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add and set up internal drives RRS feed

  • Question

  • Ok, what am I missing. Built a new machine, with 3 2tb drives.  Formatted, they show up.

    Now getting a "drive nearly full" notice. So the main drive is being used, yet the other two aren't. How do you set them up for spanning or striping? The machine is used only for backup so I don't need to mirror.

    Sunday, July 29, 2012 3:43 PM

Answers

  • ... How do you set them up for spanning or striping? ...

    You don't, at least not in any supported way. A given share (and the client backup database is effectively a share) can't span more than one disk, which limits you to 2 TB total for client backups unless you use RAID or spanning to extend the "disk" your database is on.

    If you decide to use some technology that will allow the database to grow larger than that, bear in mind that it isn't supported by Microsoft; if it's something like Drive Bender it's supported by the author, and if it's a RAID HBA it's supported by that vendor. (I recommend against the use of Windows Software RAID features; recovery can be a bear.) Also, whatever technology you choose, Windows Home Server can't use it's built-in server backup to back data up off a disk that's larger than 2 TB.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    • Marked as answer by Sean Zhu - Monday, August 6, 2012 6:33 AM
    Sunday, July 29, 2012 8:57 PM

All replies

  • I should note that they show up in disk management as well as the dashboard. But I don't see them in "computer". Only the main drive shows up there.
    Sunday, July 29, 2012 3:50 PM
  • ... How do you set them up for spanning or striping? ...

    You don't, at least not in any supported way. A given share (and the client backup database is effectively a share) can't span more than one disk, which limits you to 2 TB total for client backups unless you use RAID or spanning to extend the "disk" your database is on.

    If you decide to use some technology that will allow the database to grow larger than that, bear in mind that it isn't supported by Microsoft; if it's something like Drive Bender it's supported by the author, and if it's a RAID HBA it's supported by that vendor. (I recommend against the use of Windows Software RAID features; recovery can be a bear.) Also, whatever technology you choose, Windows Home Server can't use it's built-in server backup to back data up off a disk that's larger than 2 TB.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    • Marked as answer by Sean Zhu - Monday, August 6, 2012 6:33 AM
    Sunday, July 29, 2012 8:57 PM
  • I should note that they show up in disk management as well as the dashboard. But I don't see them in "computer". Only the main drive shows up there.

    Disks that have not been assigned a drive letter will not appear in "computer". That they don't isn't really important, though, since technically you're supposed to use the dashboard for general admin.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Sunday, July 29, 2012 8:58 PM
  • Yeah but they have been assigned a drive letter. That's what's throwing me. I agree with it not being necessary since they are in the dashboard. But it's kind of frustrating since HP server (win2003) did it automatically.

    Got drivepool and playing now. Seem to be able to add only one drive to the pool.

    Reading thru some forums on stablebit, it seems that MS is planning an update with a DE in it.

    Sunday, July 29, 2012 10:18 PM
  • Got drivepool and playing now. Seem to be able to add only one drive to the pool.

    Reading thru some forums on stablebit, it seems that MS is planning an update with a DE in it.

    There may be a limit on the number of drives that can be added to a Stablebit drive pool but you have to be doing something wrong. A pool of one drive is silly and is obviously not a pool. I am running 9 HD in the pool that are 1 or 2 TB in size. Once Stablebit drive pool is installed simply use the dashboard to add drives to the pool.

    I think the "DE" replacement you are thinking of is a part of win 8 and am certain that it will never be ported to WHS 2011.

    Dave


    The Frog on the Lilypad at Home

    Monday, July 30, 2012 12:15 AM
  • Yeah I think it's just operator headspace. :) It adds one to the main drive for a total of two. But the 3rd is... well, kinda hooked. I think my problem is that adding the 3 at once at the build the lettering is throwing me. C&F is the main drive, D & E are the second two. DP added the D drive but the E... well, it's there, just not up with the D where it should be.

    The only reason I noticed the problem in the first place is that I got a notice that the main drive is almost full. I'll see what happens tonite with the backups.

    Monday, July 30, 2012 1:05 AM
  • If you just need a larger volume to store client backups, and you don't care to include the client backups in server backup, then you can safely use Windows Disk Manager to create a spanned disk.  I have been using a 4Tb volume spanned over two physical disks for client backups with no issues in WHS 2011 since the product's inception.

    It is much simpler and less risky (not to mention less costly) to use native Windows features for disk spanning than to rely on 3rd party system services, in my opinion.

    You must be very clear, however, that such a volume cannot be included in server backup.  In addition, the normal risks apply: spanning across multiple disks will increase your chance of losing the entire volume if any one of the drives fails.  (For client backups, which can be easily recreated, this is an acceptable risk for me.)

    If you are unfamiliar with using dynamic disks in Windows, or Disk Manager in general, then I'd suggest sticking with the in-box features of Windows Home Server dashboard.  But if you know what you are about, you can certainly do this. 

    The potential problems with RAID for home use usually arise during recovery from a disk or controller failure; many low-end RAID solutions make this incredibly complex or fail when you most need them.  However, spanning (or striping) can be used more freely because there is no "recovery" process: if you lose a drive you lose the entire volume.  As long as you understand this risk and have an approach to mitigate it, there is no reason not to use this technology.

    This configuration may be "unsupported" on WHS as Ken suggests, but Microsoft has recommended the use of native Windows spanning and striping features for SBS customers in the past.

    Monday, July 30, 2012 3:37 PM
  • Well I was in the server, saw the option for "create spanned (or striped) disk" in disk management. But since I'm using a mini keyboard I figured it would be easier from a client. But it didn't show up in the client. So back to the server. Didn't show up there either. No idea what happened. Don't even see it grayed out.

    As far as backup... that's what I use it for. Don't use it for strorage at all so even if it dies I don't lose anything. Just have to replace a drive or whatever and start again. No big deal.

    Oh, and from Drivepool...

    http://blog.covecube.com/category/stablebit/

    Recently, a 10,000 pound Gorilla, Microsoft, walked back into the pooling arena. As some of you may know, after denouncing their earlier pooling solution as a wasted effort, they had decided that it was not a mistake after all. They are working on developing their own pooling solution.

    Monday, July 30, 2012 4:43 PM
  • Recently, a 10,000 pound Gorilla, Microsoft, walked back into the pooling arena. As some of you may know, after denouncing their earlier pooling solution as a wasted effort, they had decided that it was not a mistake after all. They are working on developing their own pooling solution.

    I think what is being referred to here is Storage Spaces which is implemented in Windows 8.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Monday, July 30, 2012 7:39 PM