locked
reinstalling WHS RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am trying to reinstall WHS and I am stuck the screen where it says FINALIZING INSTALLATION - Installing Windows Home Server. The bar is white and has not gone green. Apparently according to other threads and and info I have read this is the screen where you need to be extra patient and its creating the tombstones. Well patient I think I have been.

    I have been stuck on this screen for 3 and a half days now. So in terms of hours about 3x24+12= 84 hours in total. Unfortunately I didnt hook up the led for harddrive light on the case and I am not sure if there is activity on the hdds they are very quiet but the main hdd is pretty warm. Perhpas the hdd died? Should I wait longer????

    After a while the power saving on my monitor kicks in and it goes black but when I tap a key on teh keyboard the install screen comes back to life.  I can still move the mouse on the screen so it doesnt seem like its frozen up.

     No errors or anything have come up at all yet.

    I have 4 x 1TB hdds in there pretty much filled up. I heard one guy say he had just under 1 tb of data and it took 16 hrs for him to reinstall. Using this as an indicator I thought maybe 4 x 16 hrs then = 64 hrs but its been 20 hrs longer already and I have no idea if its even doing anything.

    I dont wanna bag Microsoft I actually liked WHS a LOT when I started using it until I started getting issues. I think the reinstall screen should have a warning to let people know what is going on ie. that its creating tombstones and that it could possibly take a very long time depending on how much data you have. I am unsure if mine is doing anything at all. It should at least throw an error I think if its not working or something went wrong.

    I am slightly disappointed considering I paid money for this. Should I take my hdds out throw them in another machine and try to save the data that way? Or should I just be patient and shut up and wait another god knows how many days? Pity theres no way to backup the database. As I said I dont want to badmouth this product but there are a few very dsiappoiniting issues with it even though I love some of it also. Sorry for my whinge guys I guess I am just a bit disappointed and dont feel like losing all this data. Its a lot of data so maybe it does need a lot of time to create the tombstones or whatever. Maybe there is someone here who has gone trough this in the past and can help me out. I thank you for reading my ramble and any help you can provide. I wait in anticipation.

    Tom.
    Saturday, August 15, 2009 11:14 AM

All replies

  • Hi Tom,
    rebuilding tombstones after server reinstall is not the quickest process, but your time could be a new record.
    It's hard to say if your system is hanging or not - does it still respond to the Num Lock key (given it is not a headless machine)? Can you ping it (if you can determine the IP address and the system does not need network drivers separately installed, like some self build machines)?

    What was the initial reason for performing server reinstall?
    If it is failing or overheating hardware, this can also be a reason for any unexpected reinstall issues.

    What are the specifications? Especially CPU and memory will determine the performance in this stage. Also the kind of files (fewer large files should be faster rebuilt than a lot of small files) has influence for the speed.

    If all goes wrong, recovering your data is described in the FAQ How to recover data after server failure.

    I agree, there should be more feedback from system side, but since the original WHS is concipated to be headless, how?
    Maybe register on Microsoft Connect, and make a feature proposal.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Saturday, August 15, 2009 11:44 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Olaf

    I had issues with the drive extender. I had a HDD that I just recently put into my system and it kept going missing. After a reboot it would be healthy again but then during file duplication it would go missing again over and over. I tried removing the drive but I got an error saying it couldnt be removed. It had deleted some of the files on it during the attempt to remove it but left some behind and wouldnt remove it completely and told me to reboot. I did this but it still wouldnt remove it after this.

    Not knowing what to do next I decided to just pull teh drive out and return it and get another drive. I had to do it that day because you only get 7 days to do a swap if something fails. Any time beyond the 7 time period the shop said I have to deal with the manufacturer which can take a few weeks.  So I pulled it out and when I added the new drive I still had the missing status on the old drive and noticed when I remote desktoped into my PC the data of teh new drive did not add onto the total data and I got drive extender errors.

    My mobo is a Gigabyte UD3P and cpu is e6750 intel and 2 gigs of ram is in the machine. I do have a lot of large but also a lot of very small files (mainly photos). I am going to wait just that little bit longer I guess. When I push the Num Lock key the black screen (I guess power saving on monitor) goes away and the install screen reappears. Other than that nothing happens. I can still move the cursor on the install screen. Its probably been close to 96 hours now actually and still the same old screen. I cant pint the machine as it is installing and thus does not have an active ethernet. I am pretty lost and dont know what to do next. I kind of want to be patient and wait longer but I am also about to give up.
    • Edited by matthaus0 Saturday, August 15, 2009 12:02 PM
    Saturday, August 15, 2009 11:56 AM
  • I just wanted to add that I installed WHS on its own HDD of only 160 gigs. The rest of the hdds are 4x1tb and 1x 1.5tb. I hope it is not an issue that the OS HDD is only 160gigs?

