Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking Blue
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Author:  VikingCrown [ Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:15 am ]
Post subject:  Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking Blue

Ok, I have had zero problems with my EX470, however yesterday i found that the backups for my main PC weren't working. the error was something like the backup services failed (if i knew i was going to have this many problems later i would have noted the error better)

Here are the details on the server, EX470, 500 GB sys drive, all other bay's filled with 2TB drives. 1 external USB with 2 1TB drives in there. Data duplication is on for my photos's, video's and music, however off for archived TV (not a huge deal but a little annoying if i loose it) But the pictures and music and videos are crucial, gotta get the pictures of my 9 month old back or my wife will kill me!

Here's what I tried all day yesterday:

I rebooted the server and came back an hour later thinking it would be up, however the health light was constantly blinking blue and none of the drive bay lights were lit. So I did some googling and thought i needed to do a server reset, so i shutdown, started up, did the paperclip thing and then the lights started blinking purple/red then just solid red. the server restore disk couldn't find the server.

So some more googling and I see restart the server and just let the blue lights go, it might be running chkdisk /r i came back 6 hours later and still running. SO next i see, pull out the data drives, leave the system drive and restart again,this did not help either, still red/blue 5 times then blinking blue.

So here is where i am now.

1. From cold shutdown, power on server. Lights blink red/blue 5 times then just blink blue continuously (also drive bay lights all off)
2. Let this run in blinking blue from normal startup overnight 9 hours, still blinking when i left for work so by the time i get home it will be 18 hours
3. Tried server recovery disk, couldnt find server (turned off firewall and verified the lights blinked purple and red a few times so i think i got it in the recovery mode)

Please help, any and all suggestions appreciated, I just have to get this data back!

~ Brian

Author:  Comp1962 [ Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B

Hi VikingCrown welcome to the forums!

After carefully reading your post I would suggest that you remove the system drive and insert it into another computer and run CHKDSK /r on the drive. The drive will have two partitions named SYS and DATA which will show up as different drives on your computer. I suggest you try running CHKDSK /r on both partitions.

The blinking blue health lights is an indication your server has not finished booting and the drive lights will not turn on until the server finishes booting.

While your running CHKDSK on the system drive could you kindly just turn on your server and wait about 2-5 minutes to see if the health light will blink Red/Purple this is the server entering its recovery mode. Then logon to your router and check the DHCP listing to see if you can see a device with the name MININT followed by other things. This will tell you that your LAN Port is functional and that your server can enter recovery mode. After you verify this then you can just power down the server.

After you finish with the CHKDSK on your system drive, connect it back to the server and turn it on to see if it boots properly. If not then press the power button in for a brief second to power it down. When its powered down slide out all of your storage pool drives and then see if the server boots.

If the server boots it will complain about missing drives and that your backup database is corrupt. Just ignore those messages. What this actually means is that one of your storage pool drives is having an issue. So the issue here would be to determine which drive and the fastest and easiest way would be to power down the server, insert one storage pool drive and then start the server. When your server is no longer able to boot then power it down and run CHKDSK /r on the last drive you installed. Repeat these steps until you have gone through all the drives in your server.

As for your wife about to kill you lets hope it doesn't get to that, lets hope that the issue at hand is just the system drive and if so all your data will be left intact. If the issue resides with one of your storage pool drives then it may be a bigger issue unless you had file duplication turned on.

I have given you everything I can think of to help you resolve your issue. If for some reason you do not understand something I have written or have a question please come back and let me know. I really would prefer you to fully understand what I have written and you may want to print out the instructions.

Once your server is functional again I would urge you to make copies of all your precious files on CD or DVD's do this and then you will have a safe backup. You can also backup your server to one of the many cloud services or to an external drive for safe keeping. I myself prefer CD and DVD's and like to also make additional redundant copies on other hard drives and over the next couple weeks I will be making a new redundant copy of everything regardless if it was previously backed up or not.

Good luck and please tell your wife to relax as you now have the tools to work with to resolve the issues at hand and have myself and others to help guide you. You may be in good hands with Allstate but your better off with us and the price is right....

Author:  VikingCrown [ Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B

Comp, thanks for the reply. Here's where I am now after doing more reading and talking to tech support.

First off, i didn't realize that the red/blue blinking was normal during boot, never actually watched it but tech support confirmed that is normal. So big relief that my main diagnostic light (blinking blue) seems to be relatively common.

