Rescuing Files from Windows Home Server V1

imageMy Home Server died a curious death.  I didn’t loose any drives.. but the operating system started hanging.   No more file copies, no more logging into the console, no more responsing to MSTSC.   I had run this for close to 8 years, I think?   Its hard to remember how far back.  Sometime around when I got married, that we bought it, with Christmas Money.  It has saved us 3 or 4 times with computer backups. 

First job: imageMake sure I had a current backup of everything that was on the server.  Could I get to the raw files?   I popped a drive out, attached it to my Desktop PC using a SATA-to-USB .. and..

Access Denied!   I had elevate my security level to gain access to the drive.  Not a problem; I found Beyond Compare, and ran it as Administrator.

The other part of the equation was where to save the files.   I had a 8 month old backup of the home server on an external hard disk that I brought back home from the office.  

This is what Beyond Compare found for me:


  • The files on the WHS drive are under x:\DE\shares.
  • DE stands for drive extender.
  • The DE folder is normally marked hidden. 
  • There’s actually another partition on the root of the home server, that has the folder structure for everything, and has soft-links to these files across drives.
  • The folder on the right, G:\2013-12-29_16…   is how Home server backs up files to an external hard drive.
  • Everything is done via NTFS (or maybe it was FAT_32 for some of it).  Very simple, straight forward stuff.  I love it!
  • I put Beyond Compare in “Left Newer and Orphans” mode – and it found stuff on the drive that was not yet in the (much larger) backup.
  • Beyond Compare did a stellar job of copying the files.


Next up:  BitTorrent Sync.

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