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SYS failing, how to backup WHS and general performance issues RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    Server: Brand new HP Proliant ML110 with 0,5GB RAM and 160GB + 320GB disks running WHS released/OEM.

    Clients: Wired XP notebook (approx. 4 years old), wired Vista Home Premium minitower (brand new) and wireless Vista Home Premium notebook (new).

     

    Yesterday we got this SYS failing message and yellow WHS icon. Tried the repair, seems OK now - but searching the forums made me worry this is a common WHS issue. The other users asked for more information about the underlying reasons for the WHS warning. Can anybody please find out the possible causes for this SYS failing message? Can I find any logs on my system with more details?

     

    The usage of the server storage is shared folders 10GB, duplication 10GB, backups 135GB, system 20GB, free 270GB. Having the boot disk size only 160GB makes me worry about the actual split between the disks. If system, the backups and shared folders occupy room on the primary/boot disk, there will be little room left (150-(20+135+10) leaves below zero!) and plenty of room on the second disk (300-10)... Anyone knowing the way data is placed? My console says balancing very often (several times per hour, even if no client is updating any files).

     

    How can I backup the homeserver? Seems important if the SYS volume is in fact failing! It should have been possible to connect external drives for backup purposes. Seems to me any disks connected will be formatted and treated as available storage along with the internal disks.

     

    The performance is also disappointing, but I'm unsure about the cause. Reading approx. 2GB/2000 files takes 6 minutes, writing the same data back takes 7 minutes. The Vista minitower didn't finish at all, and hung when cancelled...

     

    Any and all help appreciated!

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007 5:59 AM

Answers

  • Hi Christen!

     

    There is a handy little add-on that might give you some of the information you are looking for.  It's a duplication info add-in and you can read more about it (and download it) from http://akiba.geocities.jp/duplicationinfo/

     

    Your primary drive (where the SYS partition lives) should be the largest drive in your system.  All files land on this drive -- and therefore, it gets hit pretty hard.  Those files may be migrated off after they land there, but during a copy or whatnot that is the first drive they hit.  That is why it is important to have it be the largest drive (and connected to the fastest I/O port).  Otherwise, if you have folder duplication turned on, then you will be limited by that drive size.

     

    Hope that helped a little answer some of your questions.  If I can be of any more help let me know!


    Thanks,

    Robert

     

     

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007 9:00 PM
  • I doubt that Microsoft is going to give more detailed information than they already do about disk errors (or disk utilization); most of the WHS target audience won't understand the meaning of a SMART error if they're told about it and the primary sales channel is intended to be via OEMs like HP, etc. So people will be buying WHS and taking it home to use with little IT background or assistance. While enthusiasts are certainly a part of the plan, we aren't the main focus of the product.

    I write "probably" about file locations because Windows Home Server determines what files to place where based on internal algorithms that Microsoft hasn't shared with me. Smile Since your data load is different from mine, I can't speak with complete authority about your particular WHS installation; though I can tell you what in general you should see, and what I see on my servers. Also, Microsoft has written a white paper about Drive Extender which may answer some of your questions.

    Backups: They are stored in a "database", a series of large (4 GB) files spread across the storage pool. When a PC is backed up, every 4k cluster of every file being backed up is examined to see if it's currently in the database. If it is, a pointer is stored to that already backed up cluster. If it's not, the cluster is sent to the server to be stored and then the pointer is created. This results in dramatic savings in disk space over traditional backup solutions, and permits an image-based restore (which it sounds like you may have already tried out) of a failed PC. The distiction between the backup DB and the backed up files is that the backup DB contains the files; they don't exist separately in the file system.

    Your system drive doesn't have to be your largest disk, but it does have to be "large enough". It's the landing zone for files being copied to or modified on the server; since Drive Extender works in a "lazy" fashion, it's possible that copying a large volume of data will fill up a small drive. And a full server will store duplicates and backups on the system drive (even use it for primary file storage), reducing the space available. I personally think a 300-400 GB system drive is large enough for most people for the next 2-4 years.

    I agree with all your points about security and data integrity, to a point. Any good enterprise backup solution takes all that and more into acocunt. However, Windows Home Server isn't, and isn't intended to be, an enterprise solution. If you really need all those features at home, you need something other than WHS. Maybe in addition to, maybe in lieu of, but WHS by itself isn't your solution. WHS is, however, so much better than what the average family does today (even the average small business) that I think it's unfair to the product to say "it doesn't have this or that feature that would make it even more robust".
    Tuesday, November 13, 2007 11:40 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Christen, if you look around and do a search or two, you'll find that your questions are common ones, and have already been answered. In particular, I've answered questions about how data is stored on WHS repeatedly.

