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Replacing disk containing system and data partitions. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a combination of an internal PATA, an internal SATA, and two external drives attached to my Home Server, for a total of 1.4 TB (about 1 TB used). I've noticed that backup has generated some errors writing to one of the disks, and today the the console reported that the drive is unhealthy. I bought a 500GB internal sata to replace it, Because I have duplication turned on for all of the data, I thought it would be relatively straight forward to swap out the drive. Then I discovered that the drive contains the system partition as well as a data partition.

    Would it be possible to copy the partitions to the new drive, set it as the boot drive, and remove the old one? I believe that could do this in other circumstances, but how would Home server react to this, considering its 'disk pooling' functionality? 

     

    Monday, May 26, 2008 2:21 AM

Answers

  • It depends!

    Some people have reported doing just what you suggest, with something like Acronis, with success. However, others have reported subsequent problems.

    Is the new SATA disk to replace the PATA disk? If so, copying won't be successful, as it won't boot, not having the appropriate drivers.

    As you have more than two disks, there should be very little actual data on your D: drive, so in theory, what you should be able to do, is just pull the old drive, insert the new one and then boot from the WHS DVD and select 're-install'. This should install the operating system and re-build all the tombstones as required - this can take hours, or even days, if you have a lot of data. You will have to supply the SATA drivers as necessary. Also, you will need to re-add your Clients, Add-In's and any other personalisations.

    The other option, is to pull all your disk, install your new disk and install WHS on that single disk. As you now have the spare PATA drive, you could add that one to the storage pool, and then in sequence, add one of your data drives - not to the pool - and copy data off that to the pooled drive. After which, you can then add this non-pooled disk to the pool and repeat for your other data drives.

     

     

    Colin

    Monday, May 26, 2008 2:33 PM

All replies

  • It depends!

    Some people have reported doing just what you suggest, with something like Acronis, with success. However, others have reported subsequent problems.

    Is the new SATA disk to replace the PATA disk? If so, copying won't be successful, as it won't boot, not having the appropriate drivers.

    As you have more than two disks, there should be very little actual data on your D: drive, so in theory, what you should be able to do, is just pull the old drive, insert the new one and then boot from the WHS DVD and select 're-install'. This should install the operating system and re-build all the tombstones as required - this can take hours, or even days, if you have a lot of data. You will have to supply the SATA drivers as necessary. Also, you will need to re-add your Clients, Add-In's and any other personalisations.

    The other option, is to pull all your disk, install your new disk and install WHS on that single disk. As you now have the spare PATA drive, you could add that one to the storage pool, and then in sequence, add one of your data drives - not to the pool - and copy data off that to the pooled drive. After which, you can then add this non-pooled disk to the pool and repeat for your other data drives.

     

     

    Colin

    Monday, May 26, 2008 2:33 PM
  •  

    Just for the record, I was able to GHOST my PATA drive to a larger PATA drive, worked without issue.

     

    I used Norton Ghost 8.x, booted to a USB stick and ran the DOS ghost.exe without issue.

     

    I also let Ghost resize my DATA partition to use the extra space, again no issues.  I tried to keep the SYS partition around 20MB, I think it grew by less than 1GB since the sizing was not exact.

     

    Davo

     

     

     

    Wednesday, May 28, 2008 2:16 PM
  • Oh yeah, as for the users issue:

     

    Try to use the Windows Backup, aka NTBACKUP.exe from the server console.  You will need a USB or tape drive, you will want to use the ASR feature in the program.  You will also need 2 floppies, 1 for the ASR info, the other for the drivers(of the SATA card).

     

    I have had to move Server2003 OS's from one controller to another when we upgrade controllers, this works well with Server 2003.  When the restore runs, it will prompt you to feed the floppies for the new controller card.

     

    I am not sure you can break out of the auto install routine with WHS, but I know this works well on a standard 2003 server.

     

     

     

    Wednesday, May 28, 2008 2:20 PM
  • Thanks for the advice. I had forgotten about the requirement for a sata driver

    I had a pretty motley group of drives in this machine, and an available 1TB USB drive, so I decided it would be beneficial to clean up the server. I moved all the data to the USB drive, bought a 500GB pata (what the heck for less than $100) for the OS and first data partition, and used the 500GB sata that I had bought for additional storage. I did a clean install of WHS, re-created the users, and moved the data back from the usb drive.

    It amazes me how inexpensive storage has gotten.

     

    Wednesday, May 28, 2008 4:09 PM
  • Brian,

    Glad you've managed to do it all!

    I guess the only long term problem you may see, is that PATA drives will be phased out, so a future upgrade will entail a SATA solution.

     

    David,

    NTBACKUP won't work, (directly,) with WHS. Although it's based on server 2003, the backup program doesn't recognise anything connected through the mount points, so will usually only copy the tombstones.

     

    Colin

     

    Wednesday, May 28, 2008 5:38 PM
  • Actually, Colin, you can back up your secondary drives through the mount points. But if you're going to use a backup tool to back your entire server up, you really should shut it down and boot it with some other operating system, so that all WHS files, data, etc. are static.

    If you just back up the server through the mount points while it's running, the potential exists to not get all the data and metadata that would allow reconstruction of the server in a disaster.
    Wednesday, May 28, 2008 7:53 PM
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