I have NEVER been shy about professing my passion for Windows Home Sever (WHS) on this site.

In fact, you can read all the posts about WHS by looking at this category link – http://www.windowsobserver.com/tag/whs/.

I am here today to tell you that WHS just keeps on keeping on. Without much interference from me it sits in the corner of our home office and backs up each PC at night and is the central repository for all of our families digital history – photos and music being the biggest areas.

Those files are only in one place – on the WHS system over in the corner. It has been the most solid backup plan I have ever had. I trust it implicitly to protect our files.

So why am I writing this post? Well WHS proved once again this week that it rocks and I want to tell you about it.

Over the last few weeks I have heard the occasional ticking noise that many of you who heard in a hard drive. Click..Click…Click. It is those attempts to read some data somewhere on the hard drive platters but it is obviously fighting with it thus the reason for the clicking noise.

So I knew a hard drive was failing – it happens. This is a server that runs 24/7 in our home office and this particular hard drive was one of my original Western Digital external hard drives.It has definitely put in its time so it is no surprise that it is worn down.

So Wednesday while I was at work I stopped in the store and picked up a spare external hard drive – a Hitachi 1TB – to replace the failing drive. Well my purchase and planning could not have been better because I arrived home to find the hard drive had failed completely.

Now for those of you who have experienced a failed hard drive you know that feeling. Hits you in the gut – especially if it is a drive you store files on and for me this was one of them on my WHS system.

However, I did not have that kick in the gut feeling with this failure. That is from the confidence I have in WHS and its ability to protect our data.

So using the WHS Console I removed the failed drive from the storage pool and acknowledged the warnings about the possibility of file loss,etc. Again, I was good with removing it because I elect to use a feature in WHS called Folder Duplication.

Folder Duplication basically means that every file I store on my WHS system will be stored on two separate hard drives to have redundancy. If I did not have this potion selected then I run the risk of a single hard drive failure taken files with it.

After removing the drive and adding the replacement drive I rebooted the WHS and allowed it to pick up the new drive and I added it to the storage pool. I once again rebooted the WHS and as the system recovered it sorted out all the file conflicts with the drive removal and completely incorporated the new hard drive to increase the storage space to 1.78TB.

This hard drive failure also impacted the backup database so I had to re-connect each computer using the WHS Connector Software to set them up. I immediately did a manual back up so that I had good backup copies for each machine.

So all of this took just under 90 minutes and I was right back to having 100% of my family files available and having solid backups of each PC on our home network.

Now how is that for a solid back up plan? Could you recover all of your important files if you had a hard drive crash?