HDD Failure prevents system boot RRS feed

  • Question


    Last night my WHS crashed due to a HDD failure.  My system has two data drives, both Seagate 7200.11 Barracuda 750GB, and the system drive is a Seagate 7200.10 160GB Barracuda, all barely two months old.  The system drive is IDE, the data drives are SATA which the motherboard maps into IDE drives.


    The WHS was still running with a pop-up window describing some kind of write error and suggesting a restart (I didn’t write the error down, I expected it to recover!)  Upon cycling power, the system would not get past POST with the message “Secondary Master Hard Disk Failure.”  I was, however, able to get into the BIOS configuration screens, and I noticed that one of the data drives was now identified as “ST3_INVALID_PFM,” the error that Barracudas with bad firmware return (but this one was previously working and identified just fine!)  I figured out which drive had failed and removed it, but whatever I tried, I could not get the BIOS past the POST screen, not even to boot from a floppy to run the Seagate disk tools.


    Fortunately, after removing the offending drive WHS booted back up and I was able to open the console and manually write down all of my configurations (shares, user accounts, etc.), although of course backups were no longer running.  I was also lucky in that all of my super-critical files were already copied onto various shared folders, and those were still accessible, so I was able to transfer them to an external hard drive.


    This message is to warn everyone, record your WHS configurations and settings somewhere other than on the WHS, because if a drive fails and you can’t boot, you’re stuck!  Also, if you have super-critical files you just can't afford to lose, you might copy them into strategic shared folders, as well as having WHS do automatic backups.


    I intend to place an entry in the Suggestions forum that adding a built-in automatic configuration recorder (maybe just a text file) that gets updated every time a backup runs would be a very useful feature.  Or, this might make a really nice add-in, anyone?

    Friday, June 6, 2008 1:41 AM

All replies

  • None of the backups and shared folders data should be on the system drive, assuming the Demigrator has had enough time to remove these files off and you have enough space on the other drives.

    While a Server Reinstall will remove your WHS customizations (addons, etc), your backups and shared data should be found intact. It does take a while to rebuild and reindex everything, but it should be a fairly straight-forward process.
    Friday, June 6, 2008 6:04 PM
  • Unfortunately, since the failed drive prevented the entire system from booting, I had no choice but to remove it physically (to get WHS to start up again), remove the drive from the storage pool, and then delete all backups.  The shared data was still intact since I had one of the two data drives still working.



    Friday, June 6, 2008 7:27 PM