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imageing whs before drive dies! RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello all..  I had some one build me a home server so that I could have more storage more usability..  But the person that built me the server used a recert. hd and it has started clicking..  I don't want to loss my os or anything. I know that I have enough storage for the data and I am running (I think) the latest updates.. What could I do now so that the drive wouldn't lose it's data?  Can I use the console and remove the dive that has the system on it so that the windows can migrate the information off the drive so I can replace it?  I don't know enough about the installation to do a reinstall..  That's why I had some one do it for me.. Please help me figure out a way to fix this asap before my dirve totaly goes..  Thanks... 
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 12:56 PM

Answers

  • There is no supported way to clone a Windows Home Server installation, and doing so has a way of causing serious issues, sufficiently so that you'll probably wind up needing a reinstallation anyway.

    So the supported way to do this is to shut your server down, replace the system drive, and perform a server reinstallation. If you need drivers for even one drive in the storage pool to be visible, make sure you supply drivers at the hardware detection screen. If you need drivers for your system drive to be visible, you'll need to supply drivers twice. Once is at the initial hardware detection screen, and the second time is just after the first reboot, at the "Press F6" prompt. In this case, you will need to supply drivers on a floppy; your motherboard or other disk controller manual should have instrucitons describing the preparation of an F6 floppy.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 3:21 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Ok..  I kept digging and found that I can use NTbackup from run but I don't want to back up 2 terabites of information..  What do I need to check or change to back it up..  I have read now that you can use the dvd to upgrade and then it will not overwrite everything..  But for me to back up so I can do this, I want to make sure I am doing everything right...  I have got all the shared folders duplicating and I have 2 80 gig drives (I'm mounting them on a raid card in raid 1 mirroring, at least I hope I am) I have 4 1.5 terabite drives in the system for storage.  So I think all I need to do is back up and save the data with NTbackup and reinstall with upgrade option and rebuild drives with upgrade, then use NTbackup to restore the users and shared files..  Please let me know if I am off by any and if I need to add anything or change anything, also let me know what I need to back up with NTbackup..  Thanks.... 
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 1:48 PM
  • There is no supported way to clone a Windows Home Server installation, and doing so has a way of causing serious issues, sufficiently so that you'll probably wind up needing a reinstallation anyway.

    So the supported way to do this is to shut your server down, replace the system drive, and perform a server reinstallation. If you need drivers for even one drive in the storage pool to be visible, make sure you supply drivers at the hardware detection screen. If you need drivers for your system drive to be visible, you'll need to supply drivers twice. Once is at the initial hardware detection screen, and the second time is just after the first reboot, at the "Press F6" prompt. In this case, you will need to supply drivers on a floppy; your motherboard or other disk controller manual should have instrucitons describing the preparation of an F6 floppy.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 3:21 PM
    Moderator
  • So basicly, for me to fix this problem, I'm going to have to install a floppy (which I don't have) and reinstall the whole thing? What about my data I have stored on the other drives? Do I map them or just lose it and have to try to save it some how? I have almost three terabites of data total on the drive and That will be a pain to try to find again..  I have my whole families photo history that I scanned and saved..   I am using an off site data (Carbonite) but I don't know how long it would take to redownload all of that..  I don't need to use NTbackup? If I reinstall the OS do I need to upgrade or full install? Do I need to unhook all my drives and just install my 80 gig raid (if I can do that right) and install the os again and add the drives again?  I'm so lost and I can't find anyone that works on whs to help me..  The guy that I had do it moved some where else..  Thanks for responding..
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 7:29 PM
  • Also, after I get this fixed,  if I raid two 80 gig's as a mirror and one drive dies, can I just replace the drive that way?

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 8:28 PM
  • So basicly, for me to fix this problem, I'm going to have to install a floppy (which I don't have) and reinstall the whole thing?

    If your drives are PATA (or if you set the SATA ports to IDE/Legacy mode so that they appear to be PATA), you won't need drivers.

    What about my data I have stored on the other drives?

    A Server Reinstallation only wipes the OS partition, leaving your data in tact.

    Do I map them or just lose it and have to try to save it some how?

