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data recovery on failed whs hdd RRS feed

  • Question

  • ok its my worst nightmare my whs out the blue start to make a noise when I check it was one of the hard disk failing.

    its possible to try to boot that failed hdd with a program and clone it to another empty healthy hdd and put it back in the whs, will that work ?

    or whs verify the hdd hardware signature or something like that.


    * for the next time if i have folder duplication turn on and one of the hdd fail and wont boot , my data will be safe, will still there  if i remove the broke hdd and boot the machine ?

    * would be a safe practice to add hdd in pairs of capacity ?

          -- like 2 hdd of 1tb or 2 of 1tb and 2 of 500gb or 4 of 1tb. (you get the idea)


    * having software like diskeeper running really make a difference on hdd performance and health
    --my whs was running great for years like 1 weeks after install diskeeper 2008 the hdd failed

    I also notice that the whs was always ver busy even when disconnect form the lan and wasnt balancing  the hdd activiy led was like crazy, is this normal ?

    thank you all !

    --at last get the thread post correctly on the third try !!!
    Thursday, September 4, 2008 8:53 PM

Answers

  • If the drive is clicking, you've got a failing hard drive for sure. I would recommend shutting your server down for the time being; the drive is probably within hours of failing completely. Once you determine a course of action, boot your server and follow it immediately.

    Your courses of action are limited at this point. The best option is probably to use the WHS console to remove the drive from the pool. If this succeeds, it will move all your files to another drive in your system (assuming there's room). 

    Another option is to remove the drive physically from the server while it's shut down. Boot the server and remove the drive using the console. You will be warned you'll lose files, and may be warned that you'll lose backups. Accept the consequences and continue. Then connect the drive to another computer and try recovering your files yourself, from the hidden folder <driveletter>:/DE/Shares/etc. You can copy those files back to your server afterward, but for the recovery process itself copy them to a local drive on the other PC.

    A third option is to start out like the second, but use data recovery software to try to recover files you can't get to any other way. And a final option is to pull the drive and ship it off to a professional data recovery firm. That's going to be very expensive, probably starting at $1000 and going up like a kite from there.

    In the future, your best protection is to install additional storage so you can turn on duplication.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, September 4, 2008 11:05 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,
    Sorry to hear.
    The first thing to do, if this is not the system disk, is try and use the Remove Disk option in the Server Storage page of your Console. If this is a data disk, and your server has enough free space, it might be able to remove the disk safely.
    If not, your only option is to shut down the server, remove the disk and then when the server complains about a missing disk on restart, again use the Console and remove the missing disk.
    Your disk, if it can be used, can be attached to another system and you can browse any files that might be contained on it with Windows Explorer, it is NTFS format, just as a normal disk. However, you will need to ensure that you have 'enable hidden files & holders' checked in your Explorer options. You could then either recover any files to that computer, or to your shared folders on the server.

    Trying to 'clone' the disk, even if you can, probably won't be accepted correctly by the server, as it keeps a record of each disk that is used in the system, and it's unlikely that itwould work like you suggest.

    Regarding folder duplication, yes, if you have duplication enabled and plenty of free space, then a failure of one disk doesn't mean the loss of any data.
    The consensus is that when you add disks, if you want duplication, then it is better to add disks in two's and have them the same size. Not absolutely essential, but it does ensure that your folders are duplicated across two disks, rather than maybe three.

    You seeing the server being very busy, that could be a side-effect of your failing disk, just maybe the server is/was faving problems accessing it.

    Good luck,

    Colin
    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Thursday, September 4, 2008 9:17 PM
    Moderator
  • If the drive is clicking, you've got a failing hard drive for sure. I would recommend shutting your server down for the time being; the drive is probably within hours of failing completely. Once you determine a course of action, boot your server and follow it immediately.

    Your courses of action are limited at this point. The best option is probably to use the WHS console to remove the drive from the pool. If this succeeds, it will move all your files to another drive in your system (assuming there's room). 

    Another option is to remove the drive physically from the server while it's shut down. Boot the server and remove the drive using the console. You will be warned you'll lose files, and may be warned that you'll lose backups. Accept the consequences and continue. Then connect the drive to another computer and try recovering your files yourself, from the hidden folder <driveletter>:/DE/Shares/etc. You can copy those files back to your server afterward, but for the recovery process itself copy them to a local drive on the other PC.

    A third option is to start out like the second, but use data recovery software to try to recover files you can't get to any other way. And a final option is to pull the drive and ship it off to a professional data recovery firm. That's going to be very expensive, probably starting at $1000 and going up like a kite from there.

    In the future, your best protection is to install additional storage so you can turn on duplication.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, September 4, 2008 11:05 PM
    Moderator
  • 1 the server is off since this happen .

    2. the server wont boot with the failed hdd connect it

    3. how is the data distributed along the hdd's in whs without folder duplication ?

