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Moving System Partition to a Different Drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • Currently, I have two 500GB drives running on my WHS setup.  In the future, I can see purchasing a 1TB drive.

    I once read that you should optimally set your largest drive as your system partition.  If I add the 1TB, how can I go about moving the system (C:) partition.  I don't think I need to move my data (D:) partition do I?

    Can anyone shed some light on this?

    Thanks!

    Karson
    Wednesday, September 17, 2008 3:05 PM

Answers

  • Karson,

    The 'correct' way of doing an exchange, is to just remove the C:/D: drive and substitute with your larger drive. If you then boot from the Server DVD and select the re-installation option, it will install the software, and then rebuild all the pointers etc., to your existing data. This portion of the install can take quite some time if you have any amount of data, and can appear to be 'frozen'; it isn't, it just operating on all the info.

    However, after saying that, I reckon a 500GB drive is more than large enough for the system drive. All the systems I built and sold, have exactly that, a 500GB drive, as the base installation. Personally, if you have the extra drive, I would either use it for storage, or, use it as a backup drive for the Shared Folders.

    Note that since the appearance of PP1, the storage algorithm has changed, so the initial drive size isn't quite as important, unless you are running with only one drive.

    HTH,

    Colin

    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    • Proposed as answer by Ken WarrenModerator Wednesday, September 17, 2008 10:29 PM
    • Marked as answer by KarsonVM Thursday, September 18, 2008 2:02 AM
    Wednesday, September 17, 2008 4:33 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Karson,

    The 'correct' way of doing an exchange, is to just remove the C:/D: drive and substitute with your larger drive. If you then boot from the Server DVD and select the re-installation option, it will install the software, and then rebuild all the pointers etc., to your existing data. This portion of the install can take quite some time if you have any amount of data, and can appear to be 'frozen'; it isn't, it just operating on all the info.

    However, after saying that, I reckon a 500GB drive is more than large enough for the system drive. All the systems I built and sold, have exactly that, a 500GB drive, as the base installation. Personally, if you have the extra drive, I would either use it for storage, or, use it as a backup drive for the Shared Folders.

    Note that since the appearance of PP1, the storage algorithm has changed, so the initial drive size isn't quite as important, unless you are running with only one drive.

    HTH,

    Colin

    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    • Proposed as answer by Ken WarrenModerator Wednesday, September 17, 2008 10:29 PM
    • Marked as answer by KarsonVM Thursday, September 18, 2008 2:02 AM
    Wednesday, September 17, 2008 4:33 PM
    Moderator
  • Colin Hodgson said:

    The 'correct' way of doing an exchange, is to just remove the C:/D: drive and substitute with your larger drive. If you then boot from the Server DVD and select the re-installation option, it will install the software, and then rebuild all the pointers etc., to your existing data. This portion of the install can take quite some time if you have any amount of data, and can appear to be 'frozen'; it isn't, it just operating on all the info.


    I would like to add that this will only work if all shares have duplication set to ON.  This is because one will loose the non duplicated files that reside on the primary disk when replacing it!
     
    After re-installing Windows Home server with the new primary disk it is possible however to manually copy the missing files of the original primary disk (files can be found in the \DE\shares directory). Make sure to copy off any files before adding this drive as another secondary disk as WHS will format it when adding!

    (As a general safety measure I would advise to always make a full of any valuable data on WHS before doing a re-install)

    PS - I fully agree with Colin when saying a 500GB primary disk is just fine. The only limitation would be that from a Windows Vista client, copying more then 50 GBytes of data to the shares at once could become a problem at some point.


    No home server like Home Server
    Wednesday, September 17, 2008 6:56 PM
    Moderator
  • Colin Hodgson said:

    The 'correct' way of doing an exchange, is to just remove the C:/D: drive and substitute with your larger drive. If you then boot from the Server DVD and select the re-installation option, it will install the software, and then rebuild all the pointers etc., to your existing data. This portion of the install can take quite some time if you have any amount of data, and can appear to be 'frozen'; it isn't, it just operating on all the info.

