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At install, does WHS create a "D: (DATA)" drive? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I installed WHS for the first time last night.  I am a little confused.  I think the instructions say you can only have one hard drive installed when first installing WHS.  OK, so I have one 120GB IDE drive I am using.  I was expecting WHS to install on a single partition (the C: drive).  I assumed that WHS would create a D: drive only after I later hook up my 1.5TB SATA drive (since the instructions said that only one drive can be present in the system during initial installation).  Instead, WHS used about about 15 or 20GB for a "C: SYS" drive, and then made the rest of the available space as a "D: DATA" drive.  What??? I didn't tell it to do that!  How do I fix that?

    I guess in addition to this, I should mention I am a little confused by the WHS minimum requirement of a 70GB drive. Even Vista, which is a bigger OS, does not need 70GB main drive. So why does WHS require such a large minimum sized drive?

    Thank you for any help.  I am excited to get my first server up and going!

    Friday, June 25, 2010 6:30 PM

All replies

  • I didn't tell it to do that!

    That's the big fun of Windows Home Server. You don't have to "tell" it anything :-)

    Just don't look at drive names / free space using eg windows explorer. Since WHS is handling things rather different than jsut windows client.
    So problems and no therefore no fix needed.


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    "ReptileKen" wrote in message news:12e20f0b-1aff-499e-ba99-b36dc74211a1@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    I installed WHS for the first time last night. I am a little confused. I think the instructions say you can only have one hard drive installed when first installing WHS. OK, so I have one 120GB IDE drive I am using. I was expecting WHS to install on a single partition (the C: drive). I assumed that WHS would create a D: drive only after I later hook up my 1.5TB SATA drive (since the instructions said that only one drive can be present in the system during initial installation). Instead, WHS used about about 15 or 20GB for a "C: SYS" drive, and then made the rest of the available space as a "D: DATA" drive. What??? I didn't tell it to do that! How do I fix that?

    I guess in addition to this, I should mention I am a little confused by the WHS minimum requirement of a 70GB drive. Even Vista, which is a bigger OS, does not need 70GB main drive. So why does WHS require such a large minimum sized drive?

    Thank you for any help. I am excited to get my first server up and going!


    Have a nice day!
    Friday, June 25, 2010 7:05 PM
  • I appreciate you taking the time to respond, so I apologize if I must say that I do not understand your reply.

    "Just don't look at drive names / free space using eg windows explorer"

     

    Why wouldn't I want to look at drive names and freespace using Exlorer?  And in what manner is WHS handling things differently?

    Friday, June 25, 2010 7:53 PM
  •  On 6/25/2010 2:53 PM, ReptileKen wrote:

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond, so I apologize if I must say that I do not understand your reply.

    "Just don't look at drive names / free space using eg windows explorer"



    Why wouldn't I want to look at drive names and freespace using Exlorer?  And in what manner is WHS handling things differently?

    To answer all of your questions (at least to my understanding)

    1.  Yes, WHS creates a "D:\Data drive"  It creates the structure for it's pool on that drive.
    2.  The above is why it requires a minimum of 70GB drives. (20GB for the system files, and 50 for the structure and data)
    3.  When you add drives to the server, it will put files on them, and will show them as part of the shared folders (which is in the structure it created).  Pieces of the files may be on multiple drives (which is one reason why you don't want to use Windows Explorer to look at drives and free space).

    To answer what Leen said, if you look at the actual drives in Windows Explorer, their organization may not (probably won't) make sense.  However, if you use the "Shared Folders on Server" link on the WHS desktop (or you connect through the console or the shared folders links on your client), you'll see the "pool" instead of how the files are actually placed on the drives.

    As for the "free space", the pool will move files around as it sees fit (balancing the storage).  So, while a drive may only have 100MB free, the entire pool may still have 1TB free (depending on how much storage you have).

    As others will point out, you're not really supposed to be on the server's desktop anyhow. You're supposed to use the console or the shared folders from your clients to see everything.  That way you see the "end result" not the "behind the scenes stuff" (which is what WHS is doing to make things work).

    Hope this helps, and have a great day:)
    Patrick.


    Smile... Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Have you updated today?
    http://update.microsoft.com


    Smile.. Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Friday, June 25, 2010 11:11 PM
  • Hi Patrick,

     

    Thanks, that was pretty helpful.  I do have one more question.

