Which disk do i remove? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Although not a problem at the moment but I thought I'd ask this now, whilst the system is working normally. When the time comes, I know I may have to have the answer quickly.


    I've got 3 x Samsung 500Gb drives in the WHS and although I can identify which one has the operating system on, how can I identify the other two? eg. if I have to remove or replace one, how can I tell which is which? They both identical in the storage section of the console?



    Monday, December 10, 2007 10:20 AM

All replies

  • This is the exact question I came here to ask today. I also have the issue, I have 4 drives in my pool, 2 seagate 300gig and 2 WD 500gig. If a 300gig dies, I have no idea which one to take out. Now while this is not a a huge issue now since it has not happened and I have a 50% of getting it right, as time goes on if I decide to buy an external drive rack and buy a bunch of drives that will more then likely be identical, it would be good info to have.
    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 6:06 PM
  • Hi MoFunk - I know we can't be the only ones - someone must have the answer?



    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 7:15 PM
  • It can be very difficult to determine what physical disk to remove after removing a disk in the WHS console, if you have multiple identical physical disks. Trial and error is the fastest method. Smile However, if you disconnect the wrong disk, it shouldn't cause any problems; Windows Home Server will complain about the missing disk, so you'll reconnect it.
    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 8:56 PM
  • This is kinda what I was thinking and not a big deal with my set up, as long as WHS tells me once I boot up that it is missing files. But what about later down the line? Let's say I build a server from scratch and get one of those stacker cases, fill it with 8 1tb drives for storage and a 1tb system drive? Then say a few months later one of those drives start to die, I would have to unplug and reboot 8 times? Is there any way the system can report where that drive is plugged into, like sata0 or sata4?
    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 10:28 PM
  • Well, that's a good question. There's nothing in the console which will easily let you determine which disk is which today. I've done some research, though, and I think getting under the hood a bit will let you do so.

    First, this will only work with SCSI disks or disks which pretend to be SCSI, like SATA (in SATA or AHCI mode) or disks connected to most RAID controllers. IDE and USB drives will usually not work.

    Now, connect to your WHS PC with remote desktop. Run regedit, and navigate to this key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Storage Manager

    You're interested in the Disks subkey. Disks describes the physical disks that are shown in the console as being part of the storage pool. Disks appear to be listed in reverse order of their presence in the console, so if your system disk is the last one listed in the console, it will be the first disk here. Each disk has an Attributes subkey, which contains a value for DevicePath. That DevicePath will tie to the physical disk.

    I don't have any systems with IDE disks, so I can't do a similar analysis of that setup, but for the moment, I think this will give you the information you need. It will be up to you to tie a DevicePath back to a particular SATA port on your motherboard (or add-in SATA card). Be warned: some manufacturers number SATA ports from 0, some from 1.
    Thursday, December 13, 2007 2:58 AM
  • So am I right in saying that, when a drive starts to fail I can simply detach a drive then re-boot and if it's not the failing drive just simply re-plug it back in without risking any of the data? - then try another (ie - it won't loose any data or ask for a reformat).


    Never the less, Cheers Ken interesting workaround. Maybe there could be something more obvious in WHS V2.0?  

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 8:59 AM
  • If a drive goes missing, you'll get a critical network health warning, just as though it had failed. But if you then reconnect it, Windows Home Server should detect that it's the missing drive via the signature that gets written to every drive in the storage pool.
    Thursday, December 13, 2007 6:23 PM
  • Many thanks Ken - My only reservation to the process is your term 'should detect that it's the missing drive'.


    Have you tried this yet?


    I'm sure someone must have? - can anyone tell us that all was OK?

    Friday, December 14, 2007 8:38 AM
  • Yes, more than once. WHS complains about the drive that just "failed" (critical network health warning). When I make the drive available again, all is well.

    "Should" is because I don't know how you've built your WHS, or what hidden issues it could be having.
    Friday, December 14, 2007 12:37 PM
  • Just so I am clear, and for those at home who may be curious; if I detach a drive from say port sata2, reboot, get the WHS message, shut down to plug back in, will it matter what port I plug into? Say I have have sata3 open and I mistakingly plug into that, will I still get an error? Or will WHS just know that drive regardless of where I plug it in?

    Friday, December 14, 2007 9:11 PM
  • I haven't tried that. Let us know what happens. Smile
    Friday, December 14, 2007 9:53 PM
  • Last night I tried to install a sata card to hook up a couple more drives, I unplugged a couple current drives and plugged them onto this new board. My system does not like that new board and blue screens so I plugged the drives back onto the mobo, I know I moved a couple to different ports and everything seems to be working fine, so it appears that you can move drives to different ports and not effect the data. Just in case anyone wanted to know.
    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 12:42 AM
  • I agree with the OP that this is a problem and it will be more frequent as drives get older. I hope MS comes up with an easier solution than messing around in the registry or unplugging drives. Imagine the folks that buy the retail servers and have limited skills.
    I have 12+ drives. There are 3 sets of 4 identical drives so this is a real issue now that I'm getting a SMART message about a potential drive failure. I think I will try unplugging the drives one at time as suggested above and should need only 4 reboots at most.
    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 9:29 PM
  • I'm developing an Add-In to address this issue. Beta download here:




    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 11:40 PM
  • Very nice, I will try it out.
    Thursday, January 17, 2008 4:23 PM