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Solid State 40GB Boot Drive for WHS - Thoughts RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello

    I'm in the process of defining my hardware for the upgrade of my existing WHS which I use as a media server.  I will be moving my Intel motherboard with 8 SATA Slots to the Norco 4220 Case and installing a 3ware 9690SA-4I controller to run the 20 SATA hot swap drives the Norco 4220 Case supports.   I'm toying with the idea of purchasing 33GB SATA II Solid State Hard drive and using that as my boot drive.   Given this drive does not require any special drivers and is seen my the motherboard as a standard drive,  I was just wondering of WHS may have any issues with the hard drive size for the boot partition or if I will have any issues with large file transfers?  At present I have six 1TB drives and will be adding at least three 2TB drives very with the potential of up to 10 more drives down the road.
    WHS_retail version
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 8:43 PM

All replies

  • Windows Home Server will not use a drive of less than approximately 70 GB as the system drive. There is no way to change this during setup.

    And to forestall the next question: there is also no supported way to split the system partition and the primary DATA partition onto separate drives. There are ways to do it by interrupting setup at an appropriate time and cloning partitions, but should you ever need to perform a server reinstallation, you could find yourself unable to do so.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 9:27 PM
    Moderator
  • I would have to ask what the benefits of having a SSD for a boot drive in WSS?

    Here is a list of obvious benefits of an SSD..

        * Faster start-up because no spin-up is required. (Doesn't really matter you should not be restarting often)
        * Fast random access because there is no read/write head (The OS will still need to pull data to your other non SSD drives which would be a bottleneck)
              o Low read latency times for RAM drives.[24] In applications where hard disk seeks are the limiting factor, this results in faster boot and application launch times (see Amdahl's law).[25]
              o Consistent read performance because physical location of data is irrelevant for SSDs.[26]
              o File fragmentation has negligible effect.
        * Silent operation due to the lack of moving parts. (You have 12 other loud drives)
        * Low capacity flash SSDs have a low power consumption and generate little heat when in use. (You have 12 other power hungry drives)
        * High mechanical reliability, as the lack of moving parts almost eliminates the risk of "mechanical" failure. (Benefit however your data is on the other drives, could be good if you need to rebuild but that's another story given WHS sees all the total pool of drives anyway, not just individual ones)
        * Ability to endure extreme shock, high altitude, vibration and extremes of temperature. This makes SSDs useful for laptops, mobile computers, and devices that operate in extreme conditions (flash).[25] (You could take your WSS camping)
        * For low-capacity SSDs, lower weight and size: although size and weight per unit storage are still better for traditional hard drives, and microdrives allow up to 20 GB storage in a CompactFlash form-factor. As of 2008 SSDs up to 256 GB are lighter than hard drives of the same capacity. (You have 12 other power heavy drives)
        * Failures occur less frequently whilst writing/erasing data, which means there is a lower chance of irrecoverable data damage. (Your data is on the other drives)


    I'd much rather see that SSD being used in a gaming machine, I think you want to know if it would work but I don't see the benefit of using one really? Now if I had a bunch of SSD's sitting around, I could see it?
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 9:29 PM
  • Windows Home Server will not use a drive of less than approximately 70 GB as the system drive. There is no way to change this during setup.

    And to forestall the next question: there is also no supported way to split the system partition and the primary DATA partition onto separate drives. There are ways to do it by interrupting setup at an appropriate time and cloning partitions, but should you ever need to perform a server reinstallation, you could find yourself unable to do so.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    ken as a follow up. Say my WHS primary C drive (installation drive) failed? Could I ever reconnect to the data on my other 2TB drives?
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 9:41 PM
  • Yes. Replace the system drive and perform a server reinstallation. This is a special installation mode deisgned to recover from a failure on the system drive (hardware or OS corruption). See this FAQ post for a little more information about the process. In addition to what that post says, you may lose backups if any components of the database were stored on the failed drive, and you may lose files if any were A) in a share not flagged for duplication, and B) were actually stored on the failed drive.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 10:25 PM
    Moderator
  • A) in a share not flagged for duplication, and B) were actually stored on the failed drive.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    A worries me a little bit. I have duplication turned on for some photos, that's about it. I think I need to invest in a green 2TB drive...
    Thursday, November 19, 2009 2:46 PM