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I can't believe I did this. Primary WHS HD wiped out and want to recover data on second drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • Ok, here I am an IT professional and I didn't even follow my own procedures.  I am running WHS with a primary 250gb SATA and a 500gb PATA second drive.  Both were full, hence the nightmare that I created below.

    I was installing two more (used) HD's to my WHS.  So I logged into WHS locally and saw that WHS didn't recognize them.  So I booted up my reliable disk wipe program and promply (and accidentally) wiped the primary (OS) HD instead of the correct one.  I wiped it so well that even decent "recovery" software can't find anything. 

    Now I have seen multiple conflicting posts that are almost 18 months old using the beta software about recovering the files that are duplicated (not all files were set to duplicate) on the second drive (called "DATA").  Some say that running the install disk and using upgrade or recover will work but I don't have those options, only "new installation."  Those that have tried "new installation" have had all of their old data wiped out.

    What can I do to reinstall WHS and recover the files on the DATA drive?
    David
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:21 PM

Answers

  • David, the first thing you should do is recover the files. Then you can worry about reinstallation.

    To recover your files (not the easiest way, but the most certain):
    • Remove your data drive from your server and connect it to another computer. 
    • In Windows Explorer, browse to <driveletter>:\DE\Shares. (<driveletter> will be the appropriate one for your configuration).
    • In that location, you will find all your shares. Any files that are recoverable will be here. If you don't see a file here, it's gone.
    Now, as to reinstallation: if drives appear to have moved around in the BIOS, your old system drive (now wiped) may no longer be the first drive presented to setup. Instead, your data drive may be showing up first. Make sure that your system drive is configured as the very first drive that your system sees, usually by moving it to the lowest-numbered SATA port (if all SATA) or making it the master on the primary IDE channel (if IDE). If you're running an all-SATA system, and your BIOS supports it, try configuring your BIOS for "IDE compatibility" or "Legacy IDE" mode. The name will vary, but the intent is to make SATA drives appear to be IDE drives to an operating system. In this configuration you don't need additional drivers for SATA. You will be giving up a small amount of theoretical performance, however that loss will normally be masked by other latencies and bottlenecks in the system.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:30 PM
    Moderator

  • I'm not entirely sure we're answering Dave's questions.

    As Ken mentioned, the first thing is to recover the files on the DATA drive.  Those files are still there and are easily recoverable by installing that hard drive on a working computer and copying the data from them.  During this period assess what you've lost.  WHS currently (as of 11/10/08) fills up non system drives with data first, before filling up the system drive.  Unless you have duplication on & only two drives in your system, then the duplicates are stored on the system drive as items are copied to WHS.  Because of this behavior you may have a bit of luck and be able to retrieve most of your files - hopefully only duplicates were stored on the system drive.

    If there was critical data on your system drive you'll have to send it to a professional data recovery service to see if you can recover the data.  Only do this after you're sure you lost data.

    Now, if Ken, et al...can correct me on the next part.

    Unless the WHS install is smarter than I think it is, you won't get a re-install option.  You've erased your system drive so the WHS install doesn't know that there was a previous installation.  Perhaps the WHS install is smart enough to check all the drives for WHS left overs and give you a re-install option, but I doubt that.

    Unplug all drives execpt your system drive and install WHS on the system drive.

    Now supposedly (needs verification) - after you install WHS & you connect a drive that use to be a WHS data drive, WHS will recognize the drive and integrate it into its pool without deleting the data on that drive.  I don't know if that works or not.

    What I'd do is backup all files from your data drive to another drive.  Install WHS on your system drive.  Add your data drive see if WHS recognizes it, if not go ahead and reformat it.  Copy the data you backedup back onto WHS.

    Now you're back to your original state of WHS not recognizing the additional data drives you've added (hopefully that's magically fixed itself).



    David the Impaler said:

    Ok, here I am an IT professional and I didn't even follow my own procedures.  I am running WHS with a primary 250gb SATA and a 500gb PATA second drive.  Both were full, hence the nightmare that I created below.

    I was installing two more (used) HD's to my WHS.  So I logged into WHS locally and saw that WHS didn't recognize them.  So I booted up my reliable disk wipe program and promply (and accidentally) wiped the primary (OS) HD instead of the correct one.  I wiped it so well that even decent "recovery" software can't find anything. 

    Now I have seen multiple conflicting posts that are almost 18 months old using the beta software about recovering the files that are duplicated (not all files were set to duplicate) on the second drive (called "DATA").  Some say that running the install disk and using upgrade or recover will work but I don't have those options, only "new installation."  Those that have tried "new installation" have had all of their old data wiped out.

