WHS System Drive Reinstall – Data Pool Drives on SATA PCI Controller Card RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • (Key Words: Windows Home Server, reinstall, restore, rebuild, rebuilt, system drive, C drive, SATA, controller, PCI, expansion, card, tombstone, hangs, fails, failure, stops, crash, reboot, re-boot, system partition, install)


    The Problem:

    You cannot reinstall/restore* WHS the after a system system C drive failure if one or more of your pooled data drives is connected to a PCI SATA Controller Card.

    ·       Reinstall/Restore is not offered as an option or

    ·       Reinstall/Restore does not complete it stops in the middle or

    ·       The data tombstones are not rebuilt – your files are not resored


    * Some disks don’t offer “Reinstall” but instead offer “Restore”


    The Issue:

    The WHS Reinstall/Restore Process needs access to all (100%) of your non-system drives – your data pool drives.  The PCI SATA Controller Card has “third party” drivers that need to be installed.  The WHS installation, reinstallation, restore process is actually three sequential processes:

    1.        GUI (Graphical User Interface) WinPE stage (Windows Preinstallation Environment) that checks all your hardware

    2.        text based  blue screen Windows Server installation stage

    3.        GUI Home Server setup stage


    The Solution:

    The Reinstall/Restore need the drives install twice; once in stage 1 and again in stage 2.

    1.        You need to install your PCI SATA Controller Card Drives at the Load Additional Drives screen of the 1st stage Windows Home Sever Setup

    <img src="http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/other20090531112802.png"/>

     See: http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/other20090531112802.png


    2.        You need to load the drivers again during the text based server installation process stage

    a.        You need to press F6 near the beginning of the text base server installation screen that says “Windows Setup” (blue background screen)

    <img src="http://www.petri.co.il/images/setup1.jpg"/></img>

    See:  http://www.petri.co.il/images/setup1.jpg


    The Background:

    I looked and looked – multiple searches over three days and never found a post on any forum that addresses this issue.  Finally I found two separate posts by Ken Warren on social.microsoft.com that each contained half the solution.  Thank you, oh knowledgeable Ken.  However, in the process, I also found a whole group of forum posts where people had given up and resorted to a complete new install of WHS and therefore lost all their stored data.


    So I am posting the solution on multiple forums with the hope of saving others days of frustration or resigned submission to losing all your stored data.



    Monday, October 4, 2010 8:10 PM

All replies

  • I've posted what you term "the solution", i.e. load drivers twice, probably 50 or more times in the past 3 ½ years. It's generally only applicable to a system drive that needs drivers. If you're using a system drive which doesn't need external drivers, such as an IDE drive or a SATA drive in IDE mode, you should only need to load the drivers for the SATA PCI card once, in WinPE setup. Setup should cache the drivers on your system drive for the next phase (text mode). Where this may break is if the drivers you use in WinPE don't work in text mode. I suspect this will only happen if your SATA card uses different (and incompatible) drivers for Vista (WinPE) and Windows XP (text mode and follow-ons).

    All that said, I've never been able to recreate a failure, so thanks for pulling the bits together. :)

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, October 5, 2010 1:38 AM
  • Oddly enough, the same drivers (identical files) are loaded twice.  Something in the WinPE to Text Based handoff is not working for Controller cards
    Tuesday, October 5, 2010 5:21 PM