I'm going to use the language adopted in Joel Burt's article, here.
The "Primary" disk is failing. The Primary disk contains the C: (System) partition and the first part of the
(Data) partition. Among other things, the Data partition on the Primary disk contains all the tombstones for the entire server.
We remove the Primary disk and replace it with AN EMPTY DISK.
Joel Burt is saying that, as long as the new (empty) disk is the first bootable disk in the BIOS, then the WHS Installer will:
a) recognize this as a former Windows Home Server
b) will offer a Server Reinstallation
c) will re-install WHS on the empty disk
d) will search all remaining drives for data files
e) and will build new tombstones onto the newly-created
parition on the new disk.
Anybody tried it?
Edit: I'm setting up a new virtualized WHS server with two virtual disks and I'll see what happens when I replace the Primary disk with a blank disk.
One "minor" problem is that you are going to lose any data files or backup databases that were stored on the original
(Data) partition of the Primary disk. If you are using this technique to swap out the Primary disk (it's failing or you just want a larger Primary disk), then you aare going to need to figure out which files were stored on the first Data partition. WHS doesn't offer any convenient way to do this.