Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)
  • Windows Home Server Hard Drive Failure


    What do you do when a hard drive fails?


    A Western Digital drive died in my system recently so I decided to document the steps I went through and what all happens during this process.  I’m completely out of USB ports on my Media Smart Server so I decided to shut it off and re-organize.  I’ve decided to use a USB hub for my printer and the battery backup and I’ll keep all data drives on their own dedicated port.  When I powered it back up I noticed the top drive light was not on.  Sure enough, I go back to my workstation and the notification icon is an angry RED color.




    I tried re-seating the drive in question.  It also felt cool to the touch when I thought it would be a tad warm even from casual use.  My server is in a basement equipment room so it’s nice and cool so that my explain it.


    I opened the console and here is what I found.






    Here is what Disk Management Add-In reports.  The non-storage drive is what I am using with KeepVault.  KeepVault runs a nightly backup of my shares to this drive.  It’s also the ioSafe drive.




    Clicking the Network Critical notification also informs me that my backup database is feeling ill.




    I’m also seeing these popups.  The first one was for the music folder, now the Photos folder.  I got a few more then finally a Network Critical notification.  (Isn’t it fun to sneak a peek at what is running on other peoples toolbar? Think you can name all the apps in mine?)


    My only option with the so-called “Missing Drive” is to remove it but I think I’ll poke around the Event Viewer via Remote Desktop to see if WHS is doing anything in the background.  I also looked at Disk Manager and the drive is not there so I’m now convinced I have a bad drive.  I guess my server has been trying to tell me that all along?


    I’ll remove the offending drive.(you know I’m going to check it on another computer though!)








    Several Hours!


    Now is where I start thinking.  What folders did I NOT have duplication turned on?  DVD’s.  Yep, my movie collection.  Well, about 20 or so DVD rips.  I was just about to start ripping some more DVD’s for a review too.  I may have to start over if that folder was on the dead drive.  I also think that the Software and Public folder were not duplicated.  That might not be very smart on my part.  My Software share was growing.  I have started putting everything that I download there.  Beta’s, drivers, Anti-Virus stuff.  That’s going to suck if I have to re-download some of the beta stuff.  Luckily, my Win7 ISO’s are still on my desktop!


    Wait and see.  8:45PM start. 10:20 Finish




    Once again lets triage the situation.  What is bad, what is good?


    Still seeing the database error.






    Still seeing file conflict errors.


    Under the shared folders tab I see some disturbing news.




    This is the status of all my shared folders.  The healthy folders are mostly unused or empty folders.


    Fix it


    It’s time to dive in and see what I can do to get rid of these errors.  First thing is to pull the bad drive out and restart the server.  This is recommended by Knowledge Base article link from this error message.




    Further reading of this article suggests that by repairing the backup database I will lose all my PC backups.  That is not good news but at least I have my shares intact.


    After the reboot I see my shared folders are all healthy.






    After    image


    Disk Management is reporting more usage on two drives leading me to think that the duplication efforts were successful.


    I still have the “backup database errors” critical notification so it looks like I’ll be clicking the repair button and losing my backups.  Someone alert Yakuza that I’ll be downloading his BDBB Add-In real soon!






    I let the process run all night so I don’t know how long it took.  Here are the results.


    image image


    Click next and the backup service will start again.  It also re-checks database consistency.  Even though it says its starting the backup service I have backups of all computers that were on last night.  So I feel good about that.  I never went very long without protection.  The whole process lasted over 4 hours.  It took longer because I took pause and read a whole bunch of stuff to make sure I didn’t goof anything up.  In the end, I followed all the prompts and clues from WHS and it took care of everything.




    I suppose there is a lesson in this but there is also a question.  Why can I not duplicate computer backups automatically from day one?


    Did I lose anything important?  I lost two backups that I wouldn’t mind having back.  One was a family member laptop that I backed up just to have the image in case the family member had trouble in the future.  I have the factory restore disks for this laptop so all is not lost here.


    The other was an old laptop that needs a small repair.  I had a new drive for it and never got around to the repair.  I guess Win7 will go on it now.


    On the bright side this issue did clear up a bunch of space for me!  I can’t find much to complain about except for the fact that I cannot duplicate backups “out of the box.”  I’m certainly aware of the Add-In BDBB but don’t normal users expect to be protected 100% when they purchase WHS?  Even so, I only went 4 hours without backups.  There was only a slim chance of failure during that 4 hour window.  I can’t imagine the bad luck of having a computer hard drive fail during this vulnerable period.  I bet it has happened to someone or it will.


    I suppose I will take a deeper look at BDBB from Alex Kuretz and enable duplication of my backups via this Add-In.


    Off to find a good hard drive deal!