So when I got home last night, the blinking blue had been running for going on 18 hours, so i figured that if it was in fact running chkdsk /r it would have been done by then. So I powered down and pulled the sys drive. I tossed it in a usb enclosure and hooked it up to my win7 box. I tried to run chkdsk /r on the sys drive first and it errored out at 18% saying chkdsk failed with insufficient space ... unspecified error ... so I figured that the issue was the sys drive.

Now previously, after entering what i thought was recovery mode i was unable to find the server. So i figured I would try popping in an old blank 400GB drive into the sys spot and power it up. Once it powered up, it went into recovery mode (blinking purple/red continuously) and the recovery software was able to find the server finally. Also i did see the MININT in DHCP leases on my router.

So I feel fairly confident that the sys drive is the issue, and the NIC is working as it shows up in my Router, however I didn't go any further because i wanted to check a few things.

1. Do you think I should test the other data drives with the sys drive pulled to rule out the data drives being corrupt as well? Or is the chkdsk failing indication enough that it is the sys drive?

2. Does it make sense to use a drive larger than 4-500 GB for the sys drive? I ask because my understanding was this was only a landing spot and not really intended for long term storage of files. If it makes sense, then i'll use the old 400 I have, if not i'll order a new 1 or 2 TB since they are so darn cheap now.

3. While reading and talking with tech support they told me to make sure no usb devices were plugged in to get the server recovery to work. However tech support told me i would need the USB plugged back in at some point in the recovery process as I did have 2 disks added to pooled storage connected via USB. How should I proceed here?

4. If I use a new disk for the system drive, what data am I likely to loose? Duplication was on for all but 1 share and the 1 share that wasn't duplicated isn't a huge deal but it would be nice if it wasn't gone.

Thank you for reading my long and winded posts, I'm feeling more and more confident i'll get my data back, just anxious to get it going.

~ Brian

Author:  Comp1962 [ Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B

Hi VikingCrown,

To answer your first question about testing the other drives in your server this is really upto you. Typically it only takes one hard drive to act up to cause a server issue but if you want to do it just to rule them out then it would not hurt but it will take a considerable amount of time.

There are many ways to look at what size drive to use for a system drive. Some people prefer to keep their system drives small while others prefer larger drives. If your trying to maintain a small foot print then go with the larger drive. I would urge you to use a 7200 RPM drive just for the speed alone. I would shy away from using the newer Advance Format Drives for the system drive. The WD EARS drives for example are Advance Format and would require you to run an Align Utility to use the drive properly in a multipartition application. This just adds additional steps to worry about so keep things simple and go with the WD Black or a Hitachi Deskstar both drives I have have very good luck with. So what ever you chose just give it some thought.

As for USB Drives I only use them to store my BDBB backups and not as storage pool drives. I do know that when your performing a server recovery the server has to be able to find all the storage pool drives. I am not certain when this become important in the recovery process but I would have to say as long as your USB Connected Storage Pool Drives are not connected to the bottom rear USB Port that you will be fine. I use eSATA PortMultipliers and they are often on sale on NewEgg for around $100 for the 4 bay SansDigital and Rosewill units. Sometimes you see the 5 Bay PortMultipliers for around $135. I believe you have an EX470 which can support upto a 4 Bay PortMultiplier but if you purchased the 5 Bay Unit you could only use the 1st 4 bays but later if you upgrade your server you could make use of all 5 bays. Just something to think about. Alse there is another unit they sell called a MediaSonic that is known to play extremely well and more favorable with the MSS. The nice thing about the MediaSonic is it allows you to connect either eSATA or USB.

As far as the potential loss of data that may be in the DATA Partition of your system drive its hard to say. Typically the system drive is the last drive WHS will use to store data on but data may exist on that drive but you can view it. Pop the system drive back into your computer and set the computer so that it can see HIDDEN FILES and FOLDERS which will enable you to see a folder named DE which you will need to access. In the DE folder you will see several other folders with AlphaNumeric Names and in those folders you will find the data which exists on the System Drive. You can then copy it to another location for safe keeping but you can read the drives which makes WHS very nice.

Now that you know how to access the data stored on your WHS Drives you can feel free to take a moment or two and access your storage pool drives in the same mannor. If you take the time and extract the files which are most precious to you and your wife I do believe she will lose all thoughts about killing you. This will also give you time to burn those files to discs too and then you will have backed up your most precious data. This will also take some of the pressure off you should there be an issue with your planned server recovery.

