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Suggestion : a real mirroring mode for the primary disk RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,
    Perhaps somebody suggested this idea but I couldn't find it...
    I'm really affraid of the lost of some files with WHS because there is a lot of data on my drives now. It's really a good server but I think, even if Microsoft made a lot of efforts to prevent crashes of the others drives, there is still something to do to protect the first HD.
    Why not a real hardware mirroring mode only for the first HD (system drive). If the primary HD fails, the mirrored drive will boot and if this drive fails, WHS will ask the administrator to change it.

    If something happens, it would be so simple to replace a HD without re-installing the OS !

    I tried this (http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1258811&SiteID=50)... But it is not very simple to do...

    What do you think of my wonderfull idea ;-) ?
    Friday, March 30, 2007 7:42 PM

Answers

  • It's unlikely that a pre-configured WHS will ship with a RAID 1 setup. However, as long as you can find appropriate drivers for your RAID HBA, there's no reason why you can't do this yourself. Just remember that RAID on a WHS is not a supported configuration.

    You'll need two sets of drivers, one for Vista and one for Windows Server 2003. The general steps would be:
    • Obtain both Vista and Windows Server 2003 drivers for your RAID HBA. Put the Vista drivers on one floppy, and the Windows Server 2003 drivers on a different floppy. (You may be able to use USB flash drives, but I always use a floppy, even if I'm not going to leave the floppy installed.)
    • Install two identical drives.
    • Boot the computer, enter the BIOS/setup for the RAID HBA and configure the two drives as a RAID 1 array.
    • You may have to do some amount of configuring the BIOS to be able to boot the RAID array. This is very dependent on your motherboard/RAID HBA.
    • Boot your WHS install disk.
    • When the "Press F6 to load additional drivers" message displays, press F6.
    • Load the Vista drivers and continue.
    • WHS will reboot at some point, and drop into the Windows Server 2003 installer. You'll be asked for drivers again. Hit F6 at the appropriate moment, insert the Windows Server 2003 floppy, and continue. WHS reboots about a thousand times, and eventually finishes the install.
    That should do it. (Note: I may have swapped which set of drivers you need when, though I don't think I did... If I did, well, you know what to do. )
    Friday, March 30, 2007 8:54 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • It's unlikely that a pre-configured WHS will ship with a RAID 1 setup. However, as long as you can find appropriate drivers for your RAID HBA, there's no reason why you can't do this yourself. Just remember that RAID on a WHS is not a supported configuration.

    You'll need two sets of drivers, one for Vista and one for Windows Server 2003. The general steps would be:
    • Obtain both Vista and Windows Server 2003 drivers for your RAID HBA. Put the Vista drivers on one floppy, and the Windows Server 2003 drivers on a different floppy. (You may be able to use USB flash drives, but I always use a floppy, even if I'm not going to leave the floppy installed.)
    • Install two identical drives.
    • Boot the computer, enter the BIOS/setup for the RAID HBA and configure the two drives as a RAID 1 array.
    • You may have to do some amount of configuring the BIOS to be able to boot the RAID array. This is very dependent on your motherboard/RAID HBA.
    • Boot your WHS install disk.
    • When the "Press F6 to load additional drivers" message displays, press F6.
    • Load the Vista drivers and continue.
    • WHS will reboot at some point, and drop into the Windows Server 2003 installer. You'll be asked for drivers again. Hit F6 at the appropriate moment, insert the Windows Server 2003 floppy, and continue. WHS reboots about a thousand times, and eventually finishes the install.
    That should do it. (Note: I may have swapped which set of drivers you need when, though I don't think I did... If I did, well, you know what to do. )
    Friday, March 30, 2007 8:54 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Joel,

     

    Mirroring the primary disk in a WHS installation while quite useful could be considered overkill. Lets look at it this way:

    You have a two drive system and the secondary drive fails. So you replace the secondary drive and WHS rebuilds all your data from the primary drive using the built in software duplication feature.

    In the same scenerio, your primary drive fails. You replace the primary drive and re-install the WHS software and it rebuilts all your data from the secondary drive using the software duplication feature.

      In this way, no matter what drive you loose, as long as you have duplication turned on, you will still be able to rebuild all your data with zero losses.
    Saturday, March 31, 2007 6:21 AM