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Upgrading key components without losing the data pool RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    I want to try out transcoding on my WHS server, but it currently is not powerful enough.  As such I am looking at changing almost all the guts of the machine; mobo/ram/CPU.  However windows will obvoiusly not like this, so I am trying to figure out how I can do it without destroying my data pool (I dont want to have to reduplicate 5TB and setting up a backup for the WHS seems more than redundant).  The way I was thinking about doing this would be to uninstall all device drivers, delete the ENUM reg keys and then do a repair install of the OS with the new components in place.  However, given the way WHS works with the data pool, I dont know if doing so will lose me my datapool forever.  Does anyone know how WHS deals with repair installs or if its even possible?  Do I have to build a complete second WHS to transfer all the information off the first?  Is this what will happen when a new WHS comes out based on server 2008?  This situation made me question how reliable and/or fragile the drive pool may be in the event of corruption of the OS itself.
    Wednesday, May 7, 2008 12:34 PM

Answers

  • There is no "repair install" option in Windows Home Server. You have two choices when you install from the System Builder DVD:
    • New installation.
    • (Only if all of the drives in your storage pool except your system drive are visible) Server reinstallation.
    The way you will want to proceed is to swap out all your hardware, then boot from your installation media. Supply any required storage drivers, and you should see the Server Reinstallation option. (If you had to supply storage drivers, you may also need to prepare an "F6 floppy" for text-mode setup.) If you don't get the option to reinstall, then don't proceed; you'll lose all the data on your drives if you do.


    Wednesday, May 7, 2008 3:53 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • There is no "repair install" option in Windows Home Server. You have two choices when you install from the System Builder DVD:
    • New installation.
    • (Only if all of the drives in your storage pool except your system drive are visible) Server reinstallation.
    The way you will want to proceed is to swap out all your hardware, then boot from your installation media. Supply any required storage drivers, and you should see the Server Reinstallation option. (If you had to supply storage drivers, you may also need to prepare an "F6 floppy" for text-mode setup.) If you don't get the option to reinstall, then don't proceed; you'll lose all the data on your drives if you do.


    Wednesday, May 7, 2008 3:53 PM
    Moderator
  • It is easier than you think.

     

    I recently did the same thing, I changed my motherboard, CPU, RAM and SATA controllers.

     

    I built a complete system and installed WHS on a spare drive, this was to ensure that the new system was running.

    I then installed drives from my old WHS box. WHS booted without any problems, it did not find my data drives, but I was able to install the appropriate drivers, as well as drivers for other motherboard components such as the ethernet, and everything went well.  WHS complained about the significant changes in hardware and gave me 3 days to activate.  I did it online immediately without any issues.

     

    This is a summary of what I did, I can post a step by step, with the details of my components if you require it.

     

    Wednesday, May 7, 2008 4:37 PM
  • I would be interested in the before and after hardware specs. I suspect you had a painless upgrade experience because (while you changed out a lot of hardware) you likely stuck with the same brands for everything, i.e. same chipset manufacturer, same brand CPU, etc. Had you changed to a different chipset or gone from an Intel to an AMD CPU, you'd likely have had a lot more trouble.
    Wednesday, May 7, 2008 4:46 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    I would be interested in the before and after hardware specs. I suspect you had a painless upgrade experience because (while you changed out a lot of hardware) you likely stuck with the same brands for everything, i.e. same chipset manufacturer, same brand CPU, etc. Had you changed to a different chipset or gone from an Intel to an AMD CPU, you'd likely have had a lot more trouble.

     

    The original system was

    • KN8 Ultra (has 4 motherboard ports)
    • AMD 64 3200+
    • Corsair RAM 2G
    • Addonics ADSA3GPX1-2E, a Sil 3132 based SATA controller that supports port multiplication (base BIOS)
    • Addonics 5X1 eSATA port multiplier ( I have 2 with 10 drives)

     

    The new system

    • ASUS P5K-E (has 6 motherboard ports)
    • Intel Core 2 Duo E4600
    • Mushkin RAM 1G
    • Promise SATA300 TX4 controller (I have 2 for a total of 8 drives)

    The system drive in each case was connected to an on board SATA port.  The other drives connected through both the remaining ports on the motherboard and the SATA controllers or port multiplier.

     
     
    Seth
    Wednesday, May 7, 2008 6:07 PM
  • I'm rather surprised that you had so little trouble. Your HAL must have changed, and Windows doesn't usually recover gracefully from that. IMO, it's really just easier to reinstall, rather than try to get all the drivers right after that major a hardware change...
    Wednesday, May 7, 2008 8:24 PM
    Moderator
  • I myself thought it would be more difficult and was prepared for a long weekend.

    Wednesday, May 7, 2008 9:13 PM
  • So then I take it that I dont need to worry about deleting the enum key since server reinstallation will allow me to simply reinstall the OS and it will just use the existing data pool?  I suppose an upgrade to a version based on Server 2008 would likely use the same method once available.  Thanks for your help, now its just a matter of changing the stuff over and trying to test out transcoding.

     

    Wednesday, May 7, 2008 9:36 PM
  •  Benjamin Grebner wrote:
    So then I take it that I dont need to worry about deleting the enum key since server reinstallation will allow me to simply reinstall the OS and it will just use the existing data pool?  I suppose an upgrade to a version based on Server 2008 would likely use the same method once available.  Thanks for your help, now its just a matter of changing the stuff over and trying to test out transcoding.

     

     

    My suggestion again is to simply install your old system drive in the new set up, since the

    old drive and OS were fine.

     

    Seth

    Thursday, May 8, 2008 1:17 AM