    Just leave them attached and select Server Reinstallation from the menu.  (Do not select New Installation as that will wipe everything.)

    I have almost three terabites of data total on the drive and That will be a pain to try to find again..  I have my whole families photo history that I scanned and saved..   I am using an off site data (Carbonite) but I don't know how long it would take to redownload all of that..  I don't need to use NTbackup?

    You can't.

    If I reinstall the OS do I need to upgrade or full install? Do I need to unhook all my drives and just install my 80 gig raid (if I can do that right) and install the os again and add the drives again?  I'm so lost and I can't find anyone that works on whs to help me..  The guy that I had do it moved some where else..  Thanks for responding..

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 11:56 PM
    Moderator
  • Also, after I get this fixed,  if I raid two 80 gig's as a mirror and one drive dies, can I just replace the drive that way?

    RAID is unsupported on WHS.
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 11:57 PM
    Moderator
  • There is no supported way to clone a Windows Home Server installation, and doing so has a way of causing serious issues, sufficiently so that you'll probably wind up needing a reinstallation anyway.
    Supported or not, it *can* be done and if replacing the drive with the same size drive, it very well may work. A server reinstall might be the "supported way" but it's not the only way.

    Same with RAID, "unsupported" doesn't mean much although some throw it around like it does. While I had issues with RAID during the beta and I'd never suggest any kind of RAID that requires driver to be installed (yes, there is another option) I do know people that have had success with RAID, just not many.

    YMMV...


    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 12:36 AM
  • The raid that I am going to use is a pci raid card..  I installed one on a windows 7 with out using a driver.. It just seen it in the install..  I thought that a 80 gig drive on a raid card that is mirroring wouldn't cause any trouble since it is done on the card and not by the os and is just mirroring all the data and if one drive dies, it would just use the other drive and I could install another drive and in dos run a recovery..   I have done windows 7 on two computers (first 2 ever.. lol) and know just alittle about the software..  Sever software is just new to me..  He installed a 500 gig recert. drive in when he installed it.  But in the system disc states it is 2.1 terabites..  I don't understand that..   I have 7 terabites of drive space. When I installed the 4 drives (on a raid card) it increased the system space..  I don't know how to fix that.. 

    Is there a step by step guide on how to do this that I need to do? I have looked and looked and found on connect from microsoft about NTbackup.

    "Posted by Microsoft on 2/26/2007 at 4:22 PM
    Jim Sanchez,

    This issue is addressed on the forum.microsoft.com site.

    This is possible as the installer DVD will let you do an upgrade with the existing \ remaining drives.

    connecting them to your system or any system with a fresh system HD and then upgrading
    is supposed to reparse the file tombstones and restore the file structure on the system drive.

    This will not put back your system settings such as shares and users.
    ntbackup would be the tool if you wanted to return the sys part to the previous state after doing this scenario.

    Thanks

    Donald Fitzhugh
    Windows Home Server
    Support Engineer"

    That is the best I could find..   But he said that I could use NTbackup after I reinstall the os and get all my user data back and all the settings back (I think).  But I don't know what I need to save in NTbackup other then C:/  Do I need to save anything else??  

    If there is a guide that could help me more, please let me know..  Thanks...   
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 1:53 AM
  • The raid that I am going to use is a pci raid card..  I installed one on a windows 7 with out using a driver.. It just seen it in the install..  I thought that a 80 gig drive on a raid card that is mirroring wouldn't cause any trouble since it is done on the card and not by the os and is just mirroring all the data and if one drive dies, it would just use the other drive and I could install another drive and in dos run a recovery..   I have done windows 7 on two computers (first 2 ever.. lol) and know just alittle about the software..  Sever software is just new to me..  He installed a 500 gig recert. drive in when he installed it.  But in the system disc states it is 2.1 terabites..  I don't understand that..   I have 7 terabites of drive space. When I installed the 4 drives (on a raid card) it increased the system space..  I don't know how to fix that.. 

    Is there a step by step guide on how to do this that I need to do? I have looked and looked and found on connect from microsoft about NTbackup.

    "Posted by Microsoft on 2/26/2007 at 4:22 PM
    Jim Sanchez,

    This issue is addressed on the forum.microsoft.com site.

