Backing up a system with a FAT32 USB drive. RRS feed

  • Question


    I'm a new WHS user and in the process of backing up my home systems. I've completed backing up 2 of my XP Pro systems that are wired to the LAN. I am ready to move onto one of my wirelessly connected systems. This system is also XP Pro based and has a 750GB WD FAT32 USB drive connected to it. I could use some help on how to back it up. Here are my questions:

    1) Can I hook the WD USB drive to a USB port on the WHS and copy the contents directly to it? The drive contains music that I want to share with all machines on my network. If so, what shared directory should I copy them too?

    2) I understand that FAT32 is not supported by WHS. So I need to reformat the WD USB drive to NTFS. The WHS machine is the only one I have with enough free space to hold the contents of the WD USB drive. After doing the step 1 above, can I simply reformat the USB drive and then copy the contents back from the WHS to the drive? 

    Thx!  Harish

    Monday, November 24, 2008 4:36 PM

All replies

  • You can connect the USB drive to your server and copy files by logging in using remote desktop. Note that this is an unsupported way to access your server, and there are tools available to a user logged in that way that could cause serious issues. If/when you do this, be careful, and copy files only to the server's shares (not directly to folders on a specific hard drive) even from the server desktop.

    As for FAT32, it's not supported in the server's storage pool, and you can't back up a FAT32 drive. the server will automatically format any drive added to the storage pool using NTFS, though, so that shouldn't stop you. However, you should be aware that some users have had problems with USB drives that they've added to their storage pool. In most cases, those issues are probably due to poor USB hardware in the external enclosure, but USB really wasn't designed to be used as a storage technology.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, November 24, 2008 6:20 PM
  • Ken,  thanks for the reply... I'm new to servers -- so be patient with me..

    My WHS is a homebrew and has a keyboard and monitor. So is there any need to log in using remote desktop?  Also, I'm not following you when you say to copy to the "server's shares vs a specific desktop".  To copy to the server's shares, do I open up explorer and look for a specific folder?

    Once I copy the data over to the WHS.  I will format the FAT32 drive to NTFS and then want to manually copy the files from the WHS back to the drive (so I can reattach it to the wireless PC). 



    Monday, November 24, 2008 9:31 PM
  • On the Administrator's desktop, there is a shortcut to the server shares. Use that, or if you prefer, point Windows Explorer (while logged in to the server using remote desktop or physically connected console) to the UNC path:


    (which is the same as the shortcut on the administrator's desktop...)

    I'll admit I'm not clear on why you don't want to store this data directly on your server, where it can participate in Windows Home Server's duplication feature, and where it can be accessed by any PC on your network. :)

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, November 24, 2008 10:16 PM
  • Ken, thanks for the informaton. I opened up the shared music folder and am copying the files over to it.

    When I'm done, I'll have duplicate copies of the contents of the USB drive on the WHS as well as a the USB drive.  The drive contains mostly MP3 that I play from a computer that sits in my livingroom and is connected to my network with USB wireless.  I wanted to go this route for a few reasons: 1) In the past, I tried to stream from a NAS drive and had really poor results (music paused etc). So I went to a USB drive that was directly connected to resolve this issue. 2) I convert CDs to MP3 on the livingroom system (so new music will get onto the WHS through this PC). 3) I only have 2TB of storage on my WHS. If I were to make duplicate copies I would consume nearly 3/4 of available storage.

    Thanks for your help!!!  I'll let you know how it goes.


    Tuesday, November 25, 2008 12:47 AM