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Error Auto-Sensing Primary Hard Disk Drive0

    Question

  • Hi,

    My WHS froze last night and I couldn't access it by any method. Neither with WHS Console log on, Shared Folders "myserver".homeserver.com or with Ctrl-Alt- Del directly on the server.

    So I decided to reboot it by holding the Power Button in for 10 sec.

    Now my Server wouldn't start, but displays the message: Error Auto-Sensing Primary Hard Disk Drive0

    I've tried checking the cables and reapplied the Disk detect to Auto in the Bios, but no luck.

     

    I am using a Dell Dimension 8200 (with the latest Bios version) with 2 brand new Digital Western 500 GB disks.

    I was wondering if I can switch the 2 disks and put Disk 0 in Disk 1 's place?

    Are these disks mirrored with each other and will this work?

     

    Does anyone have a good solution as I don't want to loose all my Data?

    Are any Disk tools to save my disk?

    Friday, March 14, 2008 12:02 PM

Answers

  • If you get the option of a reinstallation at the point where you're asked what kind of installation you want to do, then you're safe leaving the files on the secondary disk. without copying them off. Even if reinstallation goes awry, the files themselves will be safe. If you don't get that option (all you see is the option for "new installation") you will need to take additional steps. This could happen if you need special drivers for some or all of your secondary disks. If WHS doesn't see all of them during setup, it doesn't give you the option of reinstalling. It also doesn't give you that option in a couple of other (obscure and unlikely) situations having to do with old beta versions of WHS.

    If you need drivers for one or more secondary disks and you've supplied them during the graphical portion of setup, but you still don't get the option for reinstallation, then don't proceed until you've backed up the data on your secondary disk(s). For some reason, WHS setup probably isn't seeing some disks correctly, and may well format all disks during setup.

    You will use the new disk as your system disk.
    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 3:00 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • You can't just swap the disks and continue. Windows Home Server doesn't use disk mirroring to protect your disks, it uses multiple copies of your files on regular disks.

    Before you panic, open your server up and make sure that any add-in cards and your memory are properly seated, that the cables for the drive are firmly attached, etc. If that doesn't let your server start back up, then you almost certainly have a failed hard disk.

    Asuming your hard disk has failed, you can recover your files from the secondary disk by just removing that from the server, connecting it to another PC in your house, and copying all your files out of the hidden folder <driveletter>:\DE\Shares\etc. You might want to pick up something like this adapter (used as an example; there are several from different manufacturers) to connect the drive externally; it allows connecting a bare drive as a USB device.
    Friday, March 14, 2008 12:48 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ken,

    Thanks for your reply and sorry for the late reply. I've been away before and during Easter.

     

    I've tried the add-in cards, memory and cable checking, but alas no change, so I must assume my disk has failed.

    My question now is, what happens after I copy my files out for safekeeping?

    Do I have to re-install my WHS or is there a method for continuing my current installation?

     

    By the way, does anyone know if is there any tool for tweaking my failed disk back to life?

     

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 8:45 AM
  • If your drive has failed, you should replace it. Trying to "tweak it back to life" is very risky; once a drive has failed, even if you can get it to operate again, it will usually not last for long before it fails again.

    If you want to continue using your WHS, you can try performing a server reinstallation. Assuming you have a home-built server:
    • Replace the drive.
    • Boot the server from the Server Installation DVD.
    • During the initial graphical setup, make sure both your new drive and your old drive show up in the storage list.
    • Make sure that you have, and select, the option for a server reinstallaiton when you are asked what kind of installation you want to perform.
    • Continue with installation.
    If you have an OEM unit without keyboard, video and mouse ports, the procedure for a server recovery will vary but should be in your documentation. In either case you will lose users and any customizations you may have done to the operating system (add-ins, software installations, etc.). You will likely also lose your backup database. When you recreate your users they will be reconnected with their data in the server's shares.
    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 11:55 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    OK, I'll need to get hold of a new harddisk or make a claim for a replacment from my provider. (The failed disk is only 4-5 months old)

     

    If I do as you describe, do I still need to copy my files from the secondary disk to another disk/folder on another PC or are my files safe on the secondary disk during the reinstallation?

     

    I assume that I use the new disk as Disk0 and keep the current secondary disk as Disk1 for the reinstallation.

     

     

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 1:05 PM
  • If you get the option of a reinstallation at the point where you're asked what kind of installation you want to do, then you're safe leaving the files on the secondary disk. without copying them off. Even if reinstallation goes awry, the files themselves will be safe. If you don't get that option (all you see is the option for "new installation") you will need to take additional steps. This could happen if you need special drivers for some or all of your secondary disks. If WHS doesn't see all of them during setup, it doesn't give you the option of reinstalling. It also doesn't give you that option in a couple of other (obscure and unlikely) situations having to do with old beta versions of WHS.

    If you need drivers for one or more secondary disks and you've supplied them during the graphical portion of setup, but you still don't get the option for reinstallation, then don't proceed until you've backed up the data on your secondary disk(s). For some reason, WHS setup probably isn't seeing some disks correctly, and may well format all disks during setup.

    You will use the new disk as your system disk.
    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 3:00 PM
    Moderator
  • I have finally received a correct replacement disk (500GB), after some problems with the supplier sending me a too small disk.

     

    The disk was accepted by my Bios and the WHS DVD booted my Server.

    After the initial screens I got up the option "Restore Server" and I cannot say how happy I was, when this appeared.

    Everything went on Autopilot from there.

     

    After all the required reboots that the restore/setup took, I entered my old Sever Name and added my old Admin password and then some more required reboots. Finally my Server was ready for service again.

     

    I had to add my users again, as described, and I had to reinstall the WHS connector on each member and I had to delete the old backup sets.

    All the old shares came up smoothly, with all my old files, and everything works just like before.

     

    Thank you for your support and reassuring answers.

    Monday, May 5, 2008 1:38 PM