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  • Question

  • Why is the size limit is setup set at 65 Gb on the primary disk, when the Windows Server 2008 Beta on MSDN, which should be a much larger system as this one is only designed for home servers, says that the most basic of loads is only 10 Gb, and almost all of the loads will run fine on a plain old 40 Gb.

    Saturday, July 21, 2007 2:05 PM

Answers

  • WHS uses the system disk for several purposes, so it's requirements are higher than WS2008. (If all you were looking at was the OS itself, then WHS could easily install in less than 10 GB. But in that environment it would be unusable.)

    First, it puts the OS on that disk, in a 20 GB C: partition; in addition to the OS itself this allows space for log files (remember that WHS is for the most part intended for a technically unsophisticated audience who may not want to or know how to perform common maintenance tasks on a server), add-ins, and (for enthusiasts, who are more likely to want to get under the hood) additional software.

    On the second partition (the remainder of the disk), it puts some system data. That's always present. Depending on how many disks are installed in the storage pool, there are a variety of other purposes for the D: partition. The primary one, though, is as a landing zone for files being copied to WHS, before Drive Extender moves them to secondary disks in the storage pool. If the D: partition is too small, it limits the maximum amount of data that you can copy to WHS in one shot: other operating systems (such as Vista) will refuse to copy e.g. 60 GB to a share on a physical disk with less than that amount of space free, no matter how much space is free on secondary disks in the pool. Other uses for the D: partition include: backups of client PCs (in WHS systems with one or two disks in the pool), storage of copies of files in shares marked for duplication (in systems with exactly two disks in the pool), "tombstones" (in systems with two or more disks in the pool; these are NTFS reparse points that indicate where the actual files are), and actual files (in systems with one disk). If you fill the storage pool completely, eventually you can force all of these types of data to the D: partition.

    Anyway, that explains the types of data that can be stored on the system disk. The system partition takes up 20 GB, and requiring a disk large enough allow a minimum of another 45 GB for the primary data partition seems like a good compromise, especially since it's difficult to buy a consumer drive that small these days. Smile
    Saturday, July 21, 2007 3:40 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • WHS uses the system disk for several purposes, so it's requirements are higher than WS2008. (If all you were looking at was the OS itself, then WHS could easily install in less than 10 GB. But in that environment it would be unusable.)

    First, it puts the OS on that disk, in a 20 GB C: partition; in addition to the OS itself this allows space for log files (remember that WHS is for the most part intended for a technically unsophisticated audience who may not want to or know how to perform common maintenance tasks on a server), add-ins, and (for enthusiasts, who are more likely to want to get under the hood) additional software.

    On the second partition (the remainder of the disk), it puts some system data. That's always present. Depending on how many disks are installed in the storage pool, there are a variety of other purposes for the D: partition. The primary one, though, is as a landing zone for files being copied to WHS, before Drive Extender moves them to secondary disks in the storage pool. If the D: partition is too small, it limits the maximum amount of data that you can copy to WHS in one shot: other operating systems (such as Vista) will refuse to copy e.g. 60 GB to a share on a physical disk with less than that amount of space free, no matter how much space is free on secondary disks in the pool. Other uses for the D: partition include: backups of client PCs (in WHS systems with one or two disks in the pool), storage of copies of files in shares marked for duplication (in systems with exactly two disks in the pool), "tombstones" (in systems with two or more disks in the pool; these are NTFS reparse points that indicate where the actual files are), and actual files (in systems with one disk). If you fill the storage pool completely, eventually you can force all of these types of data to the D: partition.

