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Hard Disk Failure RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all.
    I am looking at building a Windows Home Server but I have a Big question.
    What happens if my primary hard disk fails does this cause any problems with my files stored on the server,
    when i put a new hard disk in and reinstall will all my files be intact.
    Also is there anyway i can add disks to the data-pool with out reformating them.

    many thanks
    Ian
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 12:09 AM

Answers

  • Hi Ian. If you have more than one drive, then WHS doesn't store actual files on the first drive. What it does store on the secondary partition (the rest of the disk less the 20GB used by the system) are pointers - called tombstones - to where the files are stored on your other disks. 

    The idea is that if your OS needs reinstalling, WHS uses the tombstones to rebuild where your data is. If the drive fails, it does it the hard way by scanning the files to work out what they are. So yes, if you add a new hard disk all your files should be intact.

    You can't add disks to the pool without formatting, but you can add them as "normal" disks without adding them to the pool. Then you can copy the files off onto the WHS shares and, once you've copied them all off, then add the disk to the pool (whereupon it will be formatted).
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 3:48 AM
  • Crash2975 said:

    Hi Ian. If you have more than one drive, then WHS doesn't store actual files on the first drive. What it does store on the secondary partition (the rest of the disk less the 20GB used by the system) are pointers - called tombstones - to where the files are stored on your other disks. 


    The idea is that if your OS needs reinstalling, WHS uses the tombstones to rebuild where your data is. If the drive fails, it does it the hard way by scanning the files to work out what they are. So yes, if you add a new hard disk all your files should be intact.

    You can't add disks to the pool without formatting, but you can add them as "normal" disks without adding them to the pool. Then you can copy the files off onto the WHS shares and, once you've copied them all off, then add the disk to the pool (whereupon it will be formatted).



    One slight correction to Crash's response:  it does not use the primary drive first, but if there is no other room anywhere else, it will start using the primary drive for storage.  In that case, if that drive fails (and you don't use Folder Duplication on all shares), you could potentially lose data.
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 3:56 AM
    Moderator
  • Ian Bennington said:

    Thanks both of you for all your help.  I understand just 1 quick question is there any way of stoping data from being saved to the secound partion on the boot hard dirve.

    Once again Thanks
    Ian


    The only way is to make sure you have enough free space on the secondary drives (so that it won't need to save anything on the primary drive).
    • Marked as answer by Ian Bennington Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:09 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Ian Bennington Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:09 PM
    • Marked as answer by Ian Bennington Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:09 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Ian Bennington Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:09 PM
    • Marked as answer by Ian Bennington Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:10 PM
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 3:15 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Ian. If you have more than one drive, then WHS doesn't store actual files on the first drive. What it does store on the secondary partition (the rest of the disk less the 20GB used by the system) are pointers - called tombstones - to where the files are stored on your other disks. 

    The idea is that if your OS needs reinstalling, WHS uses the tombstones to rebuild where your data is. If the drive fails, it does it the hard way by scanning the files to work out what they are. So yes, if you add a new hard disk all your files should be intact.

    You can't add disks to the pool without formatting, but you can add them as "normal" disks without adding them to the pool. Then you can copy the files off onto the WHS shares and, once you've copied them all off, then add the disk to the pool (whereupon it will be formatted).
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 3:48 AM
  • Crash2975 said:

    Hi Ian. If you have more than one drive, then WHS doesn't store actual files on the first drive. What it does store on the secondary partition (the rest of the disk less the 20GB used by the system) are pointers - called tombstones - to where the files are stored on your other disks. 


    The idea is that if your OS needs reinstalling, WHS uses the tombstones to rebuild where your data is. If the drive fails, it does it the hard way by scanning the files to work out what they are. So yes, if you add a new hard disk all your files should be intact.

    You can't add disks to the pool without formatting, but you can add them as "normal" disks without adding them to the pool. Then you can copy the files off onto the WHS shares and, once you've copied them all off, then add the disk to the pool (whereupon it will be formatted).



    One slight correction to Crash's response:  it does not use the primary drive first, but if there is no other room anywhere else, it will start using the primary drive for storage.  In that case, if that drive fails (and you don't use Folder Duplication on all shares), you could potentially lose data.
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 3:56 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks both of you for all your help.  I understand just 1 quick question is there any way of stoping data from being saved to the secound partion on the boot hard dirve.

    Once again Thanks
    Ian
    • Marked as answer by Ian Bennington Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:09 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Ian Bennington Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:09 PM
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 2:08 PM
  • Ian Bennington said:

    Thanks both of you for all your help.  I understand just 1 quick question is there any way of stoping data from being saved to the secound partion on the boot hard dirve.

    Once again Thanks
    Ian


    The only way is to make sure you have enough free space on the secondary drives (so that it won't need to save anything on the primary drive).
    • Marked as answer by Ian Bennington Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:09 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Ian Bennington Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:09 PM
    • Marked as answer by Ian Bennington Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:09 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Ian Bennington Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:09 PM
    • Marked as answer by Ian Bennington Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:10 PM
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 3:15 PM
    Moderator
  • Many thanks ok understood.
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:09 PM
  • Adding to kariyas answer:
    And of course you need to have installed Power Pack 1 on WHS, because the original version did not attempt to keep the D: drive on the server clean as long as possible. (This will be installed anyway, if you have automated updates enabled - the newer installation media sets also include it - but some people disable AU or use WHS without direct Internet connection.)
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:41 PM
    Moderator