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OS Hard Drive and DATA Hard Drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just installed Home Server last night and I am having a blast with it. I noticed that it partioned my 90gb RAID into a 20gb OS and 70gb data partions. I was wondering, when I add other hard drives to the server for more storage, and say for some reason I have to reinstall due to a failure of some sort, will it reinstall to the 20gb partion, and leave the 70gb data partion untouched? Or would it reformat and repartion the RAID? So would I be better off installing WHS to a 30gb hard drive and have my other drives for just data? 
    Sunday, January 11, 2009 3:50 PM

Answers

  • As far as WHS was concerned during the installation, that RAID array was simply a 90 GB HDD. When installed it automatically partitions the system drive into a 20 GB SYS partition, and a (drive - 20 GB) DATA partition. Other drives added to the storage pool will have their full size (up to 2 TB, the limit for a partition on an MBR formatted drive) used as a DATA partition.

    If something happens to the SYS partition (e.g. OS corruption) you would perform a server reinstallation, which is a special installation mode that will refresh the operating system, but preserve the data in your shares, and your backup database. You will need to recreate users (they will be reconnected with their folders in the Users share) and reinstall any add-ins you may have had. You will also have to re-join your home computers to the server. If you have done any customization of your server outside of installing add-ins (additional software installed via Remote Desktop, OS customizations, etc.) you will have to re-do that as well.

    You should be aware that WHS on RAID is not a supported scenario. For more details, please read the WHS team blog post Why RAID is not a consumer technology. RAID may work well for you, but if you have problems down the road, likely advice will be to give it up. :)

    You should also take a look at the Support page on the WHS microsite. In particular, the technical briefs give a more, umm, "technical" :) explanation of some of the technology behind WHS.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Sunday, January 11, 2009 5:27 PM
    • Marked as answer by stidrvr Monday, January 12, 2009 4:36 AM
    Sunday, January 11, 2009 4:03 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • As far as WHS was concerned during the installation, that RAID array was simply a 90 GB HDD. When installed it automatically partitions the system drive into a 20 GB SYS partition, and a (drive - 20 GB) DATA partition. Other drives added to the storage pool will have their full size (up to 2 TB, the limit for a partition on an MBR formatted drive) used as a DATA partition.

    If something happens to the SYS partition (e.g. OS corruption) you would perform a server reinstallation, which is a special installation mode that will refresh the operating system, but preserve the data in your shares, and your backup database. You will need to recreate users (they will be reconnected with their folders in the Users share) and reinstall any add-ins you may have had. You will also have to re-join your home computers to the server. If you have done any customization of your server outside of installing add-ins (additional software installed via Remote Desktop, OS customizations, etc.) you will have to re-do that as well.

    You should be aware that WHS on RAID is not a supported scenario. For more details, please read the WHS team blog post Why RAID is not a consumer technology. RAID may work well for you, but if you have problems down the road, likely advice will be to give it up. :)

    You should also take a look at the Support page on the WHS microsite. In particular, the technical briefs give a more, umm, "technical" :) explanation of some of the technology behind WHS.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Sunday, January 11, 2009 5:27 PM
    • Marked as answer by stidrvr Monday, January 12, 2009 4:36 AM
    Sunday, January 11, 2009 4:03 PM
    Moderator
  • Ok, that makes sense. I'm use to the install process asking where and which partition you want to install too. Thats nice to know about the special instalation for reinstall.

    As far as the RAID, the only reason I'm using it is because all of my other hard drives have data on them. This was the only "empty" space that I had. Once larger hard drives are purchased, Id like to eliminate the RAID just incase of a RAID crash. And since this is only a server for backup, the Performance isn't needed.

    Sunday, January 11, 2009 11:34 PM
  • I have just finished reading the Drive Extender Technical Brief (which is a great read explaining almost everything) but I still have a few questions regarding OS part and the Data part of your primary drive. If I install software from a third party I assume it installs to the 20 GB OS partition (in something like c:\Program Files\), is that correct? Is it even possible to install software anywhere else?
    If that software is some kind of normal home server software (like download managers, ftp-server software, torrent-clients and folder sync software) it will want read and write a lot of data under large periods of time. Will this kind of software write to the actual files on the second and/or third drive or will it write to the data part of the primary drive (where WHS can turn the files create tomb stones and copy the actual data onwards to drive two and/or three)?
    In the Technical Brief it says WHS will "migrate" files from the primary hard drive when they are not open. How does that work with software that are "keeping an eye on" or using its data all the time? A torrent client is an excellent example where bits and pieces are written to the files for days and when the files are complete they will upload bits and pieces now and then for even longer. Will WHS never get the chances to migrate those files or does the migration process still work? If not it sounds like the primary drive could clog up fairly quickly if you don’t shut this kind of software down on a regular basis.

    I’m sure these are simple question for someone actually using WHs but never the less important to answer for newcomers like me :-) Thanks in advance!

    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:27 PM
  • I guess I can answer a few of my own questions now :-)

    Q: Where should download managers etc. write their data?
    A: While the file is being downloaded the files should preferably go straight to some free space outside the WHS shares. The path should contain a driveletter like this: "E:\Incoming\Incomplete". You don't want want WHS to try to migrate your file when it is halfway done. When the file is done on the other hand, you can have your software automativcally move it to a share. For example: \\Server\Downloads. From there the software can still access the file for reads while WHS will migrate (and duplicate if selected) in time.
    • Proposed as answer by -KMan- Tuesday, January 13, 2009 8:55 PM
    Tuesday, January 13, 2009 8:55 PM