Don't worry about long winded posts I have written my fair share. The key in all this is the detail of information. Often the smallest things are overlooked and sometimes its those insignificant things that turn out to be the most important.

Just want to bring up one important thing about performing a server recovery. If your recovering using the original disks that came with your server I would recommend you do it with a 32 bit client. If your performing the recover using the newer 3.x disks then it should not matter. I tend to be supersticious in that I always use a Win XP 32 Client to perform my recoveries. If while performing the recovery you get a message that says it can not continue because the software could not be installed on the client, do not worry just close out the recovery and just install the CLIENT SOFTWARE on the PC and it should pick up where it left off. This happend to me when I was working on a Guide using a Windows 7 Client. For me it was not the end of the world because I was doing this on a test server and not on my primary server. I only mention this because it happend to me.

It looks like your off to a good start. You have things to consider and its nice to see your exploring your options. You could also perform the recovery using the existing system drive if you want. This would require you to start the server with the original system drive not plugged in and when you see the health light blink PURPLE/RED simply plug the drive in and run the server recovery software. Its difficult to determine if it will work but if it does then you will be in good shape.

One final note on performing a server recovery. After the intitial process is complete make certain that you download all the HP and Microsoft Updates and ignore any messages that indicate your client backup database is corrupt and do not opt to repair it or you will most certainly lose it. After you install all the server updates the messages should go away. Then you will have to recreate your user accounts, install any add-ins you were running previously, do some misc configuration and setup remote access again. Its actually a very simple process that takes about 2 hours to complete.

Good Luck and if you should need additional assistance please feel free to ask.

Author:  VikingCrown [ Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B


Resurrecting this thread as i have had a similar problem.

Originally as stated above I was able to use an old 400 GB drive to recover the OS to. Last night I had a power failure and that 400 gb drive is now dead (awful clicking noises when plugged into an external enclosure)

I just wanted to confirm how best to recover before I go ahead and do it. I have a new 500 GB drive that i'd like to use for the OS. So this is my plan.

1. Install 500 GB drive into Power'd off server.
2. Power on server and wait for lights to blink purple and then blue/red alternating
3. Insert original disk and run through Server Recovery Wizard on Win XP machine
4. On the Windows XP machine uninstall all HP software per wizard instructions
5. After uninstalling, power down the Mediasmart Server
6. Restart server with paperclip to enter Recovery mode
7. Click next in the server recovery wizard on the XP machine and wait
8. Wait for health light to be solid Blue on Server before proceeding to install connector software on all machines

Am I missing anything?

Also, do you think there is any risk of loosing data on the other drives in the Server?


Author:  Comp1962 [ Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B

Hi VikingCrown,

Looks like your on the right track. If the new hard drive has no OS on it then your server should boot into its recovery mode. Personally I never liked pressing that Status/Reset button with a paperclip, mostly because I spent more time looking for a paperclip then performing the recovery. I have other reasons but what I like to do is turn the server on without the system drive seated and then when the health light blinks purple/red which means the server is in its recovery mode, I then insert the new system drive.

Good Luck with your recovery...

Author:  VikingCrown [ Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B

Thanks Comp, i'll give that a shot. I'm sure you know what you're doing so i'll take your word for it.

I did just find something and maybe someone can help me out. I thought my system drive was dead, but I tried it in another enclosure and it spun right up. I was able to see the sys and data partitions without issue. I did run Windows 7's check disk and there were no errors, however Seagate's SeaTools found bad sectors. So does this mean the issue could be the system drive?

Secondly, I took out one of the data drives and popped it into the same enclosure and it fired up but windows 7 asked me to format it (i said no) and when i look at it in Disk Management it shows as an unformatted drive.

Ignore the red text, i had forgotten to turn on view hidden files and folders, the 1 data drive I have with me at work is intact. I'll test the other 2 tonight.

I still wonder about the system drive, even though there are bad sectors, shouldn't the fact that I can see all the files mean its a valid boot drive?

Author:  Comp1962 [ Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B

The clicking noise your reported earlier is abit of a concern because its generally a sign that a drive if on its way out. The term used to describe this is CLICK OF DEATH because when you hear this noise the drives typically die shortly after.

