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  • Question

  • Hi all,

     

    I am planning a WHS build, its been a few years since I last built a PC and I just have a few questions which probably sound pretty simple but thought I'd get the info before I started.

     

    Questions:

     

    I plan to buy 2TB of SATA drives. I have seen that WHS is recommended to be installed on the largest hard drive. Usually, I install Windows on a dedicated hard drive and have the others purely for storage. Would running WHS on an 80GB SATA drive, then having the two TB drives as storage work? Or should I just throw the drives in and let WHS install whereever it wants to?

     

    I have a few older IDE drives that I plan to stick in the server, will this cause any problems, or will the Drive Extender just use all the available space?

     

    I also have an 500GB USB External HDD, will this be able to be used to back up the server? Obviously I wouldn't need to back it up every night, just once or twice a month would suffice. Basically I have had two HDDs fail in the past three years, losing all my data and I don't want to be in the same situation again (particularly as it'll have important Uni work etc on it).

     

    I see Power Pack 1 Beta has been released. I am currently running Windows Vista Business x64. In the list of the improvements, support has now been added for this OS. When will WHS start shipping with Power Pack 1 on it... as I can see myself having a few issues here.

     

    NIC teaming: I am planning to buy a switch for the upstairs of the house (at the moment we have a wireless router downstairs and 3 long network cables trailing up the stairs to our individual rooms.) I am planning on buying a mobo with two NICs, so can these be teamed to the switch to provide stability?

     

    Lastly, and this is perhaps the most random question... in the worst case scenario if my Laptop breaks will I be able to install Word on the WHS and write an essay? Just trying to plan for all eventualities, and thinking the WHS could be used as a last resort.

     

    I am sure some of these have probably been answered elsewhere, so sorry if they have, but I would appreciate any help on the above topics. Just hoping 

     

    Thanks in advance Smile 

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008 1:35 PM

Answers

  • Windows Home Server will use 20 GB of space on your system drive for the system (C: ) partition, and the remainder as the primary data (D: ) partition, which is the starting point for the storage pool. Other drives will be used as secondary drives In the storage pool (minus 20 GB per drive, which is reserved for file growth, etc.). You can't control the way WHS uses it's drives, so you can't split the OS onto a separate drive.

    Using a small (80 GB) drive as your system drive will hamper WHS operations in a number of ways. The system drive is used as a "landing zone" for files being copied to the server; as a result an 80 GB system drive (74 real GB) will limit you to a maximum copy size of 54 GB before you'll have to wait for Drive Extender to move files off the drive. the system drive is used for other things as well. "Tombstones" are stored there, as are duplicate files and backups in some cases.

    Using older drives: I recommend against it. Drives are mechanical devices. Over sufficient time, mechanical devices have a 100% failure rate. Google published a very interesting paper on drive failure a couple of years ago. Windows Home Server will use those drives, and if you turn on share duplication, you won't lose any files of one fails, but if they're more than 2-3 years old, you're risking failure.

    Shipping with Power Pack 1: will happen, I'm sure Microsoft will refresh media when PP1 is released. But whetehr you can get your hands on that refreshed media easily isn't something that anyone can answer; I would expect vendors to ship the old media until they run out.

    NIC teaming: Not supported. If you know how to configure it from end to end you may be able to get it to work, but it's not there "out of the box."

    Word on WHS: you can probably do it, since it's running on Windows Server 2003, but again it's unsupported. The system drive is extremely limited, as well, and there are tools available on the desktop that could severely damage your server (because it's not designed to be used interactively from the desktop).

    You may want to read some of the documentation available here. In particular the Drive Extender technical brief is likely to be of interest to you.
    Tuesday, June 10, 2008 3:22 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Windows Home Server will use 20 GB of space on your system drive for the system (C: ) partition, and the remainder as the primary data (D: ) partition, which is the starting point for the storage pool. Other drives will be used as secondary drives In the storage pool (minus 20 GB per drive, which is reserved for file growth, etc.). You can't control the way WHS uses it's drives, so you can't split the OS onto a separate drive.

    Using a small (80 GB) drive as your system drive will hamper WHS operations in a number of ways. The system drive is used as a "landing zone" for files being copied to the server; as a result an 80 GB system drive (74 real GB) will limit you to a maximum copy size of 54 GB before you'll have to wait for Drive Extender to move files off the drive. the system drive is used for other things as well. "Tombstones" are stored there, as are duplicate files and backups in some cases.

    Using older drives: I recommend against it. Drives are mechanical devices. Over sufficient time, mechanical devices have a 100% failure rate. Google published a very interesting paper on drive failure a couple of years ago. Windows Home Server will use those drives, and if you turn on share duplication, you won't lose any files of one fails, but if they're more than 2-3 years old, you're risking failure.

    Shipping with Power Pack 1: will happen, I'm sure Microsoft will refresh media when PP1 is released. But whetehr you can get your hands on that refreshed media easily isn't something that anyone can answer; I would expect vendors to ship the old media until they run out.

    NIC teaming: Not supported. If you know how to configure it from end to end you may be able to get it to work, but it's not there "out of the box."

    Word on WHS: you can probably do it, since it's running on Windows Server 2003, but again it's unsupported. The system drive is extremely limited, as well, and there are tools available on the desktop that could severely damage your server (because it's not designed to be used interactively from the desktop).

    You may want to read some of the documentation available here. In particular the Drive Extender technical brief is likely to be of interest to you.
    Tuesday, June 10, 2008 3:22 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ken,

    Thanks for your prompt reply. Think that pretty much answers my questions, and clarifys a lot of points Smile. Just good to know what to plan for, as can't really afford to get it wrong/could have used the money elsewhere! I have a number of other machines in which I will be able to use if needs must, so hopefully wilthin the next two/three weeks ill be up and running.

    Any ideas on the external HDD for a backup solution?
    Tuesday, June 10, 2008 4:38 PM