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Upgrading internal drive for HP Smart Media server RRS feed

  • Question

  • I currently have 4 internal drives in my HP EX470 (500, 500, 400, and 400GB) and I'm starting to think I will be wanting more storage space in the next few months.

    Rather than adding an external drive (something I don't really trust because I've had probelms with external USB-based drives sometimes unmounting for mysterious reasons) I want to replace a smaller internal drive (one of the 400GB drives) with a larger internal drive (probably a 1TB drive).

    My question is how I go about doing this if my current internal drives do not have enough free space to hold all of the data on the drive I want to remove.

    I'm thinking that I should use the following steps, but I'm not sure they will actually work:
    1) Put the new 1TB drive in an external USB case

    2) Plug the 1TB external USB drive into the EX 470 USB port and add it to the disk collection. This should add 1TB of free space to my WHS "drive"...plenty of space to hold the data on the internal 400GB drive I want to remove.

    3) Using the server storage screen, specify that I want to remove the internal 400GB drive. WHS should copy the data on the internal 400GB drive to the external 1TB drive (and possibly some of the other internal drives).


    4) Once WHS is done copying the data off the internal 400GB drive, it will let me know it is OK to remove the internal 400GB drive.

    This is where things might get tricky, because now I need to replace the internal 400GB drive with the external 1TB drive.

    Is it possible to power down the server, disconnect the external 1TB drive, remove the internal 400GB drive, and replace it with the 1TB drive?

    If I do this, will WHS server recognize the 1TB drive as the same drive that was external (not caring that it is now internal) and preserve the data on it, or will it see it as a new serive and try to reformat it?

    And if this appraoch doesn't work, what are my options?

    The only other thing I can think of is that I need to buy ANOTHER external drive that is large enough (400GB or greater) to hold the data on the internal drive, add it as an external drive so I can remove the internal drive (as described above), replace the internal drive with the 1TB drive, and then remove the external drive (which will copy the data back to the 1TB internal drive.

    This solution requires the purchase of an extra disk and seems to be much riskier because I'm adding and removing disks multiple times.

    Has anyone actually done something like this?
    Saturday, February 23, 2008 11:59 PM

Answers

  •  DarkonJohn wrote:
     Darkone3 wrote:
    I've got a MediaSmart Server EX475 and if I plug a USB drive in it appears to change the order of the unassigned drives as it becomes the E drive in the system, this causes Windows Home Server Console to throw a drive failing message when I reboot my system. Also Most SATA drives are seen by the system as SCSI drives, and most USB drives seem to be seen as PATA drives. WHS seems to have something that doesn't like to see drives tinkered with if you trip this the whole system might need to be restored. You could loose everything.

     

    Well dang, that's just scary!

     

    A couple of questions on this:

    1) For the USB drive you plugged in, was it previously part of a WHS drive pool?

    2) For the USB drive you plugged in, were you prompted to add it to the pool and if so, did you?

     

    While it might be possible to do so, I'm thinking that WHS does not like it if you manually copy files to the pooled drives (or between shared folders), so if you aren't going to join a drive to the drive pool, you probably shouldn't plug it into the WHS box or all kinds of bad things can happen.

     

    From my own experience and what I've read so far, I'm under the impression that all file copies should be done via your desktop and through the shared folders, not using Remote Desktop. That doesn't mean that you will always have problems if you copy files on the WHS using Remote Desktop, but you definitely may have problems (I sure have!) and I haven't yet figured out which actions will or will not cause problems.

     

     

     

    This is a 250 GB USB drive that has never been part of a pool.

     

    Prompted is an interesting word. I would say no I was not. It does show however in "Server Storage" as a Not Added drive. And as long as I choose not to add it it will not be added, during normal usage. What you do not want to do under any circumstance is to have two WHS SYS drives in the WHS during a boot, this is sure to create massive problems. Hot plugging it into a booted system does not create problems on my system for me. And no I did not add it. I perfer to have at least one drive not added to the pool, that I use from remote Desktop.