    "The above is why it requires a minimum of 70GB drives. (20GB for the system files, and 50 for the structure and data)"

    I do not understand what you mean by "structure and data".  20GB for the system files, I assume this means for WHS itself. Then you say 50GB for the "structure and data".  "Data" I understand to be the information I would add to the server over time.  But "structure", I do not understand what you mean.

    If I were to install Windows Vista, let's say, and it takes up something like 7GB of a hard drive and there are about 7 main files listed on the drive. Vista would simply report that a certain amount of free hard drive space is still available on the same partition for use by me.  Free space is not partitioned off to another drive letter.

    Are you implying that WHS automatically partitions a hard drive, with the 20GB for WHS itself, and the rest will not be on the same C: partition, but on another labeled "D: DATA"?  And this D: drive size varies depending on the main drive space + additional drives (pool)?  If that is what you are saying, then yes, I get that.  I guess I just don't understand why WHS would care about whether it used a 30GB drive or a 50GB drive or a 70GB drive. As long as there was enough for the OS and some left over for a DATA drive.

    And why does WHS require 20GB of space anyway? Vista is and newer and fatter OS from what I understand and WHS is based on older smaller Win2K tech, why in the world would it need 3 times the space of Vista for such a simple operation as a glorified NAS OS?

    OK, I guess it was more than one question, sorry. Any insight is appreciated.  I don't think I have any more questions after this.

    Saturday, June 26, 2010 7:14 AM
  • To learn more about how drive Extender manges your drives, you should take a look at the Drive Extender technical brief, avaialble on the Windows Home Server section of the Microsoft web site.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, June 26, 2010 2:18 PM
    Moderator
  •  On 6/26/2010 2:14 AM, ReptileKen wrote:

    Hi Patrick,



    Thanks, that was pretty helpful.  I do have one more question.

    "The above is why it requires a minimum of 70GB drives. (20GB for the system files, and 50 for the structure and data)"

    I do not understand what you mean by "structure and data".  20GB for the system files, I assume this means for WHS itself. Then you say 50GB for the "structure and data".  "Data" I understand to be the information I would add to the server over time.  But "structure", I do not understand what you mean.

    If I were to install Windows Vista, let's say, and it takes up something like 7GB of a hard drive and there are about 7 main files listed on the drive. Vista would simply report that a certain amount of free hard drive space is still available on the same partition for use by me.  Free space is not partitioned off to another drive letter.

    Are you implying that WHS automatically partitions a hard drive, with the 20GB for WHS itself, and the rest will not be on the same C: partition, but on another labeled "D: DATA"?  And this D: drive size varies depending on the main drive space + additional drives (pool)?  If that is what you are saying, then yes, I get that.  I guess I just don't understand why WHS would care about whether it used a 30GB drive or a 50GB drive or a 70GB drive. As long as there was enough for the OS and some left over for a DATA drive.

    And why does WHS require 20GB of space anyway? Vista is and newer and fatter OS from what I understand and WHS is based on older smaller Win2K tech, why in the world would it need 3 times the space of Vista for such a simple operation as a glorified NAS OS?

    OK, I guess it was more than one question, sorry. Any insight is appreciated.  I don't think I have any more questions after this.

    Hi ReptileKen,

    Here's the link to what Ken recommended reading http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=40c6c9cc-b85f-45fe-8c5c-f103c894a5e2&DisplayLang=en (It's a downloaded document).

    As for your questions, by structure I mean the folders and whatever settings WHS needs to make drive extender work properly.

    Yes, WHS creates two partitions.  The "C:" or System partition, and "D" or data partition.  As for why the System partition is 20GB, I would assume it's for updates and additional programs that you may install.  Since, for the most part, once the partitions are created, you can't change them (Yes, you can, but I don't think Windows Home Server will try to do it automatically when it runs out of space--especially at the expense of your data).  So, they allocate more than enough space to cover their needs.

    Along those lines, while you're right that Vista won't automatically create a second partition, I've seen a few places where they recommend creating a data partition.  Of course if the hard drive fails, it doesn't matter if it was on one or two partitions.  But it's good for organization.  I have ideas why WHS does it, and organization plus replication of your data in case the hard drive that has your system fails, are two of them.  In theory, it doesn't take much to replace the System.  But having your data separate allows you to not lose it, if that drive fails.  And you don't run into the problem of installing a new drive, installing the operating system, and having corruption from new and old system files being replicated back and forth.  (Note these are just my wild assumptions--I don't have any concrete evidence)

    Hope these help answer your questions (and if not, Ken is a much better person to ask, as he's way more of an expert than I even hope to become).  Have a great day:)
    Patrick.


