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WHS 2011 - Server failure - hard drive data recovery RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello all,

       My Ss4200 headless home server died.  The hard drives are fine but the hardware is dead.

    This is WHS 2011.  What i want to do is copy the data stored on the hard drives to my windows 8 desktop.  When I connect the hard drive, I am able to see it mount.  The drive is ~98% full as it was before the hardware failure.  I am able to see a D:\ServerFolders directory.  

    However there are no contents visible.  I modified windows explorer view settings to unhide file and folders and unhide system folders.

    In WHS v1 I was able to connect to the DE drives.  DE or Data Extender does NOT exist in WHS 2011.  So what do I do here?

    I would prefer not to rebuild the whole OS on the desktop.

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013 5:41 AM

Answers

  • Your only recovery option is to reinstall WHS 2011 on new hardware and then pop in your data drive. You will be able to see your data.

    Do not put your data drive when reinstalling WHS because it will get formatted with the system drive. Just install WHS 2011 on your system drive and put your second drive in only when the installation is done.

    Claude 

    Saturday, February 23, 2013 6:16 PM

All replies

  • Do you see other folders such as Program Files, Users, Windows, and so on. If so, you are looking at the C: partition of your server. I do have there also an empty ServerFolders folder because all my data are moved to the D: partition on the same physical disk and to another E: disk.

    Try mounting the other partition and that one should only have a single ServerFolders folder with your data.

    Luc.

    • Proposed as answer by Ken Warren Wednesday, February 20, 2013 5:48 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Shaun CassellsMVP Wednesday, February 20, 2013 8:21 PM
    Wednesday, February 20, 2013 2:16 PM
  • The primary OS drive did not have any data on it.

    The secondary 1.5tb drive has all the data.  Disk Management shows only a single active, primary partition that encompasses the full drive.  The drive is ~98% full.  

    This drive, which I have working on a windows 8 desktop shows a single folder entitled :\ServerFolders

    Nothing is visible within.  Looks like a weird security issue. sorry to repeat myself, but if i were to guess, it appears that security of some sort or another is preventing me from seeing and/or gaining access to the drive.  I did try opening up properties, security, and taking ownership with my new windows 8 workstation administrators group.  this failed.

    Revised question: how does one bypass the security of WHS2011 ServerFolders to access data after the initial hardware died.  What are my recovery options?

    Best

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013 8:25 PM
  • Your only recovery option is to reinstall WHS 2011 on new hardware and then pop in your data drive. You will be able to see your data.

    Do not put your data drive when reinstalling WHS because it will get formatted with the system drive. Just install WHS 2011 on your system drive and put your second drive in only when the installation is done.

    Claude 

    Saturday, February 23, 2013 6:16 PM
  • You are correct, when I rebuilt WHS 2011 it did wipe the other drive.  To say that I am slightly displeased is an understatement.

    As such, I am now running server 2012 and will never in good conscience recommend WHS again.

    Sunday, March 3, 2013 5:49 PM
  • It only wipes the drive containing the Operating System - other drives should not be touched. Server 2012 is no different in this respect.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Sunday, March 3, 2013 8:56 PM
  • So I had the same issue.  I rebuilt the WHS 2011 server and I still cannot access the files.  I hesitate to do anything further because I don't want to lose my files.  The drive with my back up also failed so I have no back image.  I just want to get my files off the data hard drive.

    Do I move the folders in the Dashboard?

    Monday, November 3, 2014 1:02 AM
  • If you login to the WHS locally or via Remote Desktop and open Windows Explorer - does it see your second volume? If not, check if disk management is seeing it and it is set either to offline or has no drive letter assigned.

    Both you can solve yourself. If the disk needs to be initialized in disk management, be carefull, if it asks for converting the disk to basic or dynamic disk - this kind of conversion should not be done, since this may lead to complete data loss.

    Best greetings
    Olaf

    Monday, November 3, 2014 6:15 PM
  • Yes I can see the disk both remotely and on the WHS in windows explorer.  All the data is there because disk shows files.  But I am only seeing the first folder with no files.  For example "My Pictures" is there and the first folder underneath is there "2004" but there are no files under 2004.  This is the same with "My Videos", "My Music," etc...

    Is there any program that will allow me to access these files?

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014 1:53 PM
  • Hi,

    what happens, if you open an administrative command prompt on the server (Start/cmd - right click the cmd.exe and select run as administrator) and enter a command like

    dir x:\path /s /a

    x: would be the drive letter with your data, and path the directory. The command should show all files and folders independent from their hidden flag, unless you get access denied even as Administrator.  Be aware, that these sometimes have a different name in command line (i.e. Documents and Settings will be a hardlink to users for compatibility only, even more masquerading is done for foreign languages).

    What would

    chkdsk x:

    show about the occupation (would the number of files listed match the expected number), would there any file system errors be seen?

    Best greetings
    Olaf

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014 8:11 PM
  • Thanks Olaf.

    When I ran chkdsk it shows 

    976742103 KB total disk space

    759334115 KB in 307 files

    The files do not seem to be hidden.  I tried /s /a and it show nothing.  

    Right now it looks like all the data are in DAT files.  There are 700 of files in DAT files.  Are those something I can access?

    Sunday, November 9, 2014 7:23 PM
  • The dat files are the client backup database files, which can only be accessed from the dashboard or by recovering a system.

    After reinstalling the server might be the best, to delete these files from within an administrative command prompt and perform a fresh start, if you have still the complete client PCs available.

    But since you are missing other files as well ... I don't think that they ever have been on that volume with that low total number of files. In disk management on the server, do you see eventually volumes, which have no drive letter assigned?

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Monday, November 10, 2014 3:57 PM