     

    My experience seems to be very different than yours. For me corruption seems to occour anytime a file is edited by another PC while on the WHS. Copying files doesn't seem to cause corruption for me. And I've copied a number of files from the remote desktop connection.

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 4:14 AM

All replies

  • DarkonJhon

     

    You indicate that you do not have enough space to "remove" one of your 400 GB Drives  I am curious

     

    • How much Actual Data do you have Stored
    • Do you have "Duplication" enabled for any of your "Shares"
    • If you remove all Duplication will that allow removal of one of you 400GB Drives.

    WHS will see the Drive as a "New Drive" and offer to format it.

     

     

     

     

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 1:52 AM
  •  

    It is possible that if I turn off folder duplication on some of my folders it might free up enough space to remove the drive without loss of data, but I'm hesitant to take that approach for a few of reasons:

     

    First, I'm thinking that this process could take a very long time. Second, if I ran into any major problems with one of the other drives I could lose the only copy of my data. Lastly, by the time I want to upgrade I may not have 400GB of free space even after turning off duplication (after all 20-25% of free space on a 1.8TB sysetm is a LOT of free space to leave lying around..

     

    Are you sure that WHS will see it as a new drive even though it has only been moved from a external USB case to an internal SATA bay? What is your statement based on...firsthand experience or your educated guess?

     

    I'm not saying you are wrong, but I thougth the drive identifier information that is created when the drive is added to the disk pool was stored on the drive itself, so why should WHS care whether the drive is located (internal or external)

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 2:15 AM
  • My limited testing suggest that this will not work. WHS doesn't like it if drives are moved. And moving a drive from a USB enclosure to an internal connection is a big move. I think your best bet is deleting all your backups, and then moving flies from the WHS back to your PC, till you have reduced the files on your drives.

     

    Another option is to pull the System drive (as if it had failed) and then insert the new drive as the system drive, and then recover the system drive. This gives you the fastest drive as a system drive, and will also give you some extra room to play with when you decide to upgrade again. It will also allow you to transfer the most files with one click.

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 3:06 AM
  •  DarkonJohn wrote:

     

    It is possible that if I turn off folder duplication on some of my folders it might free up enough space to remove the drive without loss of data, but I'm hesitant to take that approach for a few of reasons:

     

    First, I'm thinking that this process could take a very long time. Second, if I ran into any major problems with one of the other drives I could lose the only copy of my data. Lastly, by the time I want to upgrade I may not have 400GB of free space even after turning off duplication (after all 20-25% of free space on a 1.8TB sysetm is a LOT of free space to leave lying around..

     

    Are you sure that WHS will see it as a new drive even though it has only been moved from a external USB case to an internal SATA bay? What is your statement based on...firsthand experience or your educated guess?

     

    I'm not saying you are wrong, but I thougth the drive identifier information that is created when the drive is added to the disk pool was stored on the drive itself, so why should WHS care whether the drive is located (internal or external)

     

    I've got a MediaSmart Server EX475 and if I plug a USB drive in it appears to change the order of the unassigned drives as it becomes the E drive in the system, this causes Windows Home Server Console to throw a drive failing message when I reboot my system. Also Most SATA drives are seen by the system as SCSI drives, and most USB drives seem to be seen as PATA drives. WHS seems to have something that doesn't like to see drives tinkered with if you trip this the whole system might need to be restored. You could loose everything.

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 3:15 AM
  •  Darkone3 wrote:

    My limited testing suggest that this will not work. WHS doesn't like it if drives are moved. And moving a drive from a USB enclosure to an internal connection is a big move. I think your best bet is deleting all your backups, and then moving flies from the WHS back to your PC, till you have reduced the files on your drives.

     

    Yeah, I've been thinking that might be the most straightforward approach and I may end up following it in the end, but since copying that amount of data takes many hours I'm hoping to find something more efficient. There may not be a way to avoid it, but many of these steps (removing drives, backing up drives, balancing drives, etc)...can take hours or days to complete.

     

     Darkone3 wrote:

    Another option is to pull the System drive (as if it had failed) and then insert the new drive as the system drive, and then recover the system drive. This gives you the fastest drive as a system drive, and will also give you some extra room to play with when you decide to upgrade again. It will also allow you to transfer the most files with one click.