    The most common reason for WHS to report that the system drive is failing is that, well, the system drive is failing. Some error or timeout was detected during a read or write operation. Having a disk drive fail is common, yes (100% failure rate over sufficient time), but it has nothing to do with WHS per se.

    In your case, with two disks, you will probably have a combination of duplicated files and components of the backup database on your system drive. It's possible, but less likely, that you'll have files that aren't duplicated stored on the system drive; though your server doesn't sound full enough for that to be happening. You'll have other components of the backup database on the secondary drive as well as the rest of your files (including a second copy of files in shares marked for duplication). So if your system drive fails, you could lose your backup database, but you will probably not lose any files.

    As for what you do if the system drive fails, you replace it and do a server reinstallation. If you're not using WHS as a desktop OS (which you shouldn't do) there shouldn't be much (if anything) installed on the server. It will take a while to reinstall, but you won't lose any files this way.

    As envisioned by Microsoft, there's no need to back up the server, because if you turn on duplication for all your shares, the failure of any single drive won't result in the loss of files. In addition, most people will probably wind up with most of their data stored on WHS. That data is likely to consist primarily of media files of various sorts, totaling in the hundreds of GB, or even multiple TB (if you rip a lot of DVDs for example). It's just not practical to try to back that much data up in the home environment.
    Tuesday, November 13, 2007 12:54 PM
    Moderator
  • I spent in excess of 2 hours searching the forums before posting, but didn't find meaningful/satisfactory solutions. To begin with, I doubt my drive is actually physically failing. I have experience with about a hundred HDD's from now and two decades back. I've had crashes too (a five year old Dell just two or three days after I backed it up with WHS for the first time) - and know why etc. But I like more meaningful messages - the actual SMART error, or unable to read sector, timeout so and so or whatever the cause is. Searching the forums made me even more suspicious this is an issue with WHS (there's even an unresolved issue with corruption when files have alternate streams, according to the FAQ section). SYS failing doesn't tell me much. Then to the backup issue: I've read about the way drive extender and duplication works, but didn't find exact information about where the backups from the client PC's are placed. I know the system files and 1 copy of the shared folders reside on the primary disk, but don't know whether the entire backup database reside on the 2nd disk (and is there a distinction between backup db and the backed up files?). You seem pretty into it, but anyhow writes "probably" about where the different files are placed. Seems like a good idea to make it possible to know that (not each individual file, but at least the overall percentage of client backups and shared folders). I also found people saying the first disk should be the largest, others saying it only matters when you just have two disks (makes sense, but why didn't I read that advice before installation - should have been written somewhere people would read before setting it up for the first time). I've ordered another (3rd) disk now. But far more important to me is the fact that HDD failure isn't the only threat to our data - ever heard about criminals or fires? And I don't rip CD's to the WHS to back them up to CD's again. But the family photos and documents should be backed up to offsite storage. Doing this from the homeserver (directly or from a client, but without manually copying back to a client first) makes perfectly sense to me - and others, it seems when searching the forums. And I don't prefer to set up users and other settings multiple times either. I don't say the reinstallation is the worst way, but it still leaves too much work to do afterwards (heard about OBDR - one button disaster recovery?). I'm also not sure if I loose client backups if (when) the WHS primary disk fails. The concept behind WHS is a good one, but there are obvious weak points (unless the solution is hidden somewhere I haven't looked yet). I'd also like to follow the warning and not install uncertified software on the homeserver. Only thing now is the UPS software.

     

    I think the fact that several persons ask the same question has nothing to do with not searching the forums. The answers are not satisfactory, and a hundred questions and fifty answers are just too much to read. So somebody should read through it more thoroughly and extract the questions and answers - thereby saving lots of time for all of us, making us more likely to sell WHS to others.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007 7:21 PM
  • Hi Christen!

     

    There is a handy little add-on that might give you some of the information you are looking for.  It's a duplication info add-in and you can read more about it (and download it) from http://akiba.geocities.jp/duplicationinfo/

     

    Your primary drive (where the SYS partition lives) should be the largest drive in your system.  All files land on this drive -- and therefore, it gets hit pretty hard.  Those files may be migrated off after they land there, but during a copy or whatnot that is the first drive they hit.  That is why it is important to have it be the largest drive (and connected to the fastest I/O port).  Otherwise, if you have folder duplication turned on, then you will be limited by that drive size.

