locked
Main drive failure RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi Guys,

    I need some help on best way to recover from a failed hard drive.

    I have WHS with 5 drives. Main drive is 300Gb PATA drive which has system on 20Gb partition and the rest is the main data drive for WHS. The other 4 SATA drives are all WHS drives with data and backups on them. No backup of the whole machine its over 1TB and thats all I have.

    The main PATA drive failed. I read in a forum that there was a Recovery mode for WHS that rebuilds the data on the main data drive but I'm not sure if that is accurate. When I put in a new 500Gb PATA drive, I only got the option for a New Install which would wipe ALL drives so I did not proceed.

    Is there a way to recover or do I have to disconnect all drives except new 500Gb drive, install new Installation. I could then add all of the drives back onto the system and copy the files (It scatters them to *** but at least they should all be on the data drives) and then bring the SATA drives back online as I move the data over? It would possibly mean I've lost whatever was on the old main data drive.

    Is my understanding of WHS accurate or is there some way of getting out of this bind?

    I may have to reconsider using WHS as a data storage and stick to backups only if. Most of the data is not critical but there is still some stuff there I'd like not to lose if possible.

    thanks in advance,
    Stephen
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 4:24 AM

Answers

  • You will need to supply the drivers for your SATA controller in order to get the option to reinstall Windows Home Server. Your motherboard or controller manufacturer will have instructions on how to prepare a set of drivers to be used when installing an operating system; follow them and place the drivers on a floppy or flash drive, then supply then during the hardware discovery portion of Windows Home Server setup. That will expose all your drives, and allow you to perform a reinstallation.

    Regarding data loss: you shouldn't have any data loss if your server wasn't very close to full (less than one drive of free space). If your server was close to full, then if you had any files in shares not marked for duplication, and those files were stored on the system drive which has failed, you will lose those files. Likewise, if components of your backup database were stored on the system drive, you will lose your backup database. In any case, customizations (users, add-ins, programs you may have installed outside of the Windows Home Server console, etc.) will be lost.

    You may want to read the Windows Home Server release documentation, or some of the documents on the WHS Support page.
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 11:42 AM
    Moderator
  •  Stephen Price wrote:
    Yes, Its a PATA drive. From reading of other posts it looks like the reinstall option is only available when it finds an existing WHS System partition.

     

    No, it's not necessary to have a system partition.  It will give you the option when A) it finds all of the secondary drives and B) the primary drive is in the first slot of the motherboard.  Did you ever add drives after the original WHS installation?  If so, one of those is probably in the first slot.

     

     Stephen Price wrote:
    Next thing to try is to do an install without the extra WHS partiton disks attached (ie just the new drive that will become the system drive) then when done reboot from install DVD with all drives attached and it should give me the Reinstall option.

     

    I believe that will work as well (since it will now find an OS partition to replace).  But it shouldn't be necessary to go that route when the drives are installed in the correct ports.

     

     Stephen Price wrote:
    This shouldn't be so hard, I feel like I'm guessing.

     

    Thanks guys,

    Stephen

    Friday, August 8, 2008 1:52 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • You will need to supply the drivers for your SATA controller in order to get the option to reinstall Windows Home Server. Your motherboard or controller manufacturer will have instructions on how to prepare a set of drivers to be used when installing an operating system; follow them and place the drivers on a floppy or flash drive, then supply then during the hardware discovery portion of Windows Home Server setup. That will expose all your drives, and allow you to perform a reinstallation.

    Regarding data loss: you shouldn't have any data loss if your server wasn't very close to full (less than one drive of free space). If your server was close to full, then if you had any files in shares not marked for duplication, and those files were stored on the system drive which has failed, you will lose those files. Likewise, if components of your backup database were stored on the system drive, you will lose your backup database. In any case, customizations (users, add-ins, programs you may have installed outside of the Windows Home Server console, etc.) will be lost.

    You may want to read the Windows Home Server release documentation, or some of the documents on the WHS Support page.
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 11:42 AM
    Moderator
  • Stephen

     

    Ken is correct. More than likely the new harddrive connected to your PATA controller is not being recognised. As I have found if the install discovers a new harddrive and additional hard drives with WHS partitions, it will give the reinstall option. Otherwise, it will only show new install.

     

    Later...

    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 4:06 PM
  • That sounds promising. I did notice only some of the drives showed up and I think they were just the PATA drives.

     

    Will see if I can find the SATA drivers and give that a try.

     

    thanks,

    Stephen

    Thursday, August 7, 2008 4:28 PM
  •  

    I found the sata drivers and loaded them on the install screen. I still only get the Full Installation option.

    Does the new hard drive need to be blank to get the reinstallation option? I cloned the failed drive in the hope that I would be able to boot up but the data partition had errors so only the system partition was cloned.

     

    I'll try that next.

    Thursday, August 7, 2008 5:05 PM
  • Ok, I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong here. I have the replacement drive (no partitions on it) connected, the failed hard drive is not in the system. I loaded the SATA drivers and can see 5 hard drives which includes the new one. The extra drives have WHS partitions on them. During the install I still only get the option of a Full Install. That's on the next screen of the install wizard after the hard drive screen. How do I get it to give me the Reinstall option?

