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WHS v1 Restore Issue RRS feed

  • Question

  • In the past 5 years since I built my WHS server, i've had to do several full restores which had all been successful.  at the weekend, the C & D drives on my main workstation suffered a castrotrophic failure.

    On attempting to restore, kept getting the "server not found" issue, so researched via this forum.  Thanks Ken, Olaf & Lara.  Using the solution posted worked & looked forward to restoring workstation.

    Unfortunately hit a problem I can't understand.  All day Sunday & yesterday, kept getting this issue before the restore progress bar had hit approx 10% = "I/O read error on cluster xxxxxxxx on server"  On clicking ok, got another 2/3 cluster failures.

    On checking server directly, all drives show up as healthy & checking via console on other computers, all show as healthy & icon in the green.

    I have attempted to do a fresh clean install of Win 7, add the connector software & copy over the relevant data that way.  However, that failed with "destination not found", so tried copying over, folder by folder - this appears to be working, but it will take too much time as I require quite a bit of data from the D drive for an urgent legal appointment tomorrow morning.

    Any idea as to the cause of this issue?

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012 5:00 PM

Answers

  • The likely cause of the issue is a disk error on your server. A single disk error won't trigger an immediate report that a disk is unhealthy. This is good, in that most disk errors never recur, and bad in that it masks a failing disk for a period of time. (Overall, it's a wash, IMO.) 

    In your case, it looks like the disk error has affected the backup database. What I would try is to:

    • Copy your backup database to external storage. There's a white paper that gives detail on this, among other things.
    • Check all the disks in your server for errors. There's a post in the FAQ section that will help you with this.
    • Try your restore again.

    Note that a disk I/O error is likely to mean that some data has been lost, specifically whatever data was on the affected clusters on the disk with the error. If this data includes components of the backup database (as it probably does given when you experienced the issue) it probably means that you are going to lose at least part of your backup database. Because of the way the database is organized, damage to any component usually means at least some lost backups, and it's possible (depending on which components are damaged) to lose all data in the backup database.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    • Marked as answer by Sirius B Tuesday, April 17, 2012 7:33 PM
    Tuesday, April 17, 2012 6:46 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • The likely cause of the issue is a disk error on your server. A single disk error won't trigger an immediate report that a disk is unhealthy. This is good, in that most disk errors never recur, and bad in that it masks a failing disk for a period of time. (Overall, it's a wash, IMO.) 

    In your case, it looks like the disk error has affected the backup database. What I would try is to:

    • Copy your backup database to external storage. There's a white paper that gives detail on this, among other things.
    • Check all the disks in your server for errors. There's a post in the FAQ section that will help you with this.
    • Try your restore again.

    Note that a disk I/O error is likely to mean that some data has been lost, specifically whatever data was on the affected clusters on the disk with the error. If this data includes components of the backup database (as it probably does given when you experienced the issue) it probably means that you are going to lose at least part of your backup database. Because of the way the database is organized, damage to any component usually means at least some lost backups, and it's possible (depending on which components are damaged) to lose all data in the backup database.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    • Marked as answer by Sirius B Tuesday, April 17, 2012 7:33 PM
    Tuesday, April 17, 2012 6:46 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Ken, have downloaded the white paper.  Reading the various threads on similar issues as well as reading the "file conflicts" in the console, it pointed to one of the hitachi models used in the server.  Fortunately, I only have the 2, & removed them & added them via a HD docking box to my wife's machine.  Both drives were accessible, so ran diskcheck on them.

    One drive was ok, but the other kept failing a consistency check.  I've added them back to the server where, fortunately, both are seen ok & attempting to remove them both via the console.  The 1st one should be finished within the next 5/10 mins, then to be safe will remove the second.

    Both drives are 1tb & I have sufficient storage, so there's no problem there. 

    With what you posted along with the consistency issue with the drive, I'm hoping that this will resolve the problem.  Should it be successful, this has taught me a lesson & once I've got access to the server, will copy the database.

    Also, as you have suggested, I did check all the other drives & there does not seem to be anything amiss with them.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012 7:32 PM
  • Removal of drive got to approx 90/95% then failed with "file preventing removal".  On checking via console/network critical, find that it is the picture(not the default one, but one of my own)  used on the WHS web home page, so deleted it.

    On attempting the removal again, it failed as drive went missing, so rather than mess around, backing up database to external drive.  As its showing 215min in copying, will leave it copying overnight & will check later today if its succeeded.

    Once that's done, will add new drive & remove missing drive then attempt database repair.

    Will post the outcome....which is hopefully a successful one.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012 12:10 AM
  • Just before I retired for the night, checked on the copying, then cancelled it.  Found an issue that could cause a problem.  Total size of database is .97tb & a clean 1tb formatted is .931tb.

    Split copying into a 1tb (approx .9tb) with the rest on another external drive(500gb).  On the 2nd drive, added a read me text making a note that both parts to be added back if needed.

    This was completed without a hitch, so a short time ago, I commenced database repair with all fingers & toes crossed :)

    I was very surprised to see that all backups of the 4 systems on my net were ok & it then proceeded to start a consistency check, which again was successful.

