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Is there a way to completely reset the storage pool without format and reinstall of whs? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a custom pc that I am running WHS on.  It has modest specs (Athlon 64 3200+, 1.5 gig ram).  I have been running whs since it came out.  I have added and removed storage over the last year and I have never had any problems.  I recently noticed that my server was running really slow and the CPU usage was really high nearly all of the time.  Copying files to and from the server takes a really long time.  I have three sata drives as a part of the storage pool (300gb, 500gb, and 1000gb) with the 300gb drive containing the 20gb system partition.  Is is possible that my storage pool is somehow corrupt?  It had never performed like this in the past.

    I disabled file duplication and removed all of the backup files from the backup folder and uninstalled the whs client on all of my client machines.  I reinstalled the whs client software on three machines and backed them up with a total backup size of about 40 gig.  I then decided to remove the 500gb drive from the storage pool and it took nearly two days to remove it from the storage pool!

    I am still experience really slow file transfers with near 100% cpu usage when copying files whether it be over the network or from the storage pool to a sata connected drive that is not part of the storage pool.  Once I have backed up all of my data to a separate drive that is not part of the storage pool, is there a way to reset the storage pool so that it is completely new just as it was when I first installed whs?
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 2:53 AM

Answers

  • After reading the technical brief, I have a better understanding...thanks for you patience...

    My theory is that somehow the 280gb partition is corrupt or the drive is going bad.  It is my understanding that there is no way to fix this without backing up all of my data and then completely formatting and reinstalling the 20gb system partition and the 280gb initial storage pool partition.  If the 280gb partition is somehow corrupt (or the drive is going bad), is this my only option?

    No.  You remove the primary drive, replace it with a new one, and do a Server Reinstallation.  You don't have to backup any data because WHS won't touch it in this scenario.

    Here is my plan going forward.  I am backing up all of the data to a separate drive apart from the storage pool.  Then I am going to do the following


    1) Remove whs client from all client computers
    2)  remove the 300gb drive and replace it with a 1000gb drive (as recommended in the linked technical brief when it says " The primary data partition in a home server should be as large as possible" ).
    3) New Install of whs.
    4) Disable shadow copy.
    5) Install all updates including power pack 2.
    6) Recreate all users
    7) Install all add-ins
    8) Restore data
    9) Add the 500gb drive to the stoage pool
    10) Enable duplication for every data file

    Too much work.  Do a Server Reinstallation.  No reason to do steps 1 and 8.

    Now if the 1000gb drive fails in the future, what is my path for recovery?

    Would it look something like this?:

    1) Replace 1000gb drive
    2) Reinstall whs
    3) What is the step here to recover the data off of the 500gb drive that has duplicate files on it?
    Again, Server Reinstallation.  No reason to recover anything.  Let WHS do its job.
    • Marked as answer by davestech Tuesday, April 7, 2009 4:18 PM
    Friday, April 3, 2009 12:13 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I have a custom pc that I am running WHS on.  It has modest specs (Athlon 64 3200+, 1.5 gig ram).  I have been running whs since it came out.  I have added and removed storage over the last year and I have never had any problems.  I recently noticed that my server was running really slow and the CPU usage was really high nearly all of the time.  Copying files to and from the server takes a really long time.  I have three sata drives as a part of the storage pool (300gb, 500gb, and 1000gb) with the 300gb drive containing the 20gb system partition.  Is is possible that my storage pool is somehow corrupt?  It had never performed like this in the past.

    I disabled file duplication and removed all of the backup files from the backup folder and uninstalled the whs client on all of my client machines.  I reinstalled the whs client software on three machines and backed them up with a total backup size of about 40 gig.  I then decided to remove the 500gb drive from the storage pool and it took nearly two days to remove it from the storage pool!

    I am still experience really slow file transfers with near 100% cpu usage when copying files whether it be over the network or from the storage pool to a sata connected drive that is not part of the storage pool.  Once I have backed up all of my data to a separate drive that is not part of the storage pool, is there a way to reset the storage pool so that it is completely new just as it was when I first installed whs?
    Not unless you do Server Reinstallation.  First thing I would do though is find out what process is taking over your CPU (check Task Manager).  You might also try running chkdsk /r on each drive in your server.
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 2:57 AM
    Moderator
  • Its not just one process that is using all the cpu when I am copying a file.  Right now I am copying a 5 gig folder from the storage pool to a sata drive and the graph in taskmanager has the cpu pegged at 100%.  The process list keeps fluctuating with different processes constantly taking part of the cpu usage..it even lists taskmanager as taking 99% every couple of seconds.

