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WHS 2011 disk allocation and client backup RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've been running WHS V1 since it was first a beta in 2007.  It is still running as it should although I have gone through a number of hardware changes over the years.  For the most part I'm still happy with it.

    Due to lack of support for WHS V1, now might be the time to upgrade to WHS 2011.  But I still have a few concerns! 

    I first tried to upgrade to WHS 2011 about a year and a half ago, but had to defer the upgrade due to the inability of the product to do a client "bare metal restore".  I tried many different configurations and options but could never get it to work.  Always failed in the same spot with the same error message.  Recently I finally found a work around for this failure in the client "bare metal restore", so that is now no longer an issue.

    So my questions are this:

    First is disk allocation.  I'm not exactly sure how the physical drives are supposed to be allocated in the server.  For example, I have a system with a 160GB drive configured for the system and two additional 2TB drives for data, client backup and system backup.  It appears that if I allocate one drive for system backup, then it cannot be used for anything except system backup.  This is an internal drive so that when it fills up, do I have to crack my case and replace it with a new drive or will the system just overwrite old backups?  On my WHS V1 system, I have been using a 3TB USB3 drive as a system backup.  I connect it weekly, do the backup, then remove it.  Can I do the same thing in WHS 2011?

    As "drive extender" does not exist for WHS 2011, I guess it's up to the owner to configure their own disks and how they will be used.

    The other big question has to do with client backups.  I have 5 client machines which I backup on a regular basis.  All are running some variant of  Windows 7.  Three are dual boot with 1 box Win7/WinXP, 1 box Win7/Win8 and one box Win7-64/Win7-32.  My WHS V1 system backs up the currently running OS.  This is done by me going into the WHS V1 console and turning off the backups of the primary OS and turning on the backups of the alternate OS.  That way I always have a backup of any OS that I'm running.  In addition, I have a "baseline" backup for all OSes to which I can revert to when my testing is complete.  I turn off the backups for the clients that are not being used so as to avoid the "alarms" for missed backups.  I have tried to find a way to get this to work in WHS 2011, but as of yet cannot find out how to turn backups off for a client without removing the client.

    I did do a search on these forums to see if my questions had been answered but could not see any.  The issues with system backups seems to have come up a number of times, but no definitive answer was forthcoming.

    Thank you to anybody who can offer me some insights into these issues.

    Greg ...

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013 12:29 AM

All replies

  • Hi Greg,

    You are right that the drive allocated for system backup cannot be used for anything else. However WHS2011 will manage the space: that is, it will overwrite older backup when needed. Although a warning will be shown in the alert viewer that space is low. But you can safely ignore this alert.

    As for turning off client backups without removing the client:this can be done. You disble the backup for the client and then you are prompted to select to keep the existing backups or to delete them. The status of the client will show that backup is not configured. At any time you can reconfigure and enable the backup.

    Luc.

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013 3:05 PM
  • Thanks Luc for you help. 

    The first time I tried to do what "I thought" you said, I ended up removing the client completely.  So when I tried to re-add it, of course all the previous backups were now lost.  So I assumed that I must have made some sort of mistake.  What I did was to click on the "Remove the computer" task in the Dashboard.  It told me it was going to remove the computer but that the backup would be archived.  So then I tried to find a way to "unremove" the computer and of course could not find any.  So I uninstalled the connector software on the client, and re-added the client to the server.  Of course, my previous backups were now gone.

    So I re-read your message.  While it did not tell me were to find the "Disable backup for computer", it was pretty plain that that was what I was supposed to do.  So after looking around I found it under "Customize Backup for the computer".  So this time I clicked on "Disable backup for this computer" and it did exactly what I wanted it to do.

    Thanks for you help on that!

    Also, from what I understand you said as far as the system backups are concerned, all I need to do is to allocate one of my 2TB drives as a for use as a system backup drive and WHS will automatically monitor and manage the drive!  When it fills up, what does it delete to make room?  The oldest backup or does it remove a number of backups?  I suppose that all I really need it just the last successful backup to be kept.  I've never needed to recover the server past the most recent backup.

    Again, thanks for your help.

    Greg ...

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013 11:23 PM