     

    Hope that helped a little answer some of your questions.  If I can be of any more help let me know!


    Thanks,

    Robert

     

     

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007 9:00 PM
  • I doubt that Microsoft is going to give more detailed information than they already do about disk errors (or disk utilization); most of the WHS target audience won't understand the meaning of a SMART error if they're told about it and the primary sales channel is intended to be via OEMs like HP, etc. So people will be buying WHS and taking it home to use with little IT background or assistance. While enthusiasts are certainly a part of the plan, we aren't the main focus of the product.

    I write "probably" about file locations because Windows Home Server determines what files to place where based on internal algorithms that Microsoft hasn't shared with me. Smile Since your data load is different from mine, I can't speak with complete authority about your particular WHS installation; though I can tell you what in general you should see, and what I see on my servers. Also, Microsoft has written a white paper about Drive Extender which may answer some of your questions.

    Backups: They are stored in a "database", a series of large (4 GB) files spread across the storage pool. When a PC is backed up, every 4k cluster of every file being backed up is examined to see if it's currently in the database. If it is, a pointer is stored to that already backed up cluster. If it's not, the cluster is sent to the server to be stored and then the pointer is created. This results in dramatic savings in disk space over traditional backup solutions, and permits an image-based restore (which it sounds like you may have already tried out) of a failed PC. The distiction between the backup DB and the backed up files is that the backup DB contains the files; they don't exist separately in the file system.

    Your system drive doesn't have to be your largest disk, but it does have to be "large enough". It's the landing zone for files being copied to or modified on the server; since Drive Extender works in a "lazy" fashion, it's possible that copying a large volume of data will fill up a small drive. And a full server will store duplicates and backups on the system drive (even use it for primary file storage), reducing the space available. I personally think a 300-400 GB system drive is large enough for most people for the next 2-4 years.

    I agree with all your points about security and data integrity, to a point. Any good enterprise backup solution takes all that and more into acocunt. However, Windows Home Server isn't, and isn't intended to be, an enterprise solution. If you really need all those features at home, you need something other than WHS. Maybe in addition to, maybe in lieu of, but WHS by itself isn't your solution. WHS is, however, so much better than what the average family does today (even the average small business) that I think it's unfair to the product to say "it doesn't have this or that feature that would make it even more robust".
    Tuesday, November 13, 2007 11:40 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for suggestions and more details! Do you think the add-on is stable etc.? The reason for the primary drive being "small" in our system, is just the fact that I didn't swap drives upon installation (it's the one delivered with this server). I still think it should be large enough as the landing zone, when WHS preferably would migrate off all other files than system files and the catalog/link info (tombstones, was it)? I've bought another larger disk, so the 2nd and 3rd disk are now large enough to hold all data (folders and backups).

     

    Do you have any opinion on the performance? Do we experience normal file transfer, or can this be some kind of routing/switch problem? I would have expected closer to 12 MB/s (100Mbps/8)... Now it is just 5 MB/s.

     

    And do you know of a backup solution - will Microsoft have one underway? I don't think intended audience is relevant here, or maybe it's even more important when the audience is ordinary families (not IT pros). Protecting photos and documents in case of fire is important to us. Now I will have to periodically copy it back to client PCs to burn it to DVD or transfer it to external/portable disks. The homeserver connector client could have arranged this, or it should have been possible to do this directly to DVD or hook up an external USB disk to the homeserver. How nice wouldn't it have been to store the original set of DVDs offsite, and then just collect another DVD (incremental or differential) from the homeserver each Monday morning?

     

    Thanks, Christen

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007 6:35 AM
  • Hi Ken!

     

    Thanks for clarifying my confusion over backup files and database versus only backup database. This still means we will/could loose the backups if any drive fail. When you don't know where the backup database is, you won't even be able to move it off a failing drive before disaster strikes (WHS could do that automatically, based on repeated errors on a drive).

     

    My reason for asking for more details about the sys failing message, is my feeling this might just be a WHS bug.

     

    The level of abstraction in WHS is just fine as long as everything work fine. When errors occur, people will need more detail (or the friends friend coming to help will need it). Taking MS's word, my server is KVM-less, so it's annoying to connect monitor, mouse and keyboard to find out more (must borrow from the client PC that is neatly placed in a desk with cables strapped etc.).

     

    You might also read my answer to Robert. In particular, do you think or know anything about the performance?

