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sys drive is dying, is it possible to recover non-duplicated data on the DATA partition? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi guys,

    I'm a new poster here and just got my WHS set up last week.  I love it so far, but now it seems that my primary HD has died.  Here's my situation:

    • Windows Home Server OEM install
    • P4 2.4, 1.0 gb RAM
    • DISK 0 (300 gb) -- dying, 2 year old drive
      • C: (SYS, 20 gb)
      • D: (DATA, 140 / 270 gb used)
    • DISK 1 (1000 gb) -- 1 week old
      • E: (DATA, 260 / 970 gb used)
    • data information:
      • 400 gb total data / 1.5 tb available
      • 35 gb duplicated
      • 15 gb backups
    • DISK 2 (1000 gb) disk -- brand new drive
      • empty

    Is it possible to recover all of my non-duplicated data on DISK 0: DATA?

    How do I recover the data on DISK 0: DATA?  I'm planning to use the brand new DISK 2 to be my new primary SYS / DATA drive, and after a new installation, do a straight file copy of DISK 0: DATA to DISK 2: DATA.  WoUld that work?

    I'm also not entirely sure that I can actually copy files off DISK 0.  It has a 50/50% chance to boot up to desktop, and once it's up, it freezes for 15 second stretches.  Am I totally screwed? :(


    What would happen if I just pulled the trigger on a restore install using DISK 2?  Would I just lose all non-duplicated data on DISK 0: DATA and end up with all these partial files on DISK 1?

    Sorry about all the questions... I hope it made sense... thanks all!

    slim.

    • Edited by slimborama Thursday, November 6, 2008 6:42 AM
    Thursday, November 6, 2008 6:31 AM

All replies

  • Hi,
    check the event log of the server, once it boots.
    Do you see any error messages in relation to the disk? Could also be, that the controller, the cabling or the drivers have issues.

    Your scenario should be possible (replace disk 0 with the new one and perform a server reinstallation).
    After that attach the failing disk again (or attach it to another machine) and open the hidden folder DE on the DATA volume. This contains a subfolder shares, in which you should find the missed none duplicated and some duplicated files. Copy those which are fine to the shared folder on the WHS where you wish them to place, using the shortcut on the desktop (do not perform a copy directly to D: on the server).

    Some or all client backups may go lost during that process. So if the disk still comes up, before replacing it in the server you could try LZreallocator to move all non duplicated data to the second disk by triggering WHS to do so.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, November 6, 2008 7:33 AM
    Moderator
  • Based on your description, you'll probably only have one real chance to get your files off that disk. I would recommend removing the failing drive from your server and attaching it to another PC, then copy anything you find in <driveletter>:\DE\Shares off of the drive (<driveletter> will be the larger or DATA partition on the drive). You should not connect this drive to a functioning WHS installation; WHS writes identifiers to the partitions on it's drives, and having a second apparent boot drive seems to cause problems.

    Then move on to the server reinstallation on the new drive as Olaf suggests.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, November 6, 2008 1:48 PM
    Moderator
  • ahh ok, I appreciate the suggestions.

    I just browsed into the D drive a little bit.  I didn't expect the directory structure and files to be intact.  I'll try this tonight. 

    I'm not really worried about restoring the client backups right now since my server has only been up a week.  One thing I'm confused about is, if I can manually copy files from DISK0:\DE\Shares to \\<whs>\, what do I need LZreallocator for?

    Thanks again guys!
    Thursday, November 6, 2008 10:17 PM
  • Hi,
    slimborama said:

    I just browsed into the D drive a little bit.  I didn't expect the directory structure and files to be intact.  I'll try this tonight. 

    I'm not really worried about restoring the client backups right now since my server has only been up a week.  One thing I'm confused about is, if I can manually copy files from DISK0:\DE\Shares to \\<whs>\, what do I need LZreallocator for?

    LZreallocator would trigger a cleanout of data on volume D:, which is also located on the primary drive, which you want to swap.
    If this process succeeds and no data is remaining on that drive, you can be nearly 100% sure, that you will not loose any data from shared folders or backups after swapping the disk and performing the reinstall (unless it was already destroyed before).

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Thursday, November 6, 2008 10:22 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf, I think the LZReallocator tool is dangerous in this case. Every time a disk error is detected, the original poster gets closer and closer to the point where the disk will no longer read at all. LZReallocator will result in much more disk activity than simply moving the disk and copying files directly, and more disk activity is not a good thing at the moment.

    Normally I would like your idea better, however. :)

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, November 7, 2008 12:03 AM
    Moderator