    If I turn the PC off or reboot it will it start the reinstall from scratch again or from where it left of? Or should I try transferring the data to another drive within VISTA maybe?
    Saturday, August 15, 2009 12:11 PM
  • Just an update have given up. I decided to pull out a hdd at a time and plug it into my vista machine and unhide the files and move them over to my new hdd. Basically backing up one hdd at a time that way. When I empty my 500 gigger I will use that for the OS instead of the old 160 gigger I was using. Maybe it will make a difference. I hope there is not some other hardware prob that I encounter now. If it all goes well will let you all know. Will try WHS one more time. If I like it will stay with it if I have another horror story I may try FREENAS. I really do like WHS but this has really made me unconfident now. I have wasted a lot of time but I guess that is life. Thanks again.

    Tom
    Saturday, August 15, 2009 1:55 PM
  • Hi Tom,
    the size of the server drive does not longer play a role, the 160 GB is still fine.
    The new drive which you have added could not be removed via console, after you disconnected it again?
    Besides that the disk itself could be broken, it could also be something else (i.e. thermal issues in the case or the power supply to weak) causing the disk to fail.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Saturday, August 15, 2009 2:28 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Olaf
    thanks for your reply. The PSU is a 450w Corsair PSU which I just purchased 2 weeks ago. I am guessing this is fine. Maybe the new HDD I added was the problem its possible. I noticed when the new HDD kept going missing it would drag another HDD with it. I am guessing this was because it was duplicating the files from another HDD at the time. And thus if one went missing the other it was duplicating from went with it? My temperatures are pretty good as I run Core Temp on it and both cores were in their low thirties. I am guessing it was the new HDD that I put in that was the culprit. ANyway I exchanged that at the shop now for a new one.

    To your question "The new drive which you have added could not be removed via console, after you disconnected it again?"

    No I was unable to remove the new drive via the Console after I reconnected and rebooted the PC. After reboot I tried again and it said it was unable to remove it. However everytime I tried it would delete a tiny bit of data and then a window would appear sayign unable to remove and I would reboot again and again and everytime it would delete a fraction of the data but then say cant be removed again. Once I had deleted all data and after another reboot I tried to remove it again and it said unable to do it again. As it was not letting me do it I just pulled it out in the end and brought the HDD back to teh shop I had bought it from and got a new one. As I was unable to get rid of the Missing HDD message after this and added the new one it would not add it to the total storage pool size and it said I had run out of space and only had a few kb left. I researched and researched but could find no answer so decided to go for the reinstall. And as you know this was a disaster for me also.

    When I remoted desktoped into the WHS machine ie windows 2003 a error message came up saying somethign about name.exe failed or something. I researched name.exe and noticed it had somethign to do with drive extender.

    Well as you know I was patiently waiting for the reinstall to complete for I believe it was over 90 something hours. I knew somethign couldnt be right and I was getting quite upset about it. It is just too much data to lose and I had no idea what to do next or what would work. I am now trnasferring the data by unhiding files in VISTA to my new hdd and gonna format the first 1 TB thats been transferred. Then once I have transferred all data from my 500 gigger I ll put that and that 1 TB in the WHS. Then install WHS on to the 500 gigger and add the 1 TB empty one to the WHS with all my other HDDS currently disconnected from it. Then I will move the data from my new hdd over to the currently empty 1 tb in the WHS. And then format the hdd in my vista machine and move data from the next drive over to it and do the same all over again until I am done with all of them.

    I know its quite tedious but the only solution that I can see. I wished the reinstall had worked for me. I am praying that the other HDDS are ok. I hope that after doing all this that WHS can keep my data safe and I wont have to go through this again. I really do like WHS but I wish that it was possible to also backup the OS somehow if somethign goes wrong or somehopw restore it. I think this is quite a weakness personally. If I have another disaster I may try FREENAS or maybe buy a DROBO. I just dont know what other options I will have I guess.

    I am going to use the 500 gigger for the OS anyways I think. The 160 gigger I was using was an IDE drive and it was manufactured in 2004 so quite old. I noticed ithat HDD was also quite hot while the others were very cool. Thus I think it may be better to put a new one in. Never know perhaps this was also causing issues. Let me know what you think. Would love to hear from you. Will update you on my progress.

    PS I voted for you as your help is appreciated immensely.

    Tom.
    Saturday, August 15, 2009 4:48 PM
  • Hi Olaf
    thanks for your reply. The PSU is a 450w Corsair PSU which I just purchased 2 weeks ago. I am guessing this is fine. Maybe the new HDD I added was the problem its possible. I noticed when the new HDD kept going missing it would drag another HDD with it. I am guessing this was because it was duplicating the files from another HDD at the time. And thus if one went missing the other it was duplicating from went with it? My temperatures are pretty good as I run Core Temp on it and both cores were in their low thirties. I am guessing it was the new HDD that I put in that was the culprit. ANyway I exchanged that at the shop now for a new one.

