WHS Main Drive Failure RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I'm quite new to WHS as I just installed a few weeks back. Using an old PC I installed 3 250 GB Drives into the system and ran WHS with Drive Extender. A couple of weeks back I received a warning that one of my drives were bad and it needed to be replaced. Because I had a long trip planned I decided to shutdown the server to prevent data loss. I figured I could install some new drives when I returned from my trip.

    Just last night I purchased 4 - 2 TB drives to install in the WHS machine, I booted up WHS and tried to start up the console. however when I go into the console and try to access drive management i'm met with a blank console. From my best assumption the main drive which contains the install of WHS is the one that has gone bad ( I could be wrong, but I have no way to correctly diagnose this). I have the drives to replace, but i'm not sure how to do this without access to the Drive Manager in the WHS Console. 

    I've heard that I should be able to install a new main drive and be able to reinstall WHS without loosing data because the 2nd and 3rd drives should have the data items on there. I could really use some direction on the best way to proceed without loosing any of my data.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I would really appreciate any help you could provide!

    Friday, April 8, 2011 3:32 PM

All replies

  • You really have two options, remove the system drive, and perform a server re-installation which means that you will be re-installing the OS, make sure that you are not performing a new installation as that will wipe out your data disks, some details are here:


    Otherwise you can do a search on server re-install to see various results.


    Alternatively you could remove your existing drives from your server.  Install the 4 new drives, install the OS as if it's a brand new installation.  Then put the old 250gb drives in a USB enclosure, and copy the data off of those drives, the data will be hidden in a hidden folder called DE, to your new server.

    Friday, April 8, 2011 4:22 PM
  • Well, apparently after spending hours working with my server this weekend, I've found that it's not the system drive that is faulty. Apparently it's one of the other 250 GB drives in my server, being told that the drive has numerous bad sectors. If I remove the Bad drive the system runs fine. But the server barely runs when the bad drive is attached, I've even pulled the drive added a new 2TB drive, booted the system then after I can get the WHS Console started I attach the drive via USB to SATA connector. As soon as the drive is attached WHS grinds to a halt. and is totally unusable. 


    Secondary to this, since adding the new 2TB drive the drive pool is only showing 250 GB of drive space available. so 2 of my original drives which are registered as been seen in the Console. are not even included in the pool... So now I can't remove any of the old drive's because there is not enough free space.


    Any recommendations would be very helpful.


    Monday, April 11, 2011 12:18 AM
  • Given that it's 250gb of data or less in your storage pool, at this point I would recommend that your start over with a clean install.  You could use one of your good 250gb drives as the system drive, it will get partitioned as C, and D by WHS.


    Also you don't mention if you are using WHS V1 or the new WHS 2011.  If you are using WHS V1, and the 2tb drives you have are one of the Western Digital 4k sector drives (WD20EARS) then you will need to add a jumper to those drives.

    I would then recommend that you install 2 of the 2tb drives until you are close to filling those up, then add the other 2 drives as needed.  (no much sense in running 4 2tb drives for months when 2 of them will be empty.)

    Once you've got that running and it's all stable connect the other 250gb drive that has data on it through a USB cable, or connect it to one of your client PC's, and copy the data from their to the storage pool across your network.


    In the long run this is probably a better approach then trying to keep troubleshooting a bad drive.  If the bad drive is a western digital you can use their drive testing utility to see if it comes up with errors.  WD also lets you pay to upgrade WD drives, through their website when checking to see if it's still under warranty.

    Monday, April 11, 2011 2:31 PM
  • Yes, thank you. I think I'm going to move forward with a fresh install to eliminate the errors I was seeing. I was able to save about 98% of my data, So I feel it's OK to start from scratch. I'm actually in the process of reinstalling now.  However, it seems to be stuck at the formatting the system volume (for hours!). I'm trying to install WHS on my new 2 TB drive, could that be causing the hanging? Is that why you recommended installing on my old 250 GB Drive?

    BTW, i'm using WHS V1, due to my machine is a older P4 x86. 


    Also the new 2TB drives are Seagate Barracuda LP Green.


    Thanks again for the help!



    Monday, April 18, 2011 1:44 AM
  • My personal preference is to have a smaller drive for the system drive, and add the larger drives for the storage pool.  In fact a lot of users use small SSD's for their system drive. 


    My logic is that if you install a small system drive which gets split into C and D, the D drive will have very little to no data on it if the system disk fails.  It's bad enough that if the system disk fails that you have to re-install the OS, but if the drive also contained storage pool data, then that's an additional step that you have to deal with. Also from what I've found is if you have a small system drive, and then install a bunch of larger drives for the storage pool, that the WHS usually ignores the D drive for saving files to.  I think the D drive is usually the last drive that the WHS tries to fill up unless it has no other choice. 

    Also in my case I have folder duplication turned off, I prefer to keep an offline backup of all of my files.  Part of the problem is that my storage pool is currently at 10tb, and almost full, if I had to turn folder duplication on I would need 20tb of space online.  In addition I'm always concerned with having all of those drives in one location, my WHS is in my basement, if there was a water pipe that burst, or if something inside the case burned up, or there was an electrical overload it could cause damage to all of the drives inside the WHS. Keeping an offline backup in another room in the house seemed like a safer bet in my opinion.

    Monday, April 18, 2011 1:06 PM