    See Also:  The Home Server Show 39 – OS System Drive Failure Options

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Sorry for your troubles. I've been there. I haven't had to go to your lengths, though. I shut the server down, removed the drive from the internal enclosure and put it in a different enclosure. On restart, it worked, luckily. Seems the power supplies on some of these external drives can go bad from time to time.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I put the drive in a test machine and it is most certainly bad. It came up once but otherwise was very flaky. I was just about to toss it out but decided to check the warranty on it. Come to find out, it's under warranty so I'll ship it to WD and hopefully have a replacement soon.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Thanks for the article. It's good to know what happens when a drive fails. On your advice I've also gotten the BDBB add-in and it's running right now. Great stuff.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Also thanks for the article, Had a drive fail, Luckily no database issues. My first reaction was to reboot but my X510 DataVault would not even bootup with the bad Samsung 1TB drive (My first and hopefully last Samsung HDD failure) it was clicking, hissing and banging and thrashing about it sounded real sick. I had to bootup without the faulty drive and then re-insert the drive once WHS was up and running. Even when running WHS Console would freeze off and on with the bad drive in bay 2 but I was able to remove the drive luckily and then restart WHS. All Backups and Share data was fine and I put another Samsung 1TB drive and working again fine.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Nice article Dave! I had a drive fail on my this morning and when I searched Google for a good article to walk me through the steps this was the top result and based off the top 5 articles that I reviewed this one was perfect. I had implemented BDBB about a month ago so i got all of my machine backups recovered back to the storage pool. Thanks again.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    From what I understand Microsoft have developed Windows 7 to include an backup system which copies the complete hard drive as an image, which is easier to re-install. If you want to use it and have Windows 7 do the following: Open MS Access. Click on the Tools menu. Choose “Database Utilities.” Click on “Compact and Repair Database.” A window named, “Database to Compact From” will open. Choose the database that you’re going to Compact and Repair. Click on “Compact.” It’s easy, right? Make sure to apply this method in your office databases so that frustration from a corrupt database will be avoided. Hope this help a little.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I have made the server fail by pulling drives just to see what would happen . I think it is better to know when you trust so much on a WHS . The WHS 2003 passed what a great program . the truble I had was restoring a computer . I am now trying WHS 2011 no more DE I hope it will work as well .... systems fail that's a fact it's just a matter of when . It nice to know you have a backup do I with 2011 ? not sure about raid realy like DE
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The right thing to do with WHS, is to put WHS on a virtual machine (buy the OEM from newegg for $50), that is running on top of a raid array. I use Open Solaris with ZFS to be able to add space and replace drives as needed. I can the just add another drive if I need more space, and I can still do duplication to make the WHS server more easily recovered, but ZFS snapshots will get you "exact" backups, instantly with the ability to recover back to a particular day of the OS trashes something. In this configuration, you are using ZFS/raid to handle drive failure and OS trashing disks. WHS then just becomes a simple VM'd application that will work trivially to do your backups. ZFS was designed to give enterprise quality data management with consumer grade devices. ZFS uses checksums on all blocks, and the ZFS scrub mechanism does block validation on every block that is used, and will move blocks as the surface decays. It tells you how much is going wrong with the pool so that you can watch for escalating degradation and replace a drive before its a real problem.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    What I'm trying to find out is how to remove disks from WHS once they've failed. I've already physically removed them, but they will not remove from the WHS console(which is the only thing tracking them anymore). The drives were garbage, but now WHS seems in love with the memory of them. Is there a .bin or something that I can edit to get them out of my hair? Maybe a registry key I need to kill? ANY help would be greatly appreciated.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • I throw this out every once in a while.  Is anyone interested in writing up "semi-formal" reviews here on the forums?  I say semi-formal because they don't have to be pro level, just a good attempt at telling the story about the gear.  Something you have purchased lately.  You don't have to go buy stuff, just incorporate what you have already have purchased.  Hit me up with any questions.  You never know where it will lead!
        • Like
      • 3 replies
    • D-Link has dropped a couple of new products and additions to their lineup of smart home gear.  Hold on because there is a lot of gear!
      Let's start with cameras.  D-Link has new Wi-Fi cameras, the Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8302LH) and Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8526LH).  These are not just new, and good looking cams, they can now perform people detection and glass break detection.  The new cameras also feature expanded ways for customers to save video, including ONVIF Profile S, which enables custom storage and streaming options to personal NAS devices, built-in storage microSD capacity up to 256 GB, as well as free and paid cloud storage options. 

      This year's camera models include both an indoor and an outdoor model. The outdoor model features a spotlight and siren that can be triggered when motion is detected, deterring potential intruders. The indoor model pans around to give a full 360-degree view of any room and tracks motion. Both include two-way audio. 
      Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8302LH), available in Q2, 2020, and retail pricing will be $99.99.
      Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8526LH), available in Q3, 2020, and retail pricing will be $119.99.
      One of my favorite products is Wi-Fi.  D-Link has a whole lot of new products coming including Wi-Fi 6, Mesh, Alexa and Google Assistant integration, IFTTT, Parental Controls, and more!

      There are so many new SKU's that I can't make heads or tails of them!  I'm going to be speaking with D-Link more this week and will sort all of these out. I do want you to see all they are offering and what the release date and projected retail pricing will be.

