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  • Question

  • I have a self-built Windows Home Server consisting of 8 2TB hard drives. It holds approximately 8 terabytes of data (would be 4 if I turned off duplication), with DVD movies occupying much of the space. I've had issues with hard drive failures. I bought all 8 drives at the same time, and I must have gotten a bad batch of drives. Two have completely failed, and I RMA'd 4 more drives for having an excessive amount of bad sectors (almost 50% bad). Of the 4 RMA'd drives, I have successfully replaced 3 of them thus far. There is still one that I have not yet removed from my server because it is the system drive. I want to be sure that in the process of replacing this drive, I don't lose any of my data. I have read this thread http://social.microsoft.com/forums/en-US/whsfaq/thread/cdb387f1-9baa-4ae3-a74b-ff351dc1c0bf about replacing a system drive, and I have a couple of questions.

    *This thread is over 3 years old. Is this still the best method for replacing the system drive, or are there better ways now? Since the current drive hasn't failed yet, could I just copy an image of it to the new drive with Acronis? As long as no files are added to my server shares after I create the image, would this work?

    *One thing that Mr. Burt says in his instructions is that the system drive replacement must be the primary drive as noted in the BIOS enumerator. I'm not sure exactly what this means. If my new system drive is connected to the same port as my current drive, can I be confident that the WHS operating system will install on the correct drive?

    *I realize that rebuilding the primary drive can be a lengthy process, but how long should I give it before I start to get worried? Is the time required primarily a function of the number of files, and not the collective size of these files? Would system storing 1,000 2MB pictures take about the same time to rebuild as a system storing 1,000 7GB movies?

    *Will the shares be exactly the same on the new system? Will they have the same names? Will WHS recognize that folder duplication was already on? I just want to be sure enabling folder duplication doesn't result in me having 4 copies of each file instead of two.

    *If something goes wrong, can I reconnect my old (current) system drive, and be back where I started? Or will changes be made the secondary drives during this process that would make my old system drive no longer function correctly?

    I am grateful for your assistance.

    Monday, July 12, 2010 6:29 PM

Answers

  • I don't suggest using cloned drives. WHS will not identify them correctly, needing some registry hacks in order to even recognize it. Esp for the system drive, it is a pretty easy to get a critical failure

    Yes, just connect the port to where your current system drive is

    I would say it depends more on the number of files, but it's still a lengthy process. I'd expect up to 24 hours.

    Yes the folders will be the same. Not sure the duplication settings are preserved or not

    It is possible that WHS will rebalance as part of the normal process, so I wouldn't expect that the old system drive would work.

    • Marked as answer by Pull n Pray Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:49 PM
    Monday, July 12, 2010 8:51 PM

All replies

  • I don't suggest using cloned drives. WHS will not identify them correctly, needing some registry hacks in order to even recognize it. Esp for the system drive, it is a pretty easy to get a critical failure

    Yes, just connect the port to where your current system drive is

    I would say it depends more on the number of files, but it's still a lengthy process. I'd expect up to 24 hours.

    Yes the folders will be the same. Not sure the duplication settings are preserved or not

    It is possible that WHS will rebalance as part of the normal process, so I wouldn't expect that the old system drive would work.

    • Marked as answer by Pull n Pray Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:49 PM
    Monday, July 12, 2010 8:51 PM
  • Thanks Evader. Does anyone have a definitive answer for my last question? This might determine whether I chance doing this. I'm considering just waiting until the new WHS comes out (supposed to me 2010, right?).
    Tuesday, July 13, 2010 5:19 PM