The Windows Home Server Reload. Follow It Here…
Friday, July 3rd [2:45] PM. I have been having some difficulty with my Windows Home Server over the last several months and it’s time to rebuild it from scratch. It not has hard as you think, so I thought I’d bring you along on the process. I’ll try to post some screen shots and pictures to give you a good idea of how you do it and what the home server can do.
So over the weekend, I’ll just keep adding to this post. It will be fun. Join me.
Remember, I search (and rebuild servers) so you don’t have to!
Friday, July 3rd [2:56] PM It starts with making sure all my files on the home server are backed up. You do this with an external drive attached to the home server in a server back up configuration. Looks like something like this:
Friday, July 3rd [3:25] PM Because I back up my server on a regular basis, the backup only took 20 minutes or so. The first time I back up the shares, it can take up to an hour or more.
Friday, July 3rd [4:06] PM Next, I’m going to install an add-in that will allow me to back up my PC back ups. It’s called WHS DBDD and is available over at whsplus.com. It didn’t show up in the settings the first time I installed it. Rebooted the server and found that it had not installed correctly. Reinstalled. Worked that time.
Upon running the add-in, found that I would need 305GB to back up my PC backups. The 160GB external is not big enough. I am going to take one of my 500GB drives out of the pool and use it to store the backups. Since I already have all the files backed up, I’m going to turn off file duplication to make this part easier. Also going to run the back up cleanup feature to make sure I only get the back ups I need.
Friday, July 3rd [6:35] PM Clean up completed. Removing 500GB drive from the storage pool.
Friday, July 3rd [10:36] PM All data is being removed and copied over to the other external hard drive, I’ll add that drive as a home server back up and begin the DBDD process in the morning. Tonight it’s off to bed.
Saturday, July 4th [7:03] AM I woke up early to get ready for a 30 mile bike ride. Thought I would take a few minutes and get DBDD running. First, I added the external drive from last night’s work as a server back up and for good measure, rebooted.
After the reboot, the new drive (named PC Backups) was now an option. Backup of the Backups has been started. Off to the ride…
Saturday, July 4th [1:49] PM After a 36 mile bike ride I am back at it. The backups are now complete. Going to unhook all drives and reload. I’ll need to move some things around so I can get the home server to a monitor.
Saturday, July 4th [4:36] PM The OS install is now complete (it only took a few hours but I had to help the couple that take our pool) and updates need to be installed. There were 56 items in the first round. They finished up around 5:30 pm. The next set of updates had just 4, however, one of them is power pack 2. That group finished in about 30 minutes. The last update was just a single one. Finished the entire process around 6:15 pm. Going up to get the BBQ going. Taking the rest of the night off to celebrate the 4th!
Sunday, July 5th [12:50] PM Back at it after church. It’s time to move the sever back over to it’s resting position and plug the drives back in. Oh, and before the move I activated the OS. In the past this has been a pain because it required me to call in. This time the web registration worked! Because I used the exact same setting for the new server as was the old, the client worked to access the server without a reinstall. Unfortunately, a reinstall of the client connector is necessary so the server will recognize the PC. I will do that later. For now, here is what a fresh install looks like.
Sunday, July 5th [1:38] PM I am turning the external drives on one at a time and adding them either to the pool or as backups. Looks like the external drive that I used to back up the back ups will not come back on line. The drive light just keeps flashing at me. Bummer. Looks like I lost those backups. I will keep working on that part.
I did add the other 500GB drive to the server pool and formatted it. That took about a minute. Once it was added to the pool, the backups of my files were ready to be restored. Restoring. Going to go mow the lawn now.
Sunday, July 5th [4:03] PM Lawn is mowed. Sunny day and it looks good. Back to the restore. It finished around 3 pm.
Tested the restore by uninstalling the WHS client and reinstalling it on my main PC. Done by using the install tools found at http://NameofServer:55000/ from IE. Once the software was installed, I had to add my user account to WHS.
Sunday, July 5th [5:19] PM Reloaded the client software on all PCs (there are a few that will have to catch up later). Folders and backup are now set. For the most part, I am done. I could have done it faster than the time that it took, but some fun got in the way. Thanks for following.
2 thoughts on “The Windows Home Server Reload. Follow It Here…”
Jim, thanks for the article! Great info!
So my problem is that I cannot get into the server console at all. I have way too much info to back up on an external hard drive, even if I had that option.
From what I gather I am stuck in the Activation loop. What can I do to restore/reload the os but it is impairative that I keep data saved on the WHS.
Ross – thanks!
You might want to try to post your issue over at the homeservershow.com/forums. There is some good stuff there and a bunch of help. I can help you from there.