HP MicroServer – Software (Part 2) – The Restore

Todays post is continuing from the previous post – HP MicroServer – Software (Part 1).

Why I Love Drive Extender

If you have ever had a RAID setup and had one hard drive failure you know that all should be fine in the world once you replace the faulty drive.   On replacing the offending drive your RAID should automatically start rebuilding and you should be up and running as usual in no time…

If however you have 2 drives fail (or start failing) you might want to start breaking out in a cold sweat if you don’t have backups…you see if you place any of the drives into another machine and try and read them on their own you will not be able to…seriously – you need to start restoring backups…

Drive Extender on the other hand is NTFS formatted, so if you remove the offending drive you will be able to read files from it (if the drive is still in a condition to do so) so you have some sort of recovery…

How it started…

This picture is why you want to have Drive Extender… My WHS Server that I built up from parts originally consisted of 6x Seagate 500Gb hard drives. Two of the drives failed (around the same time as when Seagate had that Hard Drive Firmware scandal). I replaced them with 1Tb Samsung hard drives.  I updated the firmware of the remaining 4x 500Gb Seagates (yup my luck they were from that batch) and things were good for a while.

Last year November when I returned from vacation the main WHS Hard Drive started failing.  I took my Agestar Hard Drive Cloner and then cloned the main hard drive to one of the replacement 500Gb that I got back from Seagate…only to discover that the replacement drive was also starting to pack-up…yup!

That is why I HATE SEAGATE!

Although these drives were reporting as failing it was “readable” to an extent, but unable to boot or use in the old server.

The Restore…

After setting up the Windows Home Server OS on the HP MicroServer  I wanted to restore the files from the old WHS server.

Here you can see the total space available on the server with the 1x 2TB Samsung (Main OS drive) and 3x 1Tb Samsung drives installed in the machine and configured as part of the storage volume.  I included the Windows Explorer view so you can see what it looks like if you browse via My Computers (remember it only shows the 2Tb volume as drive D: but all the space is available)

So I took the failing Seagate 500Gb drive and placed it into an external hard drive enclosure that had an eSATA port on it.  Connected it to the eSATA port on the back of the HP MicroServer and let WHS detect the drive.  Now to ensure there was no confusion I renamed the volume for easy identification – SYS500 (H:) and DATA500 (E:) here you can see it under Device Manager and Windows Explorer:

Windows Explorer

Now as you can see the drive is readable under Windows Explorer, and the files that were on the share can be accessed by browsing to the E:\DE\Shares folder:

Browsing in Windows Explorer

WHS to spread the risk of loosing files should a HDD fail, it copies files across all the volumes in the storage volume.  Now say you have a share \\SERVER\Music with folders A-Z, then some of the files and folders will be on the one drive, others on the second drive, and other on the third drive etc.  As you can see on my failed drive, folders G, J, M, N, P of my Music share was on the drive.  A, C, G, M and Q was on drive number 2  (yes some of the files from G was also on the second drive) that is why you need a tool that will only copy across the missing files back to your new share.

Time to start copying what I can from the drive.

I headed over to the Microsoft website and downloaded Microsoft SyncToy 2.1 – this has an awesome feature called Contribute that would do the task perfectly!  BTW I use this app for some of my staff to backup to their external drives…  I installed the app on the server and ran it from the Start Menu.

The first thing you want to do is Create A New Folder Pair, and then in the LEFT side select the main share name from the offending hard drive. In my case it was E:\DE\SHARES\MUSIC Folder

LEFT Selection - SyncToy

Then you need to select the WHS NETWORK share on the RIGHT side. Remember you want to select Entire Network, Microsoft Windows Network, Workgroup, ServerName, Share (in my case Music).

Right Selection - SyncToy

Once done click Next and then you can choose what type of sync you want to perform.  Select CONTRIBUTE and then click Next:

Contribute - SyncToy

Call it something that is easy to remember and click Finish:

SyncToy NameTada!  Job is setup now time to run it:

Job SetupYou can either click PREVIEW (which will show you what will be copied across and what not) or you can click RUN and it will copy without showing you first what it is going to do.

I left it running on the failing drive and 4 hours later it was done copying.  Doing the same process on the other “currently working” Seagate drives from the old server took about 2 hour per drive.

And that folks is how I rebuilt my server and restored my data from the old drives… And NO I will NEVER purchase another Seagate drive as long as I live!

MadMike posted at 2011-6-5 Category: Windows / WHS

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