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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:33 pm 
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Hello,

My WHS 2011 OS disk got corrupted and it wont boot. My (SW) RAID disks looks intact. I am looking for ways to recover my files.
Can some one suggest a way?

Is there a way to add these disks to a new WHS installation without reformatting.

Thank you,
Anil


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:10 am 
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What are you using for software RAID? Microsoft's OOB RAID? StableBit DrivePool? Drive Bender?

In any case, you should be able to recover your files pretty easily. Here's a quick rundown of what you can do.

1. Remove all disks from the server, except the boot disk, if an HP MediaSmart Server--just pull them out an inch or two. If in a case, just unhook the SATA cable from each disk.
2. If the boot/OS disk has failed, replace it. Otherwise, leave it connected.
3. Reinstall Windows, either WHS 2011 or a newer version.
4. Get all of the latest updates applied to Windows.
5. Power down the Server.
6. Reconnect all of your disconnected disks.

Now, the process will vary a bit depending on your software RAID configuration.

Windows RAID
If you used Windows RAID, through Disk Management, this should be pretty easy to restore. Launch Disk Management, and you should see a bunch of Foreign disks showing as Offline. Right-click one of them and select "Import Foreign Disk(s)." You'll get a pop-up dialogue. Select ALL of the Foreign disks and click OK to import them.

Once the disks import, Windows should immediately detect the presence of a RAID volume and make it available. You will probably need to assign it a drive letter, and for good measure run a chkdsk /f on it.

StableBit or Drive Bender
If you set up your RAID using third-party pooling software StableBit DrivePool or Drive Bender, the process is pretty much the same either way. Just reinstall the software, and when it enumerates your disks, should detect the existing pool drive. It'll ask you if you want to import/restore the pool. It's pretty quick and painless.

Just make sure you install the same version, or a newer version, of the pooling software. For good measure, grab the latest version from the vendor's website. If you install an older version, it's possible there was a change in the pool software metadata that may prevent it from restoring the pool.

Matt

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HP EX490, 4GB, E5300, 15TB - Server 2012 - Sharing and Streaming
HP EX487, 4GB, E5300, 13TB - Server 2012 Essentials - Backups


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anilaup
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:38 pm 
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That is a great relief for me. I shall try it and let you know.

I have an old PC on which I loaded WHS2011. I checked and made sure that the files exist on my 3GB WD drives. The problem is the single Seagate drive.
I used standard Windows RAID.

Once I get the files back, I will move away from this RAID business. What do you suggest? Many sites say it is unnecessary.

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Anil


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:31 pm 
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Matt,

The disks are online and says re-syncing for the past 20-30 minutes. I will check tomorrow morning and see.
Thanks for all your help.

Regards,
Anil


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:45 am 
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Matt,

Yes I got all my files back. :-)

Thank you,
Anil


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msawyer91
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:16 pm 
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Awesome, glad to hear you got your files back.

If you're looking for a drive pooling strategy but don't want to use RAID, I would recommend giving Drive Bender or StableBit a test drive. Both products have been around a few years now and are quite solid.

If you're looking for tip top performance, then hardware RAID is the way to go for sure. If you're going to go the software RAID route, there are options there as well. There's Windows out-of-the-box RAID, and in Server 2012 and 2012 R2, there are Storage Spaces. Storage Spaces are the latest generation of Drive Extender, although I think Drive Extender in WHS v1 performed a lot better.

If you want better performing software RAID that's faster (and, in my not-so-humble opinion, more reliable), Drive Bender or StableBit is the way to go. I prefer Drive Bender, which seems to handle a hodgepodge of SATA and USB 2.0 drives flawlessly. StableBit is solid when all the drives are the same type (i.e. all SATA, all USB 3.0, all USB 2.0), but it had issues including the pool going offline when I mixed "fast" (i.e. SATA) with "slow" (i.e. USB 2.0) disks in the same pool. Both offer full 30-day trial periods so my advice is try them both out and see which you like better.

Matt

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HP EX490, 4GB, E5300, 15TB - Server 2012 - Sharing and Streaming
HP EX487, 4GB, E5300, 13TB - Server 2012 Essentials - Backups


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