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Problems with an external drive, could use some help.. RRS feed

  • Question

  • Here's my situation.. I'm going to provide as much detail as possible just in case it might have an impact that I'm not aware of..

    I'm running the WHS evaluation in a VM (VMWare Server 1.0), completely off of external drives. I'm doing this so that if the host goes down, I can quickly move the drives to another machine and boot the WHS VM and be up and running.

    My configuration is this:
    External drive 1 (eSATA) - 1TB -  WHS OS + Data 1
    USB drive 1 - 500GB - Data 2
    USB drive 2 - 500GB - Data 3

    This morning, one of the storage drives (ie, not the drive with the WHS OS partition) stopped working. I rebooted the vm and host a couple of times and couldn't get the drive to come back up. After I rebooted the host, the drive would no longer show up in Disk Manager. Basically, the external case would continually blink (as if the drive was being accessed) regardless of which computer it was plugged into (or simply if I turned it on without a computer attached..).

    I figured something was up with the drive or the external case, so I simply removed the drive and plugged it directly into a computer. When windows finished booting, the drive looked as though it had nothing on it in Windows Explorer. I powered the machine down and put it back into the external case.

    This time when I booted the host the drive showed up in Disk Manager. However, when I booted the WHS VM, the problematic disk shows up as a new disk.

    Can anyone tell me whether I've lost the data on that disk, or whether there's a way I can re-add it back to WHS without losing the data? Is there any way that I can recover it without resorting to a data recovery firm? There hasn't been any activity on the drive so I'm assuming that all of the data is still there...
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 1:21 AM

All replies

  • codeforfun80 said:

    Here's my situation.. I'm going to provide as much detail as possible just in case it might have an impact that I'm not aware of..

    I'm running the WHS evaluation in a VM (VMWare Server 1.0), completely off of external drives.
     

    First, running WHS in a VM is unsupported.

    codeforfun80 said:

    I'm doing this so that if the host goes down, I can quickly move the drives to another machine and boot the WHS VM and be up and running.

    My configuration is this:
    External drive 1 (eSATA) - 1TB -  WHS OS + Data 1
    USB drive 1 - 500GB - Data 2
    USB drive 2 - 500GB - Data 3

    This morning, one of the storage drives (ie, not the drive with the WHS OS partition) stopped working. I rebooted the vm and host a couple of times and couldn't get the drive to come back up. After I rebooted the host, the drive would no longer show up in Disk Manager. Basically, the external case would continually blink (as if the drive was being accessed) regardless of which computer it was plugged into (or simply if I turned it on without a computer attached..).

    I figured something was up with the drive or the external case, so I simply removed the drive and plugged it directly into a computer. When windows finished booting, the drive looked as though it had nothing on it in Windows Explorer. I powered the machine down and put it back into the external case.

    This time when I booted the host the drive showed up in Disk Manager. However, when I booted the WHS VM, the problematic disk shows up as a new disk.

    Can anyone tell me whether I've lost the data on that disk

    WHS uses the standard NTFS file system for data storage.  All of the data on the storage drives are kept in a hidden folder called DE.  Make sure you have View Hidden files and folders checked to see if the DE folder is there.

    codeforfun80 said:

    or whether there's a way I can re-add it back to WHS without losing the data?

    Only if WHS recognizes it as the same drive as before (which it sounds like it isn't doing).  Otherwise, you can connect the drive to the server but don't add it to the storage pool, login to the server desktop (which, FYI, is also unsupported) and copy the data from that drive back to the network shares by using the Shared Folders on Server icon on the server desktop.

    codeforfun80 said:

    Is there any way that I can recover it without resorting to a data recovery firm? There hasn't been any activity on the drive so I'm assuming that all of the data is still there...



    Sunday, February 15, 2009 1:30 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,
    USB drives in the storage pool have been given some people bad experiences in the past, especially, if the electronic in the enclosure acted at own will.
    This FAQ explains more in detail, how to get the data off from the disks, back to the server or to somewhere else.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 1:48 AM
    Moderator
  • codeforfun80 said:

    ... When windows finished booting, the drive looked as though it had nothing on it in Windows Explorer. ...

    Assuming you checked for the hidden folder <driveletter>:\DE, and it wasn't present, then it sounds like anything stored only on that drive (i.e. any files in shares not marked for duplication that were on that drive, backup database components that were on that drive) is likely lost due to a disk or controller error. In that event, you could try data recovery software, or (very expensive) send the drive out to a data recovery firm.

    If you check the drive and find a hidden DE folder in the root, then your shares will be under <driveletter>:\DE\Shares\etc.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, February 16, 2009 6:08 PM
    Moderator