    I then booted up my workstation to commence restore, only for the same issue to crop up, so then proceeded to remove that drive which then failed due to a file conflict, only this time, it named a different file (I had deleted the picture file that cropped up originally), named data file 4096.35.dat.

    As I had 2x Hitachi HDT721010SLA360 1tb drives (with one already removed), thought that this could be the bad drive that has been causing the problems.

    I pulled the sata lead from that drive & rebooted, expecting to be able to repair server by using the "missing drive" technique.  This surprised me.  On logging into server, Network is showing healthy, with the 1st drive removed & all other drives showing healthy.

    Just wondering if WHS is no longer seeing double so to speak....as one xxxx360 removed & one remaining & by pulling the plug on what could be the faulty drive, everything back to normal?

    Attempting another try at restoring workstation.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012 6:04 AM
  • OK, that restore attempt failed, but IMV successfully!

    No read cluster failures or file conflicts experienced, just "Unknown Network Error during PC Restore".  Have looked & found Olaf's post on this & will attempt it on my return home - not enough time to try atm as I have to leave in approx 35min.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012 7:31 AM
  • It got worse, but it does look like a full recovery is possible.

    On my return, i started Olaf's solution for the "Unknown Network Error", but unfortunately that failed due to the backup service failing.  My next move was to do a fresh clean install of Win 7, & attempt what i did last Sat & copy over folder by folder.

    After doing this, I was surprised & also grateful that I did what i did last Sat, as on checking the D drive, I found that I had copied over 50gb of important data out of the 103gb stored on it.

    Unfortunately, this morning on attempting to install the connector on the workstation, it failed when it hit the "configure backup" stage - again, the backup service had failed.

    I was thinking that as I had enough data secured, to start afresh, but gave the database repair & cleanup one more try.  It has just finished & successfully by the look of things.  It stated that several backups were lost but database recovered & the backup service restarted successfully.

    So before any other possible failures occur, I'm backing the database up right now & once done, will pull the C & D drives from the workstation & replace with 2 fresh drives of the same capacity & attempt a restore.

    Regardless of what has happened, WHS has really saved my bacon as the data recovered to the D drive covered 2005 to May 2011 as well as my accounts data to 23/3/12.

    All other data is on hard copies, so if restore attempt fails, I can just add that data to the data already recovered.

    One very inportant lesson it has taught me is to put in place a regular schedule to backup the backups!

    Will post the outcome of restore.

    Thursday, April 19, 2012 4:31 PM
  • Regardless of whether or not the restore succeeds or fails, I must post this...........

    It is a sheer pleasure to enter a forum & find proficient professionals with continuing helpful assistance.

    In all my working life to date, I have come across many people that are quick to moan & complain & yet to see those people ever say "thank you".

    Those words hold no charge & are very much "freeware" but rarely used.

    So to Ken, Olaf, Lara & others of their ilk,  Many many thanks for the assistance you provide us.

    Thursday, April 19, 2012 4:38 PM
  • Ok, just to confirm that the backup service has been recovered successfully before I attempt the full restore, using the fresh installation, downloaded the connector from server & ran it.

    It installed successfully.  However as I need workstation in use, D drive has been pulled for safety & using an external drive for any backups.

    Will attempt the restore at the weekend as i'll have more time to rectify any issues.

    Thursday, April 19, 2012 4:49 PM
  • While restoring the workstation that weekend, it came up with backup database errors, so followed it through, but eventually had to give it up as it failed each time.  Did a repair database which was successful.  However both C & D drives of workstation missing from the database.

    On checking all the other systems (which is why it's taken so long to post), all backups ok.  Also, all the other drives for the workstaion ok as well.

    So it was quite fortunate that I copied over initially.  Reinstalled Win 7 on workstation, keeping d drive disconnected to safeguard data, & have been playing around with adding/deleting programs & files, then attempting restores - all succeeded, so more than happy that WHS is ok.

    Just find it strange that only those 2 drives from that system got corrupted as until it happened, all spyware/AV showed the system as clean.

    Friday, May 4, 2012 3:23 PM
  • Well, any error in the backup database pretty much guarantees the loss of some backups, because there's no redundancy, therefore no way to rebuild whatever was damaged. Depending on exactly what file or files in the database experienced damage, you could lose anything from a single backup for a single drive on a single computer, right up to all backups for all computers. This is why I say that Windows Home Server is a great disaster recovery tool, because it does a pretty good job for most people when "bare metal" restore  is required, but it's a fairly poor archival tool.

    Windows Home Server 2011 is better, as long as you don't run into the 2 TB limitation. Assuming all your data (including the backup database) is under that limit, you can back up and restore the database just like any other data from the server, and it happens automatically.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Saturday, May 5, 2012 3:14 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes I did try out the 2011 beta but found the limits awkward.  Saying that though, I'll think I'll give it another try & just use it for important data (with an offsite backup for security) & think of something else for the 60 odd tb of media files.

    it's a shame one couldn't run both to complement each other.

    Sunday, May 6, 2012 12:56 PM