     

    I'm sorry to disagree with you about the backup/disaster recovery. There are differences to enterprise needs, but families will need backup of everything that can't be recreated (meaning family photos, video and documents - not purchased material where you could rather store the original CD/DVD or buy a new one for the insurance money).

     

    My opinion is that these things should have been here in v1. For v2, there are lots of other wishes (smarthome/automation, mediacenter functionality etc.). I guess MS will sell better if the product evolves...

     

    Thanks, Christen

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007 7:07 AM
  • Christen,

    There are numerous products available, plus at least one Add-In, that can backup information to a paid-for web store, or  NAS devices etc. Also, now that WHS is in the marketplace, I'm sure other products will appear.

    If you have more than one drive and as long as you have duplication enabled, it doesn't matter if one drive fails, your precious photographs will still be on the other drive. Also, does it matter if the drive with your backups fails? All you need do, is install another drive and run a manual backup from each of the Clients. The chances of a server disk and a client disk failing at exactly the same time must be vanishingly small and, as I say, if you have your information copied somewhere else, what does it matter.

     

    Also, as with most of these things, I'm sure there is a market imperative, the guys building WHS might well have wanted to add all the bells and whistles, (as you can see, if you read their blogs,) but the product has to be out there in the marketplace. Plus, all the other software vendors would be crying foul if they didn't get a chance to offer products for WHS

     

    Colin

     

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:42 AM
  • Christen, yes you can lose your backup database if a drive fails. however, Windows Home Server is not, as I said, an enterprise solution, where that would be unacceptable. It's a solution for homes with several PCs and a broadband connection. Today, if those homes are backing up anything at all, they are doing so haphazardly with external drives, or maybe backing up to an online target like Amazon's S3.

    Backups of home PCs (or office PCs, for that matter) are not for day-to-day protection from minor mistakes and user error (Yes, you can use backups that way. How often have you actually done so at home?). They're for disaster recovery: "My pc won't start, Mom! It says 'Insert system disk!'" If a drive fails in WHS, and you lose your backup database, you just back up all your PCs again. The PCs (source data) are the backups for the backups.

    I'm going to pick on family photos now. Smile For the past century, more or less, people have been taking family photos. They have "backups" of those photos in the form of negatives or transparencies. If your house burns down today, I guarantee all your negatives will be damaged or destroyed if they're on site. If your cat urinates in the box the negatives are stored in, same deal. Windows Home Server backup is (sort of) equivalent to those negatives. It prevents a single point of failure from destroying those memories or documents. It doesn't prevent a major disaster from doing so, but that has always been a risk that families have faced. And the

    Most of the things you mention as "part of" V2 are things that are actively being developed by third parties today. Microsoft likes it that way; they deliver the platform, and ISVs deliver the add-ins. Everybody wins, including the consumer.

    The performance issue you're seeing is probably a combination of things, and there's no way I'm likely to be able to do more than take a wild guess, which I'm not willing to do. It's probably related to both the additional I/O overhead of WHS and your LAN topology and infrastructure, though.
    Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Colin,

    I haven't seen those add-in products. Where are they to be found? And I live in Norway, so I'm not sure which online services will be available to me (we have online backup services for home usage, but they're certainly not WHS certified). I'm not afraid of a single drive failure in the case of the shared folders (I know what duplication means). But I'm afraid of fires and criminals and so on. Therefore, I do backup to offsite storage of the most important files. It's annoying to have to copy them back to a client to back them up. There sure will be functionality for this, I just wanted it now and hoped it would be there as standard, not having to spend more money. And among the backups is the backup of my now dead Dell PC. I thought I could keep it on WHS, but I see now that any drive failing could render that backup useless. And I'm certainly not able to back it up again, it's HDD makes noises that leaves no hope exept for those willing to spend a fortune on specialists like IBAS. Since I don't know where the backup is on disk, I'm not even able to move it off a failing disk (there might be warnings before it actually crashes).

     

    It's also a bit funny that MS suddenly is caring that much of the other software companies out there. I think I've heard about former competitors (Netscape) and current ones (Real, Symantec) that is not all that happy every time MS has to enter a new market to keep sales up.

     

    But I LIKE WHS, I missed some technical details, I've been getting most of them now. Forgive me for being eager, I've had WHS for 2 weeks and have seen some of the things I would like in there and some I thought would have been there.