    Anyway, that explains the types of data that can be stored on the system disk. The system partition takes up 20 GB, and requiring a disk large enough allow a minimum of another 45 GB for the primary data partition seems like a good compromise, especially since it's difficult to buy a consumer drive that small these days. Smile
    Saturday, July 21, 2007 3:40 PM
    Moderator
  • It's odd that you can't install WHS OS it on a seperate HDD. Or have a option to force it to install anyway.
    For example, I've been trying to get WHS to work on an old Dell server just for testing purposes. It has 20 GB HDD as primary and a secondary drive of 60 GB. According to your explanation, this would be sufficient if the install wrapper gave me control over what gets installed where, not just demanding a large disk to partition. this server was going to be primarily a httpd, ftpd,  UPnP media server and NAS. Since my network only consists of Windows 2000 and XP PC's I don't understand why this 65GB has to be enforced without having an option to install anyway. I did do an extensive search but I haven't found an answer yet.

    Keywords: Windows Home Server, harddisk, HDD, 65GB, limit, install
    Friday, January 25, 2008 12:59 PM
  • Because that's the way M/s have built it I would guess. Also, as by far the largest proportion of servers are going to be built by people like HP and there is no way that they are going to be having 20GB disks laying around! Plus,as this disk acts as the 'landing stage' for copied files, your disks are going to severely restrict the size of any files that can be copied - see multiple posts on here already. Also, seeing the size of some of the monthly M/s updates and SP's, 20Gb for the operating system etc., will soon get eaten into!

    If all you want is a  httpd, ftpd,  UPnP media server and NAS, then WHS isn't the product for you really is it? Plus, you cannot install the Connector software on Windows 2000 machines anyway.

     

     

    Colin

    Friday, January 25, 2008 5:47 PM
  • ...... especially since it's difficult to buy a consumer drive that small these days. Smile
    Interestingly this is less true now than when this post was written.. I for example would like to install WHS using an SSD as the system drive. Why? As this is far less likely to fail and given the lack of system drive backup/redundancy this is very important to me. However affordable SSDs tend to be either 32, 60 or 64Gb, even the largest of which unfortunately is just below the required size. The next size up tends to be 128Gb which is still generally way too expensive. Is there any work around to get WHS to work on a 64Gb drive? Thanks! T
    Friday, July 17, 2009 11:06 AM
  • Interestingly this is less true now than when this post was written.. I for example would like to install WHS using an SSD as the system drive. Why? As this is far less likely to fail and given the lack of system drive backup/redundancy this is very important to me. However affordable SSDs tend to be either 32, 60 or 64Gb, even the largest of which unfortunately is just below the required size. The next size up tends to be 128Gb which is still generally way too expensive. Is there any work around to get WHS to work on a 64Gb drive? Thanks! T

    No.
    Friday, July 17, 2009 11:27 PM
    Moderator
  • Hmm, this is a good point though. Hopefully they address this in the next edition (if there is one) or even next service pack. It would be nice to have a 32GB (20GB is only required for WHS OS) SSD for the OS, and then everything else on the storage drives.

    Either way, good points, I'm just delving into WHS and so far am loving it.
    Friday, July 17, 2009 11:32 PM
  • Hmm, this is a good point though. Hopefully they address this in the next edition (if there is one) or even next service pack. It would be nice to have a 32GB (20GB is only required for WHS OS) SSD for the OS, and then everything else on the storage drives.

    Either way, good points, I'm just delving into WHS and so far am loving it.

    That will never change in a Service/Power Pack (it's impossible).  As for the next version, I guess it's possible, but I seriously doubt it.
    Friday, July 17, 2009 11:35 PM
    Moderator
  • Interestingly this is less true now than when this post was written.. I for example would like to install WHS using an SSD as the system drive. Why? As this is far less likely to fail and given the lack of system drive backup/redundancy this is very important to me. However affordable SSDs tend to be either 32, 60 or 64Gb, even the largest of which unfortunately is just below the required size. The next size up tends to be 128Gb which is still generally way too expensive. Is there any work around to get WHS to work on a 64Gb drive? Thanks! T

    No.

    Thats a real shame! For me the greatest weakness of WHS is the lack of resilience of the system drive and that would have been a good and not too expensive way of mitigating it.

    But anyhow - thanks for the quick response.

