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MediaSmart server in a strange state RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've got a few indications on my MediaSmart server that something is up:
    1. "Calculating sizes..." never appears to make progress, although I can hear one or more hard disks constantly spinning.
    2. On my non-system hard disks show "Not Added" as their status, although right-clicking them gives me only the option to "Remove", not to Add.
    3. About half of my shares indicate sync conflicts of the form "the disk could not be found".
    I've poked around in c:\fs\P and c:\fs\W, and it appears that the data I care about is still around. Likewise, if I surf in through the SMB shares, everything seems to be okay. Backups still seem to be happening, and I seem to be able to browse files in recent backup sets. So I suspect I haven't lost data yet and would like to keep it that way.

    Any ideas what may have gotten into an inconsistent state, and how I might fix it? 

    Thanks.
    Friday, December 25, 2009 11:17 PM

Answers

  • Hi Scott,

    I think somehow the disk ID's got mixed up in the system registry. I have seen issues like that in the past with external USB disks are attached. There's multiple things that can cause such issues and there's also more the one way to fix this issue.

    The supported way to fix  would be to do a server recovery. Before you do this however please make sure there's no problem with the external disk or it's enclosure.

    The unsupported way would be to edit the WHS registry to set the correct disk assignments. This method is quicker, however if you make any error there you may mess things up even further. To find out how to do this you can read this thread and this one

    Personally I would advise against having USB attached disks as part of the storage pool. IMHO external USB disk is fine for external data backup, temporary data storage, moving large amounts of data from one system to another and similar purposes but not for permanent storage.
    Wednesday, December 30, 2009 7:26 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Seems like one of your drives is failing. Not sure if I understand you correctly though. Is it only one disk which is showing up as not added or all of them?

    A. If it's only one disk:

    If you have duplication turned on for all shares the data in your shares should be safe. Client backups may may be at risk. To resolve the problem you can:

    1. physically remove the disk
    2. remove the disk from the WHS console
    3. get a replacement disk

    If you don't have duplication turned on for all shares you may loose data with the procedure outlined above

    If you have essential data on your disk and the disk is no longer accessible you may ask a professional data recovery company to check the disk.
    If the disk is still physically accesible you may be able to recover the data yourself if you mount the disk in another system, then follow procedure as described in B1-2 below. If the disk spins up but doesn't appear to contain any partitions you could either ask a professional data recovery company to chekc the disk or try and recoverr the data yourself using a data recovery program (checkout Spinrite or Stellar data recovery)

    B. If all drives appear as not added it could be you have a hardware failure (storage controller), however could also be your installation got messed up somehow. Personally I would:

    1. Take out each of the disks (make sure you remember the original position of each disk), then mount them in anohter system.
    2. On each of the data disks you should find a hidden folder named DE (You need to enable "view hidden files and folders" to see the hidden folder), on the system disk the hidden folder is in the root of the largest partition on the disk.
    3. Together these DE folders should contain all of your data.
    4. To be really safe copy all data from the hidden DE folders to another disk. If you don't need all of it or don't have enough space copy at least the essential files to another disk.
    5. Put back all disks in the homeserver
    6. Intiate server recovery from a client system using the server recovery disk. You may wish to read your server the manual for detailed instructions. Please make sure to choose Server Recovery, Not Factory reset.

    If you have a hardware error server recovery will probably fail. In that case best contact your supplier or HP support. Sometimes the system can display a specific error code, please search your server help files (also present on the server recovery disk) for "Health indicator codes"

    It's also worthwile to read this FAQ on data recovery after server failure.

    Saturday, December 26, 2009 1:36 AM
    Moderator
  • Okay--I'll try all that.

    Re: which disks are "Not Added", I have three disks, 2 internal and 1 external. Of the 2 internal disks, the one of them with the Windows logo on top has a status of "Healthy", and the other two (one external, one internal) both show "Not Added". Doesn't seem like a storage controller problem. And I can't find any other signs around (event logs, etc.) that the disks or controllers are in a bad mood. Seems like some kind of inconsistent state in software, somehow. 

    This experience certainly makes me not trust Home Server as a backup server. I thought that was 80% of the point of the investment I made in this thing.
    Saturday, December 26, 2009 7:50 AM
  • Hi Scott,

    I think somehow the disk ID's got mixed up in the system registry. I have seen issues like that in the past with external USB disks are attached. There's multiple things that can cause such issues and there's also more the one way to fix this issue.

    The supported way to fix  would be to do a server recovery. Before you do this however please make sure there's no problem with the external disk or it's enclosure.

    The unsupported way would be to edit the WHS registry to set the correct disk assignments. This method is quicker, however if you make any error there you may mess things up even further. To find out how to do this you can read this thread and this one

    Personally I would advise against having USB attached disks as part of the storage pool. IMHO external USB disk is fine for external data backup, temporary data storage, moving large amounts of data from one system to another and similar purposes but not for permanent storage.
    Wednesday, December 30, 2009 7:26 AM
    Moderator