     

    Christen

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007 2:16 PM
  • Ken,

    I won't repeat my answer to Colin, so you'll find things there to - but I disagree with you about the house burning and your cat story, because those things are so less likely to happen than computer viruses and HDDs failing. So WHS offers - in my opinion - less security than in those old days. I'd rather like a little more security. And those backups to offsite storage is more cumbersome with WHS than without, as far as I can see.

     

    Christen

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007 2:21 PM
  • Christen,

    There are numerous items available. Apart from the couple of Add-Ins, there's RoboCopy, Handy Backup, SecondCopy , syncToy etc. Plus, Microsoft will be bringing out a toollkit version at some point soon. If you look through the forum, you will see numerous examples of how people have overcome this perceived limitation.

    I'm with Ken on this, WHS is geared towards people who have never-ever even thought about backups and such, not to people who want a full-blown Server operating system on the cheap. The technically knowledgeable amongst us no doubt want more, but as usual, they will know how to do it themselves.

     

    HTH,

     

    Colin

     

     

     

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007 5:50 PM
  •  

    Colin,

    I see that I'm falling in between. I work with computers, but don't want a full-blown SUSE or W2K3 server at home - so I like the idea with WHS. On the other hand, I think what I've pointed out are quite basic needs. Now that I've spent some more hours searching the forums and homeserver websites, I see there are solutions underway. Still, I think it is difficult to get some overview. After working with IT for 15 years or so, I haven't heard about any of the backup utilities you mentioned. Maybe this discussion won't get me any closer. I think the things I've pointed out should have been better. For MS Office, 90% of the users use only 10% functionality - but the advanced functions are there anyway. The same way, I think WHS should have some "advanced" functionality for those a little more knowledgeable than the ordinary American housewife. It wouldn't harm, and I think users like me will try this product first anyway (the others haven't even heard about it yet).

     

    Christen

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007 8:24 PM
  • No, you missed my point. The backups on WHS are analogous to the prints, except that they're better because they're identical to the originals (which are the negatives; prints are second-generation copies of negatives, not identical). If your client PC goes south, you've got your backups (or you've got share duplication turned on in the WHS Console). If WHS loses it's backups, likewise. One can be recreated from the other, symmetrically. If all of your server's drives fail at once, you've got a problem. But what scenario do you envision that is likely to produce that result? If you're not using WHS to surf the web (i.e. you install it as a headless device on your network) you're not going to have a problem with a virus, trojan horse, or spyware. I just don't see another likely scenario.

    If your house burns down you lose both client PCs and WHS, no questions. Same as if your house burns down and all your family photos and negatives are destroyed. What you're asking for is more security than you have today, not equivalent.
    Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:21 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken,

    I didn't miss your point - I just don't agree with you when it comes to statistics. Of course I don't use the WHS as a client, still it might get hit by some kind of virus, cyberattack, corruption or HDD crash. All those things are more likely to happen than a cat urinating on the negatives or some other odd incident. Every normal grown-up (at least in my country)would store those negatives in a safe place in their house, so fire and flood are the only accidents that would wipe out that analogue backup. So the chance of the WHS server getting destroyed is far greater than the risk of losing negatives. And furthermore, I wasn't looking for a way to keep security the way it was - I like going in the right direction, meaning something better than before. I haven't stored negatives for many years, but DVDs. I now have less security, as the WHS is more likely to be destroyed one way or another than my DVDs (even if storing them on-site). But as stated before, I see there are solutions underway. I've also noted so many asking the same way (today: sys disk crash and no reinstallation option - see software section of this forum), that I'm totally convinced I'm among the crowd here. Today, WHS without further protection is just a step up (when it comes to security) for those being plain stupid before (i.e. letting their cat play with the negatives or not doing any computer backup at all). WHS is a good, promising foundation - but I'd have hoped a little more basics already were in place.

     

    Christen

    Thursday, November 15, 2007 8:56 AM
  • Just a quick comment here Ken. I know your a legend on these forums, but I would just like to point out to everyone that storing all your movies/music etc. on your WHS over mulitple drives without duplication (and lets face it your right it isn't practical to backup or have duplicated that amount fo data)  - but it does increase the risk of lossing all that data if one of the HDDs fails. You are now at the mercy of the lowest denominator, that being the drive tht its most likely to fail.

    So example. 500GB(new) sys drive 200GB(new) data drive 120GB(old) data drive 80GB(old) data drive.

    If the 120Gb drive failed any data not duplicated you have now lost.

    But what is exactly lost? You will not know as there is no way to tell WHS where to store its data - its all pooled.

