Mirroring the first drive.. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've been using WHS for a bit, at least RC1, is there a way to mirror or do some other backup of your system drive?  Seems that if there is a drive problem or you mess up your WHS install, not only do you have to reinstall, but there is a lot of things that you will lose.  Mainly, your computer backups.. 

    It would seem that a simple RAID 1 mirroring of this drive would be the easiest way to keep it protected but I have seen a few reports that the second partition, or data partition, is not readable like this.  Is this true?  Has anyone tried it?

    If RAID 1 isn't the solution, what is the solution for backing up your WHS install?
    Thursday, November 15, 2007 9:12 PM

All replies

  • I've been mirroring my primary drive for many builds now (including RTM) and it works fine.  I'm using two drives with hardware RAID 1 provided by an on-mobo SiI3112 controller.


    One caution: Despite what seemed to be "normal" upgrade-able scenarios, I have been unable to get the "upgrade" or "server reinstall" option with the RTM media when I have used a system disk that required an "F6 driver" (e.g. my RAID 1 system disk described above).  This is/was/will be a serious pain in the *** if that behavior is not remedied in the future, i.e. if/when I get the opportunity to do an in-place upgrade to release 1.1 or 2.0 or whatever I'd hate to be forced to do a new installation just because I'm using a RAID drive for my system disk...




    Friday, November 16, 2007 5:03 AM
  • Yes it seems that that backing-up your WHS is not readliy easy.

    i.e I dont want to run this risk of the HDD failue on the system drive.

    Replace it, reinstall WHS and hope that the new isntall picks up my duplicated data the other drives.
    Let alone any config changes you will have to make to get things back to the way they were before the failure.

    I have been meaning to setup a raid mirror on my next WHS install, just for the extra protection, but also worried abount non-native raid drviers.

    The backups on the server are not too much of a concern, as you will already have the data on your others PCs' presuming that you do not have a failure there at the same time your system drive in the WHS is down.
    Friday, November 16, 2007 5:45 AM
  • Loosing my PC backups is a concern.  I have three pc's and I do a complete reinstall of windows XP on one, this included SP2, and then I end up having to install 80 updates and what not.  Takes a whole afternoon.  It would be nice if right after that, I manual backed them up and so next time I have to reinstall I don't have to spend the whole day to do it.  That's the backup I don't want to lose..  Pretty much the original image. 
    Friday, November 16, 2007 4:08 PM
  • I have used Partition magic 8.0 tocopy my system drive to a larger drive with no problems. Check out my other posts for more details.

    Monday, November 19, 2007 6:33 AM
  • Using something like Partion Magic is just fine, if you are only replacing an existing disk. However, if there is ANY server activity between taking the image and installing the replacement disk, you will have problems. There will be files and/or tombstones which point to the wrong place, or, files which the systems doesn't know anything about.


    I have, both for real and as an experiment, now had actual, or simulated system disk failure at least 4 times. Each and every time, putting in a new/replacement disk and booting from the DVD, as just led to a re-installation and absolutely no loss of any data. I have also tried a data disk failure a couple of times, and it also, has just led to a re-build. Again, with no loss of data.

    I have now, eight computers on the OEM network, a couple of them away at University, and it's never taken me more than 15 to 20 minutes to re-add the Add-ins, clients etc.






    Monday, November 19, 2007 11:31 AM
  • If you're using WHS the way Microsoft intends, your recovery from a failed system will consist of reinstalling WHS (which could take a while), then reinstallation of add-ins and recreation of users. Add-ins and users should take no more than an hour, unless an add-in requires a lot of configuration after installation. As long as you have plenty of free space in your storage pool, you shouldn't lose your backup database if the system disk fails. WHS tries to keep the system disk as clear as possible in a multi-disk server, and won't create backup database components on the D: partition unless there's no other place for them.

    As other posters have observed, you can use a RAID array in WHS. You can even install using it as your system disk. But Microsoft doesn't test for problems related to RAID, and didn't (during the beta test) accept bug reports related to RAID. So you might have problems down the road.

    Right now, the solution to a failes system disk is to reinstall the operating system. Beyond that, well, Microsoft listens to suggestions made both here and on Connect. There are several suggestions on Connect about backups of the server itself; you should probably take a look and cast votes where the suggestions fit your vision.
    Monday, November 19, 2007 12:24 PM
  • Jimi Two Feathers (great name)

    I searched through all your other posts and didn't see any pertinent.  Link please.

    What I want to do is replace my sys drive with a larger one.  I have PM8 and Acronis Disk Director,  and True Image also.

    Hopefully one of those will let me do this w/o a reinstall, but I don't really understand how WHS works with drives.

    Monday, November 19, 2007 2:48 PM
  • You will use Acronis True Image to replace your system drive with a larger one.
    Tuesday, November 20, 2007 1:35 AM
  • I only used PM8. 1) copy system drive (the 20gig part) patrition and 2) make it a proimary partition and keep it the same size as the original WHS c partition, 3) then create a D primary partition with the remainig space on the drive, 4) make sure the c partition is set to active. If you use PM8 you can set this up all at once.

    I have done it to upgrade from a 120gb primary drive to a 500gb. I have done this twice now with excellent results. You could do it with ghost or acronis but this is how I did it with PM8.


    Also I tried to copy the drives in the data pool but failed. I will try again cloning the 3 drives in the data pool and booting up with them all together at the same time instead of cloning one at a time.

    Good luck.


    Tuesday, November 20, 2007 2:32 AM