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System Drive Failure RRS feed

  • Question

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    After usign WHS for over a year and being quite pleased, i recently moved to sharing my data via media share to the xbox, to con-incide with the xbox support for divx and xvid.

     

    The my primary hard drive failed.  The system drive has suffered totoal failure and cannot be recovered.

     

    I have just spent an age moving all my avi's to the WHS for sharing, the system was a 3 drive system, the other two drives are fine, but i can't boot or do anything.  So i need to replace the OS drive, but, my question is will the data be accessable once i re-install on a new drive.

     

    I dont think i have a repair option since the os drive failed completly.  I can't read the data from the other two drives in and other pc.

     

    Have i just lost 1 tb of data when i lost the primary drive?  If I have, then isnt the os drive a single point of weakness making the whole idea flawed?

     

    Any experience or advice is, as always, much appreciated.

     

     

    Saturday, February 9, 2008 8:32 PM

Answers

  •  Sihanf wrote:

    Ok, I couldnt see the de folder, as it was hidden but now I can and it looks liek all the data is safe, a massive relief.  The system won't restore server so I am doing a new install and then either going to add the drives if i can read the raw files rather than pooling. Or use an ampty drive pooled to shuffle the files back to the server.

     

    Although the data is still there, this has highlighted that the primary drive seems to be a single point of failure.  Where its loss, means the data is not easily recovered.

     

     

    Then you MUST PULL the DRIVES (remove/disconnect the drives from your computer) before the install, or during the install they will be formatted and all data will be lost! Once the install is complete, power down your server and put the drives back in, or reconnect them to your server. Power the server back up, (note do not add them to the pool in Server Storage) and using Remote Desktop Connection navigate to your drives and get the files you need off of them. This will mean you'll need some other storage device to put them onto. Once all the files you want are off the drives, you can then add the drives to the Storage Pool (do this in Windows Home Server Console, Server Storage (tab), this will erase all data on the drives!

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 11:20 AM

All replies

  • You should be able to plug in another drive and recover your system. If you can not recover and can only install then you'll need to pull the two pool drives, and either reinstall them in the system after the install to read the data from them or install them in another computer to gain acces to them. All of your data should still be on them and readiable by any other windows computer. After you have your data off of them you can then add them to he pool, this will format them, wiping all data from them.

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 1:23 AM
  • Thanks for your reply.

     

    I have tried one restore server, but it fails on recovering data.  If i put the drive in another pc (vista) it shows as full but I cannot read any data, it has 3 directories but each is empty.

     

    I am on my second attempt to restore server, if this fails then I will try your suggestion of a new install.  Although how can I add after installing so they are readable but not added to the pool and reformatted?

     

     

     

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 9:21 AM
  • Ok, I couldnt see the de folder, as it was hidden but now I can and it looks liek all the data is safe, a massive relief.  The system won't restore server so I am doing a new install and then either going to add the drives if i can read the raw files rather than pooling. Or use an ampty drive pooled to shuffle the files back to the server.

     

    Although the data is still there, this has highlighted that the primary drive seems to be a single point of failure.  Where its loss, means the data is not easily recovered.

     

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 10:04 AM
  •  Sihanf wrote:

    Ok, I couldnt see the de folder, as it was hidden but now I can and it looks liek all the data is safe, a massive relief.  The system won't restore server so I am doing a new install and then either going to add the drives if i can read the raw files rather than pooling. Or use an ampty drive pooled to shuffle the files back to the server.

     

    Although the data is still there, this has highlighted that the primary drive seems to be a single point of failure.  Where its loss, means the data is not easily recovered.

     

     

    Then you MUST PULL the DRIVES (remove/disconnect the drives from your computer) before the install, or during the install they will be formatted and all data will be lost! Once the install is complete, power down your server and put the drives back in, or reconnect them to your server. Power the server back up, (note do not add them to the pool in Server Storage) and using Remote Desktop Connection navigate to your drives and get the files you need off of them. This will mean you'll need some other storage device to put them onto. Once all the files you want are off the drives, you can then add the drives to the Storage Pool (do this in Windows Home Server Console, Server Storage (tab), this will erase all data on the drives!

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 11:20 AM
  • Thanks, I removed them completely to check the data on another PC and have completed the new install without them in, mainly after reading your last post, so thanks alot for that!

     

    All looks well now, morale of the story (aside from keep drivers etc at hand for a new install) is that the system disk, if it fails, is not catastrophic as I had been afraid of.  But it is a mighty pain to rebuild after said drive failure.

     

    So on data security, I am even more pleased with WHS, it seems short of total physical destruction, your data will survive.  I have renewed confidence in using it for data (with irreplaceable stuff backed up onlien to E-drive weekly,.

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 1:48 PM
  • I too have just had a system drive failure...one day the WHS would just not boot. I have a total of 4 drives (~1.5TB). Some of my folders I have set to duplicate, while others, that were not so important to me, were not. I've ordered a new drive, which arrives Monday, so I'll use that to reinstall WHS. I've removed the primary drive from the Server box and used a Vista machine to check it out. The drive is recognised and I can see all of the files (I think), so I'm not sure why the drive is not booting. Any tips?

    As expected the primary drive is split in two...a 20GB SYS and the remainder DATA. I'm hoping that all of my actual data is spread across my other 3 drives, but looking at the DATA partition I can see a DE folder, which has a folder structure but no files, and a Shares folder. The Shares folder appears to have my files in it, but I can't access them. Vista Explorer is also telling me that the Shares folder currently holds ~6GB. Hopefully, these files will actually still be on the other 3 drives.

    I am going to try to image the whole disk, or at least the SYS partition, and lay it on the new drive to see if it returns the system back to the way it was. It was good advice to remove my other drives for the new install...I'm hoping to incrementally add them back in and recover my data. I'll write again to let you know how it went. If anyone has any tips on primary drive recovery, they would be greatly appreciated.

    Rydo
    Saturday, March 22, 2008 7:41 PM
  • Just an update to my above post. I removed the primary drive and checked it out on a Vista machine. There wasn't too much data on it, but I could read it ok.

    Just a tip...all of the data is located in the DE folder, which is hidden so you'll have to change your folder settings to reveal hidden and ystem folders/files. Also, right click the drive in explorer and change the permissions property in the SECURITY tab...this will allow you unhindered access to all of the files. All of the other folders you'll see won't help you recover your data.

    I imaged the original primary drive and laid the image down on another another drive I had. It booted the first time, but then I got a bunch of write errors and then the drive never booted again. So, I am suspecting that the install is corrupted. This basically renders my WHS install useless and unrecoverable. The install disk does NOT include a repair feature...the only option is New Install. Sad

    Request for Microsoft...WHS looks after the connected computers really well, but it does nothing to protect itself. It would be nice if WHS did a backup on its own drive for recovery. Also, please place a feature on the install disk to repair an install. In hindsight I should have imaged the drive from the start...however WHS should have a method of repair/backup as a standard feature.

    I'm once bitten now, so I am going to go back to using my Vista desktop and just share files. Acronis and others will provide an acceptable, if not as elegant, backup solution. I just can't risk having this happen again. Collating my files which were randomly spread acros all four drives was a pain. The one thing I couldn't recover was my computer backups...which is annoying.

    I actually reall like this product...but data integrity is somthing I will not risk, so I won't use WHS again until I'm sure this issue is sorted.

    Rydo
    Sunday, March 30, 2008 10:40 PM