    So if you had a series of files for a software applciation and one of these files is on the 120gb HDD that failed you now have a usless software application.

    This situation can also be used to explain alot of users problems with performance .

    Once again lowest denomitator - having old Hdds on there to gain some extra storage will slow things down, more rebalancing overhead required for the addtional HDDs and everytime the boot drive wants to copy data to the slower data drives the whole system has to slow down to its speed until the copy is finished.

    I would suggest only using relatively new modern HDDs in your WHS. There is a huge difference in speed between a new HDD and an old one even of they are both 7200rpm 8mb cache drives.

    So I better get back to my point if you removed the 120gb and 80gb fro my example you reduce the chance of losing any data stored on WHS and you increase the performance of WHS.







    Friday, November 16, 2007 6:34 AM
  • Hello Kane,

    I agree with your comments. In my case, all HDDs (was 2, now have 3) are brand new Seagate ES series SATA disks, so they should be reliable and quite fast.

     

    I know the risk and benefits of this pooling and software RAID (duplication), but the lack of reasonable ways to backup to external storage for disaster recovery took me by surprise. I miss a way to "dump" the whole system to external storage, to be safe in the case of flood, fire and the like. The current duplication only guards in the case of single disk failure, and just for the duplicated data. I would like to safeguard the WHS system settings and the backup database (client backups), as well as make a yearly offsite backup of all important photos, videos and documents.

     

    Seems such solutions are underway, I'm only saying I didn't check up front and was surprised this wasn't included.

     

    The message about sys failure is gone now, and I still feel pretty sure it was a software bug in WHS. The performance is still lower than expected, but 5,5 MB/s (file copy, 2GB, from server to client, several files) is perhaps good enough..?

     

    Christen

    Friday, November 16, 2007 10:32 AM
  •  

    Hi,

     

    I would like to say that i love WHS and I am one of those that didn't do backups per sa...... tried to keep files on different hd's in the same system to reduce the chance oof losing all my data.  Any my main purpose with WHS was for backup's and central file storage and this works Great.  3 Days ago I logged onto a client and the connector software warned me that a hd was failing so i logged on and sure enough it was the sys drive......i went through the little wizard and all appears normal again (have no idea what was wrong as has alrady been mentioned).  Anyway my experience with adding drives to the pool is that it formats them to add to pool so if i had to reinstall WHS again aren't my duplicated folders on the other drives going to be formatted to be added to the new system install pool?  Besides if i have a list of drives during the install how would i know which drive was the main drive so that i didn't install on a storage drive?  I don't have an external hd as of yet but I came here to find out how to backup the server and happened upon this thread.  It sounds like i should copy files locally and strictly use the server for backup instead of central file storage?  That way files are locally and on server even though central file storage is a selling point of WHS or I read something wrong.

     

    Anyway i plan to search for an add-in for doing this but just thought i would ask a few more questions to keep you guys busy.

     

     

    Thanks again,

     

    Matt

    Friday, January 25, 2008 2:55 PM
  • Matt, when you run setup on a system that has already had Windows Home Server installed , even if the system drive is being replaced (presumably due to drive failure) it will detect that there's a pre-existing installation and will give you a "server reinstallation" option. That option will preserve your files and backups (assuming nothing was stored on the system drive) in the reinstallation. I've done this process several times; it works. The only gotcha is that if you had to supply drivers for your storage (perhaps using SATA/AHCI, or an add-in host bus adapter) you'll have to supply them again during the reinstallation in order to get WHS to see all your drives.
    Friday, January 25, 2008 4:44 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for explaining that.  So I guess it's relatively safe to store all media on WHS as long as i don't edit pics with any of the programs listed for corruption potential?  One more question......I have raid 0 array in this client 3 250 gig hd's......i tried everything to restore to a new raid 0 array with just 2-250 gig hd's to no avail.....How would one go about restoring a backup to a smaller system disk than was there originally?  I am only using about 120 gigs.  Would the vista backup work for this?

    I will search the forums for ways to backup the server just for peace of mind or at least the media.

     

    Thanks again Ken,

     

    Matt

    Saturday, January 26, 2008 2:34 PM
  • You can't use Windows Home Server to restore to a smaller disk than the original. You will need to restore to a pair of 400 GB or larger drives, I'm afraid.
    Sunday, January 27, 2008 5:38 AM
    Moderator
  • Cool deal

     

    Thank you.

    Sunday, January 27, 2008 5:41 AM