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Replace Motherboard and System Drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • Like many others I started out with WHS using the trial version and old bits of hardware.  It started out with a 120 gig IDE drive as that is all that I could get the old motherboard to recognize.   Over time it has a gig nic added, a 4 channel  Sata PCI Controller and 6 drives.   The system drive is still the 120 gig IDE drive.

    I have been trying to reduce my power consumption of my 8 pc's in the house and am looking at replacing the Media Centers and the WHS with the Intel Atom D945GCLF2 board.  

    So far in my Testing the Atom boards with a PCI Card, 2 Drives consume 50 watts at idle and 62 watts max (even running media center, recording 1 tv show while watching a video off the server).   The current WHS is idling at 120watts and peaks to 190 watts at times. 

    So I would like to try and save my backups off the drives in the current WHS Setup but I want to lose the IDE system drive and replace it with a 500 gig sata drive.

    I have the majority of my shared data on a drive outside the Storage pool except for pictures, music etc that are in the storage pools so they can be remotely accessed.  All content on the server is duplicated on other pc's as I just do not like my eggs all in one basket.

    So this leads to a bunch of  questions.

    1) I have applied both PP1 and the November update to the system, is there any way of slipstreaming these into a single media?   I have searched through the posts and do not see much success with this.     Ideallly I would like to be able to plug in the 5 additional drives (replacing only the system drive and then using the slipstreamed disk do a re-install on the system with a new motherboard and system drive.  Is this possible?   I thought that I saw a webpage on doing this using automation kit and nlite but I cannot seem to find this.

    2) What happens if I put in a new mother board and system drive, plug in the 5 drives and try a re-install with the original media ,even though the drives now have both pp1 and the november update applied.  Did not pp1 change the Data storage algorithms on the backups and landing drives?  Does this affect the re-install.

    3) If I set up the second copy of the home server and get it running using other disks can I transfer PC's and the corresponding backups to it.

    Any thoughts, advice, experiences or pointers/links would would be appreciated.






    Thursday, January 8, 2009 6:03 PM

Answers

  • An update on this.  My sata cables came in and i got enough space on the drives to try copying the backup over.

    First cleaning up the backups did reduce the backups to 777 gig so there was enough room to trying copying to the new WHS server.

    I followed the instructions and did the:

    1.       Type net stop PDL.

    2.       Type net stop WHSBackup to stop the Windows Home Server Backup service.

    3.       Delete the contents of D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}.  Do not delete the folder.

    4.       Copy the contents from the external hard drive E:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4} to D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}.


    I started this at 7:30 pm on friday night and then was one of those frustrated people trying to get the windows 7 beta key.   Every thing was chugging along fine and about 1:15 am saturday I notice the WHS starting to strain itself.   I tried to get into it but it was completely locked up.  At first it was copying data at betwin 20 and 40% usage on gig eithernet.  At 1:15 I checked on the new maching and it was at 1-2% network usage.  

    Now I have my backup triggered to go off at 1 am in the morning and it seems like something kicked off even though the backups were disabled by the commands above.  I left it and went to bed noting how much data have been transfer (444 gig) and got up at 8pm .    The Old WHS was still locked up completely and had not transferred any more data since I went to bed.

    The only way I could get into the old WHS was to power it off and I have a this hooked into a KVM switch but could get no response at all. 

    I manually restarted the copy where it had left off above to finished the rest of the files and it took another 3 1/2 hours.

    Then I rebooted the new WHS and it had a corrupted data base.   I did a repair on this and it only was able to recover the backups from some older computers that are no longer used. 

    Then when I restarted the old WHS  it too had a corrupted database.  I ran the repair rebuild database the at first it ran out of memory after about 2 hours.

    I rebooted and tried it again and of all the machines it was able to recover was part of one and that only had one backup which is funny as it was an incomplete one.

    So in the end I wasted a bunch of time and lost all of the backups.

    I checked the logs and at just after 1am there was a controller error on the drive2 but I find this very funny as my backups are supposed to start at 1 am and just by co-incidence it gets a disk controller error at that same time.

