monday, November 24, 2008 4:35 AM
    Moderator
  • Per Microsoft's design, the backup database is essentially fungible. If something (such as a failed hard drive) destroys your backup database, you can replace it by simply backing up your home PCs again. I agree with this design; I have never encountered a situation where there was a need to restore from a backup more recent than the last good one. There is, however, a side to this decision which is not always immediately obvious, which is that Windows Home Server is a poor place to store archival backups of PCs which no longer exist.

    If you disagree with this decision, brubber has provided some useful information. Probably you should just skip straight to his item #3; if I felt a need to protect my backup database I would use that add-in myself.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, November 24, 2008 11:57 AM
    Moderator
  • brubber, Ken,

    Thanks for the replies. To be clear I don't want to backup my entire backup database, I just want to backup a single backup of a specific computer. For instance, my daughter's, who just went away to college. Or my wife's, who just took her laptop on a business trip. I'd like to make a copy of a single backup of their computers, just in case their hard drive crashed while they were away at the same time I lost a drive on my home server. And if that unlikely scenario was going to happen I'm sure it would happen to me.

    Thanks again.
    Eric
    Wednesday, November 26, 2008 3:35 AM
  • EJR59 said:

    brubber, Ken,

    Thanks for the replies. To be clear I don't want to backup my entire backup database, I just want to backup a single backup of a specific computer. For instance, my daughter's, who just went away to college. Or my wife's, who just took her laptop on a business trip. I'd like to make a copy of a single backup of their computers, just in case their hard drive crashed while they were away at the same time I lost a drive on my home server. And if that unlikely scenario was going to happen I'm sure it would happen to me.

    Thanks again.


    Eric



    That's not possible.  WHS uses a "single-instance-storage" way of handling files that are backed up (meaning, if a file is used in multiple PCs, it only keeps a single copy of that file).  You can't simply extract a single backup of a specific computer.  It's either all or none.
    Wednesday, November 26, 2008 4:37 AM
    Moderator
  • EJR59 said:

    brubber, Ken,

    Thanks for the replies. To be clear I don't want to backup my entire backup database, I just want to backup a single backup of a specific computer. For instance, my daughter's, who just went away to college. Or my wife's, who just took her laptop on a business trip. I'd like to make a copy of a single backup of their computers, just in case their hard drive crashed while they were away at the same time I lost a drive on my home server. And if that unlikely scenario was going to happen I'm sure it would happen to me.

    Thanks again.


    Eric



    Like Kariya21 said you can not do this at the moment. It's an interesting idea though, so I suggest you post a suggestion on Windows Home Server Connect Feedback site (and post a link overhere and ask others to vote on your suggestion).

    A workaround would be:

    1. Get a hard disk matching the current laptop hard disk (same type, same or larger size)
    2. Mount this disk in another system (or in the laptop)
    3. Restore the latest backup use the Client Restore CD
    4. Store the disk with the backup in a save location
    Wednesday, November 26, 2008 6:18 AM
    Moderator
  • I have to agree with Ken on the philosophy of the database.

    Depending on what's on the machines and how many you have, you may actually save space by duplicating or backing up the entire database than with individual backups.

    The one case I differ is keeping a single backup of some machines that are decommissioned and need to be removed from WHS. 

    Here are a couple ways to archive a single backup but they're fairly involved:

    Some backup applications are able to see the virtual drive that's created when you open the backup on a running machine.
    I've successfully used imagex (I know it's for deployment not backup, but it seems to work fine on a mounted volume)

    Restore to a Virtual machine then save the VHD or VMDK file.
    Microsoft and VMWare both have free products to facilitate this.


    -timotl



    Wednesday, November 26, 2008 1:41 PM