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Easiest way to replace WHS system drive (suspect imminent drive failure) RRS feed

  • Question

  • When I first installed WHS I used an old drive from a previous system, thinking that I would re-install at a later stage as I didn't think the initial installation would last long before I needed to start again.

    It's now nearly 2 years later and the system drive is starting to make a noise .......and the system occasionally hangs a bit while it "thinks" .......I'm suspecting the hard drive is on its way out and I need to to upgrade the drive. It's an IDE while the data drives are SATA - I've got no problem replacing with another IDE from a hardware perspective but .........how do I do this?

    What is the easiest way?

    Do I "clone" the drive - if so, how?

    Please advise.

    Regards

    A.
    "Share what you know, learn what you don't"
    Sunday, June 28, 2009 8:56 PM

Answers

  • Replace the drive and perform a server reinstallation. Cloning is unsupported, and some users have had problems with their server afterward, things which led them to perform a server reinstallation eventually anyway.

    For the reinstallation you'll need to supply drivers for your SATA controller(s), assuming they're not in legacy IDE mode. Legacy mode is recommended; while you sacrifice a small amount of theoretical performance, in reality other bottlenecks (network latency and throughput, Drive Extender overhead, etc.) will mask those anyway.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, June 28, 2009 9:52 PM
    Moderator
  • Oh - so I lose all of my current configuration and applications that I have installed?

    No backup / restore option?

    Seem's odd since the OS is essentailly Storage Server 2003 at its core ........

    That's a disappointment - it took me months to get everything setup and installed the way I wanted it!
    That's correct. Windows Home Server isn't designed for use as a general purpose server. It has an extensibility model (software installed through the console as server add-ins), and as long as that model is followed reconfiguration after a reinstallation should not be a difficult task. If you step outside the console you enter the realm of "unsupported scenarios", and there are serious trade-offs that have to be made if you need to customize your server extensively.

    You can try cloning the drive. I don't recommend it for the reasons I've already stated, but if it works, great. Just don't be too surprised if you have fairly severe issues afterward.

    As for the base OS, it's not Storage Server. I believe it's "Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server".

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, July 1, 2009 4:23 PM
    Moderator
  • A note of warning on a reinstallation on WHS, is that if the system drive also had the data for the directories located on the failed hard dive,  for the other drive sets. Then you will find that all your DATA will be DELETED and empty directories will be presented when you have finished the reinstall.    WHS appears to not realize that you have data on these drives if the area containing the directory listing is damaged/lost through hard drive failure also. Therefore when you have reinstalled the WHS you will have LOST all your data including the data in the shared Data folders.





     


    Not true.  There was a bug after PP1 came out that did that, but if your server is up-to-date, that's no longer an issue.
    Friday, July 3, 2009 12:10 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Replace the drive and perform a server reinstallation. Cloning is unsupported, and some users have had problems with their server afterward, things which led them to perform a server reinstallation eventually anyway.

    For the reinstallation you'll need to supply drivers for your SATA controller(s), assuming they're not in legacy IDE mode. Legacy mode is recommended; while you sacrifice a small amount of theoretical performance, in reality other bottlenecks (network latency and throughput, Drive Extender overhead, etc.) will mask those anyway.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, June 28, 2009 9:52 PM
    Moderator
  • Oh - so I lose all of my current configuration and applications that I have installed?

    No backup / restore option?

    Seem's odd since the OS is essentailly Storage Server 2003 at its core ........

    That's a disappointment - it took me months to get everything setup and installed the way I wanted it!

    :-(

    "Share what you know, learn what you don't"
    Monday, June 29, 2009 12:10 PM
  • Sadly yes. WHS was meant as a backup for client data. It's own OS was not meant to hold important data, thus the option for reinstall only.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 10:20 PM
  • Oh - so I lose all of my current configuration and applications that I have installed?

    No backup / restore option?

    Seem's odd since the OS is essentailly Storage Server 2003 at its core ........

    That's a disappointment - it took me months to get everything setup and installed the way I wanted it!
    That's correct. Windows Home Server isn't designed for use as a general purpose server. It has an extensibility model (software installed through the console as server add-ins), and as long as that model is followed reconfiguration after a reinstallation should not be a difficult task. If you step outside the console you enter the realm of "unsupported scenarios", and there are serious trade-offs that have to be made if you need to customize your server extensively.

    You can try cloning the drive. I don't recommend it for the reasons I've already stated, but if it works, great. Just don't be too surprised if you have fairly severe issues afterward.

    As for the base OS, it's not Storage Server. I believe it's "Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server".

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, July 1, 2009 4:23 PM
    Moderator
  • A note of warning on a reinstallation on WHS, is that if the system drive also had the data for the directories located on the failed hard dive,  for the other drive sets. Then you will find that all your DATA will be DELETED and empty directories will be presented when you have finished the reinstall.    WHS appears to not realize that you have data on these drives if the area containing the directory listing is damaged/lost through hard drive failure also. Therefore when you have reinstalled the WHS you will have LOST all your data including the data in the shared Data folders.





     

    • Edited by OzBrown Friday, July 3, 2009 9:08 AM
    Friday, July 3, 2009 12:18 AM
  • A note of warning on a reinstallation on WHS, is that if the system drive also had the data for the directories located on the failed hard dive,  for the other drive sets. Then you will find that all your DATA will be DELETED and empty directories will be presented when you have finished the reinstall.    WHS appears to not realize that you have data on these drives if the area containing the directory listing is damaged/lost through hard drive failure also. Therefore when you have reinstalled the WHS you will have LOST all your data including the data in the shared Data folders.





     


    Not true.  There was a bug after PP1 came out that did that, but if your server is up-to-date, that's no longer an issue.
    Friday, July 3, 2009 12:10 PM
    Moderator