    This is possible as the installer DVD will let you do an upgrade with the existing \ remaining drives.

    connecting them to your system or any system with a fresh system HD and then upgrading
    is supposed to reparse the file tombstones and restore the file structure on the system drive.

    This will not put back your system settings such as shares and users.
    ntbackup would be the tool if you wanted to return the sys part to the previous state after doing this scenario.

    Thanks

    Donald Fitzhugh
    Windows Home Server
    Support Engineer"

    That is the best I could find..

    But that post is almost 3 years old and was written when WHS was still in the early beta phase.  The product went through some changes during beta.  Even if it did work back then, it doesn't now.

    But he said that I could use NTbackup after I reinstall the os and get all my user data back and all the settings back (I think).  But I don't know what I need to save in NTbackup other then C:/  Do I need to save anything else??  

    If there is a guide that could help me more, please let me know..  Thanks...   

    Thursday, January 7, 2010 2:08 AM
    Moderator
  • Win7 is not WHS and RAID *on* WHS has been spotty at best. If you insist on RAID for the WHS system drive, take a look at this: http://www.addonics.com/products/host_controller/ad2sahpmeu.asp It supports mirroring and WHS will see it as a single drive, even without drivers. You would need an esata to sata cable, if you don't have an esata port. I would advise against RAID on the WHS DATA drives partly because WHS takes care of needed duplication on a per share basis.


    For imaging I would suggest Acronis, which isn't cheap, but I wouldn't use ntbackup. There is other imaging SW out there but I prefer Acronis.

    YMMV...

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 2:38 AM
  • But if it is a home server, it should have some way to back up just like a server in a buisness..   At work, our server died and in four hours it was back up and running...  Why would microsoft take out something that it suppose to do?  So basicly, only thing I can do is just try to reinstall and upgrade and just keep my fingers crossed that I can recover the data that I was backing up in the first place?  I'm getting kind of upset trying to figure this out and everything I am finding nothing suppose to work..  Just reload everything...  I guess I can just go buy some sort of nas and buy three 4 2 tera bite drives and just transfer everything from one to the other..  Thanks for letting me know that I have no where to turn...  I think I should have went with Linux..  
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 2:39 AM
  • What you do for work or other servers doesn't mean it's appropriate for WHS. WHS is different, in a number of ways because it was designed to work different and designed to be used by people you typically don't find in an IT department.

    Oh, another advantage of using the addonics solution is you wouldn't need to image the system. You would simply add the existing drive to the addonics card, make sure it works, then add the second drive to the card and wait for it to mirror the existing drive. Once mirrored you can remove the failing drive and replace it. All drives must be the same though. Much cheaper than buying Acronis, trust me.

    Good luck...

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 2:51 AM
  • ok..  so you are stating that I can now just remove the drive from the drive storage menu and the sys would be moved to other drives?  If that's the case I'm in great shape..  Please just clerify that I can do that before I start something that I will regret..  Thanks... 
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 3:01 AM
  • There is always the option of continuing as you began and paying someone to do the recovery for you. That's assuming your server isn't still covered by whatever warranty the original system builder offered. If the server is fairly new, it may still be covered and if so, that's the least expensive solution.

    Failing that and given your stated level of technical expertise, you should stick with supported solutions. A lot of people have had experience with them, as opposed to an unsupported solution like cloning your system drive. An unsupported solution has a pretty high likelihood of turning into a learning experience, in which you get to add to the accumulated knowledge of the solution and it's potential pitfalls.

    In this case, the supported solution is a server recovery. If you decide to proceed, we'll need to know how your server is currently configured: does it use SATA or IDE drives, for example? Are they configured to run in SATA, IDE, or AHCI mode? Do you even know how to tell?


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 3:09 AM
    Moderator
  • I just want to make sure that I can do that with the drive with the Operating system on it..  I guess I could buy the nas and try to copy the data and if it doens't work I am not out anything but a few hundred dollars..  But if it works it would answer so many question that no one has an answer to online.. 
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 3:09 AM
  • ok..  so you are stating that I can now just remove the drive from the drive storage menu and the sys would be moved to other drives?  If that's the case I'm in great shape..  Please just clerify that I can do that before I start something that I will regret..  Thanks... 
    That's not even close to what I said. I'm actually saying a few things.

