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  • Question

  • I'm going to install WHS soon.  I'm going to be using four hard drives for the total backup of my network.  I'm assuming that their total drive space will be added together, similar to how RAID JBOD works.  Would it be possible to have a fifth hard drive that is not added into the available backup space?  I'd like to install some dedicated game servers to this fifth drive for use at my home LAN parties.  Do you get to select which hard drives are used for storage, or will the OS simply grab every hard drive it detects in the BIOS upon installation?
    Sunday, March 28, 2010 11:13 PM

Answers

  • Normally, if you log in to the server desktop you will see only two "drives" in Explorer. One is C:, the system partition, the other is D:, the start of the data partition. They will add up to the size of your system drive. Other drives being managed by Windows Home Server are not visible in Explorer. That there is an apparent disconnect in Explorer is really a result of logging in to the server desktop, which is unsupported; Microsoft didn't spend any time on making the desktop act like the desktop on a plain installation of Windows Server 2003.

    As for your plan, no, I don't think it will cause a problem. (It's unsupported because it involves using the server desktop and direct manipulation of your disks.) But there are no guarantees; test thoroughly before you commit significant data to your server...


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by XrayDoc88 Monday, March 29, 2010 6:24 PM
    Monday, March 29, 2010 2:56 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • The OS will take every hard drive it finds on installation. You can add a hard drive later, though, and it will not automatically be added to the storage pool, so you could do that instead. (Such use is unsupported, of course.)
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, March 29, 2010 2:13 AM
    Moderator
  • So normally when you install WHS, do you end up with a 20 GB C drive and the total sum of your extra hard drive space (including the extra space on the hard drive used for the C partition) as the D drive?  If I wait to connect the fifth hard drive after the OS is already installed, then do you think I'll get an E drive?  I hate the word "unsupported", but I thought that would make an easy way to install a few dedicated servers to their own partition away from the OS.  I'd only launch those servers when actually hosting a LAN party.  Do you foresee a problem with my plan, even if Microsoft never really intended that type of use?  I'd just like to take advantage of another CPU and RAM for intermittent gaming.  Thanks for your input. 
    Monday, March 29, 2010 2:38 AM
  • Normally, if you log in to the server desktop you will see only two "drives" in Explorer. One is C:, the system partition, the other is D:, the start of the data partition. They will add up to the size of your system drive. Other drives being managed by Windows Home Server are not visible in Explorer. That there is an apparent disconnect in Explorer is really a result of logging in to the server desktop, which is unsupported; Microsoft didn't spend any time on making the desktop act like the desktop on a plain installation of Windows Server 2003.

    As for your plan, no, I don't think it will cause a problem. (It's unsupported because it involves using the server desktop and direct manipulation of your disks.) But there are no guarantees; test thoroughly before you commit significant data to your server...


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by XrayDoc88 Monday, March 29, 2010 6:24 PM
    Monday, March 29, 2010 2:56 AM
    Moderator
  • I think I understand your explanation.  I'm sure it will all make more sense once I've installed WHS and tried using it.  Please bear with me to make sure I understand.  By logging in to the server desktop I assume you mean by using remote desktop.  I take it that is not the way you normally interact with your WHS machine?  I never really thought about it, but is there another way you can "control" the WHS from a client machine?  So once I actually connect with remote desktop, I should see a 20 GB C drive and a 1980 GB D drive (I know the size will actually be less, but I'm installing on a 2 TB drive.)  My other 2 TB drives that are part of the "data partition" will not be counted in the D drive size, correct?  Assuming that I then add my fifth drive after the initial OS install, it should show up as an E drive that I could acess directly throught remote desktop?  Otherwise, how would I launch a program installed there?

    Finally, does the normal method of interacting with your WHS machine tell you an accurate size of the data partition?  Thanks again.

    Monday, March 29, 2010 3:42 AM
  • I think I understand your explanation.  I'm sure it will all make more sense once I've installed WHS and tried using it.  Please bear with me to make sure I understand.  By logging in to the server desktop I assume you mean by using remote desktop.  I take it that is not the way you normally interact with your WHS machine?  I never really thought about it, but is there another way you can "control" the WHS from a client machine?
    Correct.  All admin functions are controlled from the Console (an app installed on each client in your LAN).

    So once I actually connect with remote desktop, I should see a 20 GB C drive and a 1980 GB D drive (I know the size will actually be less, but I'm installing on a 2 TB drive.) 
    Yes.

    My other 2 TB drives that are part of the "data partition" will not be counted in the D drive size, correct?

    Yes and no.  :)  You will see the free space of the entire storage pool, but the total space available of only your primary drive.  (Again, logging into the server desktop is unsupported so don't worry about the fact that those numbers don't make sense.)

    Assuming that I then add my fifth drive after the initial OS install, it should show up as an E drive that I could acess directly throught remote desktop?

    If it's already formatted, yes.  But as Ken said, that's unsupported.

    Otherwise, how would I launch a program installed there?

    Finally, does the normal method of interacting with your WHS machine tell you an accurate size of the data partition? 

    Yes (it wouldn't be worth much if it didn't  :)  ).

    Thanks again.


    Monday, March 29, 2010 4:59 AM
    Moderator
  • So I can't plan on creating a partition and formatting my fifth hard drive once installed in the WHS using Disk Management tools?  Perhaps Disk Management doesn't exist in WHS?  Should I format my drive in another computer as NTFS? 

    Monday, March 29, 2010 5:36 AM
  • So I can't plan on creating a partition and formatting my fifth hard drive once installed in the WHS using Disk Management tools?
    You can, but again it's unsupported.

    Perhaps Disk Management doesn't exist in WHS?

    All of the standard Windows tools available in Server 2003 are available in the underlying OS (since WHS is written on top of Server 2003).  However, using any of them is unsupported and some of them will most definitely break your WHS installation.  The WHS concept is to "set it and forget it".

    Should I format my drive in another computer as NTFS? 

    Monday, March 29, 2010 5:45 AM
    Moderator
  • XrayDoc88, if the software will start on server 2003, you could probably use some of the add-ins to start and stop the software as needed.

    Not sure which add-in is the best to do so, but advanced admin should do the trick to set up shortcuts to start and stop the servcies. There's also a port forward add-in to set up your router correctly if you need to do so.

    Monday, March 29, 2010 7:29 AM