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WHS 2011 Connector re-install


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After poking around, everything appears to be fine. I had some other issues related to moving the system out to work on its disks. I didn't connect everything back up exactly the way it was. This movement was for two systems (double the fun), and a lot of monitor cables. I've had a couple of crashes but they picked times when I wasn't here... plus a coupld of accidents with power cables not being properly out of reach. I can't see any problems, but I'm very cautious.

 

Thanks again.

 

I'll be copying my shared folders soon in preparation for a WHS re-install which will hopefully cure the connector issue.

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I've restored and successfully booted... with a few minor hurdles. Many thanks to those who contributed to my project.

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In a surprising way, I almost enjoy the hunt. This problem also stressed my inadequate knowledge of partitions and volumes. I made a little gaffer with the DiskPart utility, and it was stressed again. Actually the partition-volume stuff is like my mainframe interests (all things I/O), and I've toyed with the idea of trying to write a disk editor.

 

I destroyed my "D" drive with DiskPart, but I knew my data was still there because all that was done is the partition information  was wiped out. Thus if you read every sector, and know how FATs look, you can reconstruct the partition table. This is very interesting to me. Once you rewrite the partition table, the data magically appears again. It's one of those "thigh bone's connected to the hip bone" things.

 

The difference, and this is trouble now, is that there were really two partitions out there. I found out that when you install Windows (7, and others), that the installer operates differently on disks that have no pre-existing partitions. If there are already partitions, it uses those partitions. If none, it builds a 100Mb "System Reserved". I found out later that it does this on data drives, too. Thus my "D" had a System Reserved", but the utility that rebuilt the partition table couldn't tell that. It built a single data partition. I'm pretty sure only the boot drive gets data in the System Reserved. This data is code related to the boot process and optionally other code and data.

 

Now this is a big deal because WHS knew I had two partitions on the "D". Today WHS thinks my backups are incomplete because I'm leaving out a System Reserved partition.

 

The tool I used to rebuild the partition table is called "Mini Tool Partition Wizard." It did a good job, but the guys that wrote this code know this stuff really well, and they could have asked or otherwise accommodated the System Reserved. I sent them a message, but received no reply. I guess I need to buy their product before they'll answer inquiries. The product I used is free, but they sell an enhanced version.

 

I know my TCP/IP knowledge is totally inadequate, but like VTAM, I'm just not interested in learning comms. Big hole in the server world. 

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I used to mess around with disk drive allocation tables and such back in the 60s and 70s, and a little bit in the early 80s, but not since then. It was kind of fun to see a deleted file return from the grave, but it was only an amusement.

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Drashna Jaelre

If the disks are GPT, there are indeed 2 partitions. By "System Reserved", you mean the MSR Reserved volume. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Reserved_Partition

:)

 

 

And it gets more complicated from there. I'm not a disk expert, but a lot of that is only in comparison to Alex (Covecube/StableBit). 

 

And yes, if you use diskpart's clean command (or just the delete partition/volume) commands, it doesn't wipe the data. It only wipes the partition information. As long as you DO NOT WRITE to the drive, you can recover the data. That's what partition recovery programs do, actually. 

Also, GPT stores the partition table twice, actually. (IIRC). 

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By "System Reserved" I mean a simple partition which has no drive letter and is 100Mb. To the best of my knowledge it is created only by the Windows installer on disks that have no partitions on them originally. On boot volumes, part of the boot files are loaded there. On non-boot volumes, I don't know what, if anything is there. I can't find anything that documents how it's built-- I'd use that to rebuild.

 

My "D" had two partitions. The "System Reserved", and the normal "D" which was the rest of the volume although its allocation could have left some sectors out-- it seems a common occurence in my search. The problem is WHS knows it's supposed to be there, and continuously squawks about its absence. I'm hoping when I re-install WHS all this will go away.

 

The "D" is a 2 Tb WD black. There is a 3Tb WD Green as an archive disk as well. I've had no problems with it, and my error created all the problems with "D". I had the "connectivity" issue with WHS 2011 a long time ago, but it started well after install and was seldom used (Dashboard wouldn't work). I made sure my backups ran and lived in ignorant bliss. When the hardware failure came, I couldn't restore and didn't know about loading device drivers, WinPE or RE, and a whol host of things I had to learn to get my data back.

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That's the partition Drashna is talking about (i.e. the 100MB parition). It is used by the Volume Shadow Copy Service as scratch space when preparing shadow copies of a drive (usually when doing backups). However, sometimes 100MB isn't enough and backups fail because the VSS runs out of room. Some people have actually modified the partitions on a drive to give the MSR partition 300MB, just so VSS won't complain any more.

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jmwills

I think we discovered in some instances that SR wanted some more space, as little as 1MB so just make that partition 101MB.  YMMV

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I saw something about 101 Mb for SR, too, but I don't remember where. I'm glad the VSS was mentioned-- I was wondering if the space was wasted on a non-system disk.

 

However, the overriding factor in my case was to get the drive back as close to identical as possible. It could not be identical because the two SSDs which replaced the original pair were 250Gb each (or was it 240?) instead of the original 256Gb each. I also knew the utilization was below 50%, but I believe image copies only work to a disk as large or larger regardless of size. I'm guessing the partition copy coders don't want to play with the free space chains.Since I'm using hardware RAID 0, to Win 7 it appears as a single disk.

 

It really bothers me that I am not able to get the "D" SR volume either. I managed to "clean" "D" (a faux pas on me) and had to run a partition restore on it to get my data back. I didn't loose any data but the partition structure is different so WHS backup is complaining now.

 

I'm trying to get the courage to do the WHS re-install.

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