Reloading WHS - Moving Hard drives off RAID controller RRS feed

  • Question

  • My first WHS build was on a Dell server using a couple of 160GB SATA HDD's on a CERC 6 RAID controller.  The controller is no good.  Rather than replace the controller I would like to remove it and connect the SATA drives to the motherboard individually (no RAID).

    My plan is to image the server as it stands.  Remove the controller.  Reconnect the hard drives and restore the image to one of the hard drives.  Once I get into the OS I would then add the other HDD to the storage pool.

    Will this work?

    If not, is there a better way to do what I need done?

    Is it necessary for me to detach the hard drives in the WHS software?

    Any help you can offer is much appreciated.  This WHS is used in a business setting - reloading is not an option I'm looking to contend with.



    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 7:53 PM

All replies

  • Imaging of the system drive is not supported in Windows Home Server, though it can be done if you are meticulous about the steps required. In addition, though, there's a fair chance your server will bluescreen due to lack of the correct mass storage drivers, so in this case I think reloading is a better option. I would make sure to have a copy of the shares and just install from scratch. Possibly (depending on the RAID controller, I don't know for sure if your controller formats drives to allow this) you will be able to just disconnect a drive, connect it to another computer, and read the data off of it. In that case, disconnect one drive, move the other off the RAID HBA, install, then take the disconnected drive and connect it to another computer (you should never connect a foreign Windows Home Server system drive to a Windows Home Server computer). Then copy from D:\DE\Shares\etc. to your reinstalled server's shares.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 8:05 PM
  • Ken,

    Thanks for the fast reply.  Will I need to reinstall the connector software as well after I reinstall?

    Is the user and computer information also stored in D:\DE\Shares?  If not, how do I preserve this?

    Should I be overwriting the existing D:\DE\Shares or copying the contents of this directory from the hard drive that was removed to the newly installed D:\DE\Shares?

    What are the steps required for imaging.  I'm not sure how to read your first line so I wonder if there is "It's not supported but if you're going to do it, do it this way . . ." way of doing things.

    Thanks again,


    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 8:25 PM
  • User information is not stored there (only the user shared folders are).
    Please read the FAQ How to recover data after server failure for more details. Or, with enough USB storage, you could use the Home Server Backup feature in the console to backup the shared folders to an external drive and restore them to the new installed server.

    For the user information: Write them down and recreate them may be the easiest way and the supported method. (One time I used a trial version of some software to migrate user accounts with their passwords, which worked not too bad, but I think it needed some manual work after.)

    As a target of copying you should always use the UNC path (i.e. \\server\software) and not the folder on the local disk of the server. If you don't follow this, you may experience issues with folder duplication, storage space availibilty etc, since WHS expects tombstones to be on D:\shares and not the real files. And on a multi disk scenario WHS decides, on which disk DE\shares will be used.

    After patching up the fresh installed server you can rejoin the computers by running discovery.exe from C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server without having to reinstall the Connector software.

    If you do not want to loose your backups and have enough storage, you can use the Add-In WHS Database Backup.

    Best greetings from GErmany

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 9:07 PM