locked
WD MyBook External 1TB Drive (2x 500GB drives) - will this work with WHS? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a Western Digital MyBook Pro Edition II which is 1 TB total storage (RAID 0) with 2 500GB drives.  It came with RAID Manager software from WD for changing form RAID 0 to 1 or vice-versa.

    Can I utilize this device with WHS?  I read through several posts but didn't get a clear picture.

    My understanding is that WHS is going to format the drives itself...so obviously the WD RAID Manager SW is N/A correct?  I'm assuming WHS will format the 2 drives as a single 1 TB storage device - therefore pretty much like the RAID 0 configuration.

    I'm looking at picking up some 1.5TB external drives and putting them in external enclosures with eSATA connections (direct to the motherboard) in the near future, but wondered if I can use the WD as "additional" storage or at least a solution for the short term?

    Anybody have any experience with this Rosewill external enclosure?  Rosewill RX-358-S

    I realize that it would be better to have INTERNAL drives, but I can only fit 2 drives in my Dell 8400 (2 there now).

    Thanks

    Thursday, February 19, 2009 4:44 AM

Answers

  • Leaving it as currently formatted: I don't have one to be able to say for certain, but probably if it's set up for RAID 1 now, it will remain that way.

    IEEE 1394a vs USB: USB has greater theoretical bandwidth, by a small margin. It has much more overhead, though, because it's not designed for use as a storage bus and that was a design consideration for Firewire.

    What kind of hard drive to use: you should not use drives designed for use in RAID arrays. They usually have some form of limit on error recovery, which makes them unsuitable for use as standalone drives. This is per the drive manufacturers. Western Digital, for example, has their RAID Edition (RE, RE2, RE3) line of drives; they warn that using these drives in a standalone configuration (which is a standard WHS configuration, since RAID isn't supported) may result in increased error rates and data loss.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Puulima Friday, February 20, 2009 5:05 AM
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 7:37 PM
    Moderator
  • Puulima said:

    I should have noted that I currently have the drive formatted RAID 1 so 500GB mirrored storage.  Sounds like I should reformat the device to the RAID 0 (full capacity) so WHS will see it as a 1TB drive then?  ie: if I leave it as it's currently formatted, WHS will only see it as a 500GB drive - correct?

    I do have 1394a ports on the PC so will be connecting it via Firewire - sounds like that is better than USB - correct?

    I have 2 DVD drives in this old PC but they are IDE - not sure what the power connectors are for the DVD drives vs Hard Drives (??) so I'll have to poke around inside the case to see what I have power wise.  Never paid much attention to the power connectors before ;-)

    I've never seen or heard of the "internal SATA enclosures" so will go look for those - Any reccomendations?  Wouldn't adding a few large drives (1 or 1.5 TB) inside the case create too much heat though?

    One last related question on drives - I read in one post here that a use uses "Enterprise Class" drives only so wasn't worried about them overheating - seems to make some sense.  Should I be looking at a certain "class" of Hard Drive vs the basic ones?  ie: Newegg has a 1TB drive on sale for $110 and 1.5TB for $161.  Perhaps the drives rated for DVR use are truly better for (home) server use?

    This WHS project is certainly a good learning opportunity!


    about formatting - if you can redo the disk arrangement, and if the enclosure allows, I would use the configuration without RAID. 2x 1 single drive. RAID 0 increases the risk, that you loose all data on the disks due to a failure of one of the disks - and for the performance the bottleneck is somewhere else.

    I have no experience with WHS and Firewire (and never did read about), so the assumption, that it will be better and more reliable than USB or E-SATA, is based on some hope.
    The power connectors for harddisks and DVD drive are identical (besides SATA disks, which use another interface with a certain connector, which is only provided on newer power supplies (adapters are available).
    An example for such an internal enclosure is this. Cannot give a recommendation, since the offers are more region based and at least my own noname cage is a but noisy due to the cooler. The benefit is, you have usually a disk status LED outside and can remove a broken disk without opening the case.

    The other questions have already been answered by Ken.

    Building such server yourself instead of a home server hardware applicance brings definitively some more IT knowledge.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by Puulima Friday, February 20, 2009 5:05 AM
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 8:12 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi,
    usually the client backups can be easily redone, if only the server fails - sind usually the client is still alive.
    If this is not enough for you, you can backup the backup database with the Add In WHSBDBB as described here.

    In the console you can backup your server (shared folders), once you have installed Power Pack 1 and  after you added a disk not to the storage pool, but as backup disk.

