WS2012 Essential Control Panel - System and Security - Storage Spaces reports Storage Pools as "Okay" but I cannot view my files...


  • I've done a lot of TechNet searching and reading (and Googling). Probably the most similar situation to mine is described here. But the solutions there do not work with my instance. I apologize beforehand for the length of this post.

    I'll start with my questions first so you don't have to wade through my lengthy post to get to it. Also, I apologize beforehand for the length of this post.


    1. How can I recover data from Storage Space that is no longer accessible, even if the Storage Space is not giving any error messages?
    2. Why is my virtual drive D: showing up as RAW in Disk Management?
    3. Why do I only see Disk 0, Disk 7 (virtual drive E:, NTFS, working) & Disk 8 (virtual drive D:, RAW, not working) in Disk Management?
    4. Where are Disk 1-6 in Disk Management
    5. This seems to indicate that something is wrong with the hardware, right?
    6. So, again, is there anyway to recover data from Storage Space?

    I'm migrating from the first version of Windows Home Server (WHS) to Windows Server 2012 Essentials (WSE). I'm realizing I probably should not have done it this way now, but I created a single Storage Pool comprised of six 3TB HDD. Inside this Storage Pool, I created two Virtual Drives, D: and E:. Both are Thin Provisioning at 20TB, D:'s layout is Parity and E:'s layout is Mirror.

    I moved all the Server Folders from C: to D: and then created a couple shares for my purposes. Nothing was created in E: and it remains empty and visible even now (strange). I then copied my files from my WHS to my WSE. I know I should have used non-important files but I had to clear up spaces off my WHS in order to deal with a failing hard drive. So I chose about 800GB of home video to move first... After copying, I binary compared the files overnight and everything checked out perfectly. Then, because I needed to reclaim some space on my WHS, I deleted the files from my WHS. After all, the files copied properly, the binary compare completed successfully, the files were stored with parity on the WSE. What could go wrong?

    Well, I was physically moving my WSE to its corner when I noticed that there was a  SATA3 interface board I had received from the manufacturer to replace the existing SATA2 interface board. My terminology might be incorrect, but I'm referring to a board that has four SATA connections on it, into which you plug your HDDs as part of a RAID array. Obviously, I disabled RAID in the BIOS and was using AHCI. Just to clarify, four of the six 3TB drives plug into this thing. Being the perfectionist I am, I decided why not put the latest and greatest into my machine before I move it! So I powered down and replaced the board. I plugged everything back together and put the WSE machine into the corner. 

    Well, I turned it on and something was off. I started up the Dashboard and went to Storage. D: was showing up with Unknown capacity and Unknown used space. Free space was reported as 0GB. Strangely, when I clicked "Advanced: Manage Storage Spaces," the Control Panel - System and Security - Storage Spaces reports Storage Pools as "Okay"and shows that D: is using 1.39 TB of the 20.0TB. But when I clicked on the "View Files" link, I  could not view my files.

    I panicked a bit and started searching. I stumbled upon the aforementioned TechNet post and thought that if I reverted everything back, it might work. So, I powered down, pulled the SATA3 board out and put the SATA2 board back in. In other words, I put things back the exact way it was when everything worked. I turned on the WSE. Nope. It didn't work. Still broken.

    When I open up Server Manager - File and Storage Services - Volumes and I right click on D: and go to Properties, it shows that the File system is RAW but healthy and capacity is 0.00B.

    Strangely enough, E: is visible and I can interact with it. 

    BOTTOM LINE: Is there anything I can do to get access to the data on D:? 

    In the meanwhile, I've turned off my WHS. I'll be pulling each drive and mounting them individually to my laptop and see if I can salvage anything with a delete recovery utility. The problem is that it's been two days since I deleted the files and the WHS balances its data rather frequently. I doubt I'll recover much but am hoping for the best.

    Obviously, the best case would be if there was someway to fix whatever problems I've caused on the WSE. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and look forward to any suggestions - anything at all!

    As an aside, I probably should create another server just to backup my WSE.

