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Help me understand WHS disk management RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello All,

    I am really trying my best to embrace this server technology but I'm just getting annoyed.  I have a custom built WHS with 3 pysical drives (1 IDE = 140GB / 2 SATA = 750GB in a RAID 0 configuration).  The C: or Sys volume is consuming 20GB of of the IDE drive while the D: or Data volume seems to be strattling the IDE and RAID array. 

    I keep getting these "Low Disk Space" Warnings on the D: when there is 985% free space appearing in Disk Management and 1.15TB of free space appearing in My Computer.  The strange thing is that the total size shown for the D: in My Computer is 119GB, which is obviously wrong.

    What did I do wrong?  No I didn't copy files directly to drives - I have always used network share names.
    Thursday, November 26, 2009 5:01 AM

All replies

  • Hello All,

    I am really trying my best to embrace this server technology but I'm just getting annoyed.  I have a custom built WHS with 3 pysical drives (1 IDE = 140GB / 2 SATA = 750GB in a RAID 0 configuration).  The C: or Sys volume is consuming 20GB of of the IDE drive while the D: or Data volume seems to be strattling the IDE and RAID array. 

    I keep getting these "Low Disk Space" Warnings on the D: when there is 985% free space appearing in Disk Management and 1.15TB of free space appearing in My Computer.  The strange thing is that the total size shown for the D: in My Computer is 119GB, which is obviously wrong.

    What did I do wrong?  No I didn't copy files directly to drives - I have always used network share names.
    Using RAID on WHS is unsupported.  You could try breaking the array and reinstall the OS on a single hard drive and see what happens.
    Thursday, November 26, 2009 5:53 AM
    Moderator
  • Thats a cosmetic bug showing the wrong space in Windows Explorer, which has been introduced to fix the Vista intention to check the free space on D: only, which holds the shares, before starting a copy operation. Remember, direct interaction with the desktop is not part of the usage concept of Windows Home Server, so you normally would not see this.
    You may get the warning or worse results if the data in duplicated folders is nearly exceeding the amount of free space on the system disks data volume, since you did configure your other two disk as RAID, which is the wrong method.
    The only proper method to solve this would be, to remove all data from the server, wait until duplication succeeds (each full hour) to clean up drive D:, delete all backups as well and remove the RAID from the storage pool. Configure the two 750 GB disks as single drives and add them both to the storage pool again.

    RAID0 is even more bad than the also unsupported RAID1 or RAID5 - since a single disk failure will definitively cost a lot more or data, at least all the non duplicated stuff.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, November 26, 2009 12:22 PM
    Moderator
  • What you're seeing is "normal" for Windows Home Server, as others have said. To get a better idea of how Windows Home Server uses the drives provided to it, I would suggest you read the Drive Extender technical brief.

    Regarding your RAID array, if you truly meant "RAID 0" (i.e. stripe set with no redundancy), I would (also) suggest you break the array and allow Windows Home Server to manage the disks. You won't see the added R/W performance that a stripe set theoretically gives in the Windows Home Server environment because of bottlenecks elsewhere in the system, and a stripe set has no redundancy (so if you lose a single drive in the array, you lose all data stored on any volume in the array). In addition, the use of RAID (any level) with Windows Home Server will dramatically complicate recovery scenarios such as e.g. a case of OS corruption where you need to perform a server recovery, because of the driver requirements.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, November 26, 2009 1:31 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the quick responses to my issues.  After reading your posts, I have decided to break the RAID 0 configuration - given the only reason I did this was to improve disk performance.  My plan was to add a 1.5 TB eSata drive to this WHS for redundancy of that RAID 0 volume.  If I am not going to gain such performance from that volume, then of course - there is no point.  My only concern with this is that I am planing to connect to these shares from MC machines and MC Extender devices throughout the home and I guess we will see if they can stream HD content from this WHS w/o a RAID 0 volume. 