    1) Unsupported doesn't always mean not possible. Unsupported things may or may not work, some are just not tested, some will break your WHS.
    2) Just because people do certain things or a certain way on another OS, doesn't mean that's the way it's done on WHS.
    3) You can image the drive, it may or may not work because you already know the drive is failing and nothing is 100%
    4) The addonics solution would allow you to replace the failing system drive (it IS the system drive that's failing, right?) WITHOUT having to do a server reinstall, as long as the failing drive mirrors everything before it dies and assuming that the data isn't already corrupt.
    5) Linux = poo. :D

    Hope that helps...


    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 3:12 AM
  • They are sata running as IDE under the bios. I think that is what you are talking about..  Where I live, I have no one that works on Whs's..  The tech that came to my work place and fixed the server there came from about 100 miles away and he told me if I had trouble with it being custom built, I would be the one to work on them..  He said that servers are different and easier to work on.. The guy that built the system for me moved away. But I wanted to have more storage then an HP or what ever other servers I seen.  I know I am going to have alot of trouble, but I am trying to figure out the easyest route to take so I will have the least amount of trouble..  If I can't remove the drive under drive storage in the server console, I guess I will just try to update the OS with the new drive..  Since people are stating that raid isn't supported, I guess I won't try it..  I'm sorry..  I just don't want to loss all of this data..  But if it happens, it happens..  Thanks all for responding and trying to help..   
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 3:20 AM
  • Here are your options, as I see them, to replace your failing system drive (assuming that you have more than a single drive WHS) without losing the data in your shared folders:

    1) You can try a supported server reinstall (you could lose your workstation backups)
    2) You can make an Image of the system drive and replace the failing drive. After that you would write the image to the new drive.
    3) You can use the addonics solution, which would then have the system drive mirrored if a system drive failed later.

    I wouldn't trust ntbackup, personally.


    Good luck...

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 3:28 AM
  • You keep talking about addonics..  I am guessing you are talking about the add remove settings under drive storage in the console right?  How would I transfer that to a new drive in Drive storage?  I don't see that. If I click on the system drive, it doens't have a way to remove repair or anything.. 
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 3:28 AM
  • ok..  I just did a search for addonics..  That's a nas..  K now which would I need? Would I need enough room to cover all 7 tera bites or just 2 terabites since the system folder is 2 terabites (which I don't under stand)..  Thanks for your help...
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 3:31 AM
  • ok..  I just did a search for addonics..  That's a nas..  K now which would I need? Would I need enough room to cover all 7 tera bites or just 2 terabites since the system folder is 2 terabites (which I don't under stand)..  Thanks for your help...
    Look at this instead of the NAS


    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 3:42 AM
  • OK... Just an update..  I tried to do a reinstall as an upgrade but the disc I have doesn't have that as an option..  Only new install..  I lost all my data. But the good thing is I was able to back up 80% of it..  

    I installed a Rosewell 4 port raid card in to my PCI slot and set the 2 80gig drives up as mirrored, I set up 2 1.5 terabite drive up on the other two ports and set it as bypass (ie 2 single drives).  I installed the os on the two 80 gig's mirrored with out needing a floppy (thank god) just the cd. Once installed and configured I did a fail on the drive. I unhooked one of the drives and booted up. The raid seen that it was no drive there (I removed IO0 which is the primary) and asked what I want to do. I just let it forward on and it worked great. I formated the other 80 gig that had  the OS on it and reinstalled it and Raid asked what I want to do. I said to rebuild it. Sure enough the raid was rebuilt with it mirrored and ran just like it was nothing wrong..  Thank god that works.  I know that raid is not supported by Micr$oft but for me it works.  Once I got everything tested and running I tried to recover the user data with NTbackup.  That didn't go as well..  But I just reset everyone up and so far so good..  I am now transfering data back to the server. No problems so far.. I just hope it stays that way..  Thanks to all for everyones help... 
    Saturday, January 9, 2010 5:22 AM