Reinstall on new server. How take data? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I want to reinstall WHS2011 fresh on a new server. All the hardware is different except the  4 hard drives and the USB server backup. Current configuration is system only on C (mirrored) and Data only on E (mirrored). I have 4 months of good system and data and client backup on the USB drive which I want to keep and use if necessary.

    After reading all the posts and documentation I'm still confused about how I link the 300 GB Data from the old E drive, and the 500 GB USB server backups, to the newly installed system.

    1- Specifically, as I install the system on the new server do I keep the old "E" drive unplugged or not?  How do I get the permissions correct?  (My folders use the standard names).   Will my old server backups be recognized when I make that drive available to Server Backup?  

    2- I've read about an alternative process in which I use "Repair" from the install DVD to do a system state restore which spawns some corrective action to get the new drivers, etc. This method seems real fast. Do you think there's any real hope when I have a new motherboard and processor?

    3- Anything else to give me confidence that I can do this upgrade safely?

    Thanks a lot. Jim




    Monday, December 5, 2011 9:50 PM

All replies

  • You need to first move all your data to the largest disk before installing! Hopefully you have a live operating system on one of the arrays to be able to accomplish the move. If not then you may want too use a bootable CD/USB image to make the move. If the destination disk is large enough for all of the files then you are fine, if not you need to buy a bigger disk. Windows will format whatever disk that you try to install it on so make sure that this disk has been migrated.


    It sounds like you are using RAID. Are these two separate raid 1 arrays or are you using virtual drives on a raid 10?

    - If you are using two separate raid 1 mirrored arrays then I would remove the connectors for the member disks that make up the drive that you have migrated all of your data to, and only after . Why you might ask? I never take chances on  the installer picking the right disk to install. There have been times where two drive arrays may be on two separate RAID/IDE/SATA controllers and only the drivers for the disks  containing file backups were recognized. The result of that should be obvious, dataloss. This is caused by having a south bridge RAID/IDE/SATA controller and a separate one  attached to the south bridge which is an extension of the chip set typically via PCIe.


    It's easy to miss this and install Windows on the data drive if your only given block and sector counts. Despite the fact the new installer gives you a disk size I still won't take chances. If you have to leave them in then make note of the serial numbers or logical locations of the disk arrays(In the BIOS) and choose the right one. Having the Data array unplugged from the motherboard will not affect the install if you are using two separate RAID 1 arrays. You can always plug the member disks back in later and then install the drivers accordingly just like any ordinary windows install or hardware upgrade. Windows doesn't care if there is data on the disks. But! But! make sure thes are the exact same disks connected to the exact same ports. Any mismatch may cause the array to be not recognized, if you rebuild the array all data will be lost! You can always power cycle the machine untill you get the disks plugged into the right SATA ports, but rebuilding the array containing your data is disastrous!


    - If you are using a RAID 10 setup with virtual drives(Such as how I have my LSI MegaRAID adapter configured) then that changes things. Virtual drives are where you take a  logically contiguous RAID 10 disk, and then break this up into separate virtual drives that the O/S cannot tell that are partitions using the controllers configuration utility.  You will need to have all four disks plugged in at the  time of installation. Make note of the size of the virtual drive not containing your data(Presumably the smaller one) and install it on that. Having 2 of four disks unplugged from the array during installation may cause problems. Additionally if you try to rebuild a RAID 10 array, all data is lost on all disks if I am not mistaken. I am not certain of the fault tolerance of a RAID 10 configuration however.


    At any rate, I assume that the drive E:/ array is smaller than the drive C:/ array. Pay close attention to the sizes because the drive letter assignment may change at the time of the installation. Pick the smaller of the two disks or the one that does not have the data after the migration is complete.


    About virtual drives: and when to use them: This is useful because windows will only address a max of 2TB on an NTFS partition. The GPT file system can support drives up to 8 Zettabytes in size. BUT, NTFS and GPT cannot have partitions on the same logical disk. So using virtual drives on arrays larger than 2 TB is advisable because Windows needs to be installed on an NTFS partition. You do not want the remainder of the logical disk to go to waste. You won't be able to partition the unpartitioned space beyond 2 TB on a single RAID Array, unless you have separable NTFS partitions of up to 2 GB max. On large arrays this can be a problem because there is a limit on how many partitions you can have in total. To install Windows Home Server using virtual drives you can set up a 160 GB logical drive on for NTFS C:/ (Usually logical drive 0) and the rest for drive D:/(Logical drive 1). Note if you start messing with RAID 10 I would say store all of your files on a disk not even plugged into the machine like a USB mass storage device. Switching up the partitioning will cause dataloss.


    For more questions about RAID I refer you to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID where I learned almost everything I needed bout RAID.

    • Edited by Mark_j2 Friday, December 9, 2011 3:28 PM
    Friday, December 9, 2011 2:55 PM
  • After re-installing WHS, as with most other versions of windows you can take ownership of the files from a previous install or from a different computer even, as administrator.
    • Edited by Mark_j2 Friday, December 9, 2011 3:04 PM
    Friday, December 9, 2011 2:56 PM