    Smile... Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Have you updated today?
    http://update.microsoft.com


    Smile.. Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Saturday, June 26, 2010 4:22 PM
  • To answer all of your questions (at least to my understanding)

    1.  Yes, WHS creates a "D:\Data drive"  It creates the structure for it's pool on that drive.
    2.  The above is why it requires a minimum of 70GB drives. (20GB for the system files, and 50 for the structure and data)
    3.  When you add drives to the server, it will put files on them, and will show them as part of the shared folders (which is in the structure it created).  Pieces of the files may be on multiple drives (which is one reason why you don't want to use Windows Explorer to look at drives and free space). 

    FYI Patrick, that's not quite correct.  WHS doesn't store pieces of files on multiple drives.  Each complete file is stored in its entirety on a single drive in the storage pool (individual files are not broken down into pieces).

    To answer what Leen said, if you look at the actual drives in Windows Explorer, their organization may not (probably won't) make sense.  However, if you use the "Shared Folders on Server" link on the WHS desktop (or you connect through the console or the shared folders links on your client), you'll see the "pool" instead of how the files are actually placed on the drives.

    As for the "free space", the pool will move files around as it sees fit (balancing the storage). 

    Also, WHS doesn't "balance" anything.  As a matter of fact, it's exactly the opposite (it stores new files on the drive with the least free space available).  And it never moves files from one drive to another unless absolutely necessary (which basically means the only time it moves files is when it's instructed by the Administrator to remove a drive from the storage pool).

    So, while a drive may only have 100MB free, the entire pool may still have 1TB free (depending on how much storage you have).

    As others will point out, you're not really supposed to be on the server's desktop anyhow. You're supposed to use the console or the shared folders from your clients to see everything.  That way you see the "end result" not the "behind the scenes stuff" (which is what WHS is doing to make things work).

    Hope this helps, and have a great day:)
    Patrick.
    Smile... Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Have you updated today?
    http://update.microsoft.com
    Smile.. Someone out there cares deeply for you.

    Saturday, June 26, 2010 7:38 PM
    Moderator
  • A question about the "system drive as large as possible" guidance.

    I have a 1TB system drive, along with 3 data drives: another 1TB drive and 2x 250Gb drives. The Disk Management add-on shows the system drive has 2% used, that's essentially the 20Gb WHS partition and the rest is empty. The "used" for the data drives are at 84% (1TB), 92% (250Gb) and 71% (250Gb).

    Is there a scenario where WHS would use the rest of my 1TB system drive? Right now it seems like that space is wasted.

    E.g., it seems to me that I'd have been much better off using one of the 250Gb drives as my system drive, and make the 1TB a data drive. Wouldn't that put to better use the 98% of the 1TB drive that is not currently being used? There'd be ~230Gb unused, rather than ~980Gb unusued (ignoring losses to formatting, etc).

    Thanks!
    --Peter

     

    Saturday, June 26, 2010 7:44 PM
  • Hi ReptileKen,

    Here's the link to what Ken recommended reading http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=40c6c9cc-b85f-45fe-8c5c-f103c894a5e2&DisplayLang=en (It's a downloaded document).

    As for your questions, by structure I mean the folders and whatever settings WHS needs to make drive extender work properly.

    Yes, WHS creates two partitions.  The "C:" or System partition, and "D" or data partition.  As for why the System partition is 20GB, I would assume it's for updates and additional programs that you may install.  Since, for the most part, once the partitions are created, you can't change them (Yes, you can, but I don't think Windows Home Server will try to do it automatically when it runs out of space--especially at the expense of your data).  So, they allocate more than enough space to cover their needs.

    Along those lines, while you're right that Vista won't automatically create a second partition, I've seen a few places where they recommend creating a data partition.  Of course if the hard drive fails, it doesn't matter if it was on one or two partitions.  But it's good for organization.  I have ideas why WHS does it, and organization plus replication of your data in case the hard drive that has your system fails, are two of them.  In theory, it doesn't take much to replace the System.  But having your data separate allows you to not lose it, if that drive fails.  And you don't run into the problem of installing a new drive, installing the operating system, and having corruption from new and old system files being replicated back and forth.  (Note these are just my wild assumptions--I don't have any concrete evidence) 

    I think the reason it's like that is simply because if you don't separate OS from DATA, it makes a non-data-destroying reinstall impossible (all of the data stored on the primary hard drive would be wiped out with a Server Reinstallation).  That's also why I separate OS from DATA on my client installs.

