locked
Drive addition utility RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hi I think it is really important that a drive can be added without formating.

    Somewhere in this forum it has been mensioned that you can copy the data off of a second drive into the shares then format the original shares, but this is not always possible. I have built the server on a 40Gb drive, now I want to add my 300Gb drive full of photos and music. This presents a big problem. I know a lot of people who would want this software have they're music etc on large second drives.

    Some kind of utility that allowed you to sort where data would be put before adding the second drives to the shares would be a great idea. I understand the issues presented by having the data auto sorted but I would be happy to file my data prior to starting.

    Sunday, February 25, 2007 2:10 PM

All replies

  • Well, let's think about it this way. 

    If in the future, you were to buy an HP WHS box, it's probably going to come with lots of drive space available.  So for you, it would require you copying off your files over the network to WHS to populate it and free up that 300 GB drive of yours.  After freeing it, you add it to WHS and gain 300 GB of storage pool space. 

    If you were to buy an OEM copy of WHS and install it on a 40GB drive, but have 300GB of data to put in the pool, that would, no offense intended, seem like a lack of preparation to me.  How are you supposed to offload 300GB of space temporarily without having a place for it?  Having DriveExtender do some magic would seem like a short term solution to a long term problem.  One solution would most likely be to buy a 500GB drive (~$160) and make sure that's in WHS before you even think about doing something with all your data.  Another solution would be to backup all your data on DVD (not a bad idea to being with), wipe the drive and add it or do some spring cleaning to see if you really need all 300GB of what you have.

    When I found out I was in the WHS beta, I had to take stock of my current storage requirements and possible future needs.  I've been waiting for a product like WHS for a long time and had to plan what this setup would look like.  I had (2) 250GB USB drives connected to my main workstation, a 250GB drive in a Vista test box and an 80 GB drive in a Dell SC420 that wasn't doing anything special.  I decided to put WHS on the SC420 because it had more room for drives.  I swapped the 250GB Vista drive for the SC420 80GB drive and installed WHS on the 250.  I ordered (2) 500GB drives and a SATA controller card from newegg to help populate the WHS.  After those were in, I migrated my external USB drive data to the storage pool on WHS.  After they were migrated I moved the USB drives to WHS and increased the pool by another 500GB to ensure I had plently of room for the near future.

    Long story short - think about what you'd like your WHS to look like in your environment.  I mean, really think about it.  Draw it out on paper, look at what you have and what you'll need.  Try to anticipate your needs 6 /12 / 18 months ahead of time.  Envision your ideal system and then start scaling back to meet financial reality.  That would be my recommendation to anyone looking at building a WHS from scratch.  Good luck with your WHS plans ....

     

    - Jim 

    Sunday, February 25, 2007 3:18 PM
  • I can see where your coming from but it seems a little strange to suggest that the only way people will want to buy home server is along with the hardware to run it. If this is the suggested method I think Microsoft will push away a lot of people who might otherwise use WHS.

    I agree that the best method would be to plan out your WHS instalation and buy hardware to fit your plans, but I know a lot of people who already own a spare machine of reasonable spec, that they are using on their workgoup for file sharing and would probably buy home server to run on this machine. Telling them that the only way to do this is to buy a new drive of greater capacity than the sum of their current data and then install on that and copy the data accross seems a little short sighted and will put people off of the software. If the purpose of this is to make it simple for any home user to add to their network I really think that a utility to allow migration of data would be a very helpfull feature. Thats just my opinion though.

    Sunday, February 25, 2007 5:28 PM
  •  Fingersthebeaver wrote:

    I can see where your coming from but it seems a little strange to suggest that the only way people will want to buy home server is along with the hardware to run it. If this is the suggested method I think Microsoft will push away a lot of people who might otherwise use WHS.

    I agree that the best method would be to plan out your WHS instalation and buy hardware to fit your plans, but I know a lot of people who already own a spare machine of reasonable spec, that they are using on their workgoup for file sharing and would probably buy home server to run on this machine. Telling them that the only way to do this is to buy a new drive of greater capacity than the sum of their current data and then install on that and copy the data accross seems a little short sighted and will put people off of the software. If the purpose of this is to make it simple for any home user to add to their network I really think that a utility to allow migration of data would be a very helpfull feature. Thats just my opinion though.



    Actually, I think that's the way WHS will mostly be sold, pre-installed on something like the HP SmartMedia Server. That's the easiest way to add WHS to your home network. (Not the cheapest, of course.) And I agree with Microsoft that that's the way the majority of WHS users will buy it. Enthusiasts are the only ones who will be interested in a BYOB (Bring Your Own Box) approach, I think, and we're definitely in the minority.

    Also, there are currently available alternatives to WHS, mostly Linux-based. None of them has addressed the data migration issue, probably because it's not an easy issue to solve. The "solution" is always either buying the hardware and the software at the same time,or leaving the migration of data off of, and back on to, the hardware to the end user.

