Can a HDD be added to WHS without formatting? RRS feed

  • Question

  • OK, have a Windows Home Server (original version Power Pack 3). Tower runs an Asus P5KPL-CM First installed with a WD Green 1TB as the main HDD. Then added a second WD Green 1TB as a second. When this was filled I added a 350gb Maxtor as a temporary fix until I got a WD Green 2TB. Installed the 2TB and then clicked on REMOVE for the 350gb Maxtor. On reboot, the Server Storage lists the 2nd 1TB as missing, but then has another 1TB listed as not added. I have physically removed the drive from the tower, added it to my dual boot XPSP3 & VISTA box. Neither OS see the HDD outside of Device Manager. Is there any way to add that back into the WHS system without formatting it. It has a lot of photos in both raw and edited JPEG format and it is imperative that I recover this data. Any help is very much appreciated. 


    Saturday, January 28, 2012 1:06 PM

All replies

  • If the disk is not seen, it seems to be broken or the logical structure on it damaged. Eventually a 3rd party tool like GetDataBack for NTFS (costs something, but I had no good luck with freeware for hard disk recovery, while this worked) can still see and recover data on the disk. You can download the trial to evaluate the success chances first.

    Did you have enabled folder duplication for the shared folders containing your important data or perform a server backup?

    Incidents like this can always happen, since disks have no endless life. Also overvoltage, damage by fire or water, user errors, malware or theft may kill your server at once - so external backup is always mandatory for important stuff.

    Best greetings from Germany

    Monday, January 30, 2012 9:50 AM
  • ... Neither OS see the HDD outside of Device Manager. ...

    If the disk shows in Device Manager, does it also show in the Disk Management MMC snap-in? If so, and if the partition on the disk is visible, you should be able to simply assign a drive letter.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, January 30, 2012 3:57 PM
  • Hehe sometimes one forgets the easy stuff and starts with the disaster :-)
    Monday, January 30, 2012 4:03 PM
  • Thanks so far guys. Unfortunately the data has not been duplicated, I removed that until I got the 2gb as I was so short on room. It's all done a pretty limited budget here. I've got about 75% of the Raw files backed up on another PC, unfortunately I don't have the edited JPEGS. There is also all the kids recorded TV shows that have gone missing. The WHS Home Connector Software and Restore Software has also gone missing (I thought that would have been on the main system drive).

    Now XP Pro doesn't see the disk in Disk Management, but VISTA-HP does. Cannot allocate a drive letter as the device is showing as not initialized. Haven't tried this in WHS as yet, mainly as I have only used the Home Server Console. Any further help is very much appreciated guys. 

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012 10:30 AM
  • I would guess that the HDD failed, given what you say. You can try using data recovery software on it, or you can send it out for data recovery, if the data on the drive is really essential/irreplaceable/valuable. 

    If you decide to try data recovery software, my personal opinion is that free software is worth what you pay for it. Find something that gets good reviews on third party sites, rather than glowing testimonials on the publisher's site.

    If you decide to send the disk out, expect to pay a pretty penny (possibly over $1000, depending on what's wrong with the drive) and don't expect any guarantees. If you decide that going this route is a good plan, do it immediately; trying to recover anything yourself can potentially damage the drive beyond any hope of even professional recovery.

    I have no recommendations in either case; I back up data and store it off site as a matter of course, so I've never needed to bother with data recovery, just with data restoration.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, February 1, 2012 2:35 PM