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WHS V1 Recovery from system drive failure


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I have an HP EX 485 MediaSmart Home Server which I have used since 2009.  I use it to store my photos (which are my life) and music as well as backup my multiple home PC's.  About a week ago both the system drive and one of the storage drives failed.  After multiple failed attempts at performing a server recovery using a new system drive, I finally had to perform a complete factory reset to breath life into the system. 


I have always run the server with folder duplication on and backed up the server monthly using the server backup function in the WHS console.  In addition, before performing the factory reset, I removed the two functioning pool drives hoping to protect the data on them in case it was needed. 


I now have a very rudimentary question.  Is there a way to use the two remaining good drives to restore my data?  If not, how do I restore the server using the backup files on my external drive (guess that's two questions ;))?


best regards


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It has been awhile since I've worked with WHS-V1 but this is what I understand:

Folder duplication protects you from 1 HDD failure -- with 2 HDD failures you have most certainly lost files

The Server Backup function in WHS-V1 (NOT BDBB) copies the files in the folders you tagged to the external backup drive -- you should be able to attach that drive to any computer and simply copy the files in the folders -- you could attach it to your WHS-V1 EX485, remote in, and copy the contents of the folder(s) on the external drive to folders in WHS-V1 --- I'd suggest testing this on another computer first so that you're comfortable with what's on that drive -- Write down all the steps you will don on the Server -- I believe the HP Manual for the WHS-V1 on the EX485 tells how to do this also (I don't have it handy right now or I'd check )

The two drives you saved can still be used to recover the most current versions of files that were changed/added (that were stored on those drives) since your last server backup -- note that any files/folders where both copies were on the two HDDs that failed are gone so the version on your latest monthly backup is what you have --


To get data off your drive follow the procedures at the link below:



Edited by Joe_Miner
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First, congratulations on having at least some backup. Your backup solution, as described, is not really robust, but it's still more than most people do, so that's good.


Second, before trying a reinstall, I would have run the failed drives through SpinRite on Level 2. The odds are fairly good that it could get the drives to work again, at least long enough to get any data off them, and as long as the drives don't have actual mechanical issues. However, SpinRite is not free: it's costs $89US, so it may not be an option for you. But, if the 2 failed drives are still around and untouched, and $89US isn't too much for you, it could be an option: https://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm. BTW, I have no interest in, or affiliation with, GRC. IOW, I'm simply a satisfied customer.


Third, before doing anything else with the 2 functioning pool drives, I would clone them to spare HDDs, then do any testing on the clones. I use CloneZilla to clone drives, but there are many good duplicators available, most of them easier to use the CloneZilla. I use CloneZilla because it's pretty fast.


Fourth, as Joe_Miner suggested, you should be able to read the data that's on the 2 functioning pooled drives (i.e. the clones) by attaching them to a computer. Be aware, IIRC, the folders where the files are stored are hidden, so you must enable Show Hidden Files and Folders on the computer you attach them to. Once you can see the files & folders, you can simply copy them like you would any other files and folders.

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thanks to everyone for their rapid and clear responses.  I'm off to the racks to work the issue and will update here when I success (or fail) :blink:

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