foy1der

System Drive Failing Saga

52 posts in this topic

So, before I left town for the Christmas holiday, I started getting warnings that my system hard drive was failing. If this problem were occuring at any other time in history, I would just buy a new hard drive and clone the system drive and WHS should be none the wiser. Well, I don't exactly want to pay double price for a new hard drive right now, so I tried doing this the cheap way. I have 7 HDDs in my server. 1TB WD Black (system), 1TB WD Black, 1TB Seagate Baracuda, 1TB Samsung, 750 GB Seagate, 2TB Hitachi. So what I decided to do was to take the 1TB Seagate which is connected externally, and remove it from the pool. I then disable duplication so that I would have enough room for my data to fit on the smaller drive pool. From there I shut down the server, and pulled out the system drive. I connected the 1TB Seagate and the system drive to one of my other computers and used Acronis True Image to clone the WD to the Seagate. Fast forward to after Christmas. I get home and the drive cloning that I set up before I left says it is complete. So I unplug the Seagate and put in back where the old system drive was. I boot the server and I get errors galore. I have errors that the backup service is not running, there are file conflicts in each of my shares and it is showing that my system drive is disconnected. I am wondering if there is anything I can do about this. Should I just start over? I'm glad that I have the data safe, I'd like to keep my backups, but that is not critical. I just bought a house so the accounting department is not going to find the funds to approve a 2011 box just yet. Ohh, I don't think I mentioned that it's a home built server.

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So, before I left town for the Christmas holiday, I started getting warnings that my system hard drive was failing. If this problem were occuring at any other time in history, I would just buy a new hard drive and clone the system drive and WHS should be none the wiser. Well, I don't exactly want to pay double price for a new hard drive right now, so I tried doing this the cheap way. I have 7 HDDs in my server. 1TB WD Black (system), 1TB WD Black, 1TB Seagate Baracuda, 1TB Samsung, 750 GB Seagate, 2TB Hitachi. So what I decided to do was to take the 1TB Seagate which is connected externally, and remove it from the pool. I then disable duplication so that I would have enough room for my data to fit on the smaller drive pool. From there I shut down the server, and pulled out the system drive. I connected the 1TB Seagate and the system drive to one of my other computers and used Acronis True Image to clone the WD to the Seagate. Fast forward to after Christmas. I get home and the drive cloning that I set up before I left says it is complete. So I unplug the Seagate and put in back where the old system drive was. I boot the server and I get errors galore. I have errors that the backup service is not running, there are file conflicts in each of my shares and it is showing that my system drive is disconnected. I am wondering if there is anything I can do about this. Should I just start over? I'm glad that I have the data safe, I'd like to keep my backups, but that is not critical. I just bought a house so the accounting department is not going to find the funds to approve a 2011 box just yet. Ohh, I don't think I mentioned that it's a home built server.

 

This whole scenario sounds very familiar. I think there is another thread in the forums that describes this situation and there was something that needed to be done that fixed it. I would do a search.

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I think ikon was thinking about this thread - Restore Mediasmart Boot Disk thread. It talks about cloning a system drive and seems to have the problems you are describing.

 

Thanks cskenney.

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I think ikon was thinking about this thread - Restore Mediasmart Boot Disk thread. It talks about cloning a system drive and seems to have the problems you are describing.

 

This is exactly what I need. Thanks for pointing it out. I just haven't had time to play with it I'll keep you folks posted of the progress.

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Ikon high-5's cskenney :D

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Cloning v1's system drive is a major trick. There's a whole list of things you have to do to get this to work. From what you say, you just did a straight clone, started 'er up and got all kinds of errors, which is typical when one does that with v1's OS drive. I'm guessing that you'd have been better off doing a Server Restore. Also, is the 'bad' drive still under warranty? It may qualify for free replacement.

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Yes, the bad drive is WD Black, carries a 5 year warranty. I think it runs out in like 2014. So I'll be getting it replaced.

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Just to clarify a bit. It is quite possible to clone a v1 system drive; I've done it a number of times. The main thing you have to do is use a cloning utility that copies over the MBR as well as the partitions.

 

I can't recall exactly which utility I used but it was either CloneZilla or EASUS. Most likely it was CloneZilla so I would try that first.

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Just to clarify a bit. It is quite possible to clone a v1 system drive; I've done it a number of times. The main thing you have to do is use a cloning utility that copies over the MBR as well as the partitions.

 

I can't recall exactly which utility I used but it was either CloneZilla or EASUS. Most likely it was CloneZilla so I would try that first.

I heard Easeus mentioned in doing this. And I heard about this 'workaround', but when I investigated, it looked like a lot was still required. So my question is, was this an image clone you put back onto the same drive? Or did you put the image on an entirely new drive? Because the thing is, the hang up is the disk ID which you have to write to the new drive, plus you'll need to do regedits to replace long disk name/identifiers (not quite sure what it's called) otherwise no-go.

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I have used acronis to copy a system drive in non server systems before. And I had great success, this seems a little more picky. I imagine that drive extender is getting in the way.