    The Green WD disks are what I prefer as well - its a good choice also regarding the temperature.

    Microsoft gives no recommendations for certain disks, because the WHS concept was more like selling the complete hardware appliance instead of the software.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by Puulima Friday, February 20, 2009 5:04 AM
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 11:18 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi,
    the statements you are bringing up here are no longer valid since Power Pack 1 and the KB957825 update. The later tricked Vista to see the full capacity, but shows still the physical capacity of the D: drive. A cosmetic issue, which can be easy avoided by not mapping drives, instead accessing the shares directly (i.e. via shortcut Shared Folders on Server).
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    • Marked as answer by Puulima Friday, February 20, 2009 5:04 AM
    Friday, February 20, 2009 5:00 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,
    correct, if you attach a new drive and it is shown in the console, you can select it with a click and after that the Add function is available.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by Puulima Friday, February 20, 2009 2:31 PM
    Friday, February 20, 2009 8:13 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,
    as long as you connect the WD disk to the USB (or Firewire port?) and it is detected as physical disk by the server OS (and shown in the console), it should work. But you also should be aware, that using USB disks in the storage pool caused for some people issues, which are caused usually by the electronics in the enclosure. For backing up the shares on the home server this should work perfectly.
    I believe the RAID mainager software is only used to configure, how the firmware in the device puts the data to the disk and presents the disks to outside.
    Your Dell 8400 has also a DVD ROM drive, which can potentially be removed depending from the form factor. There are also internal SATA enclosures available, which fit 3 disks into two slots (5 1/4") or 4 disks in 3 slots.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 8:13 AM
    Moderator
  • I should have noted that I currently have the drive formatted RAID 1 so 500GB mirrored storage.  Sounds like I should reformat the device to the RAID 0 (full capacity) so WHS will see it as a 1TB drive then?  ie: if I leave it as it's currently formatted, WHS will only see it as a 500GB drive - correct?

    I do have 1394a ports on the PC so will be connecting it via Firewire - sounds like that is better than USB - correct?

    I have 2 DVD drives in this old PC but they are IDE - not sure what the power connectors are for the DVD drives vs Hard Drives (??) so I'll have to poke around inside the case to see what I have power wise.  Never paid much attention to the power connectors before ;-)

    I've never seen or heard of the "internal SATA enclosures" so will go look for those - Any reccomendations?  Wouldn't adding a few large drives (1 or 1.5 TB) inside the case create too much heat though?

    One last related question on drives - I read in one post here that a use uses "Enterprise Class" drives only so wasn't worried about them overheating - seems to make some sense.  Should I be looking at a certain "class" of Hard Drive vs the basic ones?  ie: Newegg has a 1TB drive on sale for $110 and 1.5TB for $161.  Perhaps the drives rated for DVR use are truly better for (home) server use?

    This WHS project is certainly a good learning opportunity!
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 5:10 PM
  • Leaving it as currently formatted: I don't have one to be able to say for certain, but probably if it's set up for RAID 1 now, it will remain that way.

    IEEE 1394a vs USB: USB has greater theoretical bandwidth, by a small margin. It has much more overhead, though, because it's not designed for use as a storage bus and that was a design consideration for Firewire.

    What kind of hard drive to use: you should not use drives designed for use in RAID arrays. They usually have some form of limit on error recovery, which makes them unsuitable for use as standalone drives. This is per the drive manufacturers. Western Digital, for example, has their RAID Edition (RE, RE2, RE3) line of drives; they warn that using these drives in a standalone configuration (which is a standard WHS configuration, since RAID isn't supported) may result in increased error rates and data loss.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Puulima Friday, February 20, 2009 5:05 AM
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 7:37 PM
    Moderator
  • Puulima said:

    I should have noted that I currently have the drive formatted RAID 1 so 500GB mirrored storage.  Sounds like I should reformat the device to the RAID 0 (full capacity) so WHS will see it as a 1TB drive then?  ie: if I leave it as it's currently formatted, WHS will only see it as a 500GB drive - correct?

    I do have 1394a ports on the PC so will be connecting it via Firewire - sounds like that is better than USB - correct?

    I have 2 DVD drives in this old PC but they are IDE - not sure what the power connectors are for the DVD drives vs Hard Drives (??) so I'll have to poke around inside the case to see what I have power wise.  Never paid much attention to the power connectors before ;-)

    I've never seen or heard of the "internal SATA enclosures" so will go look for those - Any reccomendations?  Wouldn't adding a few large drives (1 or 1.5 TB) inside the case create too much heat though?

