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Installing WHS 2011 on a 60gb SSD Drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I'm trying to install WHS 2011 on a 60GB OCZ Solid 3 SSD. The installation fails at disk check every time, despite the answer file values I've tried. Here's what I've done so far in my attempt to get this to work:

    1. Created a WHS 2011 USB install key as described here.

    2. On the root of the WHS usb install key, a cfg.ini answer file was created, as read here. I tried a couple different values.

    [WinPE]
    ConfigDisk=1
    CheckReqs=0
    WindowsPartitionSize=MAX

    -and-

    [WinPE]
    ConfigDisk=1
    CheckReqs=0
    WindowsPartitionSize=30000

    3. Disconnected all drives except for the SSD in the whs box, and inserted the WHS usb install key into a usb port. Bios is set to boot from usb, and system is powered up

    4. I know the WHS installer is trying to use the answer file because

    a) the line "Processed=true" gets added to the cfg answer file after the installation attempt, and
    b ) When set to MAX, two partitions are created on the disk, a 100mb system reserved partition and, a single primary partition that spans the rest of the
    available space on the drive(55.80gb). When the WindowsPartitionSize in the cfg is set to 30gb or "30000", three partitions on the drive are created: one 100mb system reserved partition, one 29.30gb, and a third 25.5gb partition(I know this because after install fails at diskcheck, I unplug the ssd from my whs box and plug it into my desktop to see if/what partitions were created)

    5. Here's the logs created by the whs installer when it fails:

    a) For the cfg "MAX" value, I get

    Quote

    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] Launching Windows Setup
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Setup Collecting User Data -------------------------------------------
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Getting configuration for DefaultLanguage
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: No value supplied, using default value AUTO
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Getting configuration for DefaultKeyboard
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Skipping optional configuration, no value specified
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Getting configuration for DefaultLocale
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Skipping optional configuration, no value specified
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Getting configuration for DefaultTimeZone
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Skipping optional configuration, no value specified
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Getting configuration for DefaultServerName
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: No value supplied, using default value Server
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] WARNING: Unable to verify computer name availability due to network error 2136
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Getting configuration for Drivers
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Skipping optional configuration, no value specified
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Getting configuration for InstallDisk
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Using UI specified value
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Getting configuration for SystemPartitionType
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Populating internal setting from existing data
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: MBR firmware detected
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: GetFirmwareEnvironmentVariableW indicated required partition type 1 (Status: 1)
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Getting configuration for SystemPartitionActive
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Populating internal setting from existing data
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Getting configuration for SystemPartitionFormat
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Populating internal setting from existing data
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Getting configuration for MSRPartitionType
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Populating internal setting from existing data
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Getting configuration for WindowsPartitionID
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: No value supplied, using default value AUTO
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Getting configuration for WindowsPartitionSize
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: No value supplied, using default value 61440
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] INFO: Calculated pre system partition remaining space as: 59916574720
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] ERROR: Specified partition size is too large to support a data partition, maximum possible is: 46900 MB (Alternatively, use MAX to span the whole disk)
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] ERROR: The value chosen for this setting is invalid
    [TRACE] UIBackend::Launch : Exited (0x80004005)
    [9/18/2011 12:09:53 AM 2f4] Failed to launch Windows Setup


    b.) and for the 30gb value in the cfg ("30000")

    Quote

    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] Launching Windows Setup
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Setup Collecting User Data -------------------------------------------
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Getting configuration for DefaultLanguage
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: No value supplied, using default value AUTO
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Getting configuration for DefaultKeyboard
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Skipping optional configuration, no value specified
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Getting configuration for DefaultLocale
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Skipping optional configuration, no value specified
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Getting configuration for DefaultTimeZone
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Skipping optional configuration, no value specified
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Getting configuration for DefaultServerName
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: No value supplied, using default value Server
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] WARNING: Unable to verify computer name availability due to network error 2136
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Getting configuration for Drivers
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Skipping optional configuration, no value specified
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Getting configuration for InstallDisk
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Using UI specified value
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Getting configuration for SystemPartitionType
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Populating internal setting from existing data
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: MBR firmware detected
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: GetFirmwareEnvironmentVariableW indicated required partition type 1 (Status: 1)
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Getting configuration for SystemPartitionActive
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Populating internal setting from existing data
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Getting configuration for SystemPartitionFormat
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Populating internal setting from existing data
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Getting configuration for MSRPartitionType
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Populating internal setting from existing data
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Getting configuration for WindowsPartitionID
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: No value supplied, using default value AUTO
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Getting configuration for WindowsPartitionSize
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: No value supplied, using default value 61440
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] INFO: Calculated pre system partition remaining space as: 59916574720
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] ERROR: Specified partition size is too large to support a data partition, maximum possible is: 46900 MB (Alternatively, use MAX to span the whole disk)
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] ERROR: The value chosen for this setting is invalid
    [TRACE] UIBackend::Launch : Exited (0x80004005)
    [9/17/2011 11:46:00 PM 2ec] Failed to launch Windows Setup


    I'm no expert in reading install logs, but it appears the WHS installer is not fully being controlled by the cfg answer file. It doesn't skip the disk check and fails there everytime. However, the installer writes the "Processed=true" line to the cfg answer files, and the ssd does indeed get formatted according to the values in the cfg answer file.