    One final thing to consider (as a beta tester) is that Microsoft has been very up-front about warning beta testers that we should not put irreplaceable data on our WHS testbeds. Everything that we have on WHS should be backed up elsewhere on our network. If you need something like WHS today because you have data that isn't backed up anywhere, I honestly think you need to look at another solution, like an external USB drive or two that you back up onto. Beta software isn't something I would trust my family's photos and media to exclusively.
    Sunday, February 25, 2007 7:37 PM
    Moderator
  • I don't know about that. I think the first uptake of this software will be for tech savy people who already have a XP box or Server doing a similar role in their homes. These people will see what the software does and then it will filter out to the average consumer who I agree will be more likely to buy preinstalled. These early adopters though will be a key market in getting word of the software out. These people will already have hardware in the role of WHS, and are unlikely to want to buy hardware for the role. I don't know how complex it would be to create a utility to do this but in my opinion it has to be worth looking into. Even people who buy the software preinstalled would probably find some kind of import utility easier to use for data transfer from external enclosures etc. If the process could be worked out it could include data migration accross networks etc. I know I am expanding my orriginal brief but it would make server use much easier for the average user and migration easier for people who have data on the hardware they plan to use. Looking around the forums there are a lot of people who agree.

    I have just been trying the server out and making recomendation all of my data is backed up to a external hard drive but I then tried to import my data to the server and ran into this problem!

    Sunday, February 25, 2007 10:11 PM
  • I also think, that the previous data of the customer should definitively be a "holy cow "for the Microsoft developers and not be a victim of the combo of an unexperienced/careless/trustfully user together with a rather inconsiderate software.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Monday, February 26, 2007 9:38 AM
    Moderator
  • Hy!

    I also would prefer adding disks to the system without formatting them.
    It shouldn't be that hard to integrate this feature. Without this feature it’s hard to hold the old files on the drive because not everyone has enough space on other drives.

    Monday, February 26, 2007 7:27 PM
  • You can add disks to the server without formatting them. If you want a disk that's not part of the pool, you just add it to the system, but never add it in WHS Console. It will be available to the OS, but not network users or backups.

    For that disk space to be usable in the storage pool (and therefore available to network users/backups), DE needs to manage it, and that apparently means a format.
    Monday, February 26, 2007 8:04 PM
    Moderator
  • With the right intelligent raid 5/6 controller and partitioning software it is possible to add a drive to a Raid array (If that is what you are using)  The Software Raid features of WHS can not dynamically add a HDD to an array.
    Wednesday, February 28, 2007 1:04 PM
  •  TheZig wrote:
    With the right intelligent raid 5/6 controller and partitioning software it is possible to add a drive to a Raid array (If that is what you are using) The Software Raid features of WHS can not dynamically add a HDD to an array.

    I think you're mistaking the share duplication feature of WHS with software RAID. It's not. RAID 1 consumes exactly 50% of the available space (on a drive by drive basis) to support fault tolerance. WHS Drive Extender consumes only as much space as is required for the shares that are marked for duplication.

    When you add a new drive to your WHS, that space immediately becomes available to the system for storage of backups, user data, and duplicates of user data in shares marked for that treatment. I believe that WHS will, in the background, rearrange duplicates to make at least some use of that newly added space.

    RAID 5/6 arrays are complex to set up and maintain, and more expensive (for a decent controller) than the average unsophisticated home user is likely to be willing to accept. Whereas that same user is, I'm sure, perfectly willing to go out and buy another USB drive when he runs out of space on the WHS.
    Wednesday, February 28, 2007 4:13 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for informing me.
    Wednesday, February 28, 2007 4:18 PM
  • So, assuming that MS decides to sell WHS only bundled with a server, I believe there are still times when you would want to add a hard drive and not have it formated.  At the least, the utilites should offer to move the data to one of the drives included with the server and THEN format the drive.
    Friday, March 2, 2007 3:30 AM
  • I completly agree with the idea of being able to migrate an existing drive.

    For example. I too have purchased a 500Gig drive specifically for this project. All of my data is backed up, but now, I have a 500 drive full of everything I own in one place. The idea of having to "upload" 500 gig (and some users have TB worth of info) over an ethernet connection is simply obsurd.

    And if one wants to reply about connecting the drive via USB, PCI SATA, etc to get better transfer speeds, it has been my expierience in this beta that it did not matter for me what method I was using to transfer files, they all ran at the same speed.

    See this thread: http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1318039&SiteID=50

    Even at 5 Mbps, you are still looking at a couple of full days to get your system up and running.

    For an average user who had a 160 GIG drive, but still has 145Gig free, then it doesnt matter, it just for the rest of us internet dummies who have an obsene amount of media that we will probably only have 1% being actually used over and over. Others collect CD's and DVD's, the rest of us collect Data.

    Dawg.

    Friday, March 9, 2007 4:14 AM