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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:28 pm 
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I have been running WHS on an EX495 box since around 2010 at version 3.3.1.35433
It has been a good piece of equipment, providing backup for several other pc’s in the home and a storage and media center for all of our music and pictures. We use Logitech’s Squeezebox very nicely for that. We have had to recover 3 laptop hard drive disasters and one ex495 system drive failure during that time. I now have Smart installed and monitoring the storage drives, and recently noticed warnings popping up on the system drive.

I do not want to have to rebuild from scratch and reinstall software again, so I want to replace the system drives in whatever way I can to avoid that. It appears that I should be able to clone the system drive as it is before he fails.

What is the best way to do that. I have been reading the step by step instructions provided on this blog. Will that work? Are there any other tips and guidelines of which I should be aware?

I already have a replacement drive of the same manufacturer and size etc. (WD WD20EFRX-6BEUZN0 2terabyte)
As an aside, there are 2 of these in the server. I would like to replace the system drive with its clone and add a third identical drive to the system. What is the best way to accomplish that as well? The third drive could be added at a later time if that would be best.
Any and all advice, guidelines, and tips are welcome.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:17 am 
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You already found the guide, right?
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6826

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:05 pm 
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My 2 cents.
I don't know why anyone would attempt to clone a defective drive.
And with the same size drive.
All you are doing is transporting potential corruption/problems to a brand new drive.
The time to clone a drive would be before you have problems.
As long as duplication is turned on for all folders then any pool data on the os drive would be preserved when doing a recovery with a net new drive.
Yes, you will loose pc backups and will need to reconnect your clients.
But they start again as soon as you are done.

As yakuza stated in the referenced post
Quote:
This is only meant to be a process by which you can upgrade your System drive to one of larger capacity without needing to perform a Server Recovery.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:08 pm 
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Ruben is correct presuming the SMART errors are sector related and not issues like spin up time,

In your situation it sounds like you have two drives in your MSS, one of which is starting to get dodgy. If it was me, I'd go ahead and replace both drives (presuming they both have more or less similar hours on them).

An alternate solution to cloning would be to install BDBB on to your server. Then pick up a large enough backup drive to back up your clients to it as well as backup your shares to it (using MSS backup console). I've had no compatibility issues using the Star Tech HDD external dock (SDOCKU313E) either with USB or eSATA for just this purpose and do full backups of my server monthly. But I'm thinking to replace it with their SDOCKU33EF as it has a fan on it and the external HDD gets kinda toasty after extended backup writes.

This wouldn't relieve you of the need to do a fresh OS install on your new 2gb red drive. But your end result after restoring to the new drives would be a cleaner install. And you'd also have the external dock and large HDD to use for a backup routine on your MSS.

Let us know how you get on with it.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:09 pm 
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I appreciate the responses. Let me explain a little more. I have 2 wd 2T drives in the ex495. There is plenty of extra space in that configuration. I have already had to rebuild the system drive once when the original system drive failed. At that time I used the procedures provided. I then had to re-install the applications I had installed. It was only a few more or less standard software packages. It all went pretty well.
That said, I do NOT want to do that again.
At this time, I have only seen warnings on the system drive, no hard errors. The system itself indicates the system drive is healthy. The warnings have come from SMART. I do not want to let errors progress to the point of any imminent failure.
What I would like to do is clone the system drive and use the clone as the new system drive.
I also want to add a 3rd 2T drive to the pool but that could be done after the clone/restore or whatever..

As an aside, I like the ability to be able to back up everything outside of the system periodically, but it sounds as though that would require re-installing software if and when the backup would be necessary to use for restoration. I need to do some investigating of how that would work. I am currently concerned regarding timing. Potential problems could escalate unpredictably. I hoped I have window of opportunity here since I noticed what appear to be very early warnings.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:27 pm 
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Can you let us know what the warnings are that are showing? You are seeing them in the SMART for WHS add-in, yes?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:33 pm 
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SMART Disk Details Report
Computer Information
Computer Name SPDRNESTSTUFF
Operating System Windows Home Server "v1"
OS Edition Standard
Service Pack Service Pack 2
Version 5.2.3790.131072
System Type 32-bit Operating System

