Keep WHS2011 vs moving on

haxxorboi

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Messages
159
So I've been running WHS2011 for a couple years, and it has served me reasonably well. The main (really the only feature) that I use it for is the nightly backup (and occasional restore in the event of a crash). This feature, however, is buggy has crap and often has issues. After realizing that it had managed to hold about 180 days of corrupt backups, without ever notifying me, and then failing to restore... well, I'm done with it.

I want to continue using FlexRAID (i.e., no want for hardware RAID), but I'm open to any backup automation software. I'm not adverse to Linux, but the software needs to connect to Win7 clients reasonably well.

So, my question is this: What OS/backup software combo would you suggest?

Thanks!
 

Jim G

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 2, 2011
Messages
221
Are you backing up basic files (e.g. user directories etc.) or backing up system images? We just use rsync for user directories and a ZFS on Linux box for those services, and it's pretty darn straight-forward.
 

haxxorboi

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Messages
159
What WHS was doing was essentially browse-able system images. I think I had it set to retain 5 daily snapshots, 2 weekly snapshots, and 6 monthly snapshots. As far as I know, those were all iterative backups and not each an independent system image.

I didn't think rsync would be able to do such an operation, but perhaps I didn't read the man page thoroughly enough.
 

Jim G

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 2, 2011
Messages
221
What WHS was doing was essentially browse-able system images. I think I had it set to retain 5 daily snapshots, 2 weekly snapshots, and 6 monthly snapshots. As far as I know, those were all iterative backups and not each an independent system image.

I didn't think rsync would be able to do such an operation, but perhaps I didn't read the man page thoroughly enough.

Not as far as I am aware.
 

haxxorboi

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Messages
159
Alright, so I installed 2012 R2 Essentials to see if it would be happy... of course not.

I forgot that a while back I tried to do the same thing and discovered some weird partitioning issue (http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1748573). Well, it's happening again. I managed to do the RAID>ATA>AHCI switch and it did absolutely nothing.

The current HDD situation is this:
On-Board AMD SB700: 4x3TB WD Reds (3 were in previous FlexRAID pool and now show up only as unformated 2048GB drives; 1 was NOT previously in pool and shows up as a 2.73TB single, properly formatted partition)

Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8: 3x2TB WD Greens (all show up fine) and 2x3TB WD Reds (show up as a 2048GB GPT Protective Partition and a 746.52GB Unallocated partition)

I'm not really sure what is going on. I believe all the drivers are up to date. I'm wondering if FlexRAID is at fault here for messing with the partitions or something (I posted to the FR forum, we'll see what the dev says), but I honestly don't know. The drives work fine in WHS2011, but fail here as they did the last time I tried to upgrade to 2012E.

I can't do a diskpart clean without wiping out the data on the drives, but I don't know if 2012E wants to format them itself or something to work properly...

Anyone have any ideas here as to what to do?
 

Jaxon

n00b
Joined
Feb 21, 2012
Messages
50
Unfortunately I have nothing to add to help you out, but I'm going to follow this thread as I'm looking to move my WHS 2011 system to Essentials or possibly even Standard for a little VM work.
 

benogil

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 28, 2006
Messages
143
Go to HomeServerShow and ask Andrew and Drashna , as this may be as simple ( Hah ) as Ess using legacy mode when installing as opposed to UEFI.
 

benogil

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 28, 2006
Messages
143
As the folks at HSS say, Ess is just not that consumer friendly compared to 2011. Have you thought of using 2011 with a third party backup/restore ( like Macrium ) ? May be easier/cheaper way to go, less admin overhead.
 

haxxorboi

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Messages
159
Just to keep this updated in case someone benefits from it in the future:

So incredibly long story short, I think the drives were having an issue with the SB7xx drivers for Win8. The SASLP-connected drives worked after a few disconnects, reconnects, and reboots; so I'm thinking those were just in some weird (but still working state). But, because the 4 drives connected to the onboard were reading from RAID mode (the SSDs were in RAID-1 but the HDDs were on the same controller), they wanted to have that same driver/controller combo to work as a proper 3TB partition. Without it, 2012E was getting confused and reading the MBR Protective config instead of the GPT config. I was not able to rectify this with TestDisk or any other program, so I figured I'd cut my losses and do a recovery.

I put the SSDs back into a broken RAID state and reinstalled WHS2011. After putting the v4.0 SASLP driver in there, the single 3TB that worked before still worked and the other three 3TB were uninitialized. I did a quick Recuva to see what was on each drive: two were parity (so I didn't care) and one was data. I ran GetDataBack on the data drive and recovered about 275GB of files, which hopefully was everything on there (I don't remember). I'm going to move all of drives that I can to the SASLP controller, leaving only a 2TB on the onboard. I'll switch the onboard to AHCI to avoid RAID issues and then see if I can get 2012E to detect everything properly with the onboard in AHCI.

TL;DR -- I'm thinking issues with onboard RAID drivers and hybrid MBRs caused havoc. After data recovery, migration to the SASLP, and switching to AHCI, I'll give 2012E another try.
 

kac77

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
2,696
What Jim G said earlier would be the easiest and yes rsync can do what you want.

If it were me I would move on. The alternatives are so much better and more reliable.
 
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