     

    I've not found this mentioned in any of the documentation links.

     

    thanks,

    Stephen

    Thursday, August 7, 2008 11:58 PM
  •  Stephen Price wrote:
    Ok, I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong here. I have the replacement drive (no partitions on it) connected, the failed hard drive is not in the system. I loaded the SATA drivers and can see 5 hard drives which includes the new one. The extra drives have WHS partitions on them. During the install I still only get the option of a Full Install. That's on the next screen of the install wizard after the hard drive screen. How do I get it to give me the Reinstall option?

     

    I've not found this mentioned in any of the documentation links.

     

    thanks,

    Stephen

     

    Did you replace your PATA with another PATA?  Did you plug it into the same port as the failed hard drive?  Did you added drives to the storage pool after installing WHS before?

     

    My guess is that your new drive is not in the "first slot" of the mobo. 

    Friday, August 8, 2008 12:41 AM
    Moderator
  • Yes, Its a PATA drive. From reading of other posts it looks like the reinstall option is only available when it finds an existing WHS System partition. Next thing to try is to do an install without the extra WHS partiton disks attached (ie just the new drive that will become the system drive) then when done reboot from install DVD with all drives attached and it should give me the Reinstall option.

     

    This shouldn't be so hard, I feel like I'm guessing.

     

    Thanks guys,

    Stephen

    Friday, August 8, 2008 1:11 AM
  •  Stephen Price wrote:
    Yes, Its a PATA drive. From reading of other posts it looks like the reinstall option is only available when it finds an existing WHS System partition.

     

    No, it's not necessary to have a system partition.  It will give you the option when A) it finds all of the secondary drives and B) the primary drive is in the first slot of the motherboard.  Did you ever add drives after the original WHS installation?  If so, one of those is probably in the first slot.

     

     Stephen Price wrote:
    Next thing to try is to do an install without the extra WHS partiton disks attached (ie just the new drive that will become the system drive) then when done reboot from install DVD with all drives attached and it should give me the Reinstall option.

     

    I believe that will work as well (since it will now find an OS partition to replace).  But it shouldn't be necessary to go that route when the drives are installed in the correct ports.

     

     Stephen Price wrote:
    This shouldn't be so hard, I feel like I'm guessing.

     

    Thanks guys,

    Stephen

    Friday, August 8, 2008 1:52 AM
    Moderator
  •  

    Yes I added drives. I think I added one more drive after the initial install. Hard to remember though.

    On the install screen it lists the drives as Drive 0, Drive 1, 2, 3 and 4. (Actually it might start at 1, I don't remember which).

     

    So how do I change the order of the drives, if that is the problem? There is only one PATA drive, the rest are SATA. Maybe a bios setting?

     

    Friday, August 8, 2008 1:57 AM
  •  Stephen Price wrote:
    Yes I added drives. I think I added one more drive after the initial install. Hard to remember though.

    On the install screen it lists the drives as Drive 0, Drive 1, 2, 3 and 4. (Actually it might start at 1, I don't remember which).

     

    So how do I change the order of the drives, if that is the problem? There is only one PATA drive, the rest are SATA. Maybe a bios setting?

     

    That would be my guess.  However, if you aren't familiar with a computer's BIOS, you may end up making your problem worse.  I would recommend you look at the instruction manual for the mobo (just so you have an idea of what you're getting into).

    Friday, August 8, 2008 2:36 AM
    Moderator
  •  kariya21 wrote:
     Stephen Price wrote:
    Yes I added drives. I think I added one more drive after the initial install. Hard to remember though.

    On the install screen it lists the drives as Drive 0, Drive 1, 2, 3 and 4. (Actually it might start at 1, I don't remember which).

     

    So how do I change the order of the drives, if that is the problem? There is only one PATA drive, the rest are SATA. Maybe a bios setting?

     

    That would be my guess.  However, if you aren't familiar with a computer's BIOS, you may end up making your problem worse.  I would recommend you look at the instruction manual for the mobo (just so you have an idea of what you're getting into).

     

    Ok, I've made some progress. Here's what I tried and what worked for me.

     

    Went into the Bios (I know what I'm doing for most stuff, just this issue had me stumped) and I messed around with the SATA/PATA settings. It seemed to be placing the first Sata Port as drive 0 rather than the Pata drive. Like you suggested. Tried the drive by itself with no other drives. No Server Recover option. Decided to do a fresh install onto the hard drive and go down the manual copy route later. Nothing else seemed to work. Installation failed as I had selected WS2003 drivers for my Sata drives.

    I then decided to see if server recover would come up if I only had the two raid Sata drives attached, but NOT the two that were being mounted on the second channel. (it makes them Secondary Master and Slave drives). That's when I first saw the option come up!

    The option didnt come up until after I had attempted to do a fresh install. So I added in all of the Sata hard drives and thought the option would no longer be available but it stayed.

