Well, it's been quite a while since I last posted on the four ways to recover files from a Home Server should you have hardware failure. Many apologies, I've been busily working as the Development Lead for the Drive Extender bug fix.

The fourth scenario in the set of four scenarios is simple, your home server hardware failed and you want your files back. You've removed the volumes from your Home Server and have attached the volume to a separate PC.

In this scenario you're not in supported territory, the steps below may modify the state of the Home Servers hard disk causing Drive Extender to no longer recognize the file. If you'd like to be in supported territory please use one of the rebuild steps described in one of the previous postings. This post is mostly for those who like to dig and understand how their server works behind the scenes and understand that they're out of supported territory.

The high-level steps are simple:

1. Gain access to your Home Servers hard disk
2. Locate the 'DE' folder
3. Locate your files & copy them onto a fresh disk

Step 1: Gaining access to your Home Server hard disk

For this step your best bet is to plug the hard disk into a second computer. You can either open up the case and attach the disk directly to the motherboard or you can use a SATA/IDE to USB2 adapter. Personally I like the USB2 adapters, the idea is you hook the hard disk directly to a box that makes the drive work exactly like an external USB disk. Typically these adaptors cost around $25 (and are well worth the cost)

Step 2: Locate the 'DE' folder

This part is easy, once connected to a separate PC using the USB adapter the disk will appear with a drive letter. Open an explorer window and navigate to the volume you want to recover

You'll need to show hidden files load Explorer and

    • Tools->Folder Options
    • View / Show hidden files and folders

Now you'll see the 'DE' folder

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From this folder you can browse and locate your files just as you'd expect to see them on the WHS.

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You can copy any file/folder that you'd like. One thing you may notice is that some files may be missing.

A missing file is most likely because the file is located on another volume on your Home Server. To recover this file follow the same steps given above but look for your file on each volume.

I'm hoping the part about some of your files being on another volume makes sense? Because Drive Extender balances files between volumes it's possible some files will exist on the other volumes in the server. For a nice description of how the balancing and duplication work see my next post :)