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Help! Lost Data After a WHS Recovery RRS feed

  • Question

  • I recently had to run the server recovery for my HP MSS 475. The server consisted of:

    1 500 GB System Drive (originally included with purchase)
    1 1TB Data drive
    1 1.5TB Data drive
    1 2TB Data drive

    Since I didn't have ~4TB of spare space to clone the data drives, I removed them before I started the recovery.

    I went through the steps listed in HP's recovery process:

    1. Started the recovery option from the HP recovery CD.
    2. When prompted, rebooted the server and pushed the reset button with paper clip when lights were alternating (red/blue).
    3. Continued with the recovery. I didn't receive any errors. It took about an hour.
    4. When finished, it said that the process wasn't fully completed and that I had to install the home connector software.
    5. I went to http://myserver:55000/ and downloaded and installed the connector.
    6. The connector install finished (no errors).

    The server was originally running PP3 and I read that to be safe, I should update the server to where it was before. I checked for updates within the HP Connector and brought it back to PP3. Windows Update also automatically downloaded and patched the machine.

    I have not put the 3 Data drives back in the system, but it looks like my D:\ partition was wiped and either reformatted or all the directories recreated. I can't find any of the files or data in any of the \Shares or \Folders directory.

    Any idea? I read, and reread HP's instructions, FAQs, and other postings before starting this process and felt confident that I wouldn't lose anything. I am absolutely certain that I did not chose the "Factory Reset" option (it was one of two radio buttons during the recovery).

    Should I see any of these files right now? I am afraid to reconnect the three drives (which contain the bulk of my data). I am in panic mode at this point (yes, i am an idiot for not backing up the system drive). 
    Wednesday, December 29, 2010 3:19 AM

All replies


  • Since I didn't have ~4TB of spare space to clone the data drives, I removed them before I started the recovery.

    I went through the steps listed in HP's recovery process:


    These two statements are contradictory; the HP recovery process doesn't tell you to remove any drives, and had you completed the recovery with the drives in place you shouldn't have lost anything (other than, perhaps, backups, depending on what triggered the recovery in the first place).

    Probably the best thing to do at this point is a manual recovery from the drives you removed prior to the recovery; see this FAQ for more on that. You may need an additional drive to add to your server in order to have space for the recovery; if so I would buy a 2 TB drive, as they're pretty cheap right now.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, December 29, 2010 1:38 PM
    Moderator
  • Since I didn't have ~4TB of spare space to clone the data drives, I removed them before I started the recovery.

    I went through the steps listed in HP's recovery process:


    These two statements are contradictory; the HP recovery process doesn't tell you to remove any drives, and had you completed the recovery with the drives in place you shouldn't have lost anything (other than, perhaps, backups, depending on what triggered the recovery in the first place).

    I removed the 3 data drives out for safety.  I wasn't sure if the recovery would wipe them.  I left the system drive in place.  That drive had PC backups (on D:) as well as ~400 GB of data from my shares.

    After the recovery completed, everything on D: was gone, backups and data.

    Any idea why this happened?  I am absolutely certain that I did not select the factory reset.  I thought the recovery option would leave the D: drive alone (where my backups and shares are).

    The reason I had to do the recovery is some network setting changed (could have been my fault) and I go no longer access WHS.  It just wouldn't connect to the network.  Since it doesn't have a monitor, I couldn't do anything other than recovery. The hardware (including all drives) were working fine.

    Any ideas how I can recover my data from D: ?   I've looked into recovery programs that specialize in recovering data from reformatted partitions and deleted files.  Most of the files show up as "recovered file.jpg", which is sort of worthless when I have 10,000 JPGs".

    Why did the recovery wipe out the D: drive?

    Thanks,

    Friday, December 31, 2010 2:35 PM
  • Why did the recovery wipe out the D: drive?

    Because it was design to do so. By running server restore without the original data drives you choose to do do a new installation (factory reset).
    Your HP manual explains the difference between "Using Server Recovery and Factory Reset"

    If you had duplication "on" for all shared folders chances are that all you data can still be restrieved form the original data disks.
    The files would be in the \DE directory at the root of the data drives. You can copy off the data by connecting the data disk to one of your client PC's one add the time and then copying the files form the \DE\ directory to your new server. You will probably need an additional spare drive to the pool to make this possible.

    Once you have all data copied of the original data drive you can add it to the server pool and proceed restoring additional files.

    - Theo.


    No home server like Home Server
    Sunday, January 2, 2011 11:32 AM
    Moderator
  • Why did the recovery wipe out the D: drive?