    It's now recovering the data so I'm not sure how long this step will take (used WinXp sata driver this time and it seems to have worked)

     

    Not sure if the above makes sense but it seemed to be mainly the Sata drives showing up as drive 0. Interestingly when the Server Recover mode did show up, the new replacement PATA drive was still showing up as drive 2. Will see how we go from here.

     

    thanks for the help everyone who posted.

    cheers,

    Stephen

    Friday, August 8, 2008 9:27 AM
  •  Stephen Price wrote:
    Ok, I've made some progress. Here's what I tried and what worked for me.

     

    Went into the Bios (I know what I'm doing for most stuff, just this issue had me stumped) and I messed around with the SATA/PATA settings. It seemed to be placing the first Sata Port as drive 0 rather than the Pata drive.

     

    I'm not surprised.  Most new mobos seem to set the SATA drives to first boot (as they should).  Unfortunately, when Server 2003 (the underlying OS) came out 5 years ago, SATA drives were not widely used like they are today.

     

     Stephen Price wrote:
    Like you suggested. Tried the drive by itself with no other drives. No Server Recover option. Decided to do a fresh install onto the hard drive and go down the manual copy route later. Nothing else seemed to work. Installation failed as I had selected WS2003 drivers for my Sata drives.

    I then decided to see if server recover would come up if I only had the two raid Sata drives attached, but NOT the two that were being mounted on the second channel. (it makes them Secondary Master and Slave drives). That's when I first saw the option come up!

    The option didnt come up until after I had attempted to do a fresh install. So I added in all of the Sata hard drives and thought the option would no longer be available but it stayed.

    It's now recovering the data so I'm not sure how long this step will take (used WinXp sata driver this time and it seems to have worked)

     

    It could take a very long time (perhaps even a couple days depending on how much data you have on the server).  While it may look like it's stuck, it's not.  So just be patient. Smile

     

     Stephen Price wrote:
    Not sure if the above makes sense but it seemed to be mainly the Sata drives showing up as drive 0. Interestingly when the Server Recover mode did show up, the new replacement PATA drive was still showing up as drive 2. Will see how we go from here.

     

    thanks for the help everyone who posted.

    cheers,

    Stephen

     

    Glad to hear you're on the road to recovery!!!

     

    Friday, August 8, 2008 3:29 PM
    Moderator
  •  kariya21 wrote:
     Stephen Price wrote:
    Ok, I've made some progress. Here's what I tried and what worked for me.

     

    Went into the Bios (I know what I'm doing for most stuff, just this issue had me stumped) and I messed around with the SATA/PATA settings. It seemed to be placing the first Sata Port as drive 0 rather than the Pata drive.

     

    I'm not surprised.  Most new mobos seem to set the SATA drives to first boot (as they should).  Unfortunately, when Server 2003 (the underlying OS) came out 5 years ago, SATA drives were not widely used like they are today.

     

     Stephen Price wrote:
    Like you suggested. Tried the drive by itself with no other drives. No Server Recover option. Decided to do a fresh install onto the hard drive and go down the manual copy route later. Nothing else seemed to work. Installation failed as I had selected WS2003 drivers for my Sata drives.

    I then decided to see if server recover would come up if I only had the two raid Sata drives attached, but NOT the two that were being mounted on the second channel. (it makes them Secondary Master and Slave drives). That's when I first saw the option come up!

    The option didnt come up until after I had attempted to do a fresh install. So I added in all of the Sata hard drives and thought the option would no longer be available but it stayed.

    It's now recovering the data so I'm not sure how long this step will take (used WinXp sata driver this time and it seems to have worked)

     

    It could take a very long time (perhaps even a couple days depending on how much data you have on the server).  While it may look like it's stuck, it's not.  So just be patient.

     

     Stephen Price wrote:
    Not sure if the above makes sense but it seemed to be mainly the Sata drives showing up as drive 0. Interestingly when the Server Recover mode did show up, the new replacement PATA drive was still showing up as drive 2. Will see how we go from here.

     

    thanks for the help everyone who posted.

    cheers,

    Stephen

     

    Glad to hear you're on the road to recovery!!!

     

     

    Uh oh. doesn't look so good. It ran over night and next morning there was an error saying that the installation had failed. I checked the log but couldn't see anything obvious. I rebooted and it looks like it has restarted the whole installation from scratch.

     

    OMG, I just came back to my WHS (I hadn't pressed Post on the message above) and discovered second time through it was successful in doing the restore. It even has backups available. I've no idea what was on the Main data drive but it seems to have recovered everything. I'll plug in the failed drive and troll through it and do file compares before I wipe it and send it back under warranty.

     

    Time will tell if any data was lost but it looks like it was a success. (touch wood!)

     

    I'm a little hesitant to use it for important data but for backups and storing of downloaded install files etc (and media for streaming to xbox) I think my faith in WHS has been a little restored. (perhaps my faith was backed up and it has been restored with my data... hehe)

     

    Feedback on the whole experience was that it was not fun and a little stressful. So many times I almost gave up but with the help on the forums, as well as perserverance, it seems I finally got it to recognise my system had WHS partitions. Once I got to that stage I was pretty much there.

     

    cheers,

    Stephen

    Saturday, August 9, 2008 2:51 PM