    One last related question on drives - I read in one post here that a use uses "Enterprise Class" drives only so wasn't worried about them overheating - seems to make some sense.  Should I be looking at a certain "class" of Hard Drive vs the basic ones?  ie: Newegg has a 1TB drive on sale for $110 and 1.5TB for $161.  Perhaps the drives rated for DVR use are truly better for (home) server use?

    This WHS project is certainly a good learning opportunity!


    about formatting - if you can redo the disk arrangement, and if the enclosure allows, I would use the configuration without RAID. 2x 1 single drive. RAID 0 increases the risk, that you loose all data on the disks due to a failure of one of the disks - and for the performance the bottleneck is somewhere else.

    I have no experience with WHS and Firewire (and never did read about), so the assumption, that it will be better and more reliable than USB or E-SATA, is based on some hope.
    The power connectors for harddisks and DVD drive are identical (besides SATA disks, which use another interface with a certain connector, which is only provided on newer power supplies (adapters are available).
    An example for such an internal enclosure is this. Cannot give a recommendation, since the offers are more region based and at least my own noname cage is a but noisy due to the cooler. The benefit is, you have usually a disk status LED outside and can remove a broken disk without opening the case.

    The other questions have already been answered by Ken.

    Building such server yourself instead of a home server hardware applicance brings definitively some more IT knowledge.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by Puulima Friday, February 20, 2009 5:05 AM
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 8:12 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken/Olaf

    WD MyBOOK
    I'm still a bit confused on the WD RAID question - here's what I understand in my own words - please validate or correct:
    • if I go with the FULL 1 TB of capacity (RAID 0) then if either drive dies, I lose ALL my data - BUT would still have it duplicated elsewhere courtesy of WHS correct?  (I plan to leave duplication on for pretty much all data)
    • if I go with the 500GB capacity (RAID 1) then even if ONE of the 2 drives were to fail - I'd still be ok since the data would be duplicated "within" the WD MyBook device (as well as somewhere else via WHS)
    • If BOTH of the above assumptions is correct, then it boils down to the risk of potential downtime of data duplication while the 1TB is out of commission then?
    Note: it is easy to change between RAID modes - just have to clear out the data first - which I have to do to add it to WHS anyways

    Olaf - I will have to speak to the WD Tech support folks re: losing RAID altogether - I don't think that is an option, but sounds like if it were - that would be the best way to go then?  And to make sure I understand - if that were the scenario - I'd have my 1 TB of capacity and if 1 of the 2 drives failed - the other would still function?

    IEEE 1394a
    Ken - My understanding of IEEE 1394a and USB 2.0 is as you described it...thanks for clarifying.

    DRIVES
    Thanks for your response on DRIVES - I'm still a bit fuzzy though.  Does that mean ENTERPRISE class drives s/b avoided in general?  I'm assuming from what I've read that Enterprise class drives are for the heavy duty server applications and therefore meant for use in RAID arrays...or is there a 3rd class in the middle? 

    Is there some (fairly simple) way (spec) to tell if a drive is designed for use in a RAID array?  I'm assuming that pretty much all of the "inexpensive" ones are not.  I guess what I'm trying to determine is: Is there a class or type of Hard Drive that perhaps costs a bit more but is potentially more reliable?

    Seagate's website divides their drives into (a) Desktop Storage (b) Laptop Storage (c) Server & Enterprise Storage and (d) Consumer Electronics Storage.  Should I stick with Desktop drives?  Looks like anything in the "Server" category is more for RAID or JBOD setups...How about the "Consumer Electronics" category?  Looks like the DVR rated drives are better than the average desktop ones - but likely NOT designed for RAID applications (but I don't know what spec to look for)

    Thanks for any info you can toss my way...
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 8:53 PM
  • Hi,
    your considerations regarding the disk configurations are correct.
    The only data which will not be duplicated, if duplication is enabled for all your shares. are the client backups.
    You could also consider to use the external disks as backup for the shares. (Duplication alone does not replace backup, since you cannot exclude, that due to some bad stuff (overvoltage, natural disaster, theft, virus ...) the entire server goes down. In this case only an external backup (ideally hosted offsite) can help with data recovery.

    If you dont wish to use the drive that way, in case no RAID mode works as well you should be able to add both disks to the storage pool, thus increasing the capacity.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 9:07 PM
    Moderator
  • Understood on the Client PC backups not being duplicated...I see that in the PIE CHART in WHS on how the drive space is being utilized.