     

    I'm still learning about how WHS manages drives, but wouldn't this approach cause any of the data being stored on the system drive to be lost? Or would I have to put the drive in an external case, plug it into my desktop and "recover" the files on it by copying them back to the WHS?

     

    It should would be nice if MS would put together a book titled "Everything you ever wanted to know about WHS internals and disk management" so we could make informed decisions about how to handle these things. Instead I feel like I still have to make an educated guess on what will happen (with the help of people like yourself) and then jump off the cliff and hope for a safe landing.

     

    I guess the only way to be really sure you won't lose any data is to have duplicate storage systems that are synchronized before attempting any changes. But it would be a lot easier if everything "just worked" without guesswork.

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 3:22 AM
  •  Darkone3 wrote:
    I've got a MediaSmart Server EX475 and if I plug a USB drive in it appears to change the order of the unassigned drives as it becomes the E drive in the system, this causes Windows Home Server Console to throw a drive failing message when I reboot my system. Also Most SATA drives are seen by the system as SCSI drives, and most USB drives seem to be seen as PATA drives. WHS seems to have something that doesn't like to see drives tinkered with if you trip this the whole system might need to be restored. You could loose everything.

     

    Well dang, that's just scary!

     

    A couple of questions on this:

    1) For the USB drive you plugged in, was it previously part of a WHS drive pool?

    2) For the USB drive you plugged in, were you prompted to add it to the pool and if so, did you?

     

    While it might be possible to do so, I'm thinking that WHS does not like it if you manually copy files to the pooled drives (or between shared folders), so if you aren't going to join a drive to the drive pool, you probably shouldn't plug it into the WHS box or all kinds of bad things can happen.

     

    From my own experience and what I've read so far, I'm under the impression that all file copies should be done via your desktop and through the shared folders, not using Remote Desktop. That doesn't mean that you will always have problems if you copy files on the WHS using Remote Desktop, but you definitely may have problems (I sure have!) and I haven't yet figured out which actions will or will not cause problems.

     

     

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 3:31 AM
  •  DarkonJohn wrote:
     Darkone3 wrote:

    My limited testing suggest that this will not work. WHS doesn't like it if drives are moved. And moving a drive from a USB enclosure to an internal connection is a big move. I think your best bet is deleting all your backups, and then moving flies from the WHS back to your PC, till you have reduced the files on your drives.

     

    Yeah, I've been thinking that might be the most straightforward approach and I may end up following it in the end, but since copying that amount of data takes many hours I'm hoping to find something more efficient. There may not be a way to avoid it, but many of these steps (removing drives, backing up drives, balancing drives, etc)...can take hours or days to complete.

     

     Darkone3 wrote:

    Another option is to pull the System drive (as if it had failed) and then insert the new drive as the system drive, and then recover the system drive. This gives you the fastest drive as a system drive, and will also give you some extra room to play with when you decide to upgrade again. It will also allow you to transfer the most files with one click.

     

    I'm still learning about how WHS manages drives, but wouldn't this approach cause any of the data being stored on the system drive to be lost? Or would I have to put the drive in an external case, plug it into my desktop and "recover" the files on it by copying them back to the WHS?

     

    It should would be nice if MS would put together a book titled "Everything you ever wanted to know about WHS internals and disk management" so we could make informed decisions about how to handle these things. Instead I feel like I still have to make an educated guess on what will happen (with the help of people like yourself) and then jump off the cliff and hope for a safe landing.

     

    I guess the only way to be really sure you won't lose any data is to have duplicate storage systems that are synchronized before attempting any changes. But it would be a lot easier if everything "just worked" without guesswork.

     

    In a multidrive system WHS will attempt to off load everything off the D drive. To basically keep it free. It will also attempt to load everything on the smallest free space drive. So it depends, in theory there shouldn't be many files on your system drive. So pulling this drive as if it had failed and installing another should work.