Some have reported drives in their servers showing up a RAW or unformatted. The System Drives have 2 partitions on named SYS and DATA and the Storage Pool Drives are named DATA. If you had file duplication turned on then your data should exist on one of the other Storage Pool Drives provided WHS had time to duplicate the files before this issue occurred. What WHS does not duplicate is the Client Backups for this you could use the ADD-IN BDBB available from this site. So if the Storage Pool Drive you mentioned had Client Backups then you may lose some of your client backups.

If I understand you correctly the system drive was given a clean bill of health by CHKDSK but Seatools reports some bad sectors. I would attempt to boot the server with the existing system drive but with the storage pool drive not installed. If the server boots then WHS will pinch a fit about the missing drive which you will need to remove from the pool. Once thats done you can always reinstall the removed storage pool drive and add it back into the server and WHS will format the drive and make it available to your storage pool again.

I would still be concerned with the health of the system drive but if I were in your shoes I would install the ADD-IN HomeServerSmart which will give you a clear picture of the health of all the drives in your server. One thing I would not be in a rush to do is a Server Recovery because when you do a Server Recovery you will want to make certain all your Storage Pool Drives can be seen and are in good working order. Its also important to note it only takes one bad drive to cause WHS to pinch a fit or prevent it from booting properly.

Author:  VikingCrown [ Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B

Ok, so here is where I am currently.

I went home last night after doing the repairs on the system disk and one of the data drives and popped them back in.

The server booted right up!!! :banana: :banana: :banana:

Then i installed the add-in and see that the system drive has: 25834 Bad Sectors and 395 Pending bad sectors. Obviously that drive is the culprit. I am currently in the process of backing up everything off to alternative disks (also ordered an 8 Bay enclosure to house my backups of the server data)

Once the data is all copied over, I plan on using a new 500 GB drive that I have on hand and doing a Server Recovery.

Then to prevent this from happening again, I will schedule a nighty backup of all critical data onto disks in the new 8 Bay enclosure I ordered.

Author:  Comp1962 [ Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B

Glad to hear you got the server to boot. Having backups is the best way to protect your data. I would also look closely at the other drives to make certain they are in good working order as a drive having issues can muck up a server recovery. Seems you have a good plan going forward and I wish you much success with your backups and recovery.

Author:  phd11414 [ Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B

I've been having a similar issue. I read all the posts here, but still haing trouble. Here's the issue:
HP Media Server EX470 with orignial single 1TB drive installed. No other drives, however, I have been backing up the server to an external USB drive. Home network is 192.168.10.x, server IP is reserver in my router as
Everything appeared to be running fine when one day I noticed that my XP desktop and my Win7 laptop could not connect to the server and the home server icon was gray. The server health light was blinking blue, network and power lights are solid blue, and the drive light was out.
I rebooted, health light blinked red/blue 5 times and then continued blinking blue, no drive light.
I bought a new 1TB Seagate Barracuda drive (same as original drive) and installed in the bottom, bay 1.
Connected to XP desktop and ran the HP server recovery disk.
As directed, on screen, I booted the server and pressed the recessed recovery button (found one) while the health light was blinking red/blue. It went to blinking violet. I connected the network cable directly from the XP desktop to the server (this is a typical straight through and not a cross over right?), and pressed next.
The screen says it is "starting server in recovery mode and this may take up the 15 minutes."
After about 5 minutes, the health light changes to solid red, and the screen says "Failure. Click Help for information on how to address the problem. Step 2 of 4 failed."
I click Help and it says "there was an unidentied error." All I can do is press Ok.

I really need some help. I don't know what to do or how to recover the data that was on my server's drive.
Did I need to do anything to the drive to prepare it for the server first?
Any ideas would be welcome.
On top of this, my Win7 laptop is having issues and I would love to restore to a couple of weeks ago!

Thanks in advance.


Author:  Comp1962 [ Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B

Hey phd11414 welcome to the forums,

If the original drive is still in good condition you can connect it to another computer either internally or externally and access the data your looking to recover. If you can read the drive you will find 2 partitions named SYS and DATA. The files your looking for will be in the DATA Partition in a hidden folder named DE so you will need to set the computer to be able to view hidden files and folders and if all is good you will be able to recovery your data. After this I would perform a CHKDSK /r on the SYS Partition to repair any issues the SYS Partition my have and then reinstall the drive back into the server and see if it will boot up.

