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Motherboard Replacement RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a WHS2011 machine with a failed motherboard and I also have a replacement of the same model.  Simply connecting the fully working drives to the new motherboard does not work.  There are security certificates and other features that I assume use the fingerprint of the motherboard derived from unique attributes such as the Ethernet MAC address.  WHS 2011 doesn't provide the option of software reinstall as opposed to clean install as did WHS V1.  I do have a complete server backup but I am hoping not to have to rebuild the minimum system and then migrate all of the data.  I also believe this approach will not preserve the PC backups.  (FYI- the disconnect above is not related to WHS 2011 authentication which is possible but rather security features built deeper in Windows Server 2008 R2).

    Does anyone have a process for replacing a motherboard when the hard drives are perfectly sound?

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 3:25 PM

All replies

  • Your assumptions are incorrect. If the new mobo is defective

    or you missed something durring setup that is entirely possible.

    Just do it.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 7:51 PM
  • If you're talking about product activation, changing the entire motherboard can lead to a need to re-activate. You'll probably have to use telephone activation, I'm afraid.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:28 PM
  • Not talking about activation.  That I understand and have no problem with.  If you simply move a good drive (or set of good drives) from one motherboard to another that is the same manufacturer and model (key is chipset), everything seems to work including activation.  However, some subtle things don't work.  For example, you can't do a server backup.  I assume that there are security certificates tied to the motherboard fingerprint, e.g. Ethernet NIC MAC address.

    I suspect this is part of the same security certificate mechanism that prevents changing the name of a server following initial setup.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 9:43 PM
  • No, you can't change the name or workgroup because the Certificate Authority service doesn't permit it, and the CA service is required by Windows Home Server.

    More likely some method of identifying hard drives has changed. What exactly that is, I don't know. You could always try adding your backup drive again.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:37 AM
  • I can't say if there is a cert issue, as you suspect.  However, if so, there might be some telltale sign of this in the event log.  

    There are a couple of simpler things that come to mind: Did you plug the drives into the SATA ports in the exact order as they were plugged in before?   Is the BIOS revision on the new mobo the same as on the old one?

    Thursday, August 11, 2011 7:07 AM