You’ve built your home server but can’t find identical replacement hardware.

This is a similar problem to what Daniel (my brother in law) suffered.   After purchasing a copy of Home Server Daniel installed the software on to an old desktop computer.  He installed on to a new 500GB disk and later added an older 150GB IDE disk. Long story short the computer was declared unusable when smoke poured out the power supply.

Although much of the hardware was unusable the hard disks seemed fine – he was able to plug both the 500GB and the 150GB disks into a second computer and was able to see his data.

I’ll leave the forensics of how to extract your data to a future post, in this post I’d like to show you how to recover your server if the drives are intact but the motherboard and various components are broken.


·         Preserve all ‘data’

o   Shared Folders

o   Backup database


·         You will lose all installed software, such as addons

·         You will lose all user settings (remote access on/off), including user accounts


Steps (I’ll have some pictures below):

1.       Remove the disks from your broken server

2.       Open the case to your new server

3.       Install the old disks into your new server – take care to place the disks in the same order as they were on your original system (make master/slave settings and cable order the same for IDE or port numbers for SATA controllers)

4.       Boot and cross your fingers – if this computer reboots and launches Home Server you’re in good shape.  Just go step 9

5.       Should booting fail your new server differs enough from the hardware in your old server that you need to reinstall Home Server.  Do this by placing the Home Server DVD into your DVD player and rebooting.

6.       Follow the normal steps involved with Home Server Install.  *IT’S VERY IMPORTANT* that you choose the “Server Reinstallation” option as seen in the below figure.

7.       Progress along in the Home Server install until it’s complete – then reboot

8.       Complete the Out Of Box Experience (OOBE)

9.       Install needed drivers – follow the guidance that the hardware manufacture gave for your servers hardware.  Typically you’ll just need network and maybe storage if you’ve got a fancy disk controller


The starting place:
I’m first going to create a Home Server install on a server with two SATA disks. One is 300GB, the other 150GB.  On this server I’ve performed one backup of my client computer and have created a Shared Folder named ‘Test Share’.  This share has a few files for demonstration purposes.


Figure 1: Server Storage before the first server broke


Figure 2: Test share (created before the server broke) 



Figure 3: Putting the old disks into the new server - be careful if you're not putting in screws at this point! 



Figure 4: Beginning the Home Server install 



Figure 5: the all important step - "Server Reinstallation" - you must choose this else you will lose your data!



Figure 6: Install has started 


Figure 7: Install Complete


Figure 8: Install Drivers



Figure 9: restored file shares 


Figure 10: permissions on the folder - NOTE that we have no users as they were deleted during the recovery,  your shares will default to no access (so you'll have to reconfigure their settings)



Figure 11: restored backup database


Figure 12: restored server recovery tab