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When mounting WHS system disk in another PC, what should system directories look like? RRS feed

  • Question

  • My HP EX487 stopped working, but all the LEDs are green and I can ping it.  I just can't mount any shares, connect via the console, or connect via remote desktop.  I thought the system disk might be full, so I connected it to my desktop PC with a SATA/USB converter.  The disk is not full.  However, the directory structure doesn't look right to me.  For example, K:\WINDOWS is empty.  There are lots of hidden directories elsewhere that I can't cd into.  I'm not the best with Windows (I'm a UNIX guy), so maybe I'm missing something.  However, it just looks screwy to me. 

    Is this normal?

     

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010 3:56 AM

Answers

  • Empty Windows directory is not normal, however if it were really empty I wouldn't expect the system to boot. A number of inaccessible system folders is normal, it's probably folders containing shadow copies.

    Based on your description of the problem I would advise you to:

    1. Run chkdsk X: /f /r (X represents drive letter) on both partitions of the system disk

    2. If chkdsk finds large numbers of erros also check the disk with a disk health utility from the disk manufacturer.

    3. If the disk is still OK run server recovery as per HP instructions. This should normally preserve all data in the shares ans also client backups. If you need to replace the system disk data in shares for which duplication has not been enabled and client backups may be lost.

    • Marked as answer by be789 Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:34 PM
    Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:23 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Empty Windows directory is not normal, however if it were really empty I wouldn't expect the system to boot. A number of inaccessible system folders is normal, it's probably folders containing shadow copies.

    Based on your description of the problem I would advise you to:

    1. Run chkdsk X: /f /r (X represents drive letter) on both partitions of the system disk

    2. If chkdsk finds large numbers of erros also check the disk with a disk health utility from the disk manufacturer.

    3. If the disk is still OK run server recovery as per HP instructions. This should normally preserve all data in the shares ans also client backups. If you need to replace the system disk data in shares for which duplication has not been enabled and client backups may be lost.

    • Marked as answer by be789 Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:34 PM
    Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:23 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for your response.  Another user responding to a related question also suggested CHKDSK.  Here's what I get:

    PS K:\> chkdsk
    The type of the file system is RAW.
    CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.

    The system doesn't boot.  Luckily my 2nd disk is fine, so I have all my data.  I'm awaiting version 4 of the HP Windows Home Server CDs, and then I'll do a restore/upgrade.  I'll then copy over my data from the remaining good disk.

     

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:34 PM
  • OK, that explains a lot. RAW disk means MBR or bootsector of your disk get messed up somehow. Testdisk will probably fix this issue. If it does I would still recommend runningg chkdsk and checking the disk witha utility from the manufacturer.
    Wednesday, September 22, 2010 10:21 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for that tip.  I wrote out a new MBR with Testdisk, and then CHKDSK succeeded on the system partition.  I then ran CHKDSK on the data partition.  70% of the way through, it stalled and I hit Ctrl-C.  I wanted to restart it anyhow with the /F option.  However, the next time I ran CHKDSK, it again complained about the filesystem being RAW.

    I tried rewriting the MBR with Testdisk, but this time it fails.

    Curiously, K:\WINDOWS looked correct after the MBR was written.  That is to say, I could see all the normal Windows files when I couldn't before.

     

    Thursday, September 23, 2010 1:19 AM
  • Seems like the disk is failing. If there's no data on that disk you really need I would get a new disk and then server recovery.

    Thursday, September 23, 2010 2:43 AM
    Moderator