    Just so you know...I did plug in that eSata drive and added it to the storage pool of WHS.  Still - this did not resolve the disk space errors and so I am a bit concerned, but I will just accept that this is because of the RAID 0 volume that is not supported.  Here is my plan going forward - based upon what I learned in reading the Drive Extender document and from you folks have suggested above:

    1.  Copying all of the data from the folder shares on the WHS to an external drive connected to another PC
    2.  I will then delete all of the data from those folder shares on the WHS
    3.  I will then remove that RAID volume from the storage pool in WHS
    4.  I will reboot the WHS and break the hardware RAID volume and add each drive individually to the storage pool.

    This is all so that I do not have to re-install WHS.  However, the only thing that concerns me at this point...the following quote is taken from the Drive Extender document. 

    The primary data partition in a home server should be as large as possible for two reasons: 

    ·         You want to provide sufficient space to grow the file table for all of the files that you will store on your home server.

    ·         Windows Vista® and other home computer operating systems check to see if there is adequate space on the primary data partition prior to starting a copy operation.

    I'm not sure how to read into these statement taken from the documentation above?  Once I remove this RAID 0 volume, the primary data partition volume will only be the remaining 120GB of my original 140GB IDE drive.  Will I still have free disk space warnings after I copy over >120GB of data back to the added 750GB drives?

    Thx again for your wonderful support!

    Saturday, November 28, 2009 5:33 PM
  • Thanks for the quick responses to my issues.  After reading your posts, I have decided to break the RAID 0 configuration - given the only reason I did this was to improve disk performance.  My plan was to add a 1.5 TB eSata drive to this WHS for redundancy of that RAID 0 volume.  If I am not going to gain such performance from that volume, then of course - there is no point.  My only concern with this is that I am planing to connect to these shares from MC machines and MC Extender devices throughout the home and I guess we will see if they can stream HD content from this WHS w/o a RAID 0 volume.

    Mine does (720p content to an XBox 360 works fine and it's connected wirelessly, even 1080p works wirelessly sometimes).

    Just so you know...I did plug in that eSata drive and added it to the storage pool of WHS.  Still - this did not resolve the disk space errors and so I am a bit concerned, but I will just accept that this is because of the RAID 0 volume that is not supported.  Here is my plan going forward - based upon what I learned in reading the Drive Extender document and from you folks have suggested above:

    1.  Copying all of the data from the folder shares on the WHS to an external drive connected to another PC
    2.  I will then delete all of the data from those folder shares on the WHS
    3.  I will then remove that RAID volume from the storage pool in WHS
    4.  I will reboot the WHS and break the hardware RAID volume and add each drive individually to the storage pool.

    This is all so that I do not have to re-install WHS.

    If you are going to go to that level anyway (moving everything off), I would suggest a New Installation (just to get a completely clean slate).  Just make sure you get all your data copied from the server first.

    However, the only thing that concerns me at this point...the following quote is taken from the Drive Extender document. 

    The primary data partition in a home server should be as large as possible for two reasons: 

    ·         You want to provide sufficient space to grow the file table for all of the files that you will store on your home server.

    ·         Windows Vista® and other home computer operating systems check to see if there is adequate space on the primary data partition prior to starting a copy operation.

    I'm not sure how to read into these statement taken from the documentation above?

    Basically, you don't.  :)  That info is obsolete.  (It looks like MS needs to update their DE documentation.)  There are various changes to how DE now works that neither of those statements are true any more.  However, that brings up a point:  Any chance your server isn't up-to-date so that yours has those fixes?  What are the component number in your Console (Settings button, Resources tab)?

    Once I remove this RAID 0 volume, the primary data partition volume will only be the remaining 120GB of my original 140GB IDE drive.  Will I still have free disk space warnings after I copy over >120GB of data back to the added 750GB drives?

    Thx again for your wonderful support!

    Saturday, November 28, 2009 5:53 PM
    Moderator
  • You might also what to read Home Computer Backup and Restore





    Don
    Saturday, November 28, 2009 10:55 PM