    • Edited by HoHum Sunday, February 03, 2013 5:39 AM added some additional questions
    Saturday, February 02, 2013 12:14 AM

All replies

  • Did you start with a virtual disk size < 16TB and then extend it? If so, you might want to try the instructions on this thread:

    Monday, February 04, 2013 1:50 PM
  • Apamnapat, thank you very much for your reply! 

    I did follow your recommendation. 

    Unfortunately, after running the PowerShell commands, going into Disk Management and extending the volume, it is still showing up as RAW.
    • Edited by HoHum Monday, February 04, 2013 7:46 PM edited text
    Monday, February 04, 2013 7:30 PM
  • Did you extend the volume or shrink it? Just to be clear, the thread I linked to requires you to shrink the volume to a size < 16TB (the exact size is in that thread).

    Tuesday, February 05, 2013 1:53 AM
  • Hi HoHum,

    Can you send me an email at matt.garson [at] Microsoft [dot] com, please? I work on Spaces and want to understand more about what's happening.

    Tuesday, February 05, 2013 3:41 AM
  • Did you extend the volume or shrink it? Just to be clear, the thread I linked to requires you to shrink the volume to a size < 16TB (the exact size is in that thread).

    Good question. Please know that I sincerely appreciate your help and response, Apamnapat.


    I'm sorry, I don't see the < 16TB requirement in the thread you linked. I thought I actually followed the instructions to the letter.

    I did everything and typed:

    (get-virtualdisk "ServerFolders").Size + (1024*1024)

    Also, per the instructions,

    # Replace the value of the -Size parameter with the output of the previous command
    Resize-Virtualdisk B3 -Size 13194140581888          #<This number comes from the output of the previous command>

    The example given shows "13194140581888." My numbers (I did it a couple times) were different. For the resize-virtual disk command, I replaced the -Size value with my numbers as the instructions state. Then, when I went into Disk Management, I saw a RAW volume that is 1024MB less than 20TB, and an unallocated space of 1024MB (the second time, it was 512MB). I then extend out the existing volume  to the full 20TB, by including that unallocated space. I was doing this per the instructions in that thread, which reads:

    Afterward, Go to disk management, and extend the volume, this should report the volume as NTFS. Run a chkdsk to be certain.

    I'm probably just not seeing it; however, could you kindly point me to where it states I need to make the volume less than 16TB? Again, I thank you for your help.

    Also, if I right-click on the drive in Disk Management, it gives me the option to shrink the RAW volume completely (something I did not do). Normally, Disk Management will not let you shink a volume beyond the point where any unmovable files are located. So, when I see that I can shrink the volume to basically nothing, I suspect what I did on the hardware side corrupted my virtual drive. Maybe that's why it's RAW?

    • Edited by HoHum Tuesday, February 05, 2013 10:27 PM typo
    Tuesday, February 05, 2013 10:24 PM
  • Hi HoHum,

    Can you send me an email at matt.garson [at] Microsoft [dot] com, please? I work on Spaces and want to understand more about what's happening.

    Email sent. Thank you for your time and interest in my plight!
    Tuesday, February 05, 2013 10:25 PM
  • This is just to update this thread, just in case anyone is following it...

    Matt has been gracious with his attempts to help. But the problem still persists to this date.

    I went ahead and gutted my old WHS machine, cleaned it, new thermal paste, etc. I installed WS2012E on an old, but hardly used 160GB 7200RPM drive and added four 3TB WD Red drives (no, I did not use any of the six 3TB HDD from my original post - that machine turned off and is just sitting in the corner for now).

    So, my second WS2012E is up and running without a hitch. Remote Web Access works. SABnzbd works. Backup works. So far, that is...

    Still, I would LOVE to be able to recover my data off the first WS2012E I put together in my original post... Maybe someday? When I can, I'll mark this thread answered. Until then, it will remain unanswered.

    EDIT (2014-01-14): Still nothing to report. I've been dialoguing with several different employees from Microsoft and so far no one seems to be able to figure out how to rectify this issue.
    • Edited by HoHum Tuesday, January 14, 2014 8:40 PM update
    Monday, March 25, 2013 3:48 AM