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server reinstallation - not an option RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    Note: I have searched WHS forums and google for answer.

     

    My server is really acting up.  I want to do an "server reinstallation" .  I have 2 300gb IDE drives and 1 500gb(system) sata drive.  When I leave all drives plugged in and boot from WHS CD I do not get the "server reinstallation" option.  If I just unplug both my backup 300gb drives and boot from WHS CD I get the reinstallion option.  I have played with my bios all day to make the boot process think that my 500gb sata is the primary drive to install WHS on.  No luck. 

     

     

    Code Snippet

    I saw this from Joel Burt.

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1215868&SiteID=50

    Windows Home Server installs onto the first hard drive as considered by the BIOS.

    During hardware setup, set the hard drive that you want Windows Home Server to be on, as the master drive on the primary controller.

     

     

    My Bios is set to boot off my 500gb(system) drive.  Am I missing something?

     

    So my question is.  What do I need to do to get a server reinstallation option and all my data on the two 300gb drives recognized after the install.  I think WHS has to resynch all the tombstones or something after a reinstallation.  I don't want my data orphaned on the backups.

     

    Do I unplug both 300gb backup drives and do a reinstall then plug them back in later?

     

    Any help appreciated.  Thanks.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 1:28 AM

Answers

  • First, are you certain that both of your IDE drives are included in the Windows Home Server storage pool? You should only see the server reinstallation option if all the secondary drives in the storage pool are visible to setup. That you're seeing that option when the secondary drives are not physically present sounds to me like you never added them to the storage pool (or Windows Home Server doesn't think you did, at any rate).

    If you can connect to your server via remote desktop or using keyboard, video, and mouse, you can check and see whether those drives are actually being treated as part of the storage pool:
    • Log on as Administrator.
    • Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\FS.
    If you have two secondary drives in your storage pool, you will see two folders under C:\FS. These are "mount points", and are actually the secondary drives. (The names of the folders will vary.) If your secondary drives have no mount points, then Windows Home Server is likely not using them.

    You can also verify that you have files on these drives. For each of the mount points navigate to C:\FS\<mountpoint>\DE\Shares. You should find some or all of your files there (probably all) on both drives if they are being used in the storage pool. If there's nothing there, then they aren't being used.

    If they're not being used, then you should be safe disconnecting them and doing your server reinstallation with just the system drive connected. Then connect your additional drives and add them to the storage pool using the Windows Home Server console.

    If the drives have files on them, then to be safe you should remove each of the drives from your server (including your system drive) one at a time and copy any files you find in <driveletter>:\DE\Shares\etc. to other storage temporarily. After that you can do a clean installation of Windows Home Server.

    One more thing to be aware of: some motherboards don't allow you to choose which drive you're booting off of. In that case, the motherboard usually defaults to IDE first, then SATA. That could also explain your problem: when you have an IDE drive connected, your current system drive is forced to be a secondary data drive.
    Monday, May 19, 2008 3:36 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • First, are you certain that both of your IDE drives are included in the Windows Home Server storage pool? You should only see the server reinstallation option if all the secondary drives in the storage pool are visible to setup. That you're seeing that option when the secondary drives are not physically present sounds to me like you never added them to the storage pool (or Windows Home Server doesn't think you did, at any rate).

    If you can connect to your server via remote desktop or using keyboard, video, and mouse, you can check and see whether those drives are actually being treated as part of the storage pool:
    • Log on as Administrator.
    • Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\FS.
    If you have two secondary drives in your storage pool, you will see two folders under C:\FS. These are "mount points", and are actually the secondary drives. (The names of the folders will vary.) If your secondary drives have no mount points, then Windows Home Server is likely not using them.

    You can also verify that you have files on these drives. For each of the mount points navigate to C:\FS\<mountpoint>\DE\Shares. You should find some or all of your files there (probably all) on both drives if they are being used in the storage pool. If there's nothing there, then they aren't being used.

    If they're not being used, then you should be safe disconnecting them and doing your server reinstallation with just the system drive connected. Then connect your additional drives and add them to the storage pool using the Windows Home Server console.

    If the drives have files on them, then to be safe you should remove each of the drives from your server (including your system drive) one at a time and copy any files you find in <driveletter>:\DE\Shares\etc. to other storage temporarily. After that you can do a clean installation of Windows Home Server.