    To your question "The new drive which you have added could not be removed via console, after you disconnected it again?"

    No I was unable to remove the new drive via the Console after I reconnected and rebooted the PC. After reboot I tried again and it said it was unable to remove it. However everytime I tried it would delete a tiny bit of data and then a window would appear sayign unable to remove and I would reboot again and again and everytime it would delete a fraction of the data but then say cant be removed again. Once I had deleted all data and after another reboot I tried to remove it again and it said unable to do it again. As it was not letting me do it I just pulled it out in the end and brought the HDD back to teh shop I had bought it from and got a new one. As I was unable to get rid of the Missing HDD message after this and added the new one it would not add it to the total storage pool size and it said I had run out of space and only had a few kb left. I researched and researched but could find no answer so decided to go for the reinstall. And as you know this was a disaster for me also.

    When I remoted desktoped into the WHS machine ie windows 2003 a error message came up saying somethign about name.exe failed or something. I researched name.exe and noticed it had somethign to do with drive extender.

    Well as you know I was patiently waiting for the reinstall to complete for I believe it was over 90 something hours. I knew somethign couldnt be right and I was getting quite upset about it. It is just too much data to lose and I had no idea what to do next or what would work. I am now trnasferring the data by unhiding files in VISTA to my new hdd and gonna format the first 1 TB thats been transferred. Then once I have transferred all data from my 500 gigger I ll put that and that 1 TB in the WHS. Then install WHS on to the 500 gigger and add the 1 TB empty one to the WHS with all my other HDDS currently disconnected from it. Then I will move the data from my new hdd over to the currently empty 1 tb in the WHS. And then format the hdd in my vista machine and move data from the next drive over to it and do the same all over again until I am done with all of them.

    I know its quite tedious but the only solution that I can see. I wished the reinstall had worked for me. I am praying that the other HDDS are ok. I hope that after doing all this that WHS can keep my data safe and I wont have to go through this again. I really do like WHS but I wish that it was possible to also backup the OS somehow if somethign goes wrong or somehopw restore it. I think this is quite a weakness personally. If I have another disaster I may try FREENAS or maybe buy a DROBO. I just dont know what other options I will have I guess.

    I am going to use the 500 gigger for the OS anyways I think. The 160 gigger I was using was an IDE drive and it was manufactured in 2004 so quite old. I noticed ithat HDD was also quite hot while the others were very cool. Thus I think it may be better to put a new one in. Never know perhaps this was also causing issues. Let me know what you think. Would love to hear from you. Will update you on my progress.

    PS I voted for you as your help is appreciated immensely.

    Tom.
    Just for piece of mind, I would suggest you run chkdsk /r on every drive in your server at this point (starting with the one you would have to return within 7 days).  See the FAQ post:  How to check all the drives in your server for errors for details on how to do that.
    Saturday, August 15, 2009 7:06 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks kariya21 I will do that before putting each drive into the WHS. I will do a chkdsk /r on every drive within Vista CMD prompt prior to adding it in WHS. The reason I am doing it in Vista is because I need to backup my data first anyways. Thanks a lot for that tip!!!!! Have given you a vote for being helpful also. APPRECIATED.

    Tom.

    Saturday, August 15, 2009 7:39 PM
  • Well a quick update. I have moved most of my data over to the WHS. I did a fresh install and all seems to be good for now. I am now moving my last HDD over from my Vista PC to the WHS now. I scanned each HDD for erros or issues before moving it to the WHS and the result was that they were all fine. Perhaps the HDD that I returned wa sthe culprit then. I hope everythign is smooth sailing from now and I wont run into this same issue or any other annoying complication again. I just remembered a weird problem I did have at one stage. I noticed that my System part in 2003 only had a few kb left in space one day and I was getting some weird message coming up. Upon investigation and unhiding some folders and files I found the culprit file causing this. It was a log file in a logs folder that had a size of about 12 gigs or so. I managed to delete it in the end. Anyone know what may have caused this? I guess it was full of errors from an error report?
    Monday, August 17, 2009 4:18 PM
  • One final thing to check ... sata cables.

    A wierd one, but I had one drive that kept randomly dropping in and out.  Turned out the connector on the sata cable was 'bowed' so it wasn't always in contact properly with the connector.

    Swapped the cable out and all was fine.
    Friday, August 21, 2009 9:26 PM
  • Thanks superga! Thats actually good advice also. We sometimes tend to forget about trivial things such as this. So far everything has been good for me after doign a fresh install. Very happy thus far. Thanks for your reply mate.
    Saturday, August 22, 2009 10:32 AM