Identical USB HDDs - how to remove RRS feed

  • Question

  • Upon building WHS onto our tiny (fan less), silent appliances - we decided there would be a swell of demand for a low cost, small, silent, ultra reliable and low power (green) WHS appliance.


    We generally have been very very impressed, with one notable concern.


    All of our 'tiny' solutions are designed to be supplied with multiple USB2.0 ports (8-16 ports) - but here comes the problem :

    If we use identical USB HDDs - ie 4x 320GBs - we do not see any solution to being able to 'remove' one should the need occur - which one is which ?

    Ideally we would like to see an option to NAME the HDDs during the 'ADD' process, then they could be physically labelled - allowing removal / replacement at a later time a possibility.

    We know this may be fixed in the final version, but for now we welcome any feedback ?



    thank you, in anticipation, for any feedback provided.



    Tranquil PC R&D (UK)

    Friday, July 13, 2007 2:45 PM

All replies

  • I may be able to help. First I have some questions.
    What type of drives are these? manufacturer, IDE, SATA or SCSI
    Are they in removable external cases or prefab retail boxes with the drive already in them?

    Will they always be USB externals or are they to be added into Drive Extender array?
    Sunday, July 15, 2007 9:05 PM
  • At present they are Iomega USB HDDS


    with Seagate 320GB (IDE internally)


    for best deliverables - we need to know if ANY USB connected drive can be 'named' ??



    Monday, July 16, 2007 5:13 PM
  • Yes you can name the drives individually. As long as you don't add them to the server array via drive extender. I'm testing the adding and removal of an external USB HD. I'll give my results right after the test in about an hour.


    Monday, July 16, 2007 5:54 PM
  • Jimi


    this is a welcome surprise - let's see what can be done in 1 hour Smile


    to be sure - try two identical HDDs (USB2.0) - and see if you can create 2 different 'names' ?



    Monday, July 16, 2007 6:50 PM
  • My Report:

    Sorry to say you can not name idividual external USB HD as I thought. Here's what happens when You add them to the drive extender array they become part of the array.

    They are listed under Server Status as IBM-DTTA -351680 USB Device,15.75 GB, External (USB), Healthy

    I used a pair of old but reliable IBM 16GB IDE drives and then a pair of WD 160gb SATA's. The same thing happens with SATA Drives as well. So the only way to list them individually is to keep them off the array and name the partition on the drive itself to tell them apart.

    Hope this helps,


    Monday, July 16, 2007 7:06 PM
  • Jimi


    so it was not so easy after all........ this is troublesome, for users, who will wish/need to remove a drive at a later time.


    naming partitions is not right - really, as no one will have a 'screen' on a WHS appliance - let's hope MS fix this one rapidly...... I'm sure it is not so hard to 'add.name' during the initial 'connection' ?


    Come on MS - do your best !!



    Monday, July 16, 2007 7:16 PM
  • yes your right most users will be accessing WHS from the console. don't forget to flag my post it it was helpful.



    Monday, July 16, 2007 7:22 PM
  • I had a similar issue with two identical 320GB drives in exactly the same model of external USB case.


    After removing one from the storage pool I couldn't tell which was which and therefore disconnect it from the WHS. How I got around it was by going to Disk Management which displayed how much space was free on each of the physical drives. The newly removed drive had 99% free space, the remaning drive in the pool had a higher percentage in use.


    To physically identify that drive I then assigned it a drive letter and then safely removed the drive (from within windows) and the LED on the drive  switched off.


    So this could not be achieved without access to the console of the server and may have to be addressed by Microsoft somehow. Note that I later discovered that it was okay to remove either of the drives and see if you got the correct one, and if not plug it back in and everything was fine again (WHS successfully detected the drive again and returned it's status to healthy).

    Tuesday, July 17, 2007 5:50 AM
  • thanks for the useful feedback


    as WHS is a 'headless' product (by design) - we can't really drop into 'Disk Manager' - even using remote desktop, we can't expect people to do this.


    we sincerely hope that MS fix this issue before release - or face real problems .....

    Tuesday, July 17, 2007 7:14 AM
  • As a botch could you look at re-writing the disk identifier to match an identifier on the disk case? This would tie people to buying your disks.


    Whilst I hope this is changed in the RTM I suspect it won't be, RC is supposed to be feature complete, we'll see in a few weeks I guess!



    Tuesday, July 17, 2007 8:57 AM
  • we don't really want that as a solution


    however, we did condsider it


    we did take some time to see how we could change the disk ID, without success - is there a simple tool ?


    welcoming your response.



    Tuesday, July 17, 2007 9:01 AM
  • If I were you I wouldn't want it either. Not sure where the ID is stored, suspect it's in the firmware, why not contact the manfacturer of the disk.

    One thought I've just had is how you identify the disk for warrenty returns, the SN is often used to work out manufacture date.


    Good luck!





    Google is your friend!







    Tuesday, July 17, 2007 9:06 AM