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Server Reinstalltion - How long does it take to rebuild all the tombstones? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Doing a WHS (v. 1) reinstall.  It's been sitting on the "Finalizing Installation" step for about 18 hours. 

    I understand it's rebuilding the tombstones (most likely) - and searched and found no solid references to how long this should take.  I saw one posting that said "4+ hours for 3+" TB - but I would think it has more to do with the number of files you have vs. total storage space correct?  Probably impossible to guestimate the time it will take - and didn't take stock of how many files I have - but any tips on what's unreasonable?  IE:  how do I know it's actually rebuilding tombstones vs. being "stuck".

    What happens if I lose power or reboot?  From what I've read, sounds like the WHS install routine will simply pickup where it left off?  I started this on the dining room table so getting dirty looks from the wife ;-)  Told her it would only take a few hours...oops.

    Thanks for the feedback

    Friday, March 23, 2012 5:31 PM

All replies

  • A few days isn't unreasonable, but exact time is hard to determine, unfortunately. As for what happens if you reboot or lose power, don't do that. :) In theory, it will pick up where it left off, but a power loss can easily result in some (usually minor) corruption on a drive that's being actively written to, which in turn can mess up your whole day, not to mention your storage pool. 

    As for how you tell what it's doing, you don't. If you see any disk activity, it's probably fine.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Friday, March 23, 2012 6:30 PM
    Moderator
  • As Ken has said, "A few 'days' isn't unreasonable."  And monitoring disk activity is about the only way to know something is going on, not necessarily restoring tombstones, but that something is going on.

    What I now do instead of "server reinstallation" is to make sure I have a backup of my data, have a backup of the client backups, and then I perform a clean install and recover my data from the backup and then restore the backup database.  There is a visual graphic in the restore wizard that lets you know how it is progressing.  I have also found that this method is faster than the server reinstallation.

    Development and updates to v1 are most likely out of the question, but in hindsight, perhaps a progress bar and estimated time should have been included with server reinstallation.


    ____________

    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ____________
    <Ken Warren [MVP]> wrote in message news:03723536-1dee-48af-9795-25f5ace18899@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    A few days isn't unreasonable, but exact time is hard to determine, unfortunately. As for what happens if you reboot or lose power, don't do that. :) In theory, it will pick up where it left off, but a power loss can easily result in some (usually minor) corruption on a drive that's being actively written to, which in turn can mess up your whole day, not to mention your storage pool.

    As for how you tell what it's doing, you don't. If you see any disk activity, it's probably fine.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)


    BullDawg
    Saturday, March 24, 2012 12:48 AM
  • ..."but in hindsight, perhaps a progress bar and estimated time should have been included with server reinstallation."

    Yeah - that would have been helpful.

    It's been 27+ hours and I've been staring at the HD activity lights on my 2 external drives and the one on the server itself and not a single blink or noise.  The Screen shows the "Finalizing Installation" highlighted in GREEN - but the progress bar below says "Installing Windows Home Server" - should it say something else?  I get the feeling it's crashed or died - or is taking a really long break.  I would expect the HD activity lights would be flickering away - between the Server (for the primary Data volume and/or second internal drive) and the 2 external's.

    I'll let it run overnight - but if no activity lights - is it safe to assume something went wrong somewhere?

    As for the new installation approach - I'm thinking that would be better all around.  If I understand the process correctly though - I'd have to get all the files off the DATA volume on the primary drive though - as the WHS installation process will reformat that drive and recreate the SYS & DATA volumes - correct?  All I'd need to do is copy that data off that drive and disconnect the other drives - correct?

    Thanks to both of you for your feedback.

    Saturday, March 24, 2012 2:14 AM
  • Still sitting there looking like it's asleep...watched it for a quite a while last night and this morning and absolutely no HD activity lights anywhere.  ScreenShot looks like this one (below) - except the Progress Bar area says "Installing Windows Home server" and the progress Bar itself is completely white (as if nothing has happened or is happening).

