Recover the data from a failed Windows Home Server setup (WHS)

March 21, 2012

After 3 years running, my HP Home server finally gave up (WHS 2003). It happened while I was trying to configure the Wake on LAN settings and somehow I lost connection to the server and all share folders. I am not sure exactly what caused it but I could not bring it back to life no matter what I did. I tried rebooting, doing a recovery, and even a system factory reset, trying each several times.. but none of it worked. I finally had to give up (after trying for two days) and decided to buy a new box. After setting up my new micro server with WHS 2011, I searched the web for how to safely recover my data from my spanned drives (3 tb).

The most usefull article was this one: How to recover data after server failure by Olaf Engelke. I followed it to the T. Especially usefull was the part about the hidden DE folder. I have to admit that I panicked after I mounted my drives in my new box and saw nothing in neither drives even after seeing a ‘Healthy’ status in disk management. The key here is to make sure you are able to see ‘Hidden Files’ in Windows Explorer (Tools–Folder Options–View) to make sure you are able to see these DE folders. I was relieved after seeing all my files were there. I just copied them to an external drive I had as backup, finished the drive setup on my new box, and then copied the files back to the server.

Hope this was useful.

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