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 Post subject: To Clone or Not to Clone
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:30 am 
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I have read numerous discussions regarding the cloning of the system drive but I'm not certain whether I want to go that route. I just responded to this thread viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14331&p=104064#p104064 with an outline of the issues I have experienced.

After my recent system drive crash, I discovered that my WD RE4 system drive was still on warranty and WD was willing to do an RMA and replace it. Since it was a non-advanced format drive purchased refurbished from NewEgg, I was pleasantly surprised. I figured that I would receive another factory refurb drive but they actually sent a brand new drive. (the warranty ends the same day as the drive it replaced) It is a newer version of the same 1TB drive and I just confirmed that it is not Advanced Format.

Right now, my EX490 is completely stock and I have no plans on making changes to it. It is back to using the original 1TB Seagate system drive and 2 x 1TB WD RE4 data drives. The Seagate has no pending issues and has 661 days on it. Since WD sent me a brand new drive, I am tempted to swap it as a new system drive.

Is it faster and easier to clone the system drive (will a successful clone just plug and play AND recognize the data drives and the data on them?) or just bite the bullet and do another system restore and all of the updates?

The options I would like to weigh:
1. Clone the system drive onto the new WD and put it into service immediately.
2. Clone the system drive onto the new WD and put it on a shelf for future emergency use.
3. Add the new WD drive as a data drive, remove one of the current WD data drives and keep that drive as a spare for whatever use might be needed in the future.
4. Test the new drive and just keep it as a spare.

All thoughts and recommendations are welcome.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:08 pm 
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All really good questions. Love the Reds myself! All 2tb reds in my main server.

I have never cloned WHS v1 because it is complicated and I have seen where people have had problems with it later that need to be fixed.
I would not clone and save it for later, as the data difference on the other drives (time / data gap) would be a problem.
But I also don't like and have not had a successful recovery. I failed twice, but many people have had good luck, so sorry, can't help with that.
I do data backups and then factory resets and data copy backs. Takes about the same amount of time, but I have a clean system when I'm done.
All this being said:
I have heard that HP has stopped pushing out the updates, so, if that is the case, a clone might be the only way to get the system the way it is now (fully patched).
I am going to do a factory reset on a spare server this weekend and check to see if HP really has stopped pushing the updates.
If they have and I can not find the patches to apply manually, then I might try a clone.

Having a 1-2 tb drive on the shelf is always a good thing (just in case). I buy 2 tb reds 2-3 at a whack when on sale and I have 2 extra power supplies.

Sorry I can't help more. Cloning WHS v1 is not for the weak at heart, I guess it might depend on how well you follow the instructions (I wouldn't chance it)

Good Luck Let us know which way you went....

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beachdog, Bert Wise
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:00 pm 
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Gardian, thanks for your thoughts in both threads.

I must have missed a step in the restore process since my data drives were not connected and resulted in the dreaded empty folders. Lesson learned. So, in effect I wound up with a factory reset with a data restoration anyway.

I would be very interested to learn if you find that HP is/isn't pushing out the updates anymore. Last time I did this was on September 16, 2016 and the updates did all get applied eventually. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware whether the updates were coming from HP or Microsoft. I'd love to know if there's a way to get the updates downloaded and saved for future application. If no one is sending the updates, I'd say the inevitable "next time" will be the last time that I resurrect the EX490 and just go NAS.

At the moment, I am still undecided which way to go:
-The easiest would be to remove the data drive that has the longest runtime and add the new WD RE4 and let the O/S do its thing rebuilding the data. I'd reformat the removed drive and leave it as a spare for whatever failure occurs next.
-The way that might make the most sense is to do another restore (after backing everything up of course!) using the new drive as the system drive since this would potentially give me the newest, most reliable drive for the service which is a single point of failure. Then the old Seagate gets reformatted and left as the spare. Taking this route will depend greatly on the unknown of whether the updates are available for applying or if there's someone out there who is hosting them.

It's somewhat of a toss-up since logically the system drive as the single point of failure should get the newest, most reliable drive. But, if I do a restore and find that the updates aren't out there or if something goes wrong, I am back to the old Seagate drive as the system drive anyway after doing a bunch of work.

Think that I'll hold off on doing anything for a bit until I hear from Gardian or anyone else who knows for certain the status of the patches (or can steer me to a third option for creating a new system drive (other than restore/reset or cloning).

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 4:25 pm 
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Well, as of today 10-8-2016 HP is still pushing out 3 updates. I just did a factory reset on a 2tb red drive.
Got:
Patch 3.0 patch 1
Patch 3.0 patch 2
Patch 3.0 patch 3
Then;
158 windows updates
4 windows updates
1 windows update
Then added Smart addin.

I have found a live link for patch 2 and 3 and downloaded them, but can not find patch 1 so will keep looking.
I have posted that in another thread.

Now that I have a base load, I can use one of my non-pooled drives to do a copy back of the data. This server is for my Daughter, so she will not need all the data, just her present folder, music and videos.

