locked
Primary OS Drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • So I really like the whole Windows Drive Extender system. I see it as a more nuanced JBOD setup, adding in some file redundancy.

     

    Here is what I understand:

    I know that the OS installs itself onto the primary hard drive in a 20GB partition. The rest of the disk is partitioned for data only and additional disks share that data partition. Files called Tombstones act as markers for each file added to the data partition, allowing data to appear as if it were actually on that drive while being located somewhere else.

     

    Here is what I do not understand:

    What happens when your primary drive fails? As far as I can tell, you lose your entire OS, all of your addons, and every single tombstone marker. If the primary drive fails the entire system is destroyed and all of the data is 'lost' on every drive because the tombstones disappear. 

     

    Seriously now, how is this prevented? There must be a system in place to preserve the OS and tombstones if the primary drive should fail, right? Did I miss some crucial info blurb in the WHS manual?

     

    I really hope I am missing something here....

    Monday, January 21, 2008 8:38 AM

Answers

  • If you only have one drive then yes, your entire system is destroyed as you say.

     

    If you have more than one drive, then you just need to replace the system drive and perform a server reinstallation. Your data is preserved and as part of the reinstall process you system drive is "recreated".

     

    Have you had a look at the whitepapers?

     

    Andrew

    Monday, January 21, 2008 9:48 AM
    Moderator
  • When your primary drive fails, you replace it and use your original installation media to perform a "server reinstallation". The tombstones are rebuilt as part of that process (rebuilding them can take a while).

    Losing the OS partition is really not a big deal; if you haven't set your WHS PC up as a general-purpose server. All you have on that partition is users and add-ins. Reconfiguring your users, permissions, reinstalling add-ins, etc. should take under an hour.
    Monday, January 21, 2008 12:25 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • If you only have one drive then yes, your entire system is destroyed as you say.

     

    If you have more than one drive, then you just need to replace the system drive and perform a server reinstallation. Your data is preserved and as part of the reinstall process you system drive is "recreated".

     

    Have you had a look at the whitepapers?

     

    Andrew

    Monday, January 21, 2008 9:48 AM
    Moderator
  • When your primary drive fails, you replace it and use your original installation media to perform a "server reinstallation". The tombstones are rebuilt as part of that process (rebuilding them can take a while).

    Losing the OS partition is really not a big deal; if you haven't set your WHS PC up as a general-purpose server. All you have on that partition is users and add-ins. Reconfiguring your users, permissions, reinstalling add-ins, etc. should take under an hour.
    Monday, January 21, 2008 12:25 PM
    Moderator
  • A very strange thing happened today to my home server. I have done following...

     

    1. about one week ago I change the primary OS drive for a bigger disk and did a re-install. Worked great.

    2. today I received a cabinet to add more external drives, I had a couple of drives to add.

    3. first disk added with no problem to server storage.

    4. the second hard drive I put in the cabinet apparently must have been my old home server OS primary disk.

     

    The thing that happened was that home server threw out my current OS primary disk from server storage when this hard disk re-appeared  Both of them are listed as non storage hard drives and no disk have the icon for OS disk. Added the old os drive to server storage and that worked. Trying to add my disk that was thrown out from server storage and now the system is formatting this disk and I cannot figure out what will happen when or if it will complete the formatting. Strange!

     

     

    Monday, January 21, 2008 6:58 PM
  • Thanks for the information guys, you put me at ease.

     

    Micael2, do you have another computer you could use to format that old OS drive? That seems like it would remove the conflict of drives your system is having.

     

    Monday, January 21, 2008 9:33 PM
  • Mikael, since you've tried to add back your system disk that was evicted from storage when you tried to add your old system disk, it's very possible that you will have to reinstall your server from scratch. I haven't tried to create the situation you find yourself in, but others who have been in a similar position have found it easier than trying to figure out a way to recover without a reinstallation.

    You may be able to do a reinstallation again, but I would advise recovering all the files from your shares before you attempt to do so, in case things go badly. Dismount the drives from your server one by one, connect them to some other PC, and copy everything in <driveletter>:\DE\Shares\etc. to another drive.
    Tuesday, January 22, 2008 1:39 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the suggestions, I am now moving my files now to another storage prepairing for a clean installation in worst case.

     

    Things I have noted on the server storage page.

     

    System disk is not added to the storage.

    The other disks are listed as healthy and everything looks normal except System(Empty) instead of the 20GB.

    I have 1.6 TB free space although I have a critical warning that I have less then 5 GB space remaining on the system disk.

    I cannot download anything because I am out of space!?

     

    Anyway it is not good that I can corrupt the whole system by adding a used hard drive to the storage system.

    Must have been something else that caused the problem. Before re-install I will try to remove the disks and the controller card that probably caused this mess.

     

    Where exactly does WHS check to see if a drive is in the server storage or if it is a non storage drive? Any chance of manually edit this information?

     

    Tuesday, January 22, 2008 2:11 PM
  •  

    Weird, my system drive does appear under Server Storage. It even has a little Windows logo on top .. all 698.64 GB (the usable space of a 750 GB drive).

     

    Likely your system disk is full... you'll have to wait for the demigrator to move the data to other drives before copying more. (Yea its slow)

     

    As far as I know, there's no way to change it manually. In the console, it should appear as a non storage drive until you actually add it into the storage pool.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008 2:32 AM