    Because it was design to do so. By running server restore without the original data drives you choose to do do a new installation (factory reset).
    Your HP manual explains the difference between "Using Server Recovery and Factory Reset"

    When you say "chose to do a new installation", do you mean the WHS Recovery program did this automatically?  I am 100% positive that I selected Recovery on the screen with two radio buttons (Recovery or Reset).   I am just trying to get to the bottom of why the data was wiped out.  

    I couldn't find anything from HP stating that if you choose Recovery but the data drives are not attached a "factory reset" will really be performed.

    Thanks,


    Tom

    Monday, January 3, 2011 2:46 PM
  • Hi Tom,

    Re-reading my previous post I think I wrongly concluded that you did choose a "Factory Reset" thinking you could add the data disks afterwards. Sorry for the confusion... Apparently it actually tried to recover your server ... for a single disk configuration (because you did remove the data drives there was only one disk to recover).

    Re-reading the HP userguide I agree with you that it does nowhere mention the fact that all data drives must be attached (the WHS technical documentation explains this - but afaik HP does not include these). One could also argue that it does not suggest to remove the data disk before starting a Server Recovery. I personally think HP could have added a note on this.

    - Theo.

    PS - Thinking about how to go about now:
    1. The safest way to recover would be to copy off your data from the original data drives (\DE) to your server as described in a previous post.
    2. Optionally you can also re-try a "Server Recovery" while simulating a system drive replacement.
    For this you need to wipe the current system drive first of all traces of a previous installation by attaching it to a client computer and removing all current partitions. Then re-attach the wiped system drive and all data drives to the server at there original location and restart a Server Recovery.

    Warning: the problem of the second option is that if the recovery process does not succeed chances are you permanently loose all files. So only try this if you have an external backup of your data!
    This said I can only stress again the importance of having an external backup of all valuable data. Even though WHS keeps your data relatively save there are allways situations where Murphy rules and the only way out is restoring from a recent backup.


    No home server like Home Server
    Monday, January 3, 2011 10:10 PM
    Moderator
  • Re-reading the HP userguide I agree with you that it does nowhere mention the fact that all data drives must be attached (the WHS technical documentation explains this - but afaik HP does not include these). One could also argue that it does not suggest to remove the data disk before starting a Server Recovery. I personally think HP could have added a note on this.

    - Theo.

    PS - Thinking about how to go about now:
    1. The safest way to recover would be to copy off your data from the original data drives (\DE) to your server as described in a previous post.
    2. Optionally you can also re-try a "Server Recovery" while simulating a system drive replacement.
    For this you need to wipe the current system drive first of all traces of a previous installation by attaching it to a client computer and removing all current partitions. Then re-attach the wiped system drive and all data drives to the server at there original location and restart a Server Recovery.

    Warning: the problem of the second option is that if the recovery process does not succeed chances are you permanently loose all files. So only try this if you have an external backup of your data!
    This said I can only stress again the importance of having an external backup of all valuable data. Even though WHS keeps your data relatively save there are allways situations where Murphy rules and the only way out is restoring from a recent backup.


    No home server like Home Server

    Theo,

    Thanks for your replies.   I think option #1 is the best solution for my scenario.  While the HP documentation doesn't say to remove or leave the Data drives connected, I am really surprised that the recovery process wiped out all the valid data on the D:\ drive.  I totally expected the C: drive to be wiped, but not the data on D:  This data included workstation backups plus data from my shares (i.e. music,

    Tom

    Monday, January 3, 2011 10:59 PM
  • When you do a server recovery, Windows Home Server setup goes through a "rebuild" phase for the D: partition, where the "tombstones" that point to your actual files (usually on other disks) live, to validate them. When you disconnected all your secondary drives, you created a situation where there were no actual files for the tombstones to point to any more. Windows Home Server just removed the (invalid, because there was no data behind them) tombstones.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, January 4, 2011 1:19 AM
    Moderator
  • I have the same situation as OP. Did a server RECOVERY. Single disk in the server. The HP recovery process erased all data on D. 
    Monday, January 24, 2011 11:50 PM
  • OMG, I have the same issue? How would I recover my files? I am about to dig a hole and bury myself soon... so frustrated with my lost data!
    Tuesday, June 21, 2011 3:35 AM
  • I guess I am a newbie.  How does one even see C: and D: drives?   All I see is what the console lets me see.

    I did a recovery because of system disk faiure and recovered all user and share info, but my backups are busted, but taking up an extra 1.5TB that I cannot recover.  Maybe I can find them and manually delete them if I new the names of the files and how to get to them.

    Friday, July 1, 2011 3:50 AM