    My recommendations are to try and avoid doing this if the copy will happen at the same time that your backups are finishing.

    Anyways all the data has been moved over the new Atom server and seems to be OK. 

    Funny that is the 3rd time in a year that the WHS has lost all the backups with a corrupted database.  I had the phantom sys drive problem that is supposed to be fixed now.

    While I love the automated backup feature of WHS and have used it several times to recover systems or upgrade hard drives, I do not have 100% faith in this product and have always had the crucial data backing up off the pc's every night  using another method with the automated schedule to copy to drives outside the WHS drives and I will continue to do this.  

    Double backups as well as my monthly offsite backup give me a little bit of security. 





    Tuesday, January 13, 2009 12:03 AM

All replies

  • No, there is no realistic way for an end user to slipstream all WHS updates into their installation media. It shouldn't be required though; while changes have been made to Drive Extender, they shouldn't affect the process of reinstalling WHS.

    In your scenario, I see a couple of options. First, go ahead and try the server reinstallation with the new drive. It should work, and will preserve your shares and (normally) your backup database. To be absolutely certain about the backup database, you should follow the instructions in the Home Computer Backup technical brief for backing the database up and restoring it.

    The alternative is some variation on:
    • remove a drive from the old server
    • copy all the files off it to the new server
    • add the drive to the new server
    • lather, rinse, repeat
    The specifics will depend on your own preferences and comfort level.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, January 8, 2009 9:23 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks ken.
      
    I found the article that i was thinking of for slip streaming PP1 http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/2008/07/03/how-to-create-a-slipstreamed-unattended-windows-home-server-installation-dvd/  

    While I was researching this I ran the install on a 500gig drive and all the updates.  Interesting.  It took 1 hour to install WHS and much longer to run the update 4 times in order to get all the critical updates including pp1 and the November update.  I would say closer to 2 hours to run all the updates but I was not sitting in front of the screen for the entire 2 hours.

    I am going to trying copying the backup from  D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4} from the old server to the new server after I delete some older backups as this is close to a Terabyte and I only have 2 x 500 gig drives for the new board until I move the drives over.

    One question.   Does copying the
     D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}  folder also copy the computer information for each individual computer ie computer names etc or shoud the connector software be run first.  

    All this equipment and I ran out of Sata cables which should hopefully be here today so I can give this a try on the new board in another machine without having to cannablize another machine.
    Friday, January 9, 2009 11:44 AM
  • First, you may find that deleting old backups has little or no effect on the size of your backup database, even after you manually run a cleanup. As for copying/restoring the backup database and computers, no restoring the database won't have any effect on the computers joined to the server. I would run the connector on each home PC first. Also, a computer that you no longer have will never appear in the console on the new server, even if you have backups in the database for i. Those backups are still accessible using the Restore CD, however.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, January 9, 2009 12:47 PM
    Moderator
  • I also need to replace an old motherboard to make room for newer/larger drives but the WHS software is the OEM version, not retail.  Will I be allowed by Microsoft to activate the software on a new motherboard?  Technically I'm the OEM - I bought and installed the OS myself, but like many people I started with a bunch of spare computer parts and now need to make some changes some for stability reasons.

    Essentially, it's equal to moving the software from one machine to another since only the case, dvd drive and power supply will remain the same.  OEM licenses generally tie the OS to the motherboard.
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:48 PM
  • You may need to activate by phone, but it is my understanding that Microsoft has been reasonably forgiving about this. They aren't obligated to allow you to activate on new hardware, but as long as you're replacing your current hardware, they generally issue a new activation key.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, January 12, 2009 10:36 PM
    Moderator
  • An update on this.  My sata cables came in and i got enough space on the drives to try copying the backup over.

    First cleaning up the backups did reduce the backups to 777 gig so there was enough room to trying copying to the new WHS server.

    I followed the instructions and did the:

    1.       Type net stop PDL.

    2.       Type net stop WHSBackup to stop the Windows Home Server Backup service.

    3.       Delete the contents of D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}.  Do not delete the folder.

    4.       Copy the contents from the external hard drive E:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4} to D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}.


