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No re-install option...please advise RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have searched for "Reinstall Option" in this forum but before I go ahead and start reinstalling WHS, I need to confirm from the experts.

    I downloaded 180-days trial version of WHS and installed it on ATA 80GB hard drive (Created two partition C &D, 20GB & 54GB). This is being setup on an old machine PIII 800 Mhz, 512 MB RAM, 100MB Network card. (I didn't want to throw that machine away as I think it should be sufficient for WHS purpose).

    Then I added 2 single 1TB hard drives (SATA with a new PCI SATA Card )  and all the files were copied to them from other machines (a lots of videos, photos, movies, etc), some with the folder duplication. Already now used close to 1TB. I also had created a new Shares and other stuff.

    I then activated the OS (my biggest mistake).

    Because I like the way WHS has been working out for me, I decided to upgrade to the fully licencsed version. As it's been mentioned many times in this forum, the choice was doing "Re-installation".

    While running the Re-installation and when the WHS installation was formatting C drive, I got some error that the installation cannot be continued. OKAY! I believe it asked to show the log but I didn't (Second biggest mistake) and select "OK". ____! On next reboot, I got only option "New Installation". That was crippy! so I took that primary drive out and put in the some external enclouse and check on the other machine. I found out that the Reinstallation had formatted the C drive and nothing is left.

    D (DATA) drive is as is, although, it's being used with duplication, I see the file name (xyz.jpg) but I can't open or copy anywhere so D:\DE has files that I can see listed but can't copy anywhere else.

    Now, I think I've only choice of "New-Installation".

    How should I proceed so that I won't loose any data (at all). If I select New-installation, it'll wipe off my D drive and my settings (for new shares) will be gone, right?

    I took my one of the 1TB drive and place in different machine to see if the Re-installation had touched it or not and good news is, I believe, my important data is fine.

    Any clear direction on how I should proceed (with caution) will be helpful.

    Thank you!


    For WHS Microsoft Guys: Wish Microsoft had given option to be able to Re-activate even after activation is done once (180-Trial --> OEM/Retail License). It must consider for next WHS version. If the customers have to reinstall just to change the product key is darn stupid, no?
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 3:51 AM

Answers

  • Hi,
    the reinstallation process startup is far from perfect on self built systems, especially, if mass storage drivers need to be added.
    If you cannot get the server reinstall option even with the former or new system drive detected as disk 0 and the data disks listed as well, you could perform a fresh install with the data drives detached, as described in the FAQ How to recover data after server failure.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:38 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf & brubber,

    Thank you for your help! I believe installing from scratch IS the ONLY choice I'm left with. It'll be fun copying 1TB worth data to other drives before I wipe them.

    I still can't believe I've to do this just because I tried to upgrade from Trial to full license.

    I've created a suggestion for Microsoft that they should fix this in the future releases of Home server. Please go ahead and vote for it (sorry, you'll have to login to Connect site) so future users won't have to go through what I've been through.

    https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=458746

    Thanks MS for this forum though!
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 10:16 PM

All replies

  • Manually formatting C partition should normally give you back the reinstall option. Probably there are still some (hidden) files from the failed installation on the disk, which cause disabling of the reinstall option.

    If reinstallat fails again consider exchanging the DVD drive, many installation errors are caused by DVD drives that are not 100% OK

    If you can not get the reinstall option back please read the FAQ How to recover data after server failure
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 7:28 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you brubber for your response.

    When I reformat the C drive and try with new DVD drive (just to be safe), should I leave the other SATA data drives (two of 1TB each) attached or remove the power cable? I just want to make sure no accidents happen.
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:04 AM
  • During reformat you may unplug power to the other drives to be on the safe side, however make sure all drives are connected and properly recognised during reinstall.

    Also please note you may need to provide drivers for the PCI SATA connected drives, once during the initial phase of install, once early during the text mode phase of install ("F6" option, requires drivers on diskette). Alternatively you may configure the drives connected to the SATA controller to run in IDE mode (not enhanced/RAID/AHCI).

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:39 AM
    Moderator
  • brubber,

    I took the system drive out and formatted C partition in different PC (NTFS of course). Put it back, attached all the cables for other SATA drives and booted off the new DVD drive.

    I loaded the drivers for my PCI SATA card in the "Load additional Drivers" screen and it recognized all the drives. Is this same as "F6" option you mentioned earlier?

    But I still get only one option "New Installation" at this point? Do I need to load the drivers differently?

    Thanks!
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 12:04 AM
  • Anybody can help? This is driving me crazy. Re-installation (totally unnecessary) of WHS just for the licensing purpose is causing this much headache??

    brubber OR Ken Warren OR kariya21 OR Olaf Engelke?

    Thanks!
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 2:05 AM
  • The load additional drivers screen is not the "F6" option. This option is presented shortly after the first reboot in the texe mode install phase (blue screen background)

    I suspect your current system drive is not the the primary (boot) drive in your current setup. You should change this in the BIOS.

    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 7:37 AM
    Moderator
  • brubber,

    I am aware of the fact that "Load additional drivers" screen is part of the GUI installation of WHS and not the part of blue screen background which comes after once you are done with GUI part. I've not gotten that far yet as I've to select "New Installation" in order to proceed which I'm not comfortable doing.

    I just checked in the BIOS as well as the information screen that comes up when you restart the machine and my 80 GB HDD (Western Digital) with C & D partitions is my Primary Main drive. I'm booting off the DVD drive which is secondary.

    Any other clue or the only choice now I'm left with is copy all the data (somehow) to one drive and wipe everything off?
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 11:13 AM
  • The only other thing I can think of at the moment is to completely wipe the current system disk (format the whole disk).

    If there is any data in D:\DE\folders or D\DE\shares\  (SO NOT IN D:\folders or D:\shares) this will be permanently lost.

    If you had duplication turned on for all shares this should be no problem for the data in the shares since these are also kept on one of the other disks. In that case you only risk loosing the client backups (Only if there are files in the folder D:\DE\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}).

    You should be able to copy the data from the folders in D:\DE to another disk. If you can not access the data in this folder (logged on a a user with administrator rights) I expect there is there's something wrong with the disk. Possibly running chkdsk /r on the C and D partitions will fix this.

    Alternatively you can try using another (new) disk to use as the primary disk.
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 11:51 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,
    the reinstallation process startup is far from perfect on self built systems, especially, if mass storage drivers need to be added.
    If you cannot get the server reinstall option even with the former or new system drive detected as disk 0 and the data disks listed as well, you could perform a fresh install with the data drives detached, as described in the FAQ How to recover data after server failure.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:38 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf & brubber,

    Thank you for your help! I believe installing from scratch IS the ONLY choice I'm left with. It'll be fun copying 1TB worth data to other drives before I wipe them.

    I still can't believe I've to do this just because I tried to upgrade from Trial to full license.

    I've created a suggestion for Microsoft that they should fix this in the future releases of Home server. Please go ahead and vote for it (sorry, you'll have to login to Connect site) so future users won't have to go through what I've been through.

    https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=458746

    Thanks MS for this forum though!
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 10:16 PM