    I recall seeing it install the NET Framework and Internet Explorer 6 settings pages as well as doing the scandisk - so truly s/b at the tail end of the installation.  Just don't understand why no HD Activity lights.  Is there anything else the install would be doing that doesn't involve HD activity?  doesn't seem logical that it would be processing anything w/o accessing the HD's now & then - and since tombstone rebuilding is all about the hard drives...makes even less sense for the "lights on - nobody home" appearance.

    So when do I throw in the towel ??



    • Edited by Puulima Saturday, March 24, 2012 4:09 PM
    Saturday, March 24, 2012 1:24 PM
  • UPDATE:

    I decided to try and access the task manager...did a CTRL-ALT-DEL and sure enough, the menu popped up allowing me to start Task Manager. Watched for a bit and there is 0% CPU utilization and no hard disk activity. Was able to start Windows Explorer - and poked around but didn't see any evidence that any of the Shares or other folders have any updated info - all file date stamps were old.

    So what's it be doing for the past 40+ hours?

    So decided I'd reboot, did CTRL-ALT-DEL and chose the restart option from the menu - it started through the reboot process but got stuck on a grey screen with the WHS Build/Service Pack info in the bottom right corner...so after 20 minutes or so I forced the PC off and then restarted. It went right back to the same 'Finalizing Installation" screen and back to no disk activity - well I did manage to catch a barely perceptible flicker of the PC's HD activity light...but if it's supposed to be scanning files and rebuilding tombstones - not the sort of activity one would expect.

    SO now the big question - sit here and wonder if it will ever do something and/or finish - or throw in the towel and do a clean install and copy the data over manually to new drives??  Here's my setup:

        - Primary Internal Drive: 1TB with likely the DATA volume close to full - so would need to get all that data off - correct?

        - Secondary internal drive: 2 TB - mostly full 2 External drives (both connected to the MOBO via eSata cables): Each 2 TB, each with roughly 450 GB free

        - 2 Additional 2 TB drives that are empty and can be used as the new Drive Pool drives.

    I can add the 2 empty drives as the first DATA drives in the new pool and start moving data onto them - cleaning out one of the mostly full drives first, then adding it to the pool etc. etc.  I believe the only thing I need to do before I do a new install is get the data off the PRIMARY drive (DATA Volume) - correct?

    Anybody out there think I should wait some more though? If there was just some indication that something was happening, I'd be fine waiting, but it seems like it's asleep at the wheel.

    One other thought: since I can access the task manager - anything I should look for in the processes/services running that would tell me something about what's going on?  Anything I should look for on the drives themselves that would show if any tombstones have been rebuilt - or that something else is in progress?

    Much thanks...



    • Edited by Puulima Saturday, March 24, 2012 6:44 PM
    Saturday, March 24, 2012 6:39 PM
  • Anybody?  It's still doing nothing...
    Sunday, March 25, 2012 4:48 AM
  • http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whsfaq/thread/cf354b5d-b37b-4b7f-a0d5-8e573697777f

    Might help.


    ____________

    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ____________
    <Puulima> wrote in message news:32e9f258-fbe5-43d2-a1a9-f64b7a47e93f@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    Anybody? It's still doing nothing...


    BullDawg
    Sunday, March 25, 2012 3:49 PM
  • http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whsfaq/thread/cf354b5d-b37b-4b7f-a0d5-8e573697777f

    Might help.


    ____________

    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ____________
    <Puulima> wrote in message news:32e9f258-fbe5-43d2-a1a9-f64b7a47e93f@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    Anybody? It's still doing nothing...


    BullDawg

    Thanks - nothing new for me in that posting.  Was hoping to get more under the hood somehow and see what was going on.  I think I'm going to go ahead and do a new installation.  It didn't take me this long to go that route once before - with the same amount of existing data. 

    Sunday, March 25, 2012 6:45 PM