    Hope these help answer your questions (and if not, Ken is a much better person to ask, as he's way more of an expert than I even hope to become).  Have a great day:)
    Patrick.
    Smile... Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Have you updated today?
    http://update.microsoft.com
    Smile.. Someone out there cares deeply for you.

    Saturday, June 26, 2010 7:49 PM
    Moderator
  • A question about the "system drive as large as possible" guidance.  
    FYI, that no longer applies (and hasn't for some time).

    I have a 1TB system drive, along with 3 data drives: another 1TB drive and 2x 250Gb drives. The Disk Management add-on shows the system drive has 2% used, that's essentially the 20Gb WHS partition and the rest is empty. The "used" for the data drives are at 84% (1TB), 92% (250Gb) and 71% (250Gb).

    Is there a scenario where WHS would use the rest of my 1TB system drive? Right now it seems like that space is wasted.

    The primary drive is used for data storage last (meaning when all of the secondary drives are nearly full).

    E.g., it seems to me that I'd have been much better off using one of the 250Gb drives as my system drive, and make the 1TB a data drive. Wouldn't that put to better use the 98% of the 1TB drive that is not currently being used? There'd be ~230Gb unused, rather than ~980Gb unusued (ignoring losses to formatting, etc).

    Thanks!
    --Peter

     

    Saturday, June 26, 2010 7:57 PM
    Moderator
  •  On 6/26/2010 2:38 PM, kariya21 [MVP] wrote:

    To answer all of your questions (at least to my understanding)

    1.  Yes, WHS creates a "D:\Data drive"  It creates the structure for it's pool on that drive.
    2.  The above is why it requires a minimum of 70GB drives. (20GB for the system files, and 50 for the structure and data)
    3.  When you add drives to the server, it will put files on them, and will show them as part of the shared folders (which is in the structure it created).  Pieces of the files may be on multiple drives (which is one reason why you don't want to use Windows Explorer to look at drives and free space).

    FYI Patrick, that's not quite correct.  WHS doesn't store pieces of files on multiple drives.  Each complete file is stored in its entirety on a single drive in the storage pool (individual files are not broken down into pieces).

    To answer what Leen said, if you look at the actual drives in Windows Explorer, their organization may not (probably won't) make sense.  However, if you use the "Shared Folders on Server" link on the WHS desktop (or you connect through the console or the shared folders links on your client), you'll see the "pool" instead of how the files are actually placed on the drives.

    As for the "free space", the pool will move files around as it sees fit (balancing the storage).

    Also, WHS doesn't "balance" anything.  As a matter of fact, it's exactly the opposite (it stores new files on the drive with the/least/ free space available).  And it never moves files from one drive to another unless absolutely necessary (which basically means the only time it moves files is when it's instructed by the Administrator to remove a drive from the storage pool).




    So, while a drive may only have 100MB free, the entire pool may still have 1TB free (depending on how much storage you have).

    As others will point out, you're not really supposed to be on the server's desktop anyhow. You're supposed to use the console or the shared folders from your clients to see everything.  That way you see the "end result" not the "behind the scenes stuff" (which is what WHS is doing to make things work).Hope this helps, and have a great day:)
    Patrick.


    Smile... Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Have you updated today?
    http://update.microsoft.com


    Smile.. Someone out there cares deeply for you.

    Interesting.  That brings up two questions from me then (since I'm basing my answers on sight per se).  What does the migrator service do then?  and why does it say "Storage last balanced on <date:time>"?  I took those two things to mean that it moved files around (or pieces around) to different drives and balanced things out across the entire pool.


    Smile... Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Have you updated today?
    http://update.microsoft.com


    Smile.. Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Saturday, June 26, 2010 10:11 PM
  • Patrick, have you read the document you linked? If not, you should...
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, June 27, 2010 1:37 AM
    Moderator
  • "Balancing" is a misnomer... rather, it just ensures that all duplication is done and, if necessary, move files so that disks are under the storage threshold (20 GB)
    Tuesday, June 29, 2010 12:26 AM