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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:05 am 
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Hi folks, been a bit since last post (Alex, you rock), Need help from the brain trust!, WHS EX495 has been working well.. until recent wind storm, power hits, now WHS has blinking blue health led... Have been rereading all posts here, but have a few q's on recovery strategy I wanted to review before risking further damage... First step (of course) was to run checkdisk from desktop, did find and correct errors, but now all 4 drives run error free, but still getting Blinking Blue Health (and of course no response from connector). My next thought was to attempt recovery. Question I have is about the current portioned system drive... Should I replace? My space is getting low, so a new larger drive might be appropriate. Current drive is a 1TB WD 1001FALS sata (Caviar black) dated 2/13/12. My original ex495 system drive failed a few years back and I did a restore with this new drive successfully. The forum posts seem to recommend formatting a new system drive without a partition to begin the system restore process. I have never seen anything ugly from smart addin since replacement. Yes, I do use a protected power strip for my computing devices (Utilitech). The non sys drives had no checkdisk errors on them. I do run annual WHS backups via BDBB addin...

1. Should I attempt system recovery with current system drive without formatting?
2. Should I format current sysdrive to one ntfs partion and perform restore?
3. Should I purchase new (2tb? sys drive), format, and perform sys restore?

Thanx for listening....

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:43 am 
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well I would try two items before a recovery.
First I would connect via remote desktop and run the console from there.
And check for errors
while there I would clear the event log
also I would re-install the connector on your pc.
And install SMART to check your drives.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:55 pm 
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Thanx Ruben, I cant ping the MSS, remote RDC connect fails, Net cable RJ45 jack at back of mss is blinking green on one side (Home net I think?) and solid orange on other side (MSS transmit?)... Cisco network Magic net map shows off line.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:06 pm 
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Have you tried connecting the server directly to your PC bypassing all router,switches,etc using a known good utp cable.?
I would hate for you to perform a recovery to find that it is a bad drive or connection issue due to a router or cable.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:47 pm 
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Yes, tried direct Enet cable between Desktop and MSS, same result, also connected direct to Router, same result.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:05 pm 
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Passmark diskcheckup reports SMART Info as "all ok"... when I test the Sys drive in alternate Desktop via external HD (Thermaltake BlackX)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:24 am 
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I would perform a CHKDSK on both the SYS and DATA Partitions on the System Drive then I would perform a CHKDSK on each Storage Pool Drive. It only takes one bad drive to cause an issue with WHS.

You can also backup or disconnect all your internal and external Storage Pool Drives and just attempt to boot the server with just the System Drive. If the System Drive is in good working order the server will boot up but because of the missing drives it will pinch a fit and report or sorts of Errors, Warnings, and Alerts which you will need to ignore. This alone will indicate if the issue resides with one of the storage pool drives or if the issue is with the System Drive but there is a remote possibility the issue can reside with more than 1 drive.

If we backup to your original post you mention a storm. If power was lost to the server while the server was writing to a drive then data corruption will occur and this is never good. FYI: Best line of defense is a UPS configured to shut the server down in the event of a power failure, keeping the server running for about 20% of battery utilization meaning you want the batteries to hold 80% of their capacity then have the server shut down if power has not been restored. This will enable a clean shut down and will prevent the issue of data corruption. A UPS will also protect the server from Over and Under Voltages aka Surges and Sages if it has an AVR feature or Automatic Voltage Regulation where the batteries will take over in the even the power sags or surges. I can tell you APC has a version of their PowerChute Software which works with WHSv1. The CyberPower UPS's do work but their lower end units much like the lower end APC's are garbage and will only work well for about 1 year.

As for the NIC you will see activity on the LEDS even when its not booted but the NIC only really goes active for the OS after its fully booted. Actually its like the last thing to go active. You can see this when you boot a computer that is set to show the Network Icon near the clock. The same thing happens with WHSv1.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:45 am 
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Thanx Comp, well said...

1. Yes, did run checkdsk on both sys drive volumes, as well as other three storage drives, only saw errors on sysdrive (not sure now if I had errors on the data partition of the sys drive). No effect on issue.
2. Yes, also attempted removal of non sys drives, also no joy.
3. Your UPS observations are a definite lesson learned here. I was lulled into feeling my surge protection was good enough without thinking about the raw power variation implications, A ups has been added to my list for Santa. I also normally power off all of my computing Infra when storms are forecasted, but just plain blew that for this event. I will research powerchute...
4. Another lesson learned here is that all of my previous notes on server recovery are on the server... Not good, guess I could search my storage drives manually (or will windows search work?) from my desktop. But rereading latest here (wiki looks great) might be better anyway. Still have my recovery cd's stored on my desktop C drive.
5. A related question is about the data files on the sys drive, I was planning to save them to one of my desktops (before attempting server recovery), but unusual (jpg-1?) file type did not allow me to open? Any recc's on how to open, if I were to have to manually restore my data volume on my sys drive from a copy, how would I convert the current file type?
6. Finally, assuming a server recovery is in order, can you share your thoughts about using this opportunity to upgrade the current 1TB drive to a 2 Tb (yes, made the 3tb mistake, returned for a 2tb drive), and then is this the right time to also swap the PSU for the 300W MSS compliant one? I am down to 40Gb of storage space....

