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  1. #1
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    Replacing a still-functioning (but ailing) primary drive in WHS

    Dear Woody,

    First of all, I love your WHS for Dummies book. A great resource, and written with just the right degree of snark. However, there's one question I have that I don't believe is covered in it, and I couldn't find it here on the forum. If it is here and I missed it, I apologize for the redundancy.

    I'm starting to get error messages telling me that the health of one of my disks is Critical, and that it has a high sector error count. "Uncorrectable sectors." "High bad sector count." "High pending sector count." Of course, it would be the system drive. But it's still functional. In the book, you discuss the time-consuming method of replacing a non-functioning primary disk. Is there an easier way to replace one that's still functioning, but on its last legs?

    Also, I'm seeing a lot of "file conflicts" errors lately, too. Can those be safely ignored?

    Thanks for all you do.

    Best,

    Bob Claster
    bob@bobclaster.com
    www.bobclaster.com

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  3. #2
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    Unfortunately, there is no easy way of replacing the system drive in WHS. Sorry but you are in for the time consuming method. The only possible alternative would be to look at third party imaging software to see if any can be used with WHS.

    Joe

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    claster (2013-08-04)

  5. #3
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    I would get a free imaging app (Macrium Reflect free, EaseUS Todo Backup), create a boot disk elsewhere and use it to create an image of your faulty disk to an external disk. I would then replace the disk and restore the image to the new disk.

    According to Macrium's knowledge base, they support all versions of Windows Home Server, even if that is not that relevant, if you image your disk by booting from the boot disk.
    Rui
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    R4

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    claster (2013-08-04)

  7. #4
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    File conflicts may be a symptom of your failing disk. Backup now.

    cheers, Paul

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    claster (2013-08-04)

  9. #5
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    Dear Rui,

    I'm a little confused. I download Macrium. Then I create a boot disk (floppy or HD?) elsewhere, (WHS or regular Windows?), and use Macrium to create an image of my faulty disk. Am I doing that on the WHS machine, or moving the faulty WHS drive to another machine to make an image of it? And where do I restore the image? Please forgive my ignorance. Thanks.

    --Bob

  10. #6
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    Do you have a different computer, running a Microsoft OS? If so, I would recommend download Macrium Reflect Free and installing it on that computer. If your computer running WHS has a CD / DVD drive, I suggest you use Macrium to create a boot CD from the computer where you installed it and then boot your WHS system with it. If you don't have a CD / DVD drive on the WHS computer, then you will have to create a boot flash disk and use that to boot your WHS computer.

    Once you boot the problem computer with the CD / DVD / flash drive, you can create an image with it. No need to remove the faulty drive to another computer. However, if you are ok with doing that, a different alternative would be to simply add that drive to the computer where you install Macrium. In that case, you can simply image it from Macrium, no need to boot from the boot media.

    You will then have an image in an external drive. You can buy a disk to replace the faulty one and you have two options: if you attached the faulty drive to a different computer, you can also attach the new one and use Macrium to restore the image to the new drive. Alternatively, you can add the new disk to the WHS computer, boot from the boot media, connect the external drive where you stored the image to the WHS computer and restore the image to the new drive.

    Does this help?
    Rui
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    claster (2013-08-18)

  12. #7
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    Dear Rui,

    Thanks again for all your help. Finally found some time to get this done. Removed the funky boot drive, and put it and another 1TB drive in another machine. Ran Macrium to clone the funky boot drive. Macrium seemed to have no trouble cloning the system partition, but choked on the data partition (Error 22 - Broken Pipe). I'm currently trying it again with the "ignore read errors" setting, but I have a feeling it's still going to choke. My question is: since I have duplication on all of my folders, etc., if I just wipe the data from the data partition, shouldn't WHS have another copy somewhere and eventually redistribute it such that I'll have duplication again?

    Thanks so much.

    Bob

  13. #8
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    I am not very versed on WHS, my advice was applicable to any drive used on a computer running a Windows OS. You say you had duplication, but did you have more than one drive?
    I don't know how important is your data. If it is important, maybe consider using SpinRite to try and recover the drive?
    Rui
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  14. #9
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    Oh, yeah, there are 5 drives in this server. WHS is the sort of thing you just throw miscellaneous drives into, and it pools them all and shows them as one drive. The system drive is separated into two partitions. The system partition is fairly small, 350 MB. The rest of the space is used as one of the pool drives. The system is designed, theoretically at least, that if any one data drive goes south, the data is duplicated on one of the other drives. As I write this, I'm trying the two-step method, of making a disk image and then copying that to the destination drive. We'll see...

    --Bob

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    The data should be on another drive too and should be replicated back to the data partition on the new drive.

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by claster View Post
    Oh, yeah, there are 5 drives in this server. WHS is the sort of thing you just throw miscellaneous drives into, and it pools them all and shows them as one drive. The system drive is separated into two partitions. The system partition is fairly small, 350 MB. The rest of the space is used as one of the pool drives. The system is designed, theoretically at least, that if any one data drive goes south, the data is duplicated on one of the other drives. As I write this, I'm trying the two-step method, of making a disk image and then copying that to the destination drive. We'll see...

    --Bob
    Yes, I have a basic understanding of how all that works. As Joe said in the previous post, those folders should be duplicated on another drive and should be replicated back once you add a new drive..
    I have, however, read about some situations where duplication didn't work as expected, so keep that faulty drive as safe as possible until you can be sure.
    Rui
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  17. #12
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    Hopefully you have been making server backups to an external device.

    Joe

  18. #13
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    Thanks to all of you, all is up and running again, and is mostly happy. I was able to get the failing drive successfully cloned, and replaced the bad one and everything is fine. There is one small issue, but it has to do with a file conflict for an MP3 file that it won't let me delete, but since that's no longer under the subject matter of this heading, I'll open a new topic for it. Again, thanks to all of you for your eager and knowledgeable assistance.

    --Bob

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