The one thing about performing a recovery with a single drive is that it will not recover your data but as I mentioned above you can recover your data and quite possibly resolve the booting issue you experienced with your server and avoiding a task of attempting a server recovery.

When you did perform a recovery the only option you can select with a single drive system is a FACTORY RECOVERY which will format the new drive any any additional drives you might have chosen to install. If you want to perform a SERVER RECOVERY to preserve your data with a single drive system then you must use the original single drive. Swapping out the System Drives and then using the original System Drive in another bay will not work properly and will only cause headaches down the road since to repurpose a previously used System Drive as a Storage Pool Drive would require you to delete all the existing partitions and then reformat the drive before using it as a storage pool drive.

Anyway its more important right now to see if you can recover your data before you move forward to performing a server recovery but as I have already mentioned you may not even have to perform a recovery as CHKDSK is your best tool to resolving drive issues.

Good Luck and hope your able to recover your data and resolve the issue with the original system drive.

Author:  Gardian [ Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B

Ahhh, I hate to point this out, But.
As far as getting your data back, didn't you say you had it all backed up on a usb drive?

I always format a new drive in my pc before trying it in the server to make sure it's good.
And, unless the chkdsk works and fixes the drive, I hate to say it, but, you can most likely forget about restoring that win7 laptop as the client backups will be gone, sorry.
I have been burned on that a couple of times, now, I don't use the client backups at all, I just save base clones/images and don't save anything on the client. But that's another story.

The best thing you did was to backup to usb.

Author:  phd11414 [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B

Thanks comp1962, the chkdsk worked!
I did as you suggested by putting the sys drive in my XP desktop, ran chkdsk, it recovered a few errors. I put the drive back in the server, and up it came! Do you think I should replace the drive? Or maybe just add the drive I just bought for data duplication?

I connected my usb external and made another backup of the server. As I understand it, this backup is only of the shares and Gardian is absolutely right about my PC backups. This backup feature was actually the main reason why I got the WHS, to protect all my computers and recover. I really don't use the shares much at all.

Can you guys give me some suggestions on how best to use the WHS then, to protect my data and the computers themselves?

As for my Laptop running Win7, I think I got it running better by uninstalling a windows update that seems to have cause some issues (still not quite right though). Seems from the research I have done online that there is no good way to restore a Win7 x64 laptop from WHS.

Thanks for your help and sharing your expertise.


Author:  Comp1962 [ Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Blinking Lights, Red then Blue (5x) then just blinking B

Hi phd11414 glad to hear CHKDSK resolved your issue :sanjuan:

Backups are very important but not everything needs to be backed up especially files you can obtain via the internet or from other sources which are readly available. The best way I know of to monitor the health of your hard drives is to install the ADD-IN HomeServerSmart ... -released/

To properly backup your client backup database the ADD-IN BDBB is your best bet to backup and restore the client backup database

And to monitor the health of your server and receive notifications when issues arise then the ADD-IN Remote Notifications is a must have ... tification

These 3 ADD-INs are probably the best you can install on your server to help keep it running well. To protect the hardware itself I would recommend if you do not have one already a UPS and one that has software to properly instruct the server to shut down after a period of time in the event of a powerfailure. This will protect the hard drives from corruption which can occur during a power failure and the drives are being written to. These devices also monitor power levels and will run on battery power should the power drop or rise above certain levels. These are known as surges and sags and can cause premature hardware failure so they work by keeping the power clean to the devices they are connected to. I like the APC devices and their software can be installed on WHS infact WHS is listed in their Power Chute Software Listings. Now these devices do require battery replacement every 2-3 years and some of their devices will perfrom self testing and monitor the battery health and provide you with health information so that you can take comfort. Some people like to save money on some units only to find that when the devices are needed they actually fail to protect the devices mostly because the batteries degraded over time.

I could talk all day about power issues from the utility and power issues generated within your home and the importance of protecting your devices. I am in the southeastern part of the US and its Thunderstorm Season and sometimes I sit here at night on my toys and see brief power failures. I have 4 servers running here of which 2 have a large compliment of drives and I for one do not look forward to spending hours performing CHKDSK's on those drives and so a UPS keeps me from doing this. I have a server at work protecting the computers there and its come in handy to recover those servers but it was not until I got my employer to understand the concept of a UPS and them purchaseing them for each client that my headaches went away. All I can say is they work.

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