Disk Information
Disk Path \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE0 Advertised Capacity 2000.40 GB
Model WDC WD20EFRX-68EUZN0 Real Capacity 1863.01 GB
Serial Number WD-WCC4M3PY13HF Bytes Per Sector 512†
Firmware Revision 82.00A82 Cylinders 243201
Description Disk drive Heads 255
Interface IDE Total Sectors 3907024065
Media Type Fixed hard disk media Tracks 62016255
Partition Count 2 Tracks Per Cylinder 255
Status OK Total Bytes 2000396321280
Failure Predicted No
Solid State Disk No (Hard Disk) Spindle Speed 5400 RPM
† Home Server SMART reports Bytes Per Sector as reported by Windows. It MAY report 512 bytes/sector even on Advanced Format Disks (AFDs), which have 4096 byte physical sectors. This is especially true on all versions of Windows prior to Windows Vista/Server 2008.
SMART Details
ID (Dec) ID (Hex) Attribute Critical Type Flags Threshold Value Worst Status Raw Data
1 01 Read Error Rate Yes Pre-Fail SP; ER; P; S; C 51 200 200 Healthy 00000000005B
3 03 Spin-Up Time Yes Pre-Fail SP; P; S; C 21 175 172 Healthy 000000001070
4 04 Start/Stop Count No Advisory SP; EC; S 0 100 100 Healthy 00000000002C
5 05 Reallocated Sectors Count Yes Pre-Fail SP; EC; S; C 140 200 200 Degraded 000000000001
7 07 Seek Error Rate No Advisory SP; ER; P; S 0 200 200 Healthy 000000000000
9 09 Power-On Hours No Advisory SP; EC; S 0 53 53 Healthy 000000008763
10 0A Spin Retry Count No Advisory SP; EC; S 0 100 253 Healthy 000000000000
11 0B Recalibration Retries No Advisory SP; EC; S 0 100 253 Healthy 000000000000
12 0C Power Cycle Count No Advisory SP; EC; S 0 100 100 Healthy 00000000002C
192 C0 Power-Off Retract Count No Advisory SP; EC; S 0 200 200 Healthy 000000000020
193 C1 Load/Unload Cycle Count No Advisory SP; EC; S 0 199 199 Healthy 00000000150A
194 C2 Temperature No Advisory SP; S 0 115 103 Healthy 000000000020
196 C4 Reallocation Event Count No Advisory SP; EC; S 0 199 199 Degraded 000000000001
197 C5 Current Pending Sector Count No Advisory SP; EC; S 0 200 200 Degraded 000000000001
198 C6 Offline Uncorrectable Sector Count No Advisory SP; EC 0 100 253 Healthy 000000000000
199 C7 Ultra DMA CRC Error Count No Advisory SP; EC; S 0 200 200 Healthy 000000000000
200 C8 Write Error Rate/Multi-Zone Error Rate No Advisory ER 0 100 253 Healthy 000000000000
Manufacturer Set Flags: SP = Self-Preserving, ER = Error Rate, EC = Event Count, P = Performance, S = Statistical, C = Critical
Disk Self-Test Details
Test Details
Last Test Status Successfully completed (or no test ever run)

Short Test Supported, 2 minutes

Extended Test Supported, 255 minutes

Conveyance Test Supported, 5 minutes


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:43 pm 
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I think you are going to find cloning is a lot more complicated than just replacing the os drive and running recovery(Not reset)

But if you currently only have two drives then duplication is not doing much, if it is turned on. Because it is using your os drive only.
If it were me I would add the third drive as a pool drive now prior to anything and let it eat a few days. At least a week.

Oh you just posted your smart results while I was typing.
It does not look to bad yet. But I have seen drives go downhill in 1 day.
So you never know. Once the drive starts to fail it could be months to hours.

If it were me I would grab the add-ins while you can and store them on another media.
Not all add-ins can be found now.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:14 pm 
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Ruben Rocha wrote:
I think you are going to find cloning is a lot more complicated than just replacing the os drive and running recovery (Not reset)
True that. It's quite the detailed process. If you're avoiding a bare metal install because getting a ex49x into recovery mode with that damn paperclip can be a challenge, are you using the USB/PXE bypass method? viewtopic.php?f=25&t=14522&p=105009&hilit=paperclip+no+more#p105009

It's also somewhat complicated to setup but once done, is fail safe. If you send me a onedrive link I could upload the completed software package for your use.
Ruben Rocha wrote:
But if you currently only have two drives then duplication is not doing much, if it is turned on. Because it is using your os drive only.
Ruben, I have a similar setup (two drives showing 3.64tb total, of that only half is used (1.82tb)) with duplication on. However using the add-in disk management for WHS v1.1.2.2001, the primary drive shows holding 711gb of data and the secondary drive has 690gb of data and 457gb of backups.

I say all that to show that even though my storage pool is only half the capacity of both drives, the data is actually spread out on both drives.
Ruben Rocha wrote:
It does not look to bad yet. But I have seen drives go downhill in 1 day. So you never know. Once the drive starts to fail it could be months to hours
As with the OP, both my system and second drive (WD Gold- WD2005FBYZ) have been showing the same SMART errors on Home Server SMART Classic for at least a month (likely several months since I failed to watch the add-in that closely). They're both fairly new drives showing 682 days & 651 days of on time. Surprisingly, my 6tb HGST backup drive also shows the same errors with only 19 days of on time.

While the read errors are concerning, if they're were also seek errors and uncorrectable sectors I'd be much more worried. Especially considering both server drives and my backup drive are all showing these same read errors, I'm using BDBB and watching them closer. That doesn't mean I'm not also planning a fresh drive update like OP. But for me that's gonna happen towards the end of the year with a bare metal install of a fresh OS and backup data restoration.
Ruben Rocha wrote:
If it were me I would grab the add-ins while you can and store them on another media. Not all add-ins can be found now.
Agreed!

