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How to recover from a SYS drive failure? RRS feed

  • Question

  • My Primary Drive on my OEM Windows Home Server failed. It was a 1T drive.

    My data drives are 4 1T and one 1.5T drive (all up 6 drives, five 1T and one 1.5T)

    I have purchased a replacement and have done a fresh install on the new drive with the other 5 disconnected.

    I then reconnected the other five drives and rebooted. WHS does not see the new drives in the DE pool

    I have then done a Re-installation of WHS as recommended in a number of articles and the supposed recovery of the DE and rebuild of Tombstones does not take place.

    I can see the data files in the hidden DE folders but cannot re-create the DE group of drives so that my WHS is back to where it was before.

    Note: All folders had duplication set.

     

    How can I get the DE back and working without losing all my data, or having to copy to an external drive and then back again.

    Saturday, February 27, 2010 1:59 PM

All replies

  • My Primary Drive on my OEM Windows Home Server failed. It was a 1T drive.

    My data drives are 4 1T and one 1.5T drive (all up 6 drives, five 1T and one 1.5T)

    I have purchased a replacement and have done a fresh install on the new drive with the other 5 disconnected.

    I then reconnected the other five drives and rebooted. WHS does not see the new drives in the DE pool

    I have then done a Re-installation of WHS as recommended in a number of articles and the supposed recovery of the DE and rebuild of Tombstones does not take place.

    I can see the data files in the hidden DE folders but cannot re-create the DE group of drives so that my WHS is back to where it was before.

    Note: All folders had duplication set.

     

    How can I get the DE back and working without losing all my data, or having to copy to an external drive and then back again.

    You need to do a Server Reinstallation.  Did you select Server Reinstallation from the drop-down menu?  Were the secondary hard drives connected at the time of the reinstallation?
    Saturday, February 27, 2010 3:49 PM
    Moderator
  • ...

    How can I get the DE back and working without losing all my data, or having to copy to an external drive and then back again.

    You need to reinstall on a blank system disk at this point. By disconnecting the secondary disks from the server during reinstallation, you effectively have done a "new" installation. After this, when you do a reinstallation Windows Home Server setup will see that there is a D: partition (and therefore a Windows Home Server installation) already, check that to see what other disks the prior installation knows about (none), and proceed on that basis.

    To proceed:
    • Connect your new system drive (on which you've installed Windows Home Server) to some other Windows computer.
    • Open a command prompt (if Vista/Windows 7, an elevated command prompt).
    • Type diskpart and press Enter. Warning: this tool is very dangerous if you aren't careful. Double/triple check everything.
    • Type list disk and press Enter.
    • Find the server's system drive in the list. Type select disk x and pressing Enter, where x is the number for the system disk.
    • Verify that you have the right disk by typing list partition and pressing Enter. There should be two: one will be 20 GB, and one will be everything else.
    • Type clean and press Enter. This will remove the partitions from the server's system disk.
    • Type exit . Press Enter and close the command prompt.
    Now reinstall the disk in your server. With all disks connected and available, do another server reinstallation. Make sure you supply any drivers needed for your disks to be visible to setup and (if you need drivers for your system disk) make sure to supply them on floppy and twice (at the hardware detection screen, and then after the first reboot at the "Press F6" prompt; for the latter you will need to use a floppy). If, during the initial stage of setup, you aren't offered the option for a reinstallation, don't proceed because a new installation will wipe all your drives. Instead take a look at this FAQ , which presents an alternate (and painful) method of recovering your data.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, February 27, 2010 4:15 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for replying.
    Problem i have is that the drives for the SATA controller for 2 of my drives is not accepted at time of installation. Funny though, it rejects the install but then you can see the 2 extra drives at install after accessing them on the USB. During the second reboot i don't get the F6 prompt.
    So my problem is I'm going to have to resort to the copy method at the bottom of your suggestion. Not the most elegant solution but one that i will pursue.
    I do have backups of the majority of my files, but it is at least a month out of date, due to my wife being unable to remember to pick it up from her mothers each time she visits. Therefore i will now be resorting to a second on-site external backup that will run each night to alleviate my current situation. The backups are of all the families important data but i do not backup the recorded TV files which account for around 2.5T of the storage. Just 900G is data, photos etc.
    Now that i know the pitfalls of WHS SYS failure i will be looking at more robust solutions.
    Has anyone tried using VMWare virtual drives and using the snapshot tool to take constant updates of the sys volume.
    There still lis the problem of losing the D: part of the drive that contains the DE info to rebuild the DE on all other drives.
    MS needs to come up with a more eligant solution.
    I use 2008 server at work and the new Volume Shadow Copy Service is a real bonus. Hopefully they will include this in the next version of WHS.
    Saturday, February 27, 2010 11:06 PM
  • Yes but the DE does not rebuild.

    Saturday, February 27, 2010 11:29 PM
  • Thanks for replying.
    Problem i have is that the drives for the SATA controller for 2 of my drives is not accepted at time of installation.

    If you are trying to add the SATA Controller drivers in the Load Additional Storage Drivers window and it's not working (meaning no more hard drives are showing up), you have the wrong drivers.  You can either search for the correct drivers or switch the SATA ports to IDE/Legacy mode (then you won't have to worry about drivers).

    Funny though, it rejects the install but then you can see the 2 extra drives at install after accessing them on the USB. During the second reboot i don't get the F6 prompt.
    So my problem is I'm going to have to resort to the copy method at the bottom of your suggestion. Not the most elegant solution but one that i will pursue.
    I do have backups of the majority of my files, but it is at least a month out of date, due to my wife being unable to remember to pick it up from her mothers each time she visits. Therefore i will now be resorting to a second on-site external backup that will run each night to alleviate my current situation. The backups are of all the families important data but i do not backup the recorded TV files which account for around 2.5T of the storage. Just 900G is data, photos etc.
    Now that i know the pitfalls of WHS SYS failure i will be looking at more robust solutions.
    Has anyone tried using VMWare virtual drives and using the snapshot tool to take constant updates of the sys volume.
    There still lis the problem of losing the D: part of the drive that contains the DE info to rebuild the DE on all other drives.

    That's not a problem.  Server Reinstallation rebuilds the tombstones automatically (the problem is you can't get Server Reinstallation so it never rebuilds).

    MS needs to come up with a more eligant solution.
    I use 2008 server at work and the new Volume Shadow Copy Service is a real bonus. Hopefully they will include this in the next version of WHS.

    Sunday, February 28, 2010 1:46 AM
    Moderator