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Need to add storage space, can the SYS volume be moved? Feedback requested on options... RRS feed

  • Question

  • I need to increase my storage pool to better accommodate my media library so trying to weigh out some options - appreciate any feedback;

    Current Setup:

    - 4 Drives attached via the 4 SATA ports on the motherboard:  2 Internal (250GB-contains the SYS Volume, 1TB) &  2 External (2 x 2 TB drives in enclosures)

    - I have 3 additional external enclosures kicking around the house and drives in them (1 x 640GB, 2 x 1TB)

     

    Options:

    1)  I could hookup the above noted external drives via USB - netting me 2.64TB more storage - but ALL at USB speeds.

    2)  I could swap out the internal 250GB drive for one of the unused 1TB drives to get it connected via one of the SATA ports (would have to figure out how to "move" the SYS volume though?) and connect the remaining 1TB, 640GB & 250GB drives via USB - netting me the SAME increase, but 750GB of it at SATA speeds.

    3)  I could buy 2 more 2TB drives and

         (A) swap out the internal 250GB & 1TB drives (again, would need to "move" the SYS volume) - netting me 5.4TB more total storage and 2.75 of that on SATA ports (not including the 250GB drive)

         (B) put them in the external cases and connect via USB - netting me 2TB more storage but all at USB speeds

     

    Questions:

    - is the access speed difference of the SATA connection vs USB 2.0 worth going the route of putting those INSIDE (replacing the 250GB and 1 TB drives)?

    - is it possible to "move" the SYS volume or are we talking about a re-installation?  If re-install, is it a FULL re-install?

     

    Obviously buying 2 new 2TB drives inside gets me a lot more real estate to work with in either 3 (a) or (b) - but wondering how well things will perform if I use one of the stop-gap approaches (#1 or 2)

     

    On a related note: is there any way to specify which drive(s) hold which shares?  From my reading, I'm guessing NOT but since this expansion is to better accommodate media files - I'd want those files to be the "fastest" access method...so had to ask.  

     

    What is everyone else doing with large media libraries in relation to WHS and "feeding" multiple media centers around the house?

    Thanks much!

     

    -----------------------

    ADDENDUM: did a search for "USB STORAGE POOL" and I see quite a number of issues related to WHS "losing" USB drives in the storage pool.  Reading back to one of my OWN posts when I was a complete noob, I see that Olaf noted something similar.

    So - since all of these "issue" posts and my old post are fairly dated, is this still an issue with the current version of WHS?  IF so, doesn't sound like USB Storage Pool Drives is a wise idea?  That would leave me with option 3(a) only - so the "moving the SYS volume" question is a key piece here.

    • Edited by Puulima Monday, September 13, 2010 6:36 PM updated
    Monday, September 13, 2010 6:19 PM

All replies

  • The supported method of migrating to a larger system drive is server recovery, with the new drive replacing the old drive. Server recovery is covered (sketchily) here. Cloning the system disk is unsupported, and if not done exactly right it may cause issues sufficiently serious as to require a server recovery afterward anyway. And don't use USB in the storage pool as anything other than a (very!) temporary stopgap; too many users have had problems after adding a USB drive to the pool.

    Instead, think outside the box: Your best course of action is probably to get a larger case to allow you to install more drives internally. This will let you get rid of the extra power bricks for the external drives (move them inside) and you can install an add-in SATA card which will let you connect more drives. At the same time, get an additional 1.5 or 2 TB drive. If you don't want to get a larger case, then consider an add-in eSATA card with one or more eSATA drives connected, plus one or more large eSATA drives. Or if the add-in card supports a port multiplier, a multi-disk eSATA enclosure with port multiplier is an option.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, September 13, 2010 7:17 PM
    Moderator
  • I will stay away from the USB Storage Pool path.

    I probably have room for at least one more internal drive (space wise) - will see about the power connectors...it's an old Dell Dimension 8400.

    I was originally going to do the eSATA card thing before I found out the external enclosures came with a connector deal that although it's not true eSATA, did allow me to easily connect the drives without having to extend cables from the motherboard.  I'm assuming an add-in card doesn't add any bottlenecks speed-wise?  I'll have to see what sort of open slots I have - but is there a preferred connector/interface for an eSATA card?

     

    THANKS much for the feedback and assistance!

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010 9:17 PM
  • The speed limitation with eSATA will probably be the internal bus in the computer, rather than the eSATA bandwidth. But I wouldn't worry about it. You probably have one or more free PCI slots; a decent (but inexpensive) eSATA card with several ports would probably do the trick for you. I've got no specific recommendations for you, I'm afraid.

    Oh, and there is only one connector used for eSATA. It's mechanically much more robust than a standard SATA connector (which, depending on the version of the SATA spec it meets, may fail after as little as a few dozen plug/unplug cycles).


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, September 14, 2010 11:56 PM
    Moderator
  • The supported method of migrating to a larger system drive is server recovery, with the new drive replacing the old drive. Server recovery is covered (sketchily) here .

    Ken - I'm familiar with the Server Re-installation/Recovery process in general.  But what will happen when I enter my product key for (re)activation with the new SYS drive?  Am I going to have to pull teeth to (re)activate since the current setup is activated?  I'm guessing a phone call to MS will be required.  How does that work?

    BTW: no room inside for more drives - no more power adapters that will fit the SATA drives.  Probably need to research more but I don't think the add-in SATA cards provide power - just the SATA connections...so for now, I'm going to upgrade the 250GB SYS Drive to a 2 TB drive.  That will tide me over for a while.

    Thanks

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 3:56 AM
  • You will have to go through phone activation, yes. You're replacing a system drive, so it shouldn't be too much trouble.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 1:21 PM
    Moderator