     

    It may take some time for it to discover your other drives, but again as in theory this should not take long. (I would suggest doing this while the system does not say it is balancing storage by the way). Any files on the system drive that you need to recover you should be able to do by plugging this drive into a USB shell and plugging it into your WHS while it is up. You can then copy drive through the USB connection very fast compared to a network connection. (it is what I would do)

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 3:36 AM
  •  DarkonJohn wrote:
     Darkone3 wrote:
    I've got a MediaSmart Server EX475 and if I plug a USB drive in it appears to change the order of the unassigned drives as it becomes the E drive in the system, this causes Windows Home Server Console to throw a drive failing message when I reboot my system. Also Most SATA drives are seen by the system as SCSI drives, and most USB drives seem to be seen as PATA drives. WHS seems to have something that doesn't like to see drives tinkered with if you trip this the whole system might need to be restored. You could loose everything.

     

    Well dang, that's just scary!

     

    A couple of questions on this:

    1) For the USB drive you plugged in, was it previously part of a WHS drive pool?

    2) For the USB drive you plugged in, were you prompted to add it to the pool and if so, did you?

     

    While it might be possible to do so, I'm thinking that WHS does not like it if you manually copy files to the pooled drives (or between shared folders), so if you aren't going to join a drive to the drive pool, you probably shouldn't plug it into the WHS box or all kinds of bad things can happen.

     

    From my own experience and what I've read so far, I'm under the impression that all file copies should be done via your desktop and through the shared folders, not using Remote Desktop. That doesn't mean that you will always have problems if you copy files on the WHS using Remote Desktop, but you definitely may have problems (I sure have!) and I haven't yet figured out which actions will or will not cause problems.

     

     

     

    This is a 250 GB USB drive that has never been part of a pool.

     

    Prompted is an interesting word. I would say no I was not. It does show however in "Server Storage" as a Not Added drive. And as long as I choose not to add it it will not be added, during normal usage. What you do not want to do under any circumstance is to have two WHS SYS drives in the WHS during a boot, this is sure to create massive problems. Hot plugging it into a booted system does not create problems on my system for me. And no I did not add it. I perfer to have at least one drive not added to the pool, that I use from remote Desktop.

     

    My experience seems to be very different than yours. For me corruption seems to occour anytime a file is edited by another PC while on the WHS. Copying files doesn't seem to cause corruption for me. And I've copied a number of files from the remote desktop connection.

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 4:14 AM
  •  Darkone3 wrote:

    Prompted is an interesting word. I would say no I was not. It does show however in "Server Storage" as a Not Added drive. And as long as I choose not to add it it will not be added, during normal usage. What you do not want to do under any circumstance is to have two WHS SYS drives in the WHS during a boot, this is sure to create massive problems. Hot plugging it into a booted system does not create problems on my system for me. And no I did not add it. I perfer to have at least one drive not added to the pool, that I use from remote Desktop.

     

    Why do you prefer to have the exta drive on the server that is not part of the pool? For manual backups of files that are stored on the pooled drives?

     

     Darkone3 wrote:

    My experience seems to be very different than yours. For me corruption seems to occour anytime a file is edited by another PC while on the WHS. Copying files doesn't seem to cause corruption for me. And I've copied a number of files from the remote desktop connection.

     

    I'm not sure I had actual file corruption (never really know until you try to use a file that has been corrupted), but my issues are documented here....basically, I had the following "problems" in my server storage diagnostics:

     

    Files with both shadows missing:      1
    Shadow ACL diff from Tombstone:       3017
    Tombstone ACL doesn't match QSM:      55522

    I believe the situation occured because I moved files form one share to another share using Remote Desktop (moving the files from "D:\shares\folderA" to "D:\shares\folderB" to because it was a lot faster than moving the files via the shared folders (which seemed to be treating it as a file COPY rather than a MOVE).

     

    I was able to clean up most of these errors, but at still having problems deleting certain files as documented here (which resulted from trying to fix a problem with "invalid file handles").

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 4:56 AM
  • Hi - I'd like to know if you ended up doing what you initially suggested. I have two USB (PATA) drives that I would like to move into the case onto PATA connectors (pretty much what you proposed).

    How did it go?


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