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HELP! Server Seems to Have Crashed Big Time RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hey All,

    I'm VERY concerned here.  Yesterday I was looking at the server console and I noticed a message saying the backup service was not running.  I thought no big deal, I'll just restart the server.  Before I restarted I confirmed that all the drives showed up as healthy.  I told the server to restart.  A while later I noticed it hadn't come back up so I went and physically powered it off (it resides in my closet as a headless unit) and then powered it back on.  Again I noticed that my server status icon in the tool tray of the client machine I was on never changed.  So this evening I powered down the server and hauled it upstairs to hook it up to a monitor, keyboard and mouse.  As soon as I powered it on I got a message saying the operating system could not be found.  So I'm concerned at this point but think to myself that I need to put the WHS media into the machine, restart it and run a repair.  I start the installation and get to the point where you make the choice to repair or install the operating system new (while wiping your drives) and find that there is NOT an option to repair, only install.  All three drives did show up during the part of installation that asks you to check that - what concerns me is two of them showed to be formatted "RAW" and one showed NTFS.  I can't remember which one was which.

    So, now a little more panic is setting in as I have several years of photographs on this machine in a duplicated folder.  I pull all three drives out of the machine and plug them one at a time into an external drive case I have. 

    The first drive (the primary drive I believe)  shows the message "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.".
    The second drive shows two partitions but says "The disk in drive X: is not formatted.  Do you want to format it now?" when I click on either partition.
    The third drive never even shows up for some reason.

    So now I am REALLY panicking as I don't have a backup of those pictures as I thought I was safe with the duplicated folder in WHS.  Can anyone offer any advice here or am I totally hosed?  When I was looking at the drives in the external case (USB) I was using Windows XP Pro on my laptop - not sure if that would make a difference.  It is formatted NTFS.

    Thanks for any help you can offer.

    Kevin
    Thursday, June 4, 2009 4:58 AM

All replies

  • Ouch seems like the partition table got lost. There are hard drive recovery tools... generally not free and not cheap.
    I can't think of anything that would really cause problem to all your drives at once, unless it was a power surge or something :(
    Sorry if that wasn't the answer you were hoping for.
    Thursday, June 4, 2009 6:52 AM
  • I have used this in the past: http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/file-recovery-software/ 
    It works best with the drive installed in a desktop as usb support isn't the best. They have trial versions so you can test to see if it finds stuff before you buy the full version.

    As an example i have recovered data from a win xp disk formatted to ext3 (linux) by mistake then i re-formatted to ntfs and used ontrack
    Thursday, June 4, 2009 9:15 AM
  • Hi Kevin,
    if possible, try also to circumvent the external enclosure and attach the disk directly to an internal port on your mainboard.
    (That many errors on different disks could also be caused by issues with USB port and/or the enclosure.)
    Check also the FAQ How to recover data after server failure to see, how you can get access to your data as soon, as the file structure is recognized.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, June 4, 2009 12:04 PM
    Moderator
  • Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the replys - The good news is that I am resting a little easier tonight.  After I posted last night I realized that once upon a time I had shut my WHS down because of a bad thunderstorm and forgot to start it again.  While the server was down I accessed a file on the server that I had placed a shortcut to on my desktop.  Later on it occurred to me that the server was down and I thought "how did I do that"?  Upon closer examination the file had been "synced up" using some application called sync center.  I fired that same machine up praying that it would have all of my photos on it.  Sure enough, they were all there along with most of the other files from the server.  I'm not sure how "sync center" was installed on my machine or even who was responsible for installing it because I don't remember setting it up.  I suspect it's intended for someone with a laptop because I can still click on the "Shared Folders on Server" icon that is on the desktop and see most of the server files even though it's sitting in another room with the drives taken out of it.

    It appears the only things I might have lost were some very large video files that I had burned from VHS - no great loss as I can burn them again.

    Olaf, I'll try your idea of plugging the drives directly into the motherboard of another machine and see if I see anything different.  This situation has certainly scared me a bit because I have thought all along that my files were safe on WHS, especially when some of the (important) folders were set to be duplicated.  I also find it quite interesting that all three drives suddenly don't want to work after I saw them marked "healthy" right before attempting to restart the server.

    So, I should be able to see the contents of the files on the drives from the WHS even if I am attaching them to a Windows XP machine that is formatted NTFS, right?  I mean, WHS uses NTFS and besides some permissions issues trying to access the files I shouldn't have any other issues, right?

    I'll try and follow up with my findings.  Again, thanks for your help!

    Kevin
    Friday, June 5, 2009 2:52 AM
  • Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the replys - The good news is that I am resting a little easier tonight.  After I posted last night I realized that once upon a time I had shut my WHS down because of a bad thunderstorm and forgot to start it again.  While the server was down I accessed a file on the server that I had placed a shortcut to on my desktop.  Later on it occurred to me that the server was down and I thought "how did I do that"?  Upon closer examination the file had been "synced up" using some application called sync center.  I fired that same machine up praying that it would have all of my photos on it.  Sure enough, they were all there along with most of the other files from the server.  I'm not sure how "sync center" was installed on my machine or even who was responsible for installing it because I don't remember setting it up.  I suspect it's intended for someone with a laptop because I can still click on the "Shared Folders on Server" icon that is on the desktop and see most of the server files even though it's sitting in another room with the drives taken out of it.

    It appears the only things I might have lost were some very large video files that I had burned from VHS - no great loss as I can burn them again.

    Olaf, I'll try your idea of plugging the drives directly into the motherboard of another machine and see if I see anything different.  This situation has certainly scared me a bit because I have thought all along that my files were safe on WHS, especially when some of the (important) folders were set to be duplicated.

    That's one of the reasons why you should also have a copy off-site.  Fire, flood, theft, etc. and your data is gone.

    I also find it quite interesting that all three drives suddenly don't want to work after I saw them marked "healthy" right before attempting to restart the server. So, I should be able to see the contents of the files on the drives from the WHS even if I am attaching them to a Windows XP machine that is formatted NTFS, right?  I mean, WHS uses NTFS and besides some permissions issues trying to access the files I shouldn't have any other issues, right?

    I'll try and follow up with my findings.  Again, thanks for your help!

    Kevin
    Yes, that is correct.
    Friday, June 5, 2009 4:29 AM
    Moderator