Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rebuilding the Home Server

My Windows Home Server died a month ago, just as I was getting ready to leave the country. I didn’t have time to deal with it, but since I was still in the process of moving data over to it, I felt fairly safe. When I got back to it a couple weeks ago, I found that a disk drive had died, and it must have been the boot drive as the BIOS reported a “disk read error” on startup.


Rather than panic, I searched around and found this thread on the Microsoft site that noted how to copy data off disks. That’s an easy one, basically drop the disk in another machine, show hidden folders, look for the “data” folder. I copied all the pictures, music, and video off the drive. Backups were gone, but I was OK with that for now.

The next step was to get new drives. I isolated the broken one, RMA’d it to Western Digital, which went well, and then went out and bought a new drive. I got another 2TB drive, and an external enclosure from NewEgg. Those allow me to easily add more space since the inside of my old Dell E521 is crowded.

While waiting for new drives, I reinstalled my 1TB, 2TB, and a slightly older 320GB drive into the machine and re-ran setup for Home Server. That’s easy and I was back up. I used the same password and machine name, but I found something interesting.

My client machines could connect to the shared folders, but I couldn’t setup a backup. Must be some signature/encryption link. However if you rerun setup for the Connector software, it takes a few minutes, and then it rebuilds everything as it was.

That’s done, I’ve copied music, video, and pictures back to the Home Server for sharing, and reset backups on 2 machines. My wife needs to do hers and we’ll be protected again.

At least internally. I need to get something going offsite, at least for the photos.

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