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WHS Dual Drive setup RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have two 2TB drives on my WHS, one is the main drive and the other added as Server Backup (as the installation data recommended).  I note with displeasure that the Server Backup is NOT a mirror (exact dupe) of the 1st drive and additionally, it doesn't automatically backup, I need to do it manually.

    Originally, I wanted to just do a RAID Mirror so that if a drive fails, I could just pull the bad one out and put a new one in, but the data I read said not to do a RAID.

    I am unhappy with the Server backup method and plan to switch to the RAID method.  Will it work or is there a real/valid technical reason that I shouldn't do the RAID?

    Thanks,
    John

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 12:31 AM

Answers

  • Hi John,

    Generally the OS is seen as sacrificial on Windows Home Server.  That is if anything goes wrong or the drive holding the system data is lost then a server recovery is seen as the solution.  This is because it is thought that any critical data will be protected by folder duplication, that add-ins and their data are protected by folder duplication and loss of backups is mitigated by the fact that the hosts backed up are still functional and can be backed up once again. 

    In all cases folder duplication is more relialble, easier to maintain and recover than RAID - if you really want to use RAID1 then it is possible but it's unsupported and you don't have the benefit of easily expanding your data pool using RAID.  You may want to consder when you need to extend your storage and how you are going to handle that.

    If you only intend to use the second drive to backup the first and you would be retaining that drive in the system (the backup built into Windows Home Server is there primarily for making backups that would be taken off site) you would be better to add that drive to the storage pool and turn on Folder Duplication for all folders you wish to protect.  You would then have the flexibility of being able to add drives or different sizes in the future to extend your stroage pool.

    If you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to ask.

    All the best,
    Al
    --
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 11:35 AM
  • 1. is answered in the Drive Extender technical brief . 2. is not possible. When you install Windows Home Server, it will partition the system drive as you've seen: 20 GB for the system partition, and everything else as the primary data partition (the root of the storage pool). There are unsupported ways to manipulate this to an extent, but it's not possible to move the system partition to it's own drive and even changing the size of the system partition requires a lot of (unsupported) work.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 6:40 PM
    Moderator
  • As I said a few hours ago, you can't separate the system partition from the primary data partition. When installed, Windows Home Server will create two partitions.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 9:38 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I have two 2TB drives on my WHS....

    Will it work or is there a real/valid technical reason that I shouldn't do the RAID?

    Technically no reason, but, not supported nor encouraged unless you plan on spending $300 plus on a quality RAID card.
    The system drive can be recovered or reinstalled, it will just take more time compared to using a mirrored RAID set-up.
    With a 1TB drive, I'm not sure that's my first pick for a system drive.  Fine for the storage pool, put, I rather have a smaller fast 7200 RPM for the system and leave the 5400 RPM's for the storage pool.
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 1:43 AM
  • Hi John,

    Generally the OS is seen as sacrificial on Windows Home Server.  That is if anything goes wrong or the drive holding the system data is lost then a server recovery is seen as the solution.  This is because it is thought that any critical data will be protected by folder duplication, that add-ins and their data are protected by folder duplication and loss of backups is mitigated by the fact that the hosts backed up are still functional and can be backed up once again. 

    In all cases folder duplication is more relialble, easier to maintain and recover than RAID - if you really want to use RAID1 then it is possible but it's unsupported and you don't have the benefit of easily expanding your data pool using RAID.  You may want to consder when you need to extend your storage and how you are going to handle that.

    If you only intend to use the second drive to backup the first and you would be retaining that drive in the system (the backup built into Windows Home Server is there primarily for making backups that would be taken off site) you would be better to add that drive to the storage pool and turn on Folder Duplication for all folders you wish to protect.  You would then have the flexibility of being able to add drives or different sizes in the future to extend your stroage pool.

    If you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to ask.

    All the best,
    Al
    --
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 11:35 AM
  • On my WHS box there are two 1TB drives. I notice that the C: partition is sized at 20GB and the D: partition is about 1.8TB. I assume the OS is virtualizing the physical partitions on the system drive into two partitions - a 20GB system partition and an additional data partition, which it then combines with a single partition on the second drive to form the 1.8TB pooled storage D: partition. I have two questions:

    1. When I enable Folder Duplication for a shared folder, does the OS guarantee that the duplicate folder is stored on the opposite physical drive within the same storage pool D: partition? In the event of a drive failure, will I need to manually restore the duplicated folder (i.e. treating it as a backup), or does the OS automatically map whichever copy of the folder is available into the virtual D: partition?

    2. I'd like to take your advice and install a third small 7200 RPM drive for the C: system partition. What is the maximum size WHS can assign to the system partition? Would I need to manually repartition all drives in order to assign the C: partition to the new drive, or can the OS reassign the C: and D: virtual partitions retroactively and copy the WHS system files into the new drive?
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 6:17 PM
  • 1. is answered in the Drive Extender technical brief . 2. is not possible. When you install Windows Home Server, it will partition the system drive as you've seen: 20 GB for the system partition, and everything else as the primary data partition (the root of the storage pool). There are unsupported ways to manipulate this to an extent, but it's not possible to move the system partition to it's own drive and even changing the size of the system partition requires a lot of (unsupported) work.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 6:40 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks, I guess I won't do the RAID.  From reading all the replies below, I don't see how to split the system drive from the data drive (Physically)....

    I think it would be a good setup to have a system drive (small 7200) then two more drives for the data and folder duplication.  Not sure how do do that.....

    John
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 9:35 PM
  • Thanks for the tips.  Looks like I will do folder duplication.  As stated above, I would like to split the system off to a separate drive - anyone know how to do that?

    Thanks,
    John
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 9:37 PM
  • As I said a few hours ago, you can't separate the system partition from the primary data partition. When installed, Windows Home Server will create two partitions.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 9:38 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Ken

    John
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 9:38 PM