    One more thing to be aware of: some motherboards don't allow you to choose which drive you're booting off of. In that case, the motherboard usually defaults to IDE first, then SATA. That could also explain your problem: when you have an IDE drive connected, your current system drive is forced to be a secondary data drive.
    Monday, May 19, 2008 3:36 AM
    Moderator
  •  

    Ken- 

     

    Thanks for your very thorough answer and help.  Basically my mobo(ASUS A8N-E) would not let my SATA be first option for boot.  Long story short.  I had to unplug my PATA drives, re-install WHS on my SATA then reconnect my PATA's.  Then move all the data off my PATA's back to the main SATA drive.  Add my PATA's to the pool.  Lots of work but atleast my server is working again.

     

     

    Thanks again for your help.

     

    -velvet

     

    Sunday, May 25, 2008 7:33 PM
  • I'm sure you realize this, but you will have the same isue the next time you have to reinstall. While we all hope we'll never need to, some will not be lucky. So you might want to consider making plans now for an upgrade to an all SATA server solution.
    Sunday, May 25, 2008 8:50 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi.

     

    I have a very similar issue. My WHS has failed a couple of times and I hadn't figured out how to get the reinstall option until last night. Basically I have

     

    - SATA as the system drive -- identified in BIOS as the first boot device

    - EIDE as a data drive added to the storage pool.

     

    One time it failed because the system drive failed and I had to add a new one -- no reinstall option given in the setup, just new install. A couple of days ago the system files seemed to get corrupted and although the software automatically appeared to try and fix itself on bootup it clearly failed and I was left in a never ending power on, start to boot up, power off loop. Again I couldn't get the reinstallation option until.....

     

    I disconnected the EIDE drive and just booted with the SATA system drive connected - hey presto, I had the reinstallation option in the WHS setup routine. I cancelled setup at that point, hooked the drive up to another of my PCs and copied all the data from D:\DE folder (from memory that was where all the files were stored) as a backup and then put the drive back in my WHS. I chose the reinstallation option and WHS reinstalled itself without issue -- WHS showed the EIDE drive as "missing" in the console. I then powered down the WHS, hooked the EIDE drive back in to the WHS, booted up and it was automatically readded. All fixed.

     

    So to my questions -- why does this combination of drives (SATA and EIDE) cause the reinstallation option to disappear in the WHS setup routine, is microsoft aware of the issue, and when are they going to fix it?

     

    Thanks.

    Thursday, May 29, 2008 1:33 PM
  • Hi,

    I'm no expert, but it seems to be something related to the fact that the 'older' operating systems expect to see a PATA drive first, so appears to 'grab' that one first, even if it's not the boot drive.

    It isn't something that happens with an all SATA system, so I wonder if it would be beneficial to 'slipstream' the appropriate drivers into the WHS disks. This can be done fairly easily with the OPK.

    Alternatively, setting the SATA drives to compatibility mode in the BIOS might get round it.

     

    Colin

     

    Thursday, May 29, 2008 3:13 PM
  • Hi.

     

    When you say 'older' operating systems, do you mean WHS is considered an older operating system (does this refer back to its Windows Server 2003 roots)? This is the one that seems to fall over on the 'reinstall' routine when looking at PATA drives.

     

    The thing that concerns me is if I have a complete failure of by SATA system drive again then I know from experience that simply putting a new one in the WHS and leaving the PATA drive connected is not going to give me a 'reinstallation' option. I understand that if it is all working correctly (and I assume this would be the case with a fully SATA system) then the WHS should be able to get enough information off the data drive alone to do a reinstall onto a new system drive. Given the SATA / PATA mix I would end up having to wipe the drives and start again.

     

    I guess the solution here is to replace the PATA drive with a SATA drive but that sounds a little expensive to me at the moment (I'll probably change my mind as and when I loose data!)

     

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'slipstream the appropriate drivers' - where would I get a SATA driver from? WHS just installs the driver for this drive on installation.

     

    Thanks again.

    Thursday, May 29, 2008 4:14 PM
  • Well, server 2003 doesn't have SATA drivers included, so whatever drivers are supplied by your motherboard manufacturer should be used. That's why one of the recommendations is to use a server 2003 compatible board.

    That could be why your having the problems, as drivers for SATA drives need to be installed twice during a new installation, once for the server 2003 portion and then again for the WHS portion.