    Eventually I plan to have additional backups outside of the WHS setup - and once I have additional drives added to WHS, the 1 TB WD MyBook and my 1 TB Hammer NAS will be used for those purposes...which raises a new question:  What's the easiest way to backup all the data on the WHS drives?  I haven't seen anything on this in what I've (managed to) read yet.

    Back to the Client PC's - Should I be backing up the Client PC backup data also when I get to that point?  Or is that even possible?



    NOTE:  I have submitted questions to the WD Support Folks and will advise on what they say on "removing" the RAID aspect of the WD MyBook



    ADDENDUM on the "WHAT DRIVE TO USE" topic
    - since the bulk of the data to be stored/accessed on the WHS will be Music/video/photos - it would seem logical that a Hard Drive "rated" as suitable for a "Media Server" or "Media Center" application would be a good choice?  Perhaps something like the drives noted here:  Western Digital Consumer Electronics Drives  "Low Power" "Cool Running" and "24/7 REliability" seem to be the things one would want in a WHS drive?

    Does Microsoft recommend any particular drive specs for WHS drives?  I can't find anything..even searched through all the documentation for the HP MediaSmart Servers...pretty vanilla info there... "any off the shelf SATA drive"
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 9:20 PM
  • Hi,
    usually the client backups can be easily redone, if only the server fails - sind usually the client is still alive.
    If this is not enough for you, you can backup the backup database with the Add In WHSBDBB as described here.

    In the console you can backup your server (shared folders), once you have installed Power Pack 1 and  after you added a disk not to the storage pool, but as backup disk.

    The Green WD disks are what I prefer as well - its a good choice also regarding the temperature.

    Microsoft gives no recommendations for certain disks, because the WHS concept was more like selling the complete hardware appliance instead of the software.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by Puulima Friday, February 20, 2009 5:04 AM
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 11:18 PM
    Moderator
  • Gentlemen, sorry for the questions on things I haven't had a chance to read about yet...just want to get the additional drives ordered ASAP!

    In reading through the Tech Brief on "Drive Extended" I noted something that confused me (see below). It also noted that 20GB of the first drive are setup as the SYSTEM partition and the remainder as the 'Primary Data Partition".  WHS installed itself on my old C:\ drive which is a 250GB drive.  My other drive is a 640GB.

    So is this a problem given I'll be adding 2 external 1TB drives?

    Note The primary data partition in a home server should be as large as possible for two reasons:
    •  You want to provide sufficient space to grow the file table for all of the files that you will store on your home server.
    • Windows Vista® and other home computer operating systems check to see if there is adequate space on the primary data partition prior to starting a copy operation.

    Also - I noticed that in "My Computer" (on Vista machine) I'm still seeing the available space being reported wierd - the mapped drives say "677 GB free of 212 GB"  WHS reports it's "up to date" so not sure what the issue is?

    I have Power Pack 1 installed - but don't understand what the process is for adding an additional drive?  In SERVER STORAGE the "ADD" icon is greyed out...does this only become available when WHS identifies a new drive has been installed or plugged in (external)?  I tried to locate something in the docs but didn't find it...can you advise and/or point me in the right direction for the documentation on how this works?
    • Edited by Puulima Friday, February 20, 2009 5:01 AM
    Friday, February 20, 2009 4:47 AM
  • Hi,
    the statements you are bringing up here are no longer valid since Power Pack 1 and the KB957825 update. The later tricked Vista to see the full capacity, but shows still the physical capacity of the D: drive. A cosmetic issue, which can be easy avoided by not mapping drives, instead accessing the shares directly (i.e. via shortcut Shared Folders on Server).
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    • Marked as answer by Puulima Friday, February 20, 2009 5:04 AM
    Friday, February 20, 2009 5:00 AM
    Moderator
  • Olaf - one last item - I added the last question to the previous post, likely while you were replying.

    Where do I find documentation on how to add drives/storage to WHS?
    Friday, February 20, 2009 5:29 AM
  • Hi,
    correct, if you attach a new drive and it is shown in the console, you can select it with a click and after that the Add function is available.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by Puulima Friday, February 20, 2009 2:31 PM
    Friday, February 20, 2009 8:13 AM
    Moderator
  • Much Thanks!
    Friday, February 20, 2009 2:31 PM
  • Puulima said:

    Olaf - one last item - I added the last question to the previous post, likely while you were replying.

    Where do I find documentation on how to add drives/storage to WHS?

    For questions like this, I highly recommend consulting the help files available through the console. In addition to the answer to this question, they're full of other strange and wonderful tidbits of information. :)


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, February 20, 2009 3:47 PM
    Moderator