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Mysterious WHS hangups solved


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I was having problems with my WHS locking up. Nothing was indicated as wrong in the Console but, still, it was starting to lock up more and more. My email server was on the WHS, so it was becoming a real issue.


I decided to redo the WHS. It's an Acer H340. I tried, once again, to do a Recovery. It failed (maybe because I didn't uninstall the Connector as diehard has so helpfully pointed out in another post). I have never had a successful Recovery of this box. I had just given up on it, believing it was due to crappy Acer software.


Since I have 3 complete backups of all the data, I decided to do a Factory Reset. This also failed. Sine this had worked in the past I knew something was wrong. I put the box back to way it was when I bought it (1 drive, no external connections except Ethernet) and tried again. It failed again.


As a last resort, I swapped out the system drive for another WD 1 TB green. The install worked. I re-installed the eSATA card and the other drives, except the one that had been the system drive. It will be getting SpinRited.

I am now using RoboCopy to copy all of the data from my external 4-drive eSATA enclosure back to the shares on the WHS. Please note I said I'm copying to the shares, not directly to the D: drive. I learned the hard way that copying directly to D: can mess up Drive Extender.


Finally, I think I'm going to start a policy of shutting down WHS every 2 or 3 months, duplicate the system drive, and put the duplicate in as the production drive (I am aware I need a utility that copies the MBR; CloneZilla does that). The drive taken out of service will get SpinRited and put on the shelf for the next cycle.


I think the takeaway for everyone is that you can have a hard drive problem even if the Server Console says all the drives are good.

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Do you have the procedure for "duplicating the system drive", I need to do that...as well. Just for practice; because one day my system drive will fail.

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I haven't done it in a while (too long actually), but I plan to after my data is finished copying back to the WHS. It's been copying since early Friday :)Anyway, my procedure is to:

1. shut down WHS

2. remove system drive

3. mount system drive & spare drive on another PC

4. boot from CloneZilla and have it duplicate the system drive to the spare

5. install the spare drive into WHS as the new system drive

6. SpinRite the 'old' system drive; have it ready for the next cycle


CloneZilla is free and you can make a bootable USB thumbdrive of it. It is quite fast for a drive duplicator.


You probably know this, but you can't duplicate the system drive and have the copy sitting on the shelf to be installed if the system drive fails. It's too late then. If you install a duplicate system drive that was made a while ago, it will mess up the system and you will likely lose data, maybe all of it.


In my case, I should have removed the system drive and done SpinRite immediately. I'd bet real money that SpinRite will be able to repair the drive just fine and the whole procedure would have been much faster. Live and learn.

Edited by ikon
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