    What can I do to reinstall WHS and recover the files on the DATA drive?


    David




    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:57 PM

All replies

  • David the Impaler said:

    Ok, here I am an IT professional and I didn't even follow my own procedures.  I am running WHS with a primary 250gb SATA and a 500gb PATA second drive.  Both were full, hence the nightmare that I created below.

    I was installing two more (used) HD's to my WHS.  So I logged into WHS locally and saw that WHS didn't recognize them.  So I booted up my reliable disk wipe program and promply (and accidentally) wiped the primary (OS) HD instead of the correct one.  I wiped it so well that even decent "recovery" software can't find anything. 

    Now I have seen multiple conflicting posts that are almost 18 months old using the beta software about recovering the files that are duplicated on the second drive (called "DATA").  Some say that running the install disk and using upgrade or recover will work but I don't have those options, only "new installation."  Those that have tried "new installation" have had all of their old data wiped out.

    What can I do to reinstall WHS and recover the files on the DATA drive?


    David



    First, to clarify:  Did you have Folder Duplication active on all shares before you accidentally formatted your primary hard drive?
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:50 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Kariya,
                     No I did not.  I realize the non-duped files may be lost.
    David
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:53 PM
  • David the Impaler said:

    Hi Kariya,
                     No I did not.  I realize the non-duped files may be lost.


    David



    Does WHS see both drives when you boot from the DVD?  (Since your primary is a SATA drive, you might need to either install drivers for it, or go into the mobo's BIOS and change your SATA ports to IDE compatible/legacy.)
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 3:07 PM
    Moderator
  • WHS setup sees the original primary disk, the "data" disk, and the two new unformatted volumes.
    David
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 3:42 PM
  • David the Impaler said:

    WHS setup sees the original primary disk, the "data" disk, and the two new unformatted volumes.


    David



    Is there some setting in your BIOS for the SATA hard drives that says something like IDE-compatible or legacy?  If so, try that.

    The only other possibility I can think of is the fact that you have 1 PATA and 1 SATA (which is your primary).  Your mobo may have the PATA port as "port 0" and since WHS is trying to re-install to the first port on the mobo, it fails (because that drive doesn't contain the signatures of a primary drive).  When you first set up WHS, was the SATA drive the only one in the server at the time?
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:18 PM
    Moderator
  • David, the first thing you should do is recover the files. Then you can worry about reinstallation.

    To recover your files (not the easiest way, but the most certain):
    • Remove your data drive from your server and connect it to another computer. 
    • In Windows Explorer, browse to <driveletter>:\DE\Shares. (<driveletter> will be the appropriate one for your configuration).
    • In that location, you will find all your shares. Any files that are recoverable will be here. If you don't see a file here, it's gone.
    Now, as to reinstallation: if drives appear to have moved around in the BIOS, your old system drive (now wiped) may no longer be the first drive presented to setup. Instead, your data drive may be showing up first. Make sure that your system drive is configured as the very first drive that your system sees, usually by moving it to the lowest-numbered SATA port (if all SATA) or making it the master on the primary IDE channel (if IDE). If you're running an all-SATA system, and your BIOS supports it, try configuring your BIOS for "IDE compatibility" or "Legacy IDE" mode. The name will vary, but the intent is to make SATA drives appear to be IDE drives to an operating system. In this configuration you don't need additional drivers for SATA. You will be giving up a small amount of theoretical performance, however that loss will normally be masked by other latencies and bottlenecks in the system.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:30 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken Warren said:

    David, the first thing you should do is recover the files. Then you can worry about reinstallation.


    To recover your files (not the easiest way, but the most certain):
    • Remove your data drive from your server and connect it to another computer. 
    • In Windows Explorer, browse to <driveletter>:\DE\Shares. (<driveletter> will be the appropriate one for your configuration).
    • In that location, you will find all your shares. Any files that are recoverable will be here. If you don't see a file here, it's gone.
    Now, as to reinstallation: if drives appear to have moved around in the BIOS, your old system drive (now wiped) may no longer be the first drive presented to setup. Instead, your data drive may be showing up first. Make sure that your system drive is configured as the very first drive that your system sees, usually by moving it to the lowest-numbered SATA port (if all SATA) or making it the master on the primary IDE channel (if IDE). If you're running an all-SATA system, and your BIOS supports it, try configuring your BIOS for "IDE compatibility" or "Legacy IDE" mode. The name will vary, but the intent is to make SATA drives appear to be IDE drives to an operating system. In this configuration you don't need additional drivers for SATA. You will be giving up a small amount of theoretical performance, however that loss will normally be masked by other latencies and bottlenecks in the system.

