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Did I just lose all my data? Please say no. UPDATE: I DIDN'T! RRS feed

  • Question

  • See this thread for the beginning of the saga: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whshardware/thread/3ea0197a-e4ad-4f17-a9c4-d7c48174c0e8

    I did the steps outlined in that thread, expecting it to do the "RebuildPrimary" process at the end like I've seen described.  It didn't.  When I open the console from the server, it says I have 3TB free.  When I attempt to access the shares from the server, I get access denied, even though I'm logged in as admin. 

    Help, please.  3TB of data, gone.
    • Edited by ECEC Saturday, March 13, 2010 6:08 PM
    Friday, March 12, 2010 10:15 PM

All replies

  • Umm.. why did you do a new install, and then a server reinstall?
    My guess is that your storage pool didn't rebuild because it doesn't know any disks are a part of the storage pool from the new install

    Friday, March 12, 2010 10:32 PM
  • I saw that process used here in several threads when the Reinstall option wasn't available.  There was a Restore option available, but the description said it would erase everything EXCEPT duplicated content, and due to the hard drive crash I had duplication turned off. 

    So I backed out, researched here for a bit, then disconnected any data drives and did a new install.  Once done, I reconnected the data drives and booted from the install DVD, which now gave me a "Server Reinstallation" option, which I did. 

    Some funny things:

    - I can see the computers that were connected before in the console, but can't see any of the backups for those PCs.
    - I can see folders for all the users that were created before.

    Still looking for any advice on how to recover the data, either via WHS (which is probably impossible) or manual recovery methods.
    Friday, March 12, 2010 10:41 PM
  • Take a look at the FAQ I linked in that other post. It wasn't clear to me that you had completed your new installation; the reinstallation on top shouldn't have affected the data on your other drives but also won't have reintegrated them, because the installation you reinstalled on top of didn't know about them.

    Before you proceed with anything, we need to determine the state of your drives. Are they all added to server storage?


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, March 12, 2010 11:03 PM
    Moderator
  • Sorry I wasn't clear, Ken.  :/
    Yes, they are all added to the storage pool.  I've removed one of the drives, attempting to see if I could see the hidden folders that might contain the actual data, but the drive is empty. 

    The one thing that sticks out to me in the FAQ you linked is this:

    "You will lose files from your shares if A) duplication is not turned on for every share, and B) files in one of those unduplicated shares are actually stored on the failed drive."

    I had no duplication turned on for any share, does that mean I would have lost everything?  I still have the old, "broken" OS drive that hasn't been touched, could I conceivably load that up?  I'm reaching, but I'm willing to try almost anything.

    Edit: I should note that all of these drives show up as empty in the disk manager.
    Friday, March 12, 2010 11:08 PM
  • Actually, for more clarity, here's how it went down:
    • 1. Two hard drives began failing.
    • 2. Was able to remove one of the drives from the pool, so I now had a spare drive.
    • 3. Disconnected the spare drive, server was acting normal.
    • 4. Started seeing more problems, ran a disk check and determined that neither of the two drives I thought were failing actually were, it was the OS drive.
    • 5. Removed the OS drive from the system.
    • 6. Installed the spare drive from 2, disconnected remaining data drives and booted from WHS Install DVD.
    • 7. Didn't get "Reinstallation" option, so did a new install.
    • 8. Once new install was completed, connected data drives and booted from WHS Install DVD.
    • 9. Choose the "Reinstallation" option, which appeared this time.
    • 10. Went through the installation, once it completed all drives were added to the storage pool but no data. At no point during this process did WHS tell me that the drives would be formatted. 
    It's right at 3tb of data, and I have another 1.5tb drive coming. Worse case scenario, I can buy another 1.5tb drive and attempt to recover the data off of each disk manually using GetDataBack. I've used it to recover data from a formatted drive before with good results, but I'm not sure if it will work with WHS.
    Friday, March 12, 2010 11:15 PM
  • Use the data recovery tool you prefer. It sounds like the order of events did result in Windows Home Server reformatting your drives, I'm afraid, so some tool that can recover from a formatted drive is your best bet. You'll be abandoning the current installation, because you don't want more writing on the drives and so you'll be pulling them out of the server without using the console to remove them...