Anyway, patches are still coming, but would really like to get my hands on that patch 1.

Good Luck

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beachdog
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:08 pm 
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Hi all, it's been a long time since I have had any trouble with my EX490 so I haven't been checking this site. Does anyone still use their WHS v1 HP MediaSmart Servers any more?

This is now a question mostly for my own curiosity since I have just installed a Terra-Master F2-221 NAS.

My EX490 is still working fine but the 1TB Seagate system drive has started to re-allocate sectors. It's up to 7 reallocations so I needed to do something before it hits over 4000 and crashes like its predecessor.

While perusing Amazon for an external SATA box to house the data drives from the MSS, I noticed that that there are SATA disk duplicators (cheap-about $50 - no connection to a computer just plug the drives into the source and target slots and press the button).

So, here's the question. I know that the process for cloning the system drive has been discussed ad nauseum. The concensus has been that it is a complex process prone to failure. If I could just do a bit for bit copy using one of these duplicators, would it work?

My thought would be, shut down the server, remove the system drive, make a copy onto a new drive and voila, new working system drive. Has anyone tried this? Does it make sense?

My motivation is mostly curiosity based on the fact that I don't believe that I can get PowerPack 1 anywhere. I have 2 and 3. If I could quickly and easily get my 9+ year old MSS working easily, I would do it. Just a point of pride that despite having a new NAS, the old one can still be used.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:37 pm 
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Don't clone is my advise.
It is way to complicated.
Besides just migrating old problems from the original disk.
If you wish to preserve data make sure all the pool drives are inserted and do a restore not a factory reset.
As of last month all the updates came across for hp.
I did a manual update for microsoft though.

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beachdog
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:53 pm 
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Ruben, thanks for the reply.

The whole restore process is too time consuming and tedious and doesn't really serve a purpose since I've already migrated all of my data to the new NAS.

I was hoping that if I could create a true clone using a hardware device which would be indistinguishable from the drive fhat was removed then I would do it and have a working spare server. I can just as easily reformat the drives and keep them for my off site backups.

Any market for a working ex490 with all 4 drive trays in like new condition? :sanjuan:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:47 pm 
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beachdog wrote:
My thought would be, shut down the server, remove the system drive, make a copy onto a new drive and voila, new working system drive. Has anyone tried this? Does it make sense?

Beachdog, It sounds like you are looking for a simplified backup plan for your server. Granted using BDBB to back up copy your terminal backups and the server itself to backup copy your network drives is pretty painless. But if you have a hardware or primary drive failure, you have to deal with a OS reinstall on a new drive (that you may or may not have laying around) before you can then work on rebuilding the data.

If you end up using your suggested method (which should work IMHO), don't forget that the system drive has a second partition that is spanned across all the secondary drives and the WHS Drive Extender drive balances all the data around all the drives on a daily basis. So to get a trouble free system drive clone using the method you are suggesting, you'll have to clone all your secondary drives at the same time. This is pretty much what Guardian was referring to in his above post.

Other than that, it appears that the cloning issues Ruben Rocha wrote about are likely related to using a cloning software that copies sector by sector instead of bit for bit. You can find threads on the topic here on MSS by doing a search for "clone."

I currently backup the terminal images and networked drives every 21 days using a Startech single disk dock with eSATA wired direct to the server and a large Tb drive that usually stays off unless receiving the backup data. Every so often I use BDBB to delete off the older backups, but typically have several months of backup images on it.

That said, I also have some spare 2tb drives and had been planning to image backup the server every 6 weeks as well. For that I have a Calvary 3.0 dual drive dock I found. But I'm sure that one of the newer Startech dual docs would work just as well. Startech's customer support is pretty good but I'm not sure if their imbedded software copies bit by bit. As for me, I'd stick with using cloning software instead of something imbedded.

To your other point:
beachdog wrote:
My motivation is mostly curiosity based on the fact that I don't believe that I can get PowerPack 1 anywhere. I have 2 and 3. If I could quickly and easily get my 9+ year old MSS working easily, I would do it. Just a point of pride that despite having a new NAS, the old one can still be used.

You can quickly and easily get your MSS back up. You don't need to worry about having a extra download of PP1 with the 49x recovery disks. It's already baked in along with PP2. What's basically missing from the WHS overlay on the ex49x disk is PP3 and the subsequent roll ups.

That said, there is a off line update installer for WHSv1 available with all the WHS Power Packs, Roll Ups, and updates along with the S2k3 Service Packs and updates. It works on all MSS versions from the 47x thru 510. They are all contained in the program called WSUS offline found here: https://www.mediafire.com/folder/m2r4t1 ... wsusou_WHS . This download gets you the installer and will self identify whatever missing updates your particular version needs. Easy peazy.

You'll more detail on updating off line, how to use the installer, as well as capturing the HP updates for off line storage on the MSS thread here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14784

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