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



    One other addition to Ken's post:

    If data recovery is critical for you, you should not be using your primary drive at all.  Instead, take it to a professional data recovery service and see what they can pull from the drive (or you can try a DIY product available on the internet).  Just note that a professional recovery service will not be cheap...
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:38 PM
    Moderator

  • I'm not entirely sure we're answering Dave's questions.

    As Ken mentioned, the first thing is to recover the files on the DATA drive.  Those files are still there and are easily recoverable by installing that hard drive on a working computer and copying the data from them.  During this period assess what you've lost.  WHS currently (as of 11/10/08) fills up non system drives with data first, before filling up the system drive.  Unless you have duplication on & only two drives in your system, then the duplicates are stored on the system drive as items are copied to WHS.  Because of this behavior you may have a bit of luck and be able to retrieve most of your files - hopefully only duplicates were stored on the system drive.

    If there was critical data on your system drive you'll have to send it to a professional data recovery service to see if you can recover the data.  Only do this after you're sure you lost data.

    Now, if Ken, et al...can correct me on the next part.

    Unless the WHS install is smarter than I think it is, you won't get a re-install option.  You've erased your system drive so the WHS install doesn't know that there was a previous installation.  Perhaps the WHS install is smart enough to check all the drives for WHS left overs and give you a re-install option, but I doubt that.

    Unplug all drives execpt your system drive and install WHS on the system drive.

    Now supposedly (needs verification) - after you install WHS & you connect a drive that use to be a WHS data drive, WHS will recognize the drive and integrate it into its pool without deleting the data on that drive.  I don't know if that works or not.

    What I'd do is backup all files from your data drive to another drive.  Install WHS on your system drive.  Add your data drive see if WHS recognizes it, if not go ahead and reformat it.  Copy the data you backedup back onto WHS.

    Now you're back to your original state of WHS not recognizing the additional data drives you've added (hopefully that's magically fixed itself).



    David the Impaler said:

    Ok, here I am an IT professional and I didn't even follow my own procedures.  I am running WHS with a primary 250gb SATA and a 500gb PATA second drive.  Both were full, hence the nightmare that I created below.

    I was installing two more (used) HD's to my WHS.  So I logged into WHS locally and saw that WHS didn't recognize them.  So I booted up my reliable disk wipe program and promply (and accidentally) wiped the primary (OS) HD instead of the correct one.  I wiped it so well that even decent "recovery" software can't find anything. 

    Now I have seen multiple conflicting posts that are almost 18 months old using the beta software about recovering the files that are duplicated (not all files were set to duplicate) on the second drive (called "DATA").  Some say that running the install disk and using upgrade or recover will work but I don't have those options, only "new installation."  Those that have tried "new installation" have had all of their old data wiped out.

    What can I do to reinstall WHS and recover the files on the DATA drive?


    David




    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:57 PM
  • Lliam said:

    I'm not entirely sure we're answering Dave's questions.

    As Ken mentioned, the first thing is to recover the files on the DATA drive.  Those files are still there and are easily recoverable by installing that hard drive on a working computer and copying the data from them.  During this period assess what you've lost.  WHS currently (as of 11/10/08) fills up non system drives with data first, before filling up the system drive.  Unless you have duplication on & only two drives in your system, then the duplicates are stored on the system drive as items are copied to WHS.  Because of this behavior you may have a bit of luck and be able to retrieve most of your files - hopefully only duplicates were stored on the system drive.

    If there was critical data on your system drive you'll have to send it to a professional data recovery service to see if you can recover the data.  Only do this after you're sure you lost data.

    Now, if Ken, et al...can correct me on the next part.

    Unless the WHS install is smarter than I think it is, you won't get a re-install option.  You've erased your system drive so the WHS install doesn't know that there was a previous installation.  Perhaps the WHS install is smart enough to check all the drives for WHS left overs and give you a re-install option, but I doubt that.

    Yes, it is smart enough.  In this scenario, you would treat it as a failed primary drive.  It will give the Server Reinstallation option as long as the drives are set up correctly.

    Lliam said:

    Unplug all drives execpt your system drive and install WHS on the system drive.

    Not necessary (at least not yet).

    Lliam said:

    Now supposedly (needs verification) - after you install WHS & you connect a drive that use to be a WHS data drive, WHS will recognize the drive and integrate it into its pool without deleting the data on that drive.  I don't know if that works or not.