    Regarding what you wrote and what I read: possibly my bad, rather than yours. Doesn't matter now. :(
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, March 13, 2010 12:58 AM
    Moderator
  • Update time, and it's GOOD NEWS! 

    I started using GetDataBack, it took a good 3 hours to analyze the 500gb drive, which I left running overnight.  After that, it needed to go through a "Extracting found MFRs" process, and after another 3 hours it was only at 1%.  Extrapolating, it would have taken me 41 DAYS to recover all the data from all three drives. 

    Meanwhile, someone in the WHS thread on SomethingAwful suggested I try out TestDisk and recover the partitions on each drive.  Amazingly, it *just worked*.  I ran the software, selected the disk, it found the partition and prompted me to write it, which I did.  Rebooted and assigned the drive a letter via Disk Management, and the DE folder containing all the share info was there.  Got the same results on the 1 and 1.5TB drives as well. 

    So now I'm gonna reinstall WHS on one of the SATA drives (why not at this point?), then wait for the my 4 port SATA card to come in so I can connect all the drives with data and somehow merge the data together. 

    Any suggestions on software to do the merge?  Should I create the blank 3TB pool and just to a standard file copy to it via SMB? 

    Still incredibly amazed that I got all the data back this quickly and easily.  :D  Thanks to all the posters who posted suggestions!
    Saturday, March 13, 2010 5:26 PM
  • Update time, and it's GOOD NEWS! 

    I started using GetDataBack, it took a good 3 hours to analyze the 500gb drive, which I left running overnight.  After that, it needed to go through a "Extracting found MFRs" process, and after another 3 hours it was only at 1%.  Extrapolating, it would have taken me 41 DAYS to recover all the data from all three drives. 

    Meanwhile, someone in the WHS thread on SomethingAwful suggested I try out TestDisk and recover the partitions on each drive.  Amazingly, it *just worked*.  I ran the software, selected the disk, it found the partition and prompted me to write it, which I did.  Rebooted and assigned the drive a letter via Disk Management, and the DE folder containing all the share info was there.  Got the same results on the 1 and 1.5TB drives as well. 

    So now I'm gonna reinstall WHS on one of the SATA drives (why not at this point?), then wait for the my 4 port SATA card to come in so I can connect all the drives with data and somehow merge the data together. 

    Any suggestions on software to do the merge?  Should I create the blank 3TB pool and just to a standard file copy to it via SMB? 

    Considering the trouble you already had by doing what you did, I would suggest you get a blank hard drive, do a New Installation on that, then copy your data from the other drives to the server through the network (unless you feel like going through that whole ordeal all over again  :)  ).

    Still incredibly amazed that I got all the data back this quickly and easily.  :D  Thanks to all the posters who posted suggestions!

    Saturday, March 13, 2010 7:21 PM
    Moderator
  • That's what I'm in the process of doing!  :)  Won't be able to finish everything, but I'll be able to get the data off the IDE drives at the least. 

    Someone told me to verify the data I'm seeing on the drive aren't tombstones, but actual files.  Everything looks like actual files, so I'm not sure what to look for.  I was just planning on slowly copying everything I need via something like SyncBack. 
    Saturday, March 13, 2010 7:24 PM
  • That's what I'm in the process of doing!  :)  Won't be able to finish everything, but I'll be able to get the data off the IDE drives at the least. 

    Someone told me to verify the data I'm seeing on the drive aren't tombstones, but actual files.

    The actual files are in hidden folders on each drive called DE.  As long as you're copying from there, you're fine.  See the FAQ post:  How to recover data after server failure for details.

    Everything looks like actual files, so I'm not sure what to look for.  I was just planning on slowly copying everything I need via something like SyncBack. 

    Saturday, March 13, 2010 7:27 PM
    Moderator