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Problems reinstalling WHS - PCI Sata - Connecting Storage Manager Server RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm having serious issues trying to reinstall WHS on my PC. A reinstall on this machine has been performed several times without any issues, but now it's looping continuously when trying to connect to the Storage Manager Service.

     

    The situation is as follows:

    2x PATA drives (System + Data)

    2x SATA drives (Data)

     

    The SATA drives both are connected to a SIS3515 PCI Card. XP sata drivers are loaded from CD during the Setup Wizard. During text-mode no additional drivers are added (F6) as the system is installed on a PATA drive.

    All seems ok during installation however, in the final stage of installation (after autologon) setup loops continuously trying to connect to the Storage Manager Service. Observing the D: drive in Explorer shows some pretty weird stuff. The drive seems to reconnect a couple of times per second between the 2 seperate drives. I cannot modify any data on the drive.

     

    Hardware device manager shows no SATA drivers are loaded. After adding the drivers and restarting the system the behaviour is still the same..

     

    Now I'm pretty scared about loosing my personal data. And since I have not read anything similar anywhere I assume something on my system has been corrupted. I can see all my data (on a flickering Explorer). I've tried to reinstall the system once again with the same results.

     

    So basically I would appreciate some info regarding the Storage Manager Service and the way WHS handles PCI SATA (it doesnt make sense sata drivers (PCI) need to be installed more than once). Most importantly I need to figure out a way to get my personal data from the system without loosing anything. Once again, the data seems fine and the drives are fine, it just seems some config file has been corrupted.

     

    Many thanks!

     

    Martijn 

    Friday, May 16, 2008 8:16 AM

Answers

  • I can't tell you how you got to the point you're at, unfortunately. I suspect some action you took at some point, but I have no idea, and it was probably something that seems completely innocuous. Your best bet is going to be a clean install, I'm afraid. A new installation will wipe every drive in the system. Recovering your files is pretty easy, just attach them one at a time to another computer, and copy files out of <driveletter>:\DE\Shares\etc. You'll find two copies of files that were in shares flagged for duplication.
    Saturday, May 17, 2008 12:42 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I would try installing the drivers twice: once at the beginning of setup, as you're doing, then explicitly supplying them on floppy at the beginning of text mode setup (the "Press F6" prompt).

    At worst, your files are just files on your drives. You can recover them from <driveletter>:\DE\Shares\etc. (On your system drive, there could be files on the second, or DATA, partition.)
    Friday, May 16, 2008 12:15 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for your reply. The strange thing is this has worked before, never needed to add drivers again during text-mode setup.

     

    I have already tested some things, one of them killing the setup process right after the first autologon and trying to delete a folder on the DATA partition, without success. Tonight I'll test if it's possible to read from DATA. I can see everything, it seems locked, or incomplete. I have not enabled duplication on all shares, just the most important ones.. Will this have any effect?

     

    Do you have an idea what might be going on here?     

    Friday, May 16, 2008 12:58 PM
  • Since it sounds like you've already been poking about "under the hood", it's possible that you're in a place where you can no longer successfully reinstall non-destructively. Before we make that call, I would really try one more server reinstallation, forcing the drivers at the "Press F6" prompt as well as installing them during the initial phase of setup. Then I would consider deleting all partitions on your system volume, to simulate a failed/replaced system disk. You should be able to do a server reinstallation from that point as well. It will take significantly longer, because Windows Home Server will have to scan your storage pool drives and rebuild shares/tombstones.

    I would not continue experimenting at random; if you haven't done so already, it's possible that you will soon reach the point where all you can do is a clean install.
    Friday, May 16, 2008 2:59 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks again for your response. I'm really careful about what to poke and what not Wink You made an interesting point. WHS scanning the storage pool drives and rebuilding the shares... Can it be that it is this process that's going on (with a flickering DATA 'disk' as a result? I remember the searchindexer service was pretty much eating all the CPU resources... Hmmm.. Yesterday it ran for 1.5 hours. Do you have any idea how long the scanning process will run (1TB)? Is it me being impatient once again? Smile Thanks 

     

    Friday, May 16, 2008 3:09 PM
  • Hi,

    The time taken to rebuild the tombstones etc., can take hours and hours! One of my customers had 3.5TB of data, and it took 14 hours to rebuild and there is very little to tell you what is actually happening.

     

    Colin

     

    Friday, May 16, 2008 4:30 PM
  • For a terabyte of data, if setup is rebuilding the tombstones it could take a couple of days (depending on your hardware, drivers, etc.). Searchindexer isn't part of Drive Extender, by the way; it's the desktop search engine. You could try a reinstallation and then just let it sit for a few days, to see what happens.

    To be honest, though, I'm still concerned that you've poked something that you shouldn't. Remember that Windows Home Server is intended primarily to be sold as pre-installed software to end users. That installation will either be done by large OEMs like HP, or smaller system builders. The builders of these systems won't typically apply extensive customization, and the end users will typically use the tools presented in the Windows Home Server console. Enthusiasts tend to run risks that most system builders, OEMs and end users don't, often without realizing that what they're doing which seems completely innocuous is actually the cause of their problem.
    Friday, May 16, 2008 5:02 PM
    Moderator
  • Did another 2 reinstalls, same effect. Without 2nd time SATA driver installation Setup gives an error that is cannot connect to the required media (duh!). With 2nd time SATA driver installation the flickering begins again and qsm.exe (Storage Manager Service) is sucking up CPU and memory. 

    I opened Disk Management and noticed there is a serious battle going on here:

    PATA
    Disk0:
    SYSTEM - 20Gb - C:
    DATA - 480GB - D: (!)
    Disk1:
    DATA - 500Gb

    SATA
    Disk2:
    DATA - 320Gb - D: (!)
    Disk3:
    DATA - 320Gb

    Did you notice? This explains the flickering.. It's great fun to look at, Both Partition2 of Disk0 and the single partition of Disk2 are trying to become the DATA 'Master' which maps to D: And this is an endless loop. I see D: switching a couple of times per second.

    I haven't modified any files or configuration parameters, just monitoring. So no poking around. My setup is pretty default anyways. No addins or whatsoever.

    Now, at least it's clear what the problem is. Next thing, how to resolve this? Each partition contains a QSM_VolumeID file in the root. I'm really wondering how it's possible for WHS to think Disk2 is first in line...

    For testing purposes I switched off Disk2. At least the fight is now over but setup still doesn't continue. 

    Reinstalling on a clean system won't make a change. The system, the hardware and my data are ok, but the configuration of my DATA volume has an error...

    I'll try to grab everything from each disk and start all over..

    Thank you for your time! I appreciate it!


    Friday, May 16, 2008 10:02 PM
  • I can't tell you how you got to the point you're at, unfortunately. I suspect some action you took at some point, but I have no idea, and it was probably something that seems completely innocuous. Your best bet is going to be a clean install, I'm afraid. A new installation will wipe every drive in the system. Recovering your files is pretty easy, just attach them one at a time to another computer, and copy files out of <driveletter>:\DE\Shares\etc. You'll find two copies of files that were in shares flagged for duplication.
    Saturday, May 17, 2008 12:42 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you Ken for your support! I appreciate it! I'm rebuilding my WHS and start from scratch.. Also a good time to sort out my data... Wink
    Saturday, May 17, 2008 9:00 AM
  • Sorry I couldn't come up with a better answer. And sort your data out first, then start from scratch. Smile
    Saturday, May 17, 2008 12:42 PM
    Moderator