locked
Server bare metal restore observation and query RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello Folks,

    Last night spent some time doing some bare metal restores of the vail server. The software is the Vail Beta refresh. If I followed the restore wizard supplied information including the use of a 8GB flash drive the restores worked perfectly. No loss in the storage pool etc.

    After looking at the files that were copied to the flash drive by the wizard, noted that they were only 200MB approx. Wondered whether it would be possible to run a restore using a 1GB flash drive. I ran the server restore cd on a workstation and followed the wizard and it quite happily created the 1GB restore USB flash drive. I used this flash drive to boot the server and was able to make the connection between the server listener and the restore wizard on the workstation. The restore ran quite normally and did not throw up any errors or any different prompts from the previously successful 8GB flash drive restore.

    On rebooting the server after the restore everything went pear shaped. The machine would not even get past the initial BIOS screen. It was a hard lock at this point. The hardware would not boot off any device: cd, dvd, hard drive or USB drive, it simply stalled at the initial BIOS screen. At this point the machine was effectivly "dead".

    If I removed the system disk from the server (160 GB WD) it was possible to boot normally off cd etc. Plugging the system disk back in again, hung the BIOS. At least proving it was the culprit. I connected the system drive to a workstation via a USB dock and it was readable in windows explorer. Using disk manager, I deleted the partitions created during the restore from the 1 G drive and re installed in the server. Performing another restore using the correct 8 GB flash was once again successful. There is nothing physically wrong with the disk.

    As a matter of interest I will try to reproduce this in a couple of days. Whether it a random fluke event or not, I do not know at this point.

    Has anyone tried something similar and found the same issue?. I could understand the wizard erroring and getting in a knot because the flash drive was too small, or even telling me to go away. But do not understand how it could have screwed the partitions and prevented the machine getting past the first BIOS screen. Especially as it had not throw up any errors during the restore.

    Dave

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 11:41 PM

Answers

  • Hi,
    I succesfully tested several server bare metal restore (single disk system) in a VM environment using an old 512MB USB flash drive.
    So I would say the size of your flash drive should not a problem.

    Would be interesting to hear if you are abled to reproduce what you are describing.
    Please report your findings to Connect?

    - Theo.


    No home server like Home Server
    Thursday, September 2, 2010 8:05 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,
    I succesfully tested several server bare metal restore (single disk system) in a VM environment using an old 512MB USB flash drive.
    So I would say the size of your flash drive should not a problem.

    Would be interesting to hear if you are abled to reproduce what you are describing.
    Please report your findings to Connect?

    - Theo.


    No home server like Home Server
    Thursday, September 2, 2010 8:05 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Theo,

    Thanks for your response. It may have been a random glitch given that you have been able to restore with a 512 MB drive. I am not running in a VM environment and have 3 disks. The 160GB system disk, which has been removed from the storage pool, and a couple of 1 TB disks as the pool. I am only using around 300GB of test data.

    I should have chance over the weekend to see whether I am able to reproduce what happened. Either way I'll let you know here and if I can reproduce the issue, I'll also report the problem/issue to connect.

    Dave

    Thursday, September 2, 2010 9:54 AM
  • I used a 2 GB flash drive for my bare metal server restore & it worked perfectly.

     

    I bugged the typo? on the 8 GB flash drive @ connect & it was closed "By Design".

    (shortened comment) ->Not going to be what we see in the final product...

    Thursday, September 2, 2010 2:33 PM
  • I have been trying an action replay of my initial post about restoring the server from both a 1 GB and an 8 GB flash drive.

    My initial restore using the 1 GB did exactly the same as previously mentioned and locked the machine. The disk had to removed from the server and the partitions deleted before I could do anything with it the server. Once again restoring utilising the 8GB drive worked perfectly.

    Decided to give it one more try with the 1 GB drive and wouldn't you know it; it restored perfectly!. Checking the restore logs written to the flash drives only shows one difference as pasted below:

    System Disk Hard lock of BIOS on Reboot 1 Gb drive
    [09/03/2010 21:08:12  6ac] Restore completed.
    [09/03/2010 21:08:12  6ac] Progress 100
    [09/03/2010 21:08:12  6ac] OS drive letter = [F:]
    [09/03/2010 21:08:12  6ac] Resetting engine after async op.
    [09/03/2010 21:08:12  6ac] BmrRestore completed with hr = 0x0
    [09/03/2010 21:08:12  6ac] Exiting BeginBmrThread
    [09/03/2010 21:08:21  538] Processing reboot request.


    Valid Restore from 8 GB drive
    [09/03/2010 21:34:04  538] Restore completed.
    [09/03/2010 21:34:04  538] Progress 100
    [09/03/2010 21:34:04  538] OS drive letter = [A:]
    [09/03/2010 21:34:04  538] Resetting engine after async op.
    [09/03/2010 21:34:04  538] BmrRestore completed with hr = 0x0
    [09/03/2010 21:34:04  538] Exiting BeginBmrThread
    [09/03/2010 21:34:11  340] Processing reboot request.

    Still not any more conclusive. The successful restore from the 1 GB drive, which appended it's log to the bottom of the previous log, gave the same information "OS drive letter = [F:]"

    Really nothing I can bug. In fact I am starting suspect the 1 GB flash drive even though it does not create any errors while doing the restore. This seems reasonable given the comments from Theo and Haole. The issue is not fully reproduceable but something is a bit flaky somewhere. Just not sure whether it's hardware or the software.

    Dave

    Friday, September 3, 2010 10:25 AM
  • The difference seems to be that one booted as a floppy, and one as a hard drive. This is based on assigned drive letters.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, September 3, 2010 12:10 PM
    Moderator
  • Interesting.

    It is not uncommon for BIOSes to emulate a floppy or hard drive depending on the size of the USB storage device.

    When I was testing in the VM environment I needed to use a little trick to boot from the (512MB) USB flash drive (VMWare does not support booting from USB). I think VM-Ware always boots a USB fals drive emulating a hard disk this way independend of its size.

    So this could mean there maybe is a problem booting the restore from a small USB flase drive for BIOSes that use floppy mode emulation?

    - Theo.


    No home server like Home Server
    Friday, September 3, 2010 8:41 PM
    Moderator