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MediaDaveP

Client Recovery Saga - Success but not without issues

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MediaDaveP

I had the misfortune of losing the SSD that hosted my Win7 Ultimate OS on my main desktop PC this week. It was time for a system restore via WHS2011. This event was not a controlled event and not documented for a blog post as I went. All steps may not be included but it still makes for an instructive tale.

 

First a little background. The desktop machine is an ASUS M4A89GTD-PRO, AMD Phenom II x4, 8Gb Ram, 60Gb SSD for C: drive, Two stripped(dynamic) WD 500GB Green Drives for D:, E: & F: are 2Gb WD Green drives used for mirroring music, videos, & Recorded TV from on machines. Yes, the 60 GB drive was too small and many apps where installed to D:

 

The SSD failure was sudden. The machine would just not boot after I had the machine off for 2-days during an office remodel. Inspecting the BIOS showed that the drive was not detected. An alternate spare boot drive on the same cables & SATA port worked just fine. Drive would not work in a test machine either.

 

This being my second OCZ drive to fail after only 6 months, I went out and bought an Intel 320 series (SATA II) 120GB drive and installed it. It was detected right away by the BIOS.

 

My system recovery devices are USB memory sticks labeled for each client. I popped this into the desktop and configured the BIOS boot settings to boot from the removable device. BIOS save & reboot and I off to the races. First lesson learned was that you have to all your drivers on the USB stick as well. That was a simple to fix. I opened the WHS Dashboard on another working machine, opened the backup for the desktop and copied the Drivers for Full System Restore folder to the USB Recovery stick. Now I could start the recovery process after a reboot & driver load.

 

I had some doubt about the recovery since I was starting with a new bare drive. Would the recovery make the drive bootable? In my case, no, 45 minutes later I had a drive that I could not boot but had all my files. Windows Repair from the Windows media could not repair the drive so that it was bootable.

 

Ok, I started again with the Windows media disk and reinstalled windows on the C: drive and ensured everything is partitioned correctly.

 

It was now time to repeat the recovery process. Another 45 minutes later and I still could not boot the drive. Things were beginning to look grim.

 

Then I remembered the Windows Repair trick. Two passes through the Repair process and I had a working system again.

 

This is not something the average consumer is going to do. Guess this is why WHS is relegated to the enthusiasts. In the end it saved my data, applications, and settings just like it should have. The process is not something my none techy friends are going to survive with their sanity.

 

@MediaDaveP

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Dave

Great post and unfortunate to hear about the boot process not restoring correctly. I need to find some time to test this on one of my systems. Did it have to do with the small partition that Win 7 creates? Was that backed up and restored correctly?

 

45 minutes doesn't seem bad for the entire restore. I thought it would be much slower.

 

Anybody else experience this?

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ikon

I'm wondering if the 2 SSD's died because you have a paging file on the SSD or one of the other items that are recommended to change when you implement an SSD. Did you install win7 from scratch to the SSD for your original install?

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MediaDaveP

I'm wondering if the 2 SSD's died because you have a paging file on the SSD or one of the other items that are recommended to change when you implement an SSD. Did you install win7 from scratch to the SSD for your original install?

 

ikon,

 

I installed Win7 from scratch when I built the systems using SSDs. I thought Windows took care of all SSD implementation details. Can you point at the list of recommended changes?

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MediaDaveP

Great post and unfortunate to hear about the boot process not restoring correctly. I need to find some time to test this on one of my systems. Did it have to do with the small partition that Win 7 creates? Was that backed up and restored correctly?

 

45 minutes doesn't seem bad for the entire restore. I thought it would be much slower.

 

Anybody else experience this?

 

I backed the entire c: drive up and the backup was complete. The restore also completed with no reported errors.

 

Are you talking the boot manager when you say "small partition that Win 7 creates"?

 

Recovery was pretty quick due to the small drive size I suspect.

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ikon

ikon,

 

I installed Win7 from scratch when I built the systems using SSDs. I thought Windows took care of all SSD implementation details. Can you point at the list of recommended changes?

 

This is even more interesting then. Win7 is indeed supposed to take care of the SSD settings. I can't point you to a specific list but search these forums; it has been discussed quite a bit.

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ImTheTypeOfGuy

ikon,

 

I installed Win7 from scratch when I built the systems using SSDs. I thought Windows took care of all SSD implementation details. Can you point at the list of recommended changes?

 

It takes care of basic items but most requires manual changes. See the link below for some stuff I do. Hopefully others will add what they do and it can be a good tool for all.

 

http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/3333-ssd-setup-practices-by-forum-users/

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