 

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk

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If you look over the step-by-step mentioned previously by cskenney, you'll see there's a lot more to this. And yes, I'd say this problem arises due to the way DE is implemented.

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I cloned the system drive. I plugged a spare into an external enclosure and pulled the system drive from the server. I connected both to another computer and set acronis to do its thing.

 

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk

 

Yea, what I did was a shot in the dark. I just wanted to get the data off that drive before I went out of town for Christmas. When I get time, I'll put more effort into it and let you know how it goes.

 

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk

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Sorry if I missed it, but why aren't you running Server Restore? If you slap in a new OS drive and leave your pool drives connected, when you start the recovery process you'll see the option to perform a Restore or Factory Reset (new installation).

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I heard Easeus mentioned in doing this. And I heard about this 'workaround', but when I investigated, it looked like a lot was still required. So my question is, was this an image clone you put back onto the same drive? Or did you put the image on an entirely new drive? Because the thing is, the hang up is the disk ID which you have to write to the new drive, plus you'll need to do regedits to replace long disk name/identifiers (not quite sure what it's called) otherwise no-go.

 

I shut down my server, removed the system drive and cloned it to an identical make/model drive, put it back into the WHS, and booted. While I was still running v1 I used the technique to make backup copies of my WHS. I don't recall doing any other special workaround tricks.

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Interesting. I guess the 'identical make/model drive' puts it over the top. Wonder how that would work going to some other drive. In any case, it's good to know. Very good, in fact. Good job!

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Interesting. I guess the 'identical make/model drive' puts it over the top. Wonder how that would work going to some other drive. In any case, it's good to know. Very good, in fact. Good job!

 

Thanks. I did forget to mention 1 important thing. Obviously, it's not possible for me to take a cloned drive off the shelf and just shove it into the system and use it. DE makes that impossible.

 

What I used to do is to shut down the WHS, clone the system drive to an identical drive that had been run through SpinRite at Level 4, then put the cloned drive into the system. The drive I removed would then be run through SpinRite on Level 4 and put on the shelf for next time. The idea was to ensure I had a 'tested/certified' system drive as much as possible.

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Sorry if I missed it, but why aren't you running Server Restore? If you slap in a new OS drive and leave your pool drives connected, when you start the recovery process you'll see the option to perform a Restore or Factory Reset (new installation).

 

The reason I didn't do that is entirely logical. I didn't know there was such a thing as Server Restore. Is this an HP thing or can I use it on a home built box?

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The reason I didn't do that is entirely logical. I didn't know there was such a thing as Server Restore. Is this an HP thing or can I use it on a home built box?

 

It's definitely not an HP specific thing. I think every version of WHS has this ability.

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I'll try that when I get home tomorrow night. Or whenever I find myself back in my home.

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Just to double check on Server Restore, does it or does it not wipe your PC backups?

 

There are ways around this if so, but I want to make sure foy1der doesn't have an unpleasant experience. :)

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Dang, wish I could remember for sure. I seem to recall that Server Recovery does retain the backups, but a full Server Restore does not.

 

It needs to be mentioned, again, that it's important to uninstall the WHS Connector from the computer that will be running the Server Recovery.

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Yes, the bad drive is WD Black, carries a 5 year warranty. I think it runs out in like 2014. So I'll be getting it replaced.

 

WD has a VERY generous RMA policy for "bad" drives -- for ~$6 each I got replacements for several failing drives and did the whole thing online and in each case ended up with a new drive that was better than what I had before -- for a WD20EADS they'd send me a WD20EARX -- nice!

 

Just to double check on Server Restore, does it or does it not wipe your PC backups?

 

There are ways around this if so, but I want to make sure foy1der doesn't have an unpleasant experience. :)

 

Unfortunately, I got a lot of experience with Server Recovery and Server Reset. http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/3184-flashing-blue-health-light-drive-lights-are-all-out-on-ex487/

 

Server Recovery will not save your BDBB that was on your old System Drive -- usually the BDBB is spread across all of the drives -- it can be recovered before hand but you'll need to do the procedure manually described in the MS White Paper that the pgm BDBB is based on. Google the wiki that describes BDBB -- in the notes there's a link to the white paper --

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/wiki/index.php/WHS_BDBB

http://download.microsoft.com/download/1/8/0/18096c95-4850-4176-9821-970691b98aaf/Windows_Home_Server_Technical_Brief_-_Home_Computer_Backup_and_Restore.docx

 

Server Recovery does save all your shares but the PC backups will be toasted.

 

Server Reset destroys everything and starts out fresh.

 

FYI: There is a paper on how to do a Sysdrive Cloning at http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/01/17/forum-spotlight-how-to-successfully-clone-and-upgrade-a-whs-system-drive/

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If that's the case, and the old drive still works, put it back in and run BDBB. Done deal.

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Thanks Joe_Miner. I was afraid I was recalling it wrong, and I was, so your clarification is great.

 

If you want to retain the backups then definitely try to back them up before doing the Recovery.

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