    The alternative, if your motherboard supports it, is to change SATA mode in the BIOS to compatible or native instead of AHCI. It doesn't appear to have any effect on speed of operation.

     

    Colin

     

    Thursday, May 29, 2008 4:40 PM
  • I believe I am already in compatible mode in the BIOS because the WHS installation routine recognises my SATA system drive without problems and without the loading of any drivers separately by myself i.e. if I'm doing a new installation it can automatically see both my SATA (system) and PATA (data) drives and will install to the SATA drive with no issues. I'm guessing this means it's not a driver issue in terms of needing to load anything different (I didn't get any SATA drivers with the motherboard - an Inno3d SL7N73UM-HDMI) during installation. It comes back to the issue of reinstallation being a problem if you have both SATA and PATA connected... or am I missing something? Thanks.

     

    Thursday, May 29, 2008 7:31 PM
  •  nholdcroft wrote:
    I believe I am already in compatible mode in the BIOS because the WHS installation routine recognises my SATA system drive without problems and without the loading of any drivers separately by myself i.e. if I'm doing a new installation it can automatically see both my SATA (system) and PATA (data) drives and will install to the SATA drive with no issues. I'm guessing this means it's not a driver issue in terms of needing to load anything different (I didn't get any SATA drivers with the motherboard - an Inno3d SL7N73UM-HDMI) during installation. It comes back to the issue of reinstallation being a problem if you have both SATA and PATA connected... or am I missing something? Thanks.

     



    It would seem that you are not.  This is obviously a bug that we can only *hope* will be fixed in power pack one.  I have the same exact issue at the moment - two sata 320GB's and one IDE 320GB (one of the sata drives is the system drive).  Am I going to replace a 320GB IDE drive with a SATA drive just because it's IDE?  NO!  I had a feeling I should have made the IDE drive the system drive when I built my system.  Please take note of this guys and see what you can do.

    -Tom
    Tuesday, July 15, 2008 3:31 AM
  •  Agent2244 wrote:
    It would seem that you are not.  This is obviously a bug that we can only *hope* will be fixed in power pack one.  I have the same exact issue at the moment - two sata 320GB's and one IDE 320GB (one of the sata drives is the system drive).  Am I going to replace a 320GB IDE drive with a SATA drive just because it's IDE?  NO!  I had a feeling I should have made the IDE drive the system drive when I built my system.  Please take note of this guys and see what you can do.

    -Tom

     

    If you are referring to Reinstallation not showing up because it doesn't see all of the drives, all you need to do is load the drivers for your SATA ports.  (I doubt this will ever change in this version of WHS because it's written on top of 2003, and 5 years ago, SATA was not the standard it is today.)

     

    If you are referring to Reinstallation not showing up even if it does see all of your drives, it's probably because the primary drive is not in the first-boot slot on your motherboard.

     

     

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008 4:18 AM
    Moderator
  •  kariya21 wrote:

     Agent2244 wrote:
    It would seem that you are not.  This is obviously a bug that we can only *hope* will be fixed in power pack one.  I have the same exact issue at the moment - two sata 320GB's and one IDE 320GB (one of the sata drives is the system drive).  Am I going to replace a 320GB IDE drive with a SATA drive just because it's IDE?  NO!  I had a feeling I should have made the IDE drive the system drive when I built my system.  Please take note of this guys and see what you can do.

    -Tom

     

    If you are referring to Reinstallation not showing up because it doesn't see all of the drives, all you need to do is load the drivers for your SATA ports.  (I doubt this will ever change in this version of WHS because it's written on top of 2003, and 5 years ago, SATA was not the standard it is today.)

     

    If you are referring to Reinstallation not showing up even if it does see all of your drives, it's probably because the primary drive is not in the first-boot slot on your motherboard.

     

     



    Sorry if I wasn't clear.  I am referring to the mixing of SATA and PATA drives when a SATA drive is setup as your Home Server boot drive, with that drive setup as your primary boot drive. 
    All drives show up just fine when booting form the WHS installation DVD, no extra drivers needed to be loaded - NO reinstallation option. 

    The only way around it for me was as another person suggested - unplug the IDE drive then run the installation dvd.  I just plugged the IDE drive back in after the 4th or 5th reboot during installation and had no problems.

    -Tom

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008 8:15 PM