       I mean does the whs see the multiple hdd's as only one or it distributed the files between them ? 
     
       example; if i have 3 files and 2 hdd how whs distributed the files, does one hdd take one file and the other take 2 files ? or it split the data between the 2hdd ?  dont know if you get what i mean.


    4. if the distribution is like distributed the physiscal files between physical hdd like 3 files one in pne hdd and 2 in other.. this mean that i can try a recovery software in the failed hdd in another computer save the files and pass them back again to a new hdd in the whs pool ??

    thanks again everyone !!

    Friday, September 5, 2008 3:49 AM
  • If the server won't boot with the drive connected, then it has failed.

    As for how files are distributed, Windows Home Server internally deals with each drive separately. You should read the Drive Extender technical brief for more details, but in general the shares on your system drive have "tombstones" which point to the real files. The real files will be on one or more of the drives in your server's storage pool (including the system drive) in the hidden folder I've mentioned above. So the files are effectively distributed between your drives, and are individually accessible (if you connect a drive to another computer).

    To deal with your failed drive, disconnect it, restart the server, and use the console to remove the drive (which will be listed as Missing). Windows Home Server will recover any files that were in duplicated shares, but files that existed only on that drive will be lost. Since the drive keeps your server from booting, it's likely you'll have similar problems with any other computer you connect it to, so probably recovery software won't allow you to get your files back. If they are extremely valuable, it may be worth sending the disk out for data recovery. That is, as I said, very expensive. Otherwise, treat the files as really lost.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, September 5, 2008 4:18 AM
    Moderator
  • :(

    I really want to cry  !!!!

    well i will try to recover the data anyway I had luck in the past with friends drives so who knows !!!  wish me the best of lucks.


    I want to learn form this I am going to buy 2 hdd of 1tb each and will add another 2 I already have of 160gb each the system drive is 120gb. from now on i will turn on folder duplication at least on the folder I would not want to loose in any future accident.

    thinking of adding(not to the pool)  another hdd of at least 500gb to make an external backup. I read that pp1 let you make a back to an external hdd not in the pool. is that correct ? 


    thank you very much for your fast answer !!!

    now help me God !!!!
    Friday, September 5, 2008 5:43 AM
  • Hi,
    Sorry to hear that.

    Yes, when the recent Power Pack was released, it includes the facility to have one of the server drives reserved to be used as a place where you can backup your Shared Folders. This is in addition to the Duplication function that is already included. This is a manual backup though, you cannot scedule this operation. However, it does mean that you can rotate this disk off-site for security.

    It sounds as though you only had the one drive in your server. If so, you might still be able to see some of the data if it will spin up long enough.


    Good luck,

    Colin

    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Friday, September 5, 2008 9:53 AM
    Moderator
  • Well to see if you had any luck with recovering your data...
    I have just had my second and not the primary drive fail, I have lost the head reader and i am contemplating getting it recovered.
    I cannot afford to lose the files loaded onto the drive, i thought i had the duplicate data feature turned on but i must not have activated it correctly cause it is telling me i am now not able to access any of the files.

    I have the ticking noises, the thing that really peaves me most is the drive is only 12 months old, and in a stable sound environment. Alas this does not mean it will magically recover. Once i have resolved the data issues i am purchasing 2 x 1.5TB drives and getting the bloody config right LOL.
    Tuesday, January 5, 2010 11:30 AM
  • Well to see if you had any luck with recovering your data...
    I have just had my second and not the primary drive fail, I have lost the head reader and i am contemplating getting it recovered.
    I cannot afford to lose the files loaded onto the drive, i thought i had the duplicate data feature turned on but i must not have activated it correctly cause it is telling me i am now not able to access any of the files.

    If you have Folder Duplication and a drive fails, you need to remove the failed drive through the Console in order to ensure that you can access the files again.

    I have the ticking noises, the thing that really peaves me most is the drive is only 12 months old, and in a stable sound environment. Alas this does not mean it will magically recover. Once i have resolved the data issues i am purchasing 2 x 1.5TB drives and getting the bloody config right LOL.

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 1:02 AM
    Moderator
  • If you have Folder Duplication and a drive fails, you need to remove the failed drive through the Console in order to ensure that you can access the files again.
    Yeah i have done that tonight, i have just finish running that routine.
    I have had folder duplication running throughout the life of the server thank god.
    I am now getting a different message, and a little a next to all the files saying i cannot access them.

    Does anyone know a good guide to repairing the database?
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 10:44 AM
  • Yeah i have done that tonight, i have just finish running that routine.
    I have had folder duplication running throughout the life of the server thank god.
    I am now getting a different message, and a little a next to all the files saying i cannot access them.

    Does anyone know a good guide to repairing the database?
    If you mean the backup database (which is completely separate from the network shares), just open the Console and click the Settings button > Backup tab > Repair... button.
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 12:29 AM
    Moderator