    That is not correct.  Any time any drive is connected to the server for use in the storage pool, it must be formatted.

    Lliam said:

    What I'd do is backup all files from your data drive to another drive.  Install WHS on your system drive.  Add your data drive see if WHS recognizes it, if not go ahead and reformat it.  Copy the data you backedup back onto WHS.

    Now you're back to your original state of WHS not recognizing the additional data drives you've added (hopefully that's magically fixed itself).

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 5:09 PM
    Moderator
  • The BIOS is set for legacy (IDE) and recognizes drive 0, 1, 2.  1 is the "data" drive.
    David
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 5:16 PM
  • I agree and am going to connect the "data" drive to the working PC to recover what I can.  I will follow up later today.
    David
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 5:17 PM
  • David the Impaler said:

    The BIOS is set for legacy (IDE) and recognizes drive 0, 1, 2.  1 is the "data" drive.


    David



    Which drive is drive 0?  Do you still have the 2 used drives in the server?  Were they ever part of the storage pool?  If not, disconnect them, then see what your BIOS shows.
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 5:18 PM
    Moderator
  • I am not going to touch the old primary drive.  I am going to remove it and consider a recovery service.  My main concern is going to be recovering data off the "data" drive and setting everything back up with as little loss as possible.
    David
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 5:19 PM
  • How do I get it to show the reinstall option?  Should I use another SATA drive?
    David
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 5:21 PM
  • David the Impaler said:

    How do I get it to show the reinstall option?  Should I use another SATA drive?


    David



    Did you ever actually add those other 2 drives to the storage pool?  What types of drives are those (PATA or SATA)?
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 5:26 PM
    Moderator
  • No, they were just plugged into the SATA ports, not "activated"
    David
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 5:32 PM
  • David the Impaler said:

    No, they were just plugged into the SATA ports, not "activated"


    David



    In that case, I would take one of them out completely and try using the other one as your new primary drive.  As long as your BIOS is set for legacy (IDE) mode and you have that extra SATA drive set as the first hard drive to boot from, it should give you the Server Reinstallation option.  Once you boot from the DVD, look at the screen that shows the hard drives.  Your extra SATA should be drive 0 and your current secondary drive (the one with the data on it) should be drive 1.
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 5:38 PM
    Moderator
  • Well, some good news, a large amount of the items I was looking for were hidden in the DE folder on the DATA drive.  I pulled those files onto a backup drive. 

    I'd still like to "restore" it with the reinstallation but I can't seem to get the SATA drive to be drive 0, the DATA drive ( a PATA) always defaults to drive 0.  Because of this I can't seem to get the "reinstallation" option on the menu option.  Any ideas on how to make the DATA drive 1 instead of zero.   


    David
    Thursday, December 11, 2008 3:25 AM
  • David the Impaler said:

    Well, some good news, a large amount of the items I was looking for were hidden in the DE folder on the DATA drive.  I pulled those files onto a backup drive. 

    I'd still like to "restore" it with the reinstallation but I can't seem to get the SATA drive to be drive 0, the DATA drive ( a PATA) always defaults to drive 0.  Because of this I can't seem to get the "reinstallation" option on the menu option.  Any ideas on how to make the DATA drive 1 istead of zero.   


    David



    You would probably have to contact the mobo manufacturer and/or instruction manual.  Or you might have to go with a PATA drive as the primary instead.  (That's how I have mine setup, just in case. :)  )
    Thursday, December 11, 2008 4:12 AM
    Moderator
  • Whats funny is that this Gigabyte mobo has an option to select which HD to boot off of, but it doesn't "renumber" them, it just forces the (first) selected drive to boot.
    David
    Thursday, December 11, 2008 5:15 AM

  • My Asus w/ Intel chipset has two BIOS boot settings.  One to select the boot device (cd-rom, hdd, floppy, etc...), the other to select which hard drive to boot off of.  Perhaps you have similar options.  My other motherboards generally only have one setting for boot device selection.
    Thursday, December 11, 2008 6:22 AM
  • Mine has the same options.  It's a nice feature.
    David
    Friday, December 12, 2008 12:14 AM
  • kariya21 said:

    Or you might have to go with a PATA drive as the primary instead.  (That's how I have mine setup, just in case. :)  )



    I believe kariya21 has the solution. Install a "new" PATA drive on your IDE channel as primary. Attach your existing PATA data drive as secondary.

    You may get the server reinstallation option and live happily ever after. :)

    Of course, I would recommend recovering your data before you try anything.
    Friday, December 12, 2008 5:10 PM