    I just don't understand how suddenly my server is running poorly and needs a reinstall.  There has to be a reason for whats happening and I thought it was because the storage pool is corrupt somehow.  What could possibly be wrong with the software installation in the system partition to cause such problems only when disk io is taking place on the storage pool?  There should be a way to format the storage pool.  What if I formatted it via Disk Management and then manually recreated the shares.  Would that work?
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 3:13 AM
  • Its not just one process that is using all the cpu when I am copying a file.  Right now I am copying a 5 gig folder from the storage pool to a sata drive and the graph in taskmanager has the cpu pegged at 100%.  The process list keeps fluctuating with different processes constantly taking part of the cpu usage..it even lists taskmanager as taking 99% every couple of seconds.

    I just don't understand how suddenly my server is running poorly and needs a reinstall.  There has to be a reason for whats happening and I thought it was because the storage pool is corrupt somehow.  What could possibly be wrong with the software installation in the system partition to cause such problems only when disk io is taking place on the storage pool?

    A potential hard drive problem.  That's why I said try running chkdsk /or on each drive.

    There should be a way to format the storage pool.

    You wouldn't want that anyways.  If that existed (which it doesn't), your data would be gone (and that would be far worse than what you have now).  That's the reason for Server Reinstallation.  (If you're not familiar with Server Reinstallation, it formats the OS partition, but leaves everything else alone.  Once it's done, you just need to re-create your users and re-install your add-ins/apps.)

    What if I formatted it via Disk Management and then manually recreated the shares.  Would that work?
    No.  You should check the WHS Technical Briefs for an explanation of how WHS works and, more importantly, what is and is not supported.
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 3:24 AM
    Moderator
  • I am going to run chkdsk as soon as the current tranfer of the 5gig folder finishes (it is taking over an hour and still has 30% left)

    Reinstalling my add-ins/apps is what I want to avoid as they are most likely NOT the problem.

    I am going to try to remove the 1000gb drive and see if the problem still occurs when running off the single 300gb drive.

    One more question out of curiosity, Lets say I am running whs on a single 300gb drive with a system partition of 20gb.  I have a full ghost image backup of the system partition.  The hard drive then completely fails and all data is lost.  I put a new 300gb drive in the machine, restore the 20gb system partition from the ghost image.  How would I go about recreating the storage pool on the remaining 270gb?  or is that not even possible?
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 3:37 AM
  • I am going to run chkdsk as soon as the current tranfer of the 5gig folder finishes (it is taking over an hour and still has 30% left)

    Reinstalling my add-ins/apps is what I want to avoid as they are most likely NOT the problem.

    FYI, installing any apps through the server desktop is unsupported.

    I am going to try to remove the 1000gb drive and see if the problem still occurs when running off the single 300gb drive.

    One more question out of curiosity, Lets say I am running whs on a single 300gb drive with a system partition of 20gb.  I have a full ghost image backup of the system partition.

    That's also unsuppported.

    The hard drive then completely fails and all data is lost.  I put a new 300gb drive in the machine, restore the 20gb system partition from the ghost image.  How would I go about recreating the storage pool on the remaining 270gb?  or is that not even possible?
    While I suppose it's technically possible (if you cloned every drive with no data addition/subtraction from the server shares during the cloning process), it's not supported and not something I would even consider.
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 4:12 AM
    Moderator

  • If I have a whs with 1 300gb drive that contains a 20 gb system partition.  The remaining 270gb partition is not assigned to the storage pool.  I have a second 500gb hard disk that is assigned to the storage pool.  That drive contains all of the storage pool data.  The 500 gb drive completely fails and must be physically removed from the machine.  I add a replacement 500gb drive to the machine.  At this point would I be able to add the new 500gb drive back into the machine and continue functioniong without reinstalling whs? (obviously losing all data from the storage pool).
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 4:44 AM

  • If I have a whs with 1 300gb drive that contains a 20 gb system partition. ...
    You don't. Windows Home Server partitions the system disk into a 20 GB system/OS partition, and a second partition which is the entire rest of the drive. The second partition is the starting point for your storage pool.

    It's technically possible to interrupt setup at an appropriate time and resize the partitions on your system drive. Doing so is unsupported, not recommended, and potentially risky, because all components of Windows Home Server are designed to work in a specific operating environment.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 5:14 AM
    Moderator
  • I was speaking hypothetically :)


    I currently have a 300gb drive as the primary drive in the pc.  It has a 20gb system and a 280 gb partition assigned to the storage pool (as you pointed out)
    I also have a 1000gb drive also in the storage pool.  If the 300gb drive is going bad, what is my strategy for replacing it?  I can get a new 300gb drive, replace it in the machine, and then reinstall whs.  Under this scenario, wouldn't I lose the 270db data from the storage pool because it cannot be removed from the storage pool?
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 5:29 AM
  • Not the best hypothetical; it doesn't mesh with the reality of Windows Home Server in a number of ways.

    But to answer your question: it depends. If you had duplication turned on for all your shares, they're protected against the loss of any single drive, including the system drive. If you don't have duplicaiton turned on for one or more shares, you have accepted that you may lose data if even one drive fails.

