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Possible to disable Drive Extender to avoid the KB #946676 (corruption bug)

    Question

  • Hello fellow WHS-ers!

    I have currently ran the WHS on my ESX 3.5 server for several weeks and it is a rocksolid good backup solution.

    Now I have come to the point that I need to add more space, and to avoid the corruption bug can I do the following:

    1. Disable the "Drive Extender Migrator Service"? (Stop it and set it to disable)
    2. Add a new harddrive to the system using the "Computer manager" and then give new drives normal names like E:\, F:\, G:\ ect?

    If all above is possible, does it affect the backupsolution? I'm thinking of moving everything, not the backups, from the D:\ drive to a new and bigger E:\ drive



    I think this solution would work and if so, will it be possible to activate the service later on and then make the system "balanced" once again?

    PS: I do not use the duplicate option, since the drivers are already running on RAID6 Wink

    Regards
    Hest
    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 4:52 PM

Answers

  • You can't really disable the Drive Extender Migrator service. You don't have to do so to add drives outside the storage pool however. You can simply connect the drives, then allocate them drive letters using the normal interfaces. Drives maintained outside the storage pool in this way don't participate in any of the WHS features, however. They won't be used for storing backups, they won't extend the amount of space available for files in your server shares, security won't be managed by the server console, etc.
    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 5:33 PM
    Moderator
  • Your familiarity with the "standard way" of doing things will lead you astray.

    Drive Extender is more than a shell around NTFS. It has several components, including a file system filter driver. You cannot turn it off, and WHS relies on all of DE for proper functioning if you have more than one drive in your storage pool. However, as has been stated before, the backup features are unaffected by the file corruption issue detailed in KB946676.

    If you're going to build your server on RAID (not supported, but doable) the only workable approach is to do so on a RAID array with one volume sized large enough to hold all the data you can foresee adding to your server for some time to come, but no larger than 2 TB. (That volume will be your system disk, and as far as WHS is concerned, the only disk that WHS has in the storage pool.) Windows Home Server uses MBR style partition tables, so you are limited to 2 TB per volume. In that way, you will be protected from the negative effects (including KB946676) of having multiple disks in your storage pool for as long as possible.
    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 7:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for you reply. After reading some more about the extender and checking the SDK I find it more complex than it seems. I'll stop using WHS for now.

    It is a shame that this ugly bug still exists. I have many co-workers and friends that have bought home-servers (Since I'm from Norway, you can see it is quite popular here) Two of them have got data corrupted and are quite miserable with the software. Both of them, me included, does not recommend WHS to others just because of this bug.

    Microsofts "solution" to avoid the bug is to keep data safe on a second location, thats where the product idea collapse since the WHS is your heart of it all.


    If my co-workers and friends are going back to WHS when the bug is fixed will remind to be seen. Especially since most of them have removed it and installed UHS or Mandriva.
    Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:14 AM

All replies

  • You can't really disable the Drive Extender Migrator service. You don't have to do so to add drives outside the storage pool however. You can simply connect the drives, then allocate them drive letters using the normal interfaces. Drives maintained outside the storage pool in this way don't participate in any of the WHS features, however. They won't be used for storing backups, they won't extend the amount of space available for files in your server shares, security won't be managed by the server console, etc.
    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 5:33 PM
    Moderator
  • I got some years experience with 2003 servers, so I'm quite familiar with the "standard way" of doing it.

    As far as I've read the Drive Extender isn't a "shell" around the NTFS calls (from a programming side of it). That means that the Migrator service is really the only thing that makes the "raid-experience" for the end-user. It is the worker for moving stuff around, a duplicator sort of speak.

    WHS is just software added ontop of the 2003 installation as far as I can see. Therefore it shouldn't be a problem disabling it, because I really CAN disable it Wink

    My goal is to keep the "backup part" of the WHS and remove the posibility for the Drive Extender to f*** things up. Meaning no pool, no extending the new way, just plain "old school". And of course keep the good feeling with Webguide and so on Wink


    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 6:19 PM
  • Your familiarity with the "standard way" of doing things will lead you astray.

    Drive Extender is more than a shell around NTFS. It has several components, including a file system filter driver. You cannot turn it off, and WHS relies on all of DE for proper functioning if you have more than one drive in your storage pool. However, as has been stated before, the backup features are unaffected by the file corruption issue detailed in KB946676.

    If you're going to build your server on RAID (not supported, but doable) the only workable approach is to do so on a RAID array with one volume sized large enough to hold all the data you can foresee adding to your server for some time to come, but no larger than 2 TB. (That volume will be your system disk, and as far as WHS is concerned, the only disk that WHS has in the storage pool.) Windows Home Server uses MBR style partition tables, so you are limited to 2 TB per volume. In that way, you will be protected from the negative effects (including KB946676) of having multiple disks in your storage pool for as long as possible.
    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 7:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for you reply. After reading some more about the extender and checking the SDK I find it more complex than it seems. I'll stop using WHS for now.

    It is a shame that this ugly bug still exists. I have many co-workers and friends that have bought home-servers (Since I'm from Norway, you can see it is quite popular here) Two of them have got data corrupted and are quite miserable with the software. Both of them, me included, does not recommend WHS to others just because of this bug.

    Microsofts "solution" to avoid the bug is to keep data safe on a second location, thats where the product idea collapse since the WHS is your heart of it all.


    If my co-workers and friends are going back to WHS when the bug is fixed will remind to be seen. Especially since most of them have removed it and installed UHS or Mandriva.
    Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:14 AM