WHS V1 woes... maybe time to upgrade to WHS 2011?

Jun 02 2011

After an extended weekend vacation I came home to the dreaded "red box" notification icon reporting that two of my systems on my network had failed to back up. So for the past 5 days that I was gone my main HTPC and my office pc had failed to backup. While I am grateful nothing had happened in those 5 days I was worried at what was causing my backups to fail.

Digging into the WHS console wasn't much help, it was saying the backups had failed to read a specific file.

Unexpected error 0x17 from ReadFile on D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}\BLACKMAGIC.C.VolumeCluster.4096.dat: Data error (cyclic redundancy check).

After a little discovery and digging further into what the issue was, I found a drive was potentially going bad. Logging into the WHS Console again, I ran a hard drive SMART monitor and lo and behold I had a few drives with some pending bad sectors. Running a check disk (chkdsk /f /r on the C and D drives) on all of the drives in my WHS still didn't fix my issue.

I ended up having to remote desktop into my WHS box directly, open Windows explorer, dive into the D: drive, follow the path of the bad .dat file and delete the file completely. After that, I rebooted my WHS box, logged into the WHS console again, trashed all the failed backups, did a repair and cleanup under Settings > Backups and performed a manual backup. The initial backup took longer than most backups, as it was rebuilding all the system files, but it didn't fail, which was my ultimate goal.

So now I have two potential drive failures which leads me to the question of the day.... should I take this opportunity to get some new hard drives and move over to WHS 2011? Or, should I stick with the tried and true WHS V1? What are your thoughts? Give me a good reason to move over to WHS 2011 (other than network performance).

-Josh

Comments

I think it would just depend on how important DE is to you (i.e. Duplication and Drive Pooling). If those features are not important you might as well jump in to WHS 2011. If those features are important (as they are for me) then I see no reason to jump over to WHS 2011 for the foreseeable future

Sounds like a HDD problem.  I'm not sure the new version of WHS would make any difference in a similar situation. Does it report/handle HDD failure better that WHS V1?  

At some point you are going to have to migrate to the new WHS...maybe this is a natural point in which to upgrade?  However, if you can hold out for these new DE replacements programs to come online and get tested it may be safer to wait?

I abandoned WHS when they dropped DE and went to unraid.  So far it is stable and I feel like my data is well protected.  It is not nearly as versatile as WHS but Im more interested in storage and security.  GL

I wouldn't rush into an upgrade due to bad sectors (unless you're just using that as an excuse to upgrade  Wink  ).  However, I would do a full chkdsk by following this guide on WGS.

WHS 2011 just came out a few days ago on Newegg and Amazon. I'd go ahead and buy it anyway, but not install it for a few weeks while people figure out different configurations and document bugs.

I, however, have been running WHS 2011 full time since it RTM'ed 2 months ago. Only issue I've found so far is that streaming Recorded TV with a 16:9 ratio (which is any HDTV recording) is squished into a 4:3 ratio. Apparently it's a Silverlight bug that the WHS team can't fix directly. It's a major bummer.

How does the quality look streaming?  I have a 5mb up line at home

I'm surprised the system didn't kick the drive controllers down to PIO mode. That is what happened when I had a drive go. I rebuilt a 2011 server because of this because the drive that failed was my biggest drive. I new I had to move everything off the system so I rebuilt it. 

I planned on moving over to WHS 2011 months ago.  Even when they eliminated Drive Extender, I still was undeterred.  I understand this new system is powerful enough (with the right cpu) to do some media transcoding on the fly.  Sliverlight incorporation allows playing of your media through the upgraded remote access site.  Not to mention access to Windows Server 2008 r2 tools and new capabilties like SharePoint.  Those were some of the selling points for me.    

So for me it was a no brainer.  The serious downside for me was the preparation of moving data from the old server (32 bit) to the new (64 bit) since there is no Microsoft upgrade path.  Seven days since I decommissioned WHS, I am still moving data over, but I have no regrets.    

Faster and more robust!  I would do it again!

Regarding the data move, are you using WHS' "remove drive" function to get the data off and then physically moving the drive to a new server?  The reason I ask is because the data can be accessed by any computer outside of WHS v1.  This means you could just pull the drive, place it in the new server and copy the files over.  That may not even apply to your situation, but I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.

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