Thanx for the feedback...

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:42 pm 
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First thing you need to know about a Server Recovery is that it will install a fresh copy of WHS to the SYS Partition and will preserve the data stored on your storage pool drives. This is of course if you use the current system drive.

If you install a new System Drive and perform a Server Recovery it will do the exact same thing but you would lose any unduplicated data that resided on the Data Partition. This could affect your Client Backups as well since WHS does not backup the client backup database.

Work arounds for the Client Backups would involve having the ADD-IN BDBB installed on the server which is available from the ADD-INS Tab on this site.

With a Server Recovery you will have to set the server up again the same way you did when you first acquired the server. This is a pain and to make matters worse there are a ton of HP and Microsoft Updates that will need to be downloaded and installed so its going to be a long process no matter how you look at it. For this reason a Server Recovery should always be ones last resort.

While it may seem adventageous to add a larger system drive to increase your capacity, your best bet would be expand the server using an external enclosure and there are many. Your eSATA Port will support enclosures with 5 bays and with USB there are 8 bay and I believe even a 10 bay enclosure.

Because the newer drives are now AF or Advanced Format you need to understand how to properly use them with a legacy OS like WHSv1. Some are plug and play others need to be aligned and some in the case of single partition use can be jumpered. Its confusing so which ever drive you chose you need to find out what if anything you need to do to prepare it for use on an older OS which is use to using drives that use the older 512b Sector Size as the AF drives use 4K sector sizes. If you search the forums you can read which drives others are using and what if anything they had to do to prepare the drive for use with WHSv1.

Last thing worth mentioning is that if you had a DEBUG Board attached to your EX495 you could see exactly what was going on with the server. There is a chance that WHS has loaded up enough for you to actually logon to the servers desktop and from there you can explore the servers event logs and see what is going on. The only time I make an RDP connection to one of my servers is when I am too lazy to go into the other room or if I want grab an image from my desktop of a particular server for someone. Other then that I always logon directly to the server.

As for the PSU that's upto you. One of the most common issues with the HP MSS is typically with a PSU failing for one reason or another. If you simply suspect an issue with the PSU and just want to elliminate that concern then by all means go for it. I know I have spare PSU's but they are there not just for my needs but there incase someone I sold or gave an MSS away to experiences a PSU failure.

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~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:36 pm 
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Thanx comp, I do have the BDBB addin loaded. I am researching wdidle3 now... boot disk getting errors (posted separately). The new 2tb WD green drive seems to be set for 512... but LCC risk likely still applies. I plan to change setting to 300 per Alex's reccs... Yes, a debug board sound positive, will research that as well for future...

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:30 pm 
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Evenin Folks, Humpty Dumpty is back together again! I could never get WDIDLE3 to run without error on new 2TB WD Green Drive (WDBH2D0020HNC-NRSN) so I used it as is to replace my 1TB sys drive. First restore failed, noticed TFTPD32 had "TFTP Client" unchecked, checked and restore went fine. Backup database restore reported it could not recover one of my desktops backups? No big deal.

Going back to WDIDLE3 LCC risk, I noticed smart addin does not report LCC cycles? Any recc's on how to get visibility of my WHS drives LCC counts? I can see when I remove and connect them to a desktop with diskcheckup app....

To summarize:

1. Power Hit caused non responsive EX495
2. Took system restore to fix
3. Replaced sys drive on suspicion and need to expand storage space
4. Lessons learned - Protect MSS with UPS, learn how to use and "dos boot" WDIDLE3, research debug board, load smart type app (Diskcheckup) on desktop with external SATA dock, Power off server and computers during wind storms
5. Research whats beyond WHS, and external sata enclosures,
6. Store MSS triage file on desktop (and server)

Thank you COMP and Ruben!!!!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:15 pm 
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Happy to hear your servers backup and running!

Personally I have never used a Green Drive for a system drive but in the past I did use quite a few of them for Storage Pool Drives and then I replaced them with WD Black and Hitachi Deskstar Drives which are 7200 RPM. The Green Drives I replaced I either installed in my sisters server and at the time my gf's server and I have one or two left here. Point I want to make is as far as I know all those Green Drives are still functioning well.

There are some who have used them for System Drives but to be honest I am not quite certain how well they work in that application although many with MSS's prefer to use the lower RPM Drives because they do run cooler then 7200 drives but in my observations the temperature difference was 3c.

Should you need additional help or have a question please feel free to ask.

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Exploring the possibilities!

Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
~ 3 Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8


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