    Of course you will also have to re-add any users, add-ins, custimizations, additional software, scheduled tasks, etc.
    Wednesday, September 17, 2008 9:53 PM
  • My primary concern is with scalability of my storage.  Down the road, what if I start backing up my DVD collection to my WHS and have a MCE box play from it?

    Storage can vanish fast when you're backing up as DVD-9.  If the primary system drive, since PP1, isn't as critical for my situation then I won't worry about swapping out my primary.
    Wednesday, September 17, 2008 11:46 PM
  • It is sad there is no "upgrade" path.  You cannot move your install to the new large drive.  You basicaly start over with an install to your new drive.  If your "second" drive is in the box at reinstall it will see the "shared" folders and pull the data back.

    You lose your backups, computers, users, add-ins, and any modifications you have done.

    You cannot image your old "main" drive to a new drive.

    Guess this is a holdover from win98 when a "fresh" install was the answer to problems eh?

    Still......
    Grey
    Thursday, September 18, 2008 12:49 AM
    Moderator
  • I agree, the unability to perform an easy to restore backup or migration of the primary disk is one of the biggest lacking features in WHS. That even such methods like disk imaging do not work, adds only headache.
    Changing volume IDs should not be a reason for WHS services failing.
    Especially if the old system disk fails, and the WHS DVD does not recognize, that it should offer a server reinstall, the user is left in the rain and has to recover the data the hard way.
    With the proclamation of Windows Home Server being an easy to use system for backup, it should offer more flexibility if it comes to it's own backup/recovery/maintenance.
    Why not invoke ntbackup or something similar to put the contents of the primary drive to another disk, remove the primary disk, add the new primary disk, boot from the server DVD and have the ability to restore the primary drive in a way, that the increased disk space is added to the DATA partition and the system is still accepting that volume as part of the storage pool after reboot?
    Would even be ok, if the entire system volume backup process would have to be done totally offline including the backup by booting from the DVD.
    I think, such a process should be definitively supported by the OS.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, September 19, 2008 7:36 AM
    Moderator
  • Olaf, just like anyone else, if you feel strongly about this you should submit a product suggestion on Connect.

    As for shifting from one system disk to another, you can take a functional disk and image it to a new (presumably larger) one. You would want to expand the D: partition to fill the extra free space, of course, and when you do that you may find that the storage console reports free space incorrectly (it will be low by the amount you expanded D:), but I don't see any problem with the rest of the functionality.

    What you can't do is take an image today and reapply it in 6 months. In the meantime much will have changed about your server, and any image taken today is going to be out of date to an extent that would certainly impact WHS. The biggest issue will be certain data loss; that 6 month old image contains tombstones as of 6 months ago, which are now out of date. And files added to the server since won't even have tombstones.

    This isn't a problem as far as the WHS team is concerned (i.e. this is by design) because WHS is not a shrink wrap product. The primary channel for WHS is preinstalled on devices like the HP MediaSmart Server. Since those devices will not have a DVD drive, monitor, keyboard, or mouse, and therefore won't be able to run any recovery tool locally, Microsoft has provided a way to recover the server over the network. For simplicity this involves resetting the system partition. Remember that this product is targeted at technologically unsophisticated users, and more choices will likely confuse them, particularly if they're already a little panicky because they just lost a drive in their server.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, September 19, 2008 11:44 AM
    Moderator
  • Well I will have to test again, but I DID try to image to a larger drive.  Perhaps my mistake was I was greedy and set c: as 30gb, but it did not work.  Storage complained about the drive ID.

    Still....
    Grey
    Friday, September 19, 2008 10:03 PM
    Moderator
  • Similar result for me, drive D: was not longer shown as part of the storage pool after this.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, September 19, 2008 11:04 PM
    Moderator
  • Odd; I've actually done this successfully, as an experiment. What software did you use to perform the clone?
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, September 20, 2008 3:18 PM
    Moderator