    I started this at 7:30 pm on friday night and then was one of those frustrated people trying to get the windows 7 beta key.   Every thing was chugging along fine and about 1:15 am saturday I notice the WHS starting to strain itself.   I tried to get into it but it was completely locked up.  At first it was copying data at betwin 20 and 40% usage on gig eithernet.  At 1:15 I checked on the new maching and it was at 1-2% network usage.  

    Now I have my backup triggered to go off at 1 am in the morning and it seems like something kicked off even though the backups were disabled by the commands above.  I left it and went to bed noting how much data have been transfer (444 gig) and got up at 8pm .    The Old WHS was still locked up completely and had not transferred any more data since I went to bed.

    The only way I could get into the old WHS was to power it off and I have a this hooked into a KVM switch but could get no response at all. 

    I manually restarted the copy where it had left off above to finished the rest of the files and it took another 3 1/2 hours.

    Then I rebooted the new WHS and it had a corrupted data base.   I did a repair on this and it only was able to recover the backups from some older computers that are no longer used. 

    Then when I restarted the old WHS  it too had a corrupted database.  I ran the repair rebuild database the at first it ran out of memory after about 2 hours.

    I rebooted and tried it again and of all the machines it was able to recover was part of one and that only had one backup which is funny as it was an incomplete one.

    So in the end I wasted a bunch of time and lost all of the backups.

    I checked the logs and at just after 1am there was a controller error on the drive2 but I find this very funny as my backups are supposed to start at 1 am and just by co-incidence it gets a disk controller error at that same time.

    My recommendations are to try and avoid doing this if the copy will happen at the same time that your backups are finishing.

    Anyways all the data has been moved over the new Atom server and seems to be OK. 

    Funny that is the 3rd time in a year that the WHS has lost all the backups with a corrupted database.  I had the phantom sys drive problem that is supposed to be fixed now.

    While I love the automated backup feature of WHS and have used it several times to recover systems or upgrade hard drives, I do not have 100% faith in this product and have always had the crucial data backing up off the pc's every night  using another method with the automated schedule to copy to drives outside the WHS drives and I will continue to do this.  

    Double backups as well as my monthly offsite backup give me a little bit of security. 





    Tuesday, January 13, 2009 12:03 AM
  • I recently upgraded the motherboard on my home server from an Asus A8N SLI SE skt 939 to an Asus M3N78 Pro skt 940 board.  The hardware & WHS installations went smoothly.

    I know that it's not a Microsoft problem but was wondering if anybody has come across this particular problem.

    On installing the chipset/vga drivers from the motherboard support CD, it kept exiting stating that winnt 5.2 is not supported.  contacted Asus support & received an e-mail back stating the the M3N78 does not support server software.

    As the A8N SLI SE board is not a server/workstation, based on what Asus stated, I'm surprised that WHS & support drivers actually work, & have been doing so since my original build date of WHS.

    Any advice will be more than welcome as I wish to upgrade the server so that more expansion capabilities are available.
    Thursday, January 15, 2009 12:46 PM
  • Hi,
    if necessary, get generic chipset drivers from the makers of the chipset/controllers etc. Maybe also for Windows XP, if Server 2003 is not available.
    If they also reject to install, you can try to run them in compatibility mode for Windows XP by right clicking the setup program, click Properties  and selecting Windows XP on the compatibility tab.

    Be aware, that this is not supported and XP drivers may reduce the stability of your server.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, January 15, 2009 3:01 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf Engelke said:

    Hi,
    if necessary, get generic chipset drivers from the makers of the chipset/controllers etc. Maybe also for Windows XP, if Server 2003 is not available.
    If they also reject to install, you can try to run them in compatibility mode for Windows XP by right clicking the setup program, click Properties  and selecting Windows XP on the compatibility tab.

    Be aware, that this is not supported and XP drivers may reduce the stability of your server.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf



    Thanks Olaf.  Will give it a try & if it doesn't work, will look for a mobo that will.
    Thursday, January 15, 2009 8:09 PM