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Server PC failure - how to transfer data to a new Server PC RRS feed

  • Question

  • Could anyone pls tell me how to handle the following scenario:

    - the Server PC has two disks installed

    - the user data is duplicated

    - the PC itself breaks down, but the disks are OK

     

    How can I transefer the users data from the two old disks to a new Home Server PC ?

     

    Friday, August 17, 2007 2:45 PM

Answers

  • If the user data is all duplicated, you should be able to remove the disks from one PC and install them in the other. If your hardware is close enough (HALs match), you might be able to boot at that point. But I wouldn't try it; you're much more likely to bluescreen. Instead, I would install the drives so that they were presented by the BIOS in the same order as on the machine you're decomissioning, then do a server reinstallation. That will wipe/reload the system partition (C: ), but leave your data alone. You'll retain backups and data, but lose users and OS customizations.
    Saturday, August 18, 2007 11:37 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • If you mean a system you built yourself, all you need to do is replace the broken part (mobo, cpu, etc).  There is no need to transfer the data to a new system.  The only thing you might have to do would be a re-install of WHS (if your rebuilt system blue screens on the first boot, which would most likely mean the Hardware Abstraction Layer was too different from before).  However, your data should be in tact.

     

    Having said that, if you really want to move it to a new server, you would have to remove the drives from the broken server (obviously Smile  ), then hook them up to client PC or to the new server (but DO NOT add them to the storage pool).  At that point, you would be able to move the data from the drives into the network shares on the new server.  Once you have moved all of the data, then you could add the drives to the storage pool on the new server.

    Friday, August 17, 2007 3:13 PM
    Moderator
  • This is how I did it:

    1. Get both new server and old server hard drives onto same pc (I used the old server, since it was still working, but you could use the new server as well).

    2. Boot Knoppix.

    3. Using fdisk, partition new system drive to have 20G system partition and the rest in a data partition.  Set the system partition active.

    4. Copy the old server file systems to the new using ntfsclone (new drive must be same size or larger than old for this step, I think).

    5. Resize the ntfs file systems on the two partitions using ntfsresize (so space isn't wasted, assuming new drive is larger than old).

    6. Tweak the ntfs boot sector if you've moved the system partition to a different place on the new disk (http://www.dominok.net/en/it/en.it.clonexp.html, part 6 documents how to do this manually).

    7. Boot the new home server, enter new product key, find all drivers and install.

     

    You would also have to clone the second disk using ntfsclonse, but it should be easier since there would only be one partition.

     

    This procedure is not trivial, but if you have some experience with fdisk it should be relatively easy to follow.  The other hard part is tweaking the ntfs bootsector, since you have to use a hex editor.

    Friday, August 17, 2007 7:38 PM
  • 2 points regarding that method:

     

    1)  There is no way that MS will support any of that (if you try it and there is a problem, you're on your own).

    2)  If you are good enough with computers to do that, then you are probably good enough with computers to replace whatever part is broken and not go through all of that in the first place. Smile

    Friday, August 17, 2007 9:43 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    Fair enough - I needed the original server for a different purpose (it was just a temporary install), which is why I needed to move the installation.  I don't know how experienced the original poster is, but there seem to be a number of system builder types on this board who might be able to use the information.

     

    In any case, I want to clarify that I wasn't contradicting your post, just providing the literal answer to the original question "how to transfer data to a new Server PC", in case someone has the need to do exactly that.  I agree that in the case of broken components it may be easier to just replace the component.

    Friday, August 17, 2007 10:10 PM
  • Thanks for the replies. I became interested in the Home Server for its simplicity in setting up the server and installing addional HD's. I have just added added a disk on my system - it took me 10 minutes to add a new disk and be up and running again. I'm impressed.

     

    But I'm supprised over the complexity in recovering data from a rather simple error situation - the PC hardware is failing, but the disks are OK. For me its to complex to start fiddelig with all kind of tweeks and tools hidden in the operating system, I'm looking for something much more user friendly.

     

    I challenge the development team to supply us with addins that makes it "a peace of cake" to install  the old disk(s) on a new server - without destroying the users data.

    Saturday, August 18, 2007 5:41 AM
  •  jostrav wrote:

    Thanks for the replies. I became interested in the Home Server for its simplicity in setting up the server and installing addional HD's. I have just added added a disk on my system - it took me 10 minutes to add a new disk and be up and running again. I'm impressed.

     

    But I'm supprised over the complexity in recovering data from a rather simple error situation - the PC hardware is failing, but the disks are OK. For me its to complex to start fiddelig with all kind of tweeks and tools hidden in the operating system, I'm looking for something much more user friendly.

     

    I don't want to speak for MS, but judging by the way the OS is set up, I think they were more concerned with hard drive failures than other PC equipment failures (and rightfully so since HDD failures are the most common reason a PC stops working correctly).

     

    As for the hidden folder, it really is a straight forward approach to retrieving the data (all you have to do is show hidden folders, then move the files to the new location).

     

     jostrav wrote:

    I challenge the development team to supply us with addins that makes it "a peace of cake" to install  the old disk(s) on a new server - without destroying the users data.

     

    As much as I would like to see that as well, I don't see that happening any time in the foreseeable future (not with this version of WHS at any rate).  The OS has to have control of all of the hard drives installed and the only way it can do that effectively is to wipe what's already on there (then it will know what's on there and what it put on each drive).

    Saturday, August 18, 2007 6:20 AM
    Moderator
  • If the user data is all duplicated, you should be able to remove the disks from one PC and install them in the other. If your hardware is close enough (HALs match), you might be able to boot at that point. But I wouldn't try it; you're much more likely to bluescreen. Instead, I would install the drives so that they were presented by the BIOS in the same order as on the machine you're decomissioning, then do a server reinstallation. That will wipe/reload the system partition (C: ), but leave your data alone. You'll retain backups and data, but lose users and OS customizations.
    Saturday, August 18, 2007 11:37 AM
    Moderator