Why doesn't WHS balance the data to the largest drive? RRS feed

  • Question

  • The first configuration of my WHS was a 120GB IDE drive as primary and some data and a 500GB SATA as data. The 120GB drive failed, so I installed a 1.5 TB drive. Most of the configuration was pulled from the 500 GB drive and I hardly lost a single thing. This really impressed me. Good work, team! *thumbs up*

    That was a few months ago. What disappoints me now is that the video streaming performance has recently become quite slow and stuttered, even when the server is doing nothing else. I loaded up the Disk Management Add-in and it showed me that the 500GB drive is 99% full, while the 1.5TB drive is only 19% full. 

    When I put in the 1.5 TB drive, the 500GB drive was only about 60% full. Why would it continue adding data to that drive when it has over twice that space available on the other drive?

    I know of the Drive Balancer App, but that's a third-party, command-line utility. I refuse to believe that the Microsoft team would have a third service pack out by now yet not have a solution for me.

    Is there an official solution to balancing data over both drives? The performance on what should be the secondary drive is abysmal.


    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 7:11 PM

All replies

  • Your server is functioning as designed.

    By design, Windows Home Server favors the drive that's most full as the location to place new files. This tends to result in all of the files for a particular folder/share being clustered on a small number of hard drives, which means less disruption in the event of a hard drive failure.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 7:25 PM
  • I can see some logic in that. However, I can't believe that filling a drive to 99% while the other is below 20% is preferable. Preventing folder file collections from fragmenting at the expense of severe data fragmentation of the files themselves seems counter-productive.

    Is there an MS-sanctioned method to fixing this?

    Thursday, April 8, 2010 5:50 PM
  • No, there's no supported way to "fix" the situation. However, files will, for the most part, only fragment if changed. How often do you change most of the content on your server? I tend to move files to the server, then leave them alone forever after.

    At one time (at initial release) Windows Home Server would move files around to balance storage. It turns out that this has an extremely negative effect on overall server performance; your server's drives will tend to be busy much of the time. So a different algorithm was chosen.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, April 8, 2010 8:07 PM