      AC1900 Scalable Mesh Wi-Fi Router (COVR-1900-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1750-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1900 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1950-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1755-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1950 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1955-US), Q1 2020, $109.99
      Smart AX1500 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1560-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      Smart AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $139.99
      Smart AX2400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X2460-US), Q3 2020, $159.99
      Smart AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X5460-US), Q1 2020, $279.99
      AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (DAP-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $129.99
      AX1800 Whole Home Mesh System (COVR-X1872-US), QX22020, $269.99
        • Like
      • 0 replies
    • RESET Merch Shop
      Get ya Merch here!  I've created a T-Shirt shop with the famous RESET paperclip. I've pasted that clip on just about everything so you can wear it around town!  Cable bags, Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, and more. 
      or you can get it it via
      Here is the main design.

      Below is a part of the order that I put in!  

      The Heather Grey above is the Extra Soft version and it is awesome.  I highly recommend the softness!    The "Chili Red" is the Tri-Blend and probably my favorite feel and color.

      This is the Zip-Up Hoody, Heather Indigo, Sponge Fleece, Men's, Large.  In my podcast I couldn't remember what style it was but it is Sponge Fleece. It's REALLY soft on the inside. Soft outside as well. The only problem is with the zip up hoody the logo is on the back. Regular hoody, it will be on the front.
      or you can get it it via
      Thank you for supporting this community. Everything you purchase will help keep the lights on the hard drives spinning.
      • 0 replies
    • OneDrive Personal Vault and expandable storage
      Microsoft's OneDrive has a few new features and options worth pointing out.  Personal Vault and Expandable Storage.
      Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS. 
      Personal Vault gives you an added layer of protection for your most important files, photos, and videos—for example, copies of documents such as your passport, driver’s license, or insurance information—should someone gain access to your account or device.
      Plus, this added security won’t slow you down. You can quickly access your important documents, photos, and files with confidence wherever you are, on your PC, OneDrive.com, or your mobile device.

      Beyond a second layer of identity verification, Personal Vault also includes the following security measures:
      Scan and shoot—Using the OneDrive app, you can scan documents or shoot photos directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less secure areas of your device, like your camera roll.
      Automatic locking—No need to worry about whether you left your Personal Vault or your files open—both will close and lock automatically after a period of inactivity.
      BitLocker encryption—On Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive automatically syncs your Personal Vault files to a BitLocker-encrypted area of your local hard drive.
      Restricted sharing—To prevent accidental sharing, files in Personal Vault and shared items moved into Personal Vault cannot be shared.
      Taken together, these security measures help ensure that Personal Vault files are not stored unprotected on your PC, and your files have additional protection, even if your Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or someone gains access to it or to your account.
      Expandable Storage
      If you are and Office 365 Subscriber you get 1 TB of OneDrive storage space with all the other Office goodies like Word, Excel, etc.  I know personally that I have gone over the 1TB limit and have always wanted to be able to add additional storage to my account.  Now you can!

      Pick and option and keep on hoarding, errr, I mean saving! Cancel anytime, upgrade at any moment.
      • 1 reply
    • Ubiquiti adds new items to the Unifi Line including UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine
      Ubiquiti has been busy.  There area ton of new items to recently released and I'm going to share two of my favorites.
      The UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine. The Flex HD is a mouthful of descriptors like most of UI gear is.  It's a 2Ghz 2x2 MIMO, 5GHz 4x4 MU-MIMO, POE, Indoor/Outdoor, multi mount, mesh point that is no bigger than a can of Coke.

      You will still need the Unifi controller although you can configure it with basic functionality with the Unifi App.  I've always found it's best to configure with your controller and then use the app as an add-on.  There are several mounting options that include sitting it on a shelf! That is something that Unifi has not had before unless you count the ceiling AP I have awkwardly mounted placed on top of a few books.  It can be found on the Unifi store for $179.
      The Dream Machine is an altogether different beast that I hope lives up to its naming.  This is the gateway drug, for lack of a better term, to the Unifi world.  The starter kit.  It is an Access Point, Gigabit Switch, Security Gateway, and the Cloud Key all in one package.  The latter being the most significant as this is something that has deterred new users from getting started with Unifi.  Requiring new users to purchase a $100 item just to run the AP's has been somewhat of a roadblock in the past.  Granted, that is improving every year with the ability to run it in the cloud, on a NAS, a Pi, Docker, MacOS, and of course Windows, it is still a barricade to getting up and running when manufacturers such as Eero offer simplicity in an app.

      The switch includes 4 LAN Ports and 1 WAN port.  All of which are Gigabit and security services such as IPS are rated at Gigabit speed. It's $299 in the Unifi store but I'm unsure how nicely it will play with other Unifi gear.  This may be a nice "first AP" with its built in Cloud Key if you can add additional units or other Unifi access points.
      • 4 replies
  • Create New...