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Some questions about my new WHS... RRS feed

  • Question

  • So I have my new HP ex475, and I set it up this past weekend. I have some questions, if anybody knows the answer to these I would appreciate it.

     

    1. I kind of went crazy with the backups. I created a "Base" backup for my laptop, which is just an OS install. Then I created a "Base-2" backup with some software. Then I created a "Base-3" backup with some more software installs. Essentially taking snapshots after installing a few large applications.

     

    Is there any danger in creating what would be a "Base-4" backup, but instead of calling it "Base-4", calling it "Base-2" and deleting the original "Base-2" (and "Base-3") backup? I would assume that it doesn't matter, that even if I did create a "Base-4" backup, WHS is going to ignore all of the other backups if I needed to do a total restore. I just want to make sure that I'm not doing anything stupid that will thrash a database, muck up pointers, or something.

     

    2. Along the same lines, I had an external harddrive with about 300GB of data that I wanted to store on the WHS shares. I attached that drive to the WHS via USB, and then remoted into the server and pulled the files from the external drive into the proper share under "D;\shares". For instance, I had a directory on the external drive called "Public stuff" that I just copy/pasted to "D:\shares\public" on the WHS.

     

    I did this because it's faster than attaching the external drive to my laptop and pushing the files over the network to \\SERVER\public (or whatever the UNC is). But I've been reading that you should not send files to mapped shares, only to UNCs...otherwise you get "out-of-sync tombstones", or something like that in DExtender.  I'm not sure if this applies to what I'm doing, with the external drive attached directly to the WHS. Also, I do not have duplication set for any of the shares.

     

    What is the recommended method for getting large amounts of data onto WHS?

     

    On a related note, I installed iTunes on my Vista desktop, but could not get it to find the UNC path for the music stored on my WHS no matter what I tried. Other software picks up stuff under "Network" fine, but not iTunes. So I mapped drive "M:\" to \\SERVER\music and set that to always reconnect. This works fine (as it should), but I'm concerned about working directly with shares rather than UNCs. In this case, however, I won't ever be _writing_ to the M:\ drive, only reading (if that makes a difference).

     

    3. I've been reading about what not to store on WHS (i.e. PST files), and stuff about ADS files corrupting. Is this something I need to be worried about? I'm not storing PST files, or running applications on the server. But if there is a chance data is going to be corrupted, I'd like to know what to look out for.

     

    4. I've been getting the "Balancing..." message on my WHS Console for the past few days. I don't have duplication set on any folders. Is this normal?

     

    5. I assume that if I restore machines from WHS (using the PC Restore Disc), and it works, I am good to go. I am paranoid, and the way the restore stuff works seems magical. To be on the safe side, is there a way to backup these "snapshots" I'm taking to DVD or something, so if I ever re-install WHS I can be back up and running without having to go through the process of taking multiple snapshots again?

     

    6. Related to the above, how easy is it to reinstall WHS? This might be a better question in the hardware forum, since I am asking specifically about the HP ex475. If re-install the WHS software, does it just blow away the 20GB system partition, and leave my shares alone? Does it blow away the backups I have (where are those stored, anyway)? Does it rebuild whatever it needs to rebuild the data on the shares? Basically I'm wondering if it's possible/easy/recommended to "start fresh" every 12 months or so, without much effort.

     

    Thanks in advance.

     

     

     

     

    Monday, December 3, 2007 4:41 PM

All replies

  • To answer your Q6: When the need to reinstall presents itself, you will be prompted to do just that or perform a new installation upon inserting the DVD. I built my own server and installed an OEM copy of WHS and just went thru a reinstall of the System partition only. Worked perfectly. I had to add users all over again but it did not take long.
    Monday, December 3, 2007 6:41 PM
  • Thanks for the response.

    Do you know if the databases (Drive Extender, etc) that WHS uses are blown away when you just blow away the systen partition? I don't want to carry any of the issues (tombstone data, bad pointers, etc) when I re-install. I'm hoping that what will happen is the system will be brought back to factory settings, and all databases will be rebuilt from scratch using the duplicated data that was not blown away, just as if I copied it there over the network.

    Thanks again.
    Monday, December 3, 2007 7:08 PM
  • There is no database behind Drive Extender. The file system on D: is as close as you get.

    When you do a server reinstallation/recovery, it will reset the system partition (CSmile and will check/rebuild the tombstones.
    Monday, December 3, 2007 7:38 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken -

    Thanks so much for your response. I'm trying to decide if I am going to do a "recovery" when I get home, or a full re-install. I'm hoping to fix any issues I might have caused when I moved files directly to "D:\public" (for example), instead of using the UNC (#2 above).

    So if I do a "recovery", the tombstones will all be corrected back to what they should be? That's what I'm looking for, a clean slate. I want things to be just as if I powered up the WHS for the first time, and copied files to "\\SERVER\public".

    I suppose a good question to ask, that would clear this up for me, is this: is a "recovery" and a "re-install" the same thing, except for the fact that with a "re-install" all drives are formatted, and with a "recovery" the data in "D:\shares" is kept?

    Thanks for the help, it's appreciated.
    Monday, December 3, 2007 7:52 PM
  • With the HP units, it's actually recovery and reset. A recovery is the equivalent of a "server reinstallation" and will preserve your backups and shares. A reset will reset your server to the factory state.
    Monday, December 3, 2007 8:07 PM
    Moderator
  • Ok, and I should be doing a "recovery", right?

    This seems like the right thing to do, as it's what is suggested when completely replacing the system drive. When doing so, the system partition is installed, and then the tombstones are re-created (which is what I'm looking for).

    But then again, from what I understand if you are _not_ completely replacing the system drive, the "recovery" will use the existing tombstone data, and try to fix it.

    Can anybody verify if this is true?

    I suppose I could just do a "server re-installation", if the only difference between that and a "recovery" is blowing away the data (which I have a backup of, so that's no big deal).

    Thanks again.
    Monday, December 3, 2007 8:24 PM
  •  edgewoodroad wrote:
    Ok, and I should be doing a "recovery", right?


    If you want to format only the OS partition (keeping the data in tact), yes.

     

     edgewoodroad wrote:
    This seems like the right thing to do, as it's what is suggested when completely replacing the system drive. When doing so, the system partition is installed, and then the tombstones are re-created (which is what I'm looking for).



    Technically, I don't know if it will "recreate" the tombstones (since they are still there anyway).  Those are kept on the D partition on the primary drive (which will remain).  It may check them....

     

     edgewoodroad wrote:
    But then again, from what I understand if you are _not_ completely replacing the system drive, the "recovery" will use the existing tombstone data, and try to fix it.

    Can anybody verify if this is true?

    I suppose I could just do a "server re-installation", if the only difference between that and a "recovery" is blowing away the data (which I have a backup of, so that's no big deal).

     

    There are different terms between WHS OEM and HP MediaServer.  Factory Recovery (HP's term) is the same as Server Reinstallation (MS's term).  Those wipe only the OS partition, keeping the data in tact.

     

    Factory Reset (HP) is the same as New Installation (MS).  Those wipe everything off of all drives attached.

     edgewoodroad wrote:
    Thanks again.

     

    If you really want to get back to fresh out of the box (and play it safe), you'll need to do Factory Reset (which will delete everything).  Then you just copy the data back to the network shares.

    Tuesday, December 4, 2007 2:03 AM
    Moderator