    You might want to read the Drive Extender technical brief; it gives a bit more information on how Windows Home Server manages the storage pool.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 5:36 AM
    Moderator
  • What would be really nice is if I could remove the 280gb partition from the storage pool (I still have the 1000gb drive in the pool), ghost the 20gb partition, put a new 300gb drive in the machine, restore the 20gb partition, add the remaining 280gb partition back to the pool.  It is really impossible to remove the 280gb partition from the storage pool?
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 5:45 AM
  • ... It is really impossible to remove the 280gb partition from the storage pool?
    Yes. In a server with a single drive, that partition is the storage pool.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 12:02 PM
    Moderator
  • After reading the technical brief, I have a better understanding...thanks for you patience...

    My theory is that somehow the 280gb partition is corrupt or the drive is going bad.  It is my understanding that there is no way to fix this without backing up all of my data and then completely formatting and reinstalling the 20gb system partition and the 280gb initial storage pool partition.  If the 280gb partition is somehow corrupt (or the drive is going bad), is this my only option?

    Here is my plan going forward.  I am backing up all of the data to a separate drive apart from the storage pool.  Then I am going to do the following


    1) Remove whs client from all client computers
    2)  remove the 300gb drive and replace it with a 1000gb drive (as recommended in the linked technical brief when it says " The primary data partition in a home server should be as large as possible" ).
    3) New Install of whs.
    4) Disable shadow copy.
    5) Install all updates including power pack 2.
    6) Recreate all users
    7) Install all add-ins
    8) Restore data
    9) Add the 500gb drive to the stoage pool
    10) Enable duplication for every data file

    Now if the 1000gb drive fails in the future, what is my path for recovery?

    Would it look something like this?:

    1) Replace 1000gb drive
    2) Reinstall whs
    3) What is the step here to recover the data off of the 500gb drive that has duplicate files on it?
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 6:13 PM
  • After reading the technical brief, I have a better understanding...thanks for you patience...

    My theory is that somehow the 280gb partition is corrupt or the drive is going bad.  It is my understanding that there is no way to fix this without backing up all of my data and then completely formatting and reinstalling the 20gb system partition and the 280gb initial storage pool partition.  If the 280gb partition is somehow corrupt (or the drive is going bad), is this my only option?

    No.  You remove the primary drive, replace it with a new one, and do a Server Reinstallation.  You don't have to backup any data because WHS won't touch it in this scenario.

    Here is my plan going forward.  I am backing up all of the data to a separate drive apart from the storage pool.  Then I am going to do the following


    1) Remove whs client from all client computers
    2)  remove the 300gb drive and replace it with a 1000gb drive (as recommended in the linked technical brief when it says " The primary data partition in a home server should be as large as possible" ).
    3) New Install of whs.
    4) Disable shadow copy.
    5) Install all updates including power pack 2.
    6) Recreate all users
    7) Install all add-ins
    8) Restore data
    9) Add the 500gb drive to the stoage pool
    10) Enable duplication for every data file

    Too much work.  Do a Server Reinstallation.  No reason to do steps 1 and 8.

    Now if the 1000gb drive fails in the future, what is my path for recovery?

    Would it look something like this?:

    1) Replace 1000gb drive
    2) Reinstall whs
    3) What is the step here to recover the data off of the 500gb drive that has duplicate files on it?
    Again, Server Reinstallation.  No reason to recover anything.  Let WHS do its job.
    • Marked as answer by davestech Tuesday, April 7, 2009 4:18 PM
    Friday, April 3, 2009 12:13 AM
    Moderator
  • I'll take your advice and try that first...
    Friday, April 3, 2009 12:34 AM
  • I'll take your advice and try that first...

    Just make sure that you see all of your hard drives in the Load Additional Storage Drivers screen.  If so, the Server Reinstallation should work fine.  (If you don't get Server Reinstallation as an option, cancel out and please post back here.)
    Friday, April 3, 2009 1:28 AM
    Moderator
  • I did the "Server Reinstallation" and it appears to be functioning properly now...thanks for the advice kariya21.

    One problem I am still having is that the client machines still have a gray whs icon instead of the green whs icon.  Do I need to reinstall the whs client on each client machine?
    Sunday, April 5, 2009 9:53 PM
  • I did the "Server Reinstallation" and it appears to be functioning properly now...thanks for the advice kariya21.

    One problem I am still having is that the client machines still have a gray whs icon instead of the green whs icon.  Do I need to reinstall the whs client on each client machine?
    Yes (or just run discovery.exe inside C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server on each client), but make sure your server is 100% up-to-date before you do.  (Logon to the server desktop, open the Console, and Keep clicking Update Now... and rebooting until it says there are no updates for Windows Home Server.)
    Sunday, April 5, 2009 10:17 PM
    Moderator
  • running discovery.exe fixed the problem...thanks again...
    Monday, April 6, 2009 2:35 AM