    T
    Sunday, July 19, 2009 9:38 PM
  •  Is there any work around to get WHS to work on a 64Gb drive?
    There's no supported way to get Windows Home Server to install on a smaller drive, no. Some users have had success by interrupting installation at an appropriate point (for example after the first or second reboot) and cloning onto a smaller drive, I think. But some users who have tried have found themselves with other issues later on, so I wouldn't recommend it.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, July 20, 2009 4:17 PM
    Moderator
  • Reading some on SP2 for WHS, it appears that while you're stuck with the 20GB system partition, you are no longer bound by the remaining free space on the system drive. Although WHS still avoids storing any info there until last for some reason.
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 4:22 AM
  • Short Answer. It can be done...

    Questions to consider:
    1 How bad do you want it ...
    2 How much time are you willing to invest 
    3 Is this for fun and education or are we expecting a solid stable build without issue(s) out of this.

    Be honest looking back to the 1970's how effecient is code now days compared to the 64K the Code Gods had to work with.   I my opinion code dev has become quicker and easier but at the expense of poor syntax and logic  resulting in "bloat-ware" that runs pretty good...but...   even better with half again as many resources. That is honesty...  Redmond tries to cover as many bases as it can with one release of SW, that is fairly smart  business but... by no means is it specific.

    Specific is one expensive piece of software developed for a single purpose, not integrated with anything else by programmers who to talk to eachother and know what every part of it does and test it till the drives smoke and the RAM starts to smell strange. ( i.e. no modular coding plug-ins that ereases John's work while running Mary's data that inadvertantly causes stack fault and dumps to the printer interrupting Ed's Sr Exec level meeting with clients ).

    There may be no way to Install it following "Redmond's 1 way"... but working in an enterprise environment we do roll out customized builds for system specific tasks / machines. At this point we are upgrading our Eden based thinclients ( H/P) to 1GB ram and working with 512 SSD and we are cramming in an unbelieable amout of OS operability on them with a target to turn them into mini low power silent desktops. As for our 38/40+ GB on desktops we are able to deploy a full system in between 7 and under 10 minutes. These builds includ X/P SP3, all updates, even M/S Office PRO 2007 for office staff as well as other terminal client tools and software..

    The key is to install on a base system, configure it take image of it ( this is the most time consuming part and is more than a typical install and thus takes more than an hour of work). Once the proto-system is ready and image is cut we then have our working installer. You may have figured out by now that most of the teaking is done post install so space management is a big option at that point. When the image is transfered to a target we can also set the range from the bare minimum size that the image takes up or expand the target disk space it. After the image data is witten the "white space, (free/empty) " beyond the image just flies as it preps of usage and finishes. (For the records we are M/S Volume licensed and are SMS managed in addition to the unique keys being on each and every machine straight from Dll, H/P IB'em. The images are legal and accounted for on each deploy)

    With the above method it is very likely that you can back-track around Redmon's way of install and experiment with the system / OS environment.
    However, a caution is in order. these particular "Brands" of OS do have a bad tendency to have overhead and get cranky when starved for system resources when running  low. At lease with REL3 we can swat and restart without killing everything. I think they are learning some of the advantages of that up in the NW state.... New one the block is VT. Running Virts are an interesting experience.. there is even a virt server that runs the Vistx Vers  great under X/P I have also tested it with Suse 10/11 so I'm wondering how WHS will work as a virt in the sand box as this seems to be the way we all are headed anyway with a Virt Shell hosting OS of your choice -What tired of Cherry ?? Okay thets save/suspend or exit and go to Bananas or Blueberries.. Which all work IF the hardware has integrity and is ('adiquate' - keyword).

    Imaging works when you know what you're dealing with and what to do..., but sometimes you just have to keep trying and find out what to do/not do and make notes
    This would be my vector on the challenge.

    Good day/evening Gentlemen my week is now over.

    • Edited by FuzzyLogician Sunday, August 16, 2009 8:06 AM grammer / formatting and it's 3am
    Sunday, August 16, 2009 8:02 AM