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Out of Physical Hard drive Bays, can I add another physical computer case as a slave to the WHS? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a 8 drive bay computer running Windows Home Server (WHS).  I have 8 hard drives (750 GB each) and I am filling it up fast with all my DVD and Blu-Ray disks, music (native format), pictures, 4 computer backups, etc.  I also would like to have the duplicate folder feature on for everything (it takes a long time to load all of these DVD/Bluray disks 50+ hrs and counting).  I would like to have the same computer case to hold the additional drive bays (WAF).  After reading through the the forms, it looks like you cannot cluster the WHS, nor run a mirrored setup (where one server copies the other, thus allowing me to turn off the fold duplication).  I know I can run 2 separate WHS, but then when you are trying to find a movie, you will have to switch severs by loading another program, etc which is not the purpose of having all of my movies, music, pictures, etc on the server (plus trying to teach the family what is loaded on which server may not go over well).  Long story short - I need more hard drive bays (~8) that I want to run under the same WHS platform.

     

    Thank you for your help/suggestions.

    Friday, June 27, 2008 4:55 AM

Answers

  • Can you add another physical computer case as a slave to Windows XP? Vista? I'm sure there are ways to do what you want; it's a question of getting the external hardware to look like it's internal.

    Probably easier (and maybe cheaper) is to add a SATA card that supports port multipliers, and connect one or more port multiplier equipped multi-drive external enclosures. Examples would be this SATA card and this external enclosure.
    Friday, June 27, 2008 3:30 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Can you add another physical computer case as a slave to Windows XP? Vista? I'm sure there are ways to do what you want; it's a question of getting the external hardware to look like it's internal.

    Probably easier (and maybe cheaper) is to add a SATA card that supports port multipliers, and connect one or more port multiplier equipped multi-drive external enclosures. Examples would be this SATA card and this external enclosure.
    Friday, June 27, 2008 3:30 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for your reply.  I was not able to write in the text before, so I will clarify my situation above.

     

    In response to your post...Can I do this with a computer case?  I want to have matching computer cases, and I am looking for another 8 drive set up.  I would like to extend the number of drive bays and still function under the single home server platform.

    My issue is with Windows Home Server (WHS) computer, not XP or Vista.
    Friday, June 27, 2008 3:58 PM
  • The answer is the same; if you can get the matching case, use the SATA port multiplier in your server, and have the eSATA drives in your new case.

     

    Colin

    Friday, June 27, 2008 6:25 PM
  • Cheapest way would be:  you can try to loosely stack the drives if you have some room in the case as I have.  Or, consider backplanes or larger case.  Or consider getting a small cheap secondary case with its own power supply, add drives to it, then run sata cables from back of the primary case to the secondray case.  I'm surprised no one is selling cheap 4 or 5 drive metal drive cages that can fit in 3 bays, like the metal cages contained in most of the backplanes.

     

    Friday, June 27, 2008 6:57 PM
  • My point was that you're not asking a question about Windows Home Server, really. You're asking a generic question about hardware, though it's certainly a valid one in the circumstances. I should have been clearer.

    The answer to your question is: Of course you can do that. It's common in the world of rack mount servers to have an external drive array (usually using some form of SAN, but SCSI is also still popular and eSATA is becoming more so). If you're handy with tools and hardware (and you're willing to experiment until you succeed) I'm sure it's possible to turn almost any PC case into one. I think you're unlikely to find someone who's going to be able to give you a list of steps that you can just follow blindly, however, at the end of which you will have exactly what you want. If you're unwilling, or unable, to "roll your own" then I stand by my original recommendation.
    Friday, June 27, 2008 8:22 PM
    Moderator
  • To run with Ken's ball (simply using a second, matching case as a glorified drive cage), you'll need a way to run the second case's PSU sans mobo.
    I know someone who wrote a nice howto on setting up an auxiliary PSU:
    http://www.bearblain.com/the_psu_page.htm
    Set up correctly, one PSU will activate the other.  Myself, for this config, I'd want the PSU in the 'drive cage' to be the master, and wire it in a variation of his water-cooling setup (minus the flow switch.  Done correctly, booting the WHS won't be possible unless the drive cage is already powered up; but, the WHS can still be shut down normally.

    Saturday, June 28, 2008 2:41 AM
  • Thank you Chris, I had not even thought about power management.  I have found a nice card and a good port multiplier so I will give it a try, but it appears that everyone's suggestions will solve me problem.  Thank you everyone for your advice.

     

    Saturday, June 28, 2008 5:43 PM