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:35 pm 
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The issue with duplication is with two drives even if not overloaded is one drive may have all the data only and the other drive may have all the duplication.
But it could also be some data is on the os drive and the duplication is on the pool drive.
Once you get to three drives or more the duplication is spread out among all the drives.
and the os drive sees very little activity till the pool drives get full.
Hence less chance to loose data if one drive fails.
because duplication is spread among multiple drives instead of just two.
So what I am trying to say with two drives each drive may have original and duplication files.
So if you loose a drive then you have a higher chance of loosing data that if you had three drives.
When I added the third drive I used that drive balancer program to migrate all the files off of the os drive.
Just being anal about it.
Since the ex49x does not use landing zones.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:54 pm 
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Ruben Rocha wrote:
The issue with duplication is with two drives even if not overloaded is one drive may have all the data only and the other drive may have all the duplication. But it could also be some data is on the os drive and the duplication is on the pool drive.

Once you get to three drives or more the duplication is spread out among all the drives and the os drive sees very little activity till the pool drives get full. Hence less chance to loose data if one drive fails because duplication is spread among multiple drives instead of just two.

So what I am trying to say is with two drives each drive may have original and duplication files. If you loose a drive then you have a higher chance of loosing data than if you had three drives. When I added the third drive I used that drive balancer program to migrate all the files off of the os drive.

Just being anal about it since the ex49x does not use landing zones.
That makes sense Ruben. Thanks for explaining. I'm presuming the drive balancer add-in your referring is this program? (link still live 9/19). https://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-home- ... lable.html

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:09 am 
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That looks like it ,it runs in dos mode.
What it does is write 0 data files to the c:/data partition to make the drive appear to be full to force de to migrate the real files to other drives.
also you can set to balance storage all the pool drives as a option.
There is a lot of thrashing going on.
So it does put some stress on the drives.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:39 pm 
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I appreciate all of the tips and advice so far. As of now I am trying to digest and assess the alternatives and decide on a plan. As I mentioned, although things could go bad quickly, I am watching it. I think I have a little time to line up everything I need to do, including getting extra off-server backups of things I will need.
I really like the server idea and how it has worked for our needs for a long time. It has saved a lot of problems being able to rebuild/restore several pc’s over the years. As a music server, it has been great. I do not understand why it has not been accepted more and a few design problems corrected.
I am interested in some of the add-ons that have been mentioned and intend to research them. I will be asking questions about that when I get there.
Don’t hesitate to add to the tips provided as seen fit.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:02 am 
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I have several questions regarding this topic now.
1) I have added a new and matching disk into the server and added it to the pool. Duplication is turned on. Is there any way to tell how much space and for what it is used on each of the three drives? Is there a way to ensure/force only system to reside on the system drive?
2) I have had no errors showing up on SMART other than a warning on the system drive for several weeks as of now. Why would it be preferable to rebuild the system drive as opposed to cloning it? I really do not want to go through the rebuild process if I do not need to. But if the cloning is more difficult I can be persuaded. It just seems to me that one ought to be able to copy the system drive to a new drive, as is, and eliminate the hardware error waiting to happen. In my opinion, not being able to do that is a serious oversight.
3) Are there any products that could copy each of the drives on a server, in total, on a periodic basis? Likely to external drives.
4) I went back to read previous responses on this forum topic and realize I missed some tips so I am still trying to put together a plan. Is there a clear description someplace regarding all the steps needed to do a system recovery and what is needed to properly complete it? is there anything lost as a result of it?
Thanks for the help and forgive me if i may be asking redundant questions. I am trying to be careful so I can get this down to a definable process. It seems like something that will need to be done periodically..


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:39 am 
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My server is offline right now so I can only answer from memory
Quote:
1) I have added a new and matching disk into the server and added it to the pool. Duplication is turned on. Is there any way to tell how much space and for what it is used on each of the three drives? Is there a way to ensure/force only system to reside on the system drive?

There used to be a plugin that did just that. Something like advanced management.
But I usually just rdp to the server and find it there.
As far as the system drive. There is no way to keep pool data files off of it.
But Drive balancer will move what is there now..
as long as you have at least two pool drives and they are not full it should now write to the os drive.
Quote:
2) I have had no errors showing up on SMART other than a warning on the system drive for several weeks as of now. Why would it be preferable to rebuild the system drive as opposed to cloning it? I really do not want to go through the rebuild process if I do not need to. But if the cloning is more difficult I can be persuaded. It just seems to me that one ought to be able to copy the system drive to a new drive, as is, and eliminate the hardware error waiting to happen. In my opinion, not being able to do that is a serious oversight.

If there are any errors on the original drive they if you clone it just brings them over.. For one.
Quote:
3) Are there any products that could copy each of the drives on a server, in total, on a periodic basis? Likely to external drives.

The whs1 uses by folder not drives and there is a 2tb limit.
You can add a drive larger than 2tb ,I have tried 4tb and add it as a non pool drive(backup drive) and then swap them out if you need multiple drives for a backup.
But I know some have used robocopy or synctoy to do whatever they want.
Quote:
4) I went back to read previous responses on this forum topic and realize I missed some tips so I am still trying to put together a plan. Is there a clear description someplace regarding all the steps needed to do a system recovery and what is needed to properly complete it? is there anything lost as a result of it?

The original manual or the wiki here tells most all you need.

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