System Drive Removed from Storage RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have been having major problems trying to add an external "firewire" OR "USB" drive as a NON-STORAGE drive. (The same problem happens whether I use a "firewire" or USB connection.)


    My WHS box includes a 500Gb and 750Gb internal drive AND a 300Gb external USB drive as STORAGE drives. The 500Gb drive contains the "system" partition.


    I have no problems adding the external "firewire" drive as a NON-STORAGE drive and assigning it a drive letter. HOWEVER, after rebooting, the backup services stop working, will not restart and, obviously, my system health is "At Risk". If I disconnect this drive, reboot, and then reconnect it, everything is fine. But everytime I reboot after it's connected, it totally screws up my system.


    To do some further testing, I tried adding the external "firewire" drive to the "storage pool" which seemed to work OK... UNTIL I rebooted! After rebooting, the "firewire" drive is still included in the "storage pool" BUT my 500 Gb internal drive that contains the WHS system partitiion is no longer part of the "storage pool". It is shown as "Not added". Everything seems to be working OK and there are no errors but this does not make any sense to me. How can everything be working when the "system partiition" is NOT included in the "storage pool"??? If I try to add it to the "storage pool", it of course tries to format the drive and the formatting FAILS. Therefore, I CANNOT add it back. I also CANNOT remove the external "firewire" drive from the "storage pool" When I try to remove it, a dialog box appears saying that I will lose ALL of my backups and some files and folders if I continue.


    Does anyone have any ideas about what is happening and how I can fix it??? By the way, there is plenty of free space on these drives. Right now, I'm only using less than 300Gb out of the total of nearly 1.6Tb available on the four drives.


    PLEASE HELP!!!!! Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm totally at a loss as to what to try next without losing any of my data or backups.




    Monday, January 21, 2008 11:15 PM

All replies

  • Denis, does that external drive enclosure, by any chance, contain a drive that was used as a Windows Home Server system drive? If so, could you connect the drive to another PC and (using your partition table editor of choice) remove all partitions from the drive, then create a single partition and format it? Then see what happens when you connect it to your server...
    Tuesday, January 22, 2008 1:49 AM
  • No, it doesn't. The drive in the external enclosure was previously used as the system drive in a Windows XP system but all partitions were removed and it was completely reformatted with NTFS. It was -- and is -- completely empty. It was never used as a WHS system drive.


    The bigger problem right now is that I cannot remove it from the "drive pool" without losing all of my backups and possibly some files and folders, and that I cannot re-add the 500Gb drive that used to be my WHS system drive back into the "storage pool".


    As I mentioned in my post, the 500Gb WHS system drive was removed from the "drive pool" when I rebooted after after adding that external drive. WHS did that all on its own. I certainly did not attempt in any way to remove that drive myself. Upon thinking about this some more, can I assume that, first-of-all, the reason that I cannot add that 500Gb drive back into the "storage pool" because of "format failure" is due to the fact that it current has two partitions, "system" and "data" and, therefore, I would have to remove the partitions first with drive manager and then reformat the drive???


    Can I also assume that since my WHS is currently "Healthy", the WHS system partition has been recreated on one of the other drives in my "drive pool" (most likely on the 750Gb internal drive)?? How can I tell for sure that this is indeed the case? If I look in drive manager, I can of course see all four drive and my original WHS system drive "C:" shows two partitions ("system" and "data") as I would expect. Since this drive is no longer my system drive, shouldn't a new "system" partition have been created on, most likely, the 750Gb "D:" drive -- but drive manager does not show this (should it?). Do you think that I can safely use disk manager to remove the partitions on the 500Gb "C:", reformat it, and then add it back to the "drive pool"? That would at least get me back to where I started in the first place.






    Tuesday, January 22, 2008 3:38 AM
  • Well, the first thing to try is to simply shut your server down and disconnect the firewire drive. Then reboot and see what happens. It's possible that Windows Home Server will complain about a missing drive, but will otherwise be fine. If that's the case, you can use the console to remove the missing drive. Ignore warnings about lost files and backups. The files are on the drive you've removed, and the backups can be recreated.

    It is also possible that you will find your server still doesn't work correctly. That probably means a server reinstallation, or possibly starting from scratch. In that case I would leave the firewire drive disconnected and see if a server reinstallation option is presented at the end of the first phase of graphical setup. If you don't get this option, get back to us. Please be aware that a server reinstallation will require you to recreate your users, reset your OS customizations, and reinstall any addins. It will, however, preserve any data in your storage pool, including shares and backups.

    My suspicion is that, if you connect the firewire disk to another system and examine the partition table, you will find that it still contains a system and/or boot partition. If that's the case, you can use the diskpart tool, or another tool of your choice, to edit the partition table, removing all partitions and making sure that there are no system or boot partitions left. Note that a disk that has been the system disk (has a system and boot partition) can cause problems with any installation of Windows. Normally there is only one system/boot disk in a system. What problems it causes, and whether it causes problems at all, can vary widely from system to system. On some systems the only noticable effect is that you can't use the "Remove Hardware" wizard to remove the drive. Other systems will fail to boot.
    Tuesday, January 22, 2008 4:34 AM