README if you want to re-use WHS drives!
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Author:  yakuza [ Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:34 am ]
Post subject:  README if you want to re-use WHS drives!

If you were a Windows Home Server beta tester or are planning to replace your 500GB system drive with a larger one, there is a critical bit of information for you. Bad things will happen if you try to add a HDD to your system that previously had WHS on it.

1. If you add a "dirty" drive (one that previously had WHS on it) prior to the Out Of Box Experience (OOBE), then during your Client Install you'll be prompted to enter a password, which you have not yet configured. The workaround is to remove the "dirty" drive and re-run the Client Install.

2. If you insert a "dirty" drive into the system and try to add it to the volume, very strange and bad things will occur. Symptoms include red LEDs on the HDD indicators, missing drives listed in the WHS Server Console, and generally your install is just damaged. The only way to resolve this is with a Factory Reset.

3. This situation could also occur if you chose to upgrade your system drive from the default 500GB drive to a larger system drive. If you ran Server Recovery, and then tried to use the old 500GB system drive in another slot on your MediaSmart Server, you would encounter the 2nd failure listed above.

The best way to avoid these failures is by deleting the partitions/formatting those "dirty" drives in another system before trying to use them in your MediaSmart Server.

Author:  boliek [ Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  reusing 500GB Seagate primary drive

I purchased 3 7200.11 (1 TB) Seagates from NewEgg and installed one of the 1TB drives in the primary bay. I did a "factory reset" (which took about 1 hour) and then added the other 1TB drives. Finally I installed the original 500GB drive in bay #4. With the factory reset it re-formated that drive without a problem. Since the reset and addition of drives I have had no problems at all. I have already transferred nearly 1 TB of backups and media shared files. I have had no system failures, warnings - nothing. I think doing the "factory reset" is the key to be able to reuse imediately the original drive. Anyone have any comment? I would be interest in knowing whether I will have problems that others have experienced going forward. Thanks.

Author:  yakuza [ Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:01 pm ]
Post subject: 

You are correct, by adding the 500GB drive PRIOR to running Factory Reset, everything should work fine because the drives have their partitions removed and a quick format performed.

The failure case can occur if a user pulls the 500GB drive, performs Factory Reset onto a new drive, then adds the 500GB drive prior to running Setup.

Good clarification point, and I'm glad it worked well for you!

Author:  boliek [ Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:28 pm ]
Post subject:  But that is what I did

But that is what I did. I first pulled the 500GB drive from bay #1. Replaced that drive with a 1TB Seagate. Then ran the "factory reset" - then added the other two 1TB drive. Then finally I put in the original 500GB drive under "ADD" and it formated it then added it to the storage pool. I have had no problems thus far. Is it possible that doing the factory reset insead of the reinstall is the key to avoiding problems?

Author:  yakuza [ Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:46 pm ]
Post subject: 

I'm surprised to hear that this did not cause problems for you. The failure I've observed would have immediately caused issues, so it sounds like you've avoided any failures!

Author:  yakuza [ Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

I think I know why this didn't break for you... you never booted your server with the original 500GB drive in place, right? So the critical step of setup didn't create the D:\ partition, and it was able to add the drive to the server.

Author:  boliek [ Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:58 am ]
Post subject:  Correct

That is right. I did not reboot the server during the factory reset with the original 500GB drive in place. I waited until the new 1TB drive was now "officially" the new system/primary drive and recognized by the WHS as such. The rebooting was done with the new 1TB drive. After that I added other 1TB drives in the bay. Finally after the EX470 was happy with the 3 1TB drives and recognizing all their storage in the pool I installed the original 500GB drive in bay #4. When I attempted to add that drive it was reformated by the WHS and was added to the pool. I have since upgraded WHS software and rebooted - NO PROBLEMS. Notwithstanding all this, I have ordered a new 1TB drive to replace the drive in bay #4. I am doing this because I need more storage internally on the EX470 for additional backups and media use. I also bought from Tiger an Ultra external storage box (with eSATA) to house the original 500GB drive - which I will add as an external drive at some point. We'll see what happens. :?:

Author:  Stardog [ Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Bummer

I sure wish I had read that a day sooner. I did just that, tried to replace my primary drive with a 1TB drive, and then add the 500 Gb as the 3rd drive, it then confused the box, and the Primary drive ended up showing as Missing, and I spent the whole day trying to recover. Eventually I was able to do a factory restore to the 1TB drive, but moving the secondary Tb drive to a PC did not work to recover the duplicated files. There was nothing on there. Strange because I had the secondary drive in the system overnight, and it was not Balancing when I shut it down, yet it never replicated anything but a couple of folders (the files were all 0 byte).

So I lost about 300 Gb of stuff. :(

Author:  Land Master [ Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

That totally SUX..Hope you had a backup somewhere but by the sounds of it ("lost") you did not. Very unfortunate indeed.

Author:  yakuza [ Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

Damn, I'm so sorry to hear this. :(

Author:  MetaLRasaM [ Thu May 29, 2008 9:23 pm ]
Post subject: 

wow...i was gonna do this..good thing I read this.

so to be sure, grab my system drive after all said and done, and before "adding" it into my pool of data, format it on a different PC?

Author:  yakuza [ Fri May 30, 2008 1:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

Or after getting the server fully up and running, remote desktop in, insert the old system drive but don't add it through the WHS console, then go into DIsk Management and remove the partitions.

Author:  Threefity [ Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

I am recieving my MSS this afternoon and have a 1 TB drive to throw in, from reading all the posts in this thread im pretty sure i have this down.

(Just for clarification) Before I power the MSS up for the first time I remove the original 500GB drive, install the new drive (1TB Slot #1 now), Boot machine , go through setup, then after that is all said and done I insert the original (500GB drive) into Slot #2 and it will reformat it for me?



Author:  JohnBick [ Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:37 am ]
Post subject: 

If you replace the drive in Slot #1 (the "system" drive") then you need to do a FACTORY RESET. (You refer to "boot machine"; a Factory Reset actually re-installs the code onto that first drive.

If you plan to use both drives I would very much recommend just adding the second drive in slot #2 and leaving the 500GB in slot #1.

Author:  yakuza [ Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:36 pm ]
Post subject: 

Threefity wrote:
(Just for clarification) Before I power the MSS up for the first time I remove the original 500GB drive, install the new drive (1TB Slot #1 now), Boot machine , go through setup, then after that is all said and done I insert the original (500GB drive) into Slot #2 and it will reformat it for me?

Before you add the original 500GB drive to the WHS drive pool, you MUST delete it's partitions/reformat the drive. You can do this via Disk Management console via RDP on the server, or by connecting the drive to another machine.

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