    I know by reading here and elsewhere many others have had success installing whs onto and SSD, some of even smaller capacity than mine, so I don't understand why its not working for me.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks

    ps. my whs specs

    i5-2400
    8GB Gskill Ripjaws 1600MHz DDR3
    Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3
    OCZ Solid 3 60GB for OS
    15TB of data drives to add once install is finished           

    John M. Keller MCP (XP & 2003) | Security + E-Mail : itbeast@msn.com
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 6:38 AM

Answers

  • You aren't giving Windows Home Server enough room to install, so use a larger disk. You won't realize any noticeable performance benefit from use of an SSD as the Windows Home Server system drive, so a 1 TB or larger system disk is actually pretty practical.


    Hi Ken.  ITBeast reposted my question here in effort to help me.(thanks ITBeast!)  I understand your recommendation, thank you.  However, after having an SSD on my desktop, I won't go back.  I installed WHS 2011 on a 2TB hdd, and found it mind-numbingly slow on rebooting and launching programs.(I remote into my server a lot)  Hense my desire to use a small ssd on the sys drive.

    Long story short is I got this to work.

    Sometimes solutions are frustratingly simple.

    What I was doing wrong was not removing the USB install key after the installer copied and expanded the files on the SSD. My WHS box kept booting off the USB key after rebooting. :rolleyes:

    After realizing my stupid mistake, I tried again. This time, I removed the USB install key after the installer rebooted, and set the bios to boot from the HDD. Presto, WHS 2011 continues to install on my SSD and completes successfully.

    Using a cfg.ini answer file does indeed work for getting the WHS 2011 to ignore its default sys req's.  No need to use any imaging software to clone another drive and copy it to an SSD.  Just create a cfg.ini answer file and install directly onto the SSD.


    1 beer for me!:P



    • Edited by Gnomatic Monday, September 19, 2011 12:08 AM
    • Marked as answer by ITBeast Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:18 AM
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 10:31 PM
  • As Gnomatic pointed out he was able to get it work from polishing what another forum member was originally able to do as well a couple of months ago. I stream lined the process in this How to Article article I just posted at the UWHS site for anybody else who is interested.
    John M. Keller MCP (XP & 2003) | Security + E-Mail : itbeast@msn.com
    • Marked as answer by ITBeast Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:18 AM
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:18 AM

All replies

  • People have had all manner of problems trying to install on a disk smaller than the minimum system requirement size of 120GB. Equally not sure why you need an SSD for the Server OS - it would be better used where you are likely to benefit from its increased read/write performance.
    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 9:31 AM
  • I think Phil has made a typo. The supported minimum OS Hard Disc is 160GB.

    Dave


    The Frog on the Lilypad at Home
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 11:38 AM
  • You aren't giving Windows Home Server enough room to install, so use a larger disk. You won't realize any noticeable performance benefit from use of an SSD as the Windows Home Server system drive, so a 1 TB or larger system disk is actually pretty practical.

    Failing that:

    • Install on a larger disk (make life simple and use one that meets the minimum system requirements).
    • Move all shares to a second disk.
    • Delete the data partition on the system disk.
    • Clone the rest of the disk (system reserved + boot partition) to your SSD.
    • Swap the SSD for the system disk.

    Others have managed to get Windows Home Server running on a smaller disk by using some variation on the above, I'm pretty sure. And they're wasting their SSDs too. :)


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 1:07 PM
  • You aren't giving Windows Home Server enough room to install, so use a larger disk. You won't realize any noticeable performance benefit from use of an SSD as the Windows Home Server system drive, so a 1 TB or larger system disk is actually pretty practical.


    Hi Ken.  ITBeast reposted my question here in effort to help me.(thanks ITBeast!)  I understand your recommendation, thank you.  However, after having an SSD on my desktop, I won't go back.  I installed WHS 2011 on a 2TB hdd, and found it mind-numbingly slow on rebooting and launching programs.(I remote into my server a lot)  Hense my desire to use a small ssd on the sys drive.

    Long story short is I got this to work.

    Sometimes solutions are frustratingly simple.

    What I was doing wrong was not removing the USB install key after the installer copied and expanded the files on the SSD. My WHS box kept booting off the USB key after rebooting. :rolleyes:

    After realizing my stupid mistake, I tried again. This time, I removed the USB install key after the installer rebooted, and set the bios to boot from the HDD. Presto, WHS 2011 continues to install on my SSD and completes successfully.

    Using a cfg.ini answer file does indeed work for getting the WHS 2011 to ignore its default sys req's.  No need to use any imaging software to clone another drive and copy it to an SSD.  Just create a cfg.ini answer file and install directly onto the SSD.


    1 beer for me!:P



    • Edited by Gnomatic Monday, September 19, 2011 12:08 AM
    • Marked as answer by ITBeast Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:18 AM
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 10:31 PM
  • As Gnomatic pointed out he was able to get it work from polishing what another forum member was originally able to do as well a couple of months ago. I stream lined the process in this How to Article article I just posted at the UWHS site for anybody else who is interested.
    John M. Keller MCP (XP & 2003) | Security + E-Mail : itbeast@msn.com
    • Marked as answer by ITBeast Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:18 AM
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:18 AM
  • This works....

     

    Thanks alot...!

    Saturday, October 8, 2011 10:46 AM
  • If you are searching for faster backups don't forget the limitations of an Ethernet network.  This may not apply to your system,  but it may apply to others.  If you still have a 100 Mbps  Ethernet network based on older hardware (router and switches) then you can just update to a gigabit switch(es) in the minimal upgrade case.  Connect the modem to the router and the router to the switch.  Connect all the PC's and WHS to the switch(es) and you have a gigabit LAN for minimal cost.  No reason to improve the router for an Ethernet network since the modem is less than 100 Mbps.  The upgrade should also include Cat 6 cabling or at the least Cat 5e.

    If you have a wireless network . . . sorry, but good luck!

    Monday, October 10, 2011 2:26 AM