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How does WHS11 determine candidate drive for server backup? RRS feed

  • Question

  • My server has three identical drives--WD Caviar Green 1 TB.  One is the system drive and another houses the server folders.  I've considered using the third for the server backup, but WHS does not list it as a potential backup target.  I thought I read that both internal and external drives can be the target of the server backup.  Has this changed?  If internal drives can be used, what is WHS evaluating to determine that the drive is not a backup candidate?

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 1:40 AM

Answers

  • Jamie, I think the clue is in the fact that the drives had already been formatted previously. In this situation, WHS 2011 will automatically assign such a drive a drive letter, and add it into server storage. It's only if the drive is unformatted that I think you get the option to choose between having WHS 2011 format it for you and add it to the server storage, or adding it as a server backup drive. See:

    http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/windowshomeserver2011/increase-storage-2.aspx

    Or it might be that when you use the Server Backup wizard, that will be when WHS 2011 will pick up the fact that there is an unformatted drive available, and offer to use it for server backup. It's been a while since I set up an internal drive for my server backup.

    If you want to use one of your drives as a backup drive, you're going to have to use the Disk Management services of the underlying Windows Server 2008 OS to delete the volume and start again. Log into the Administrator's Desktop using RDP, click on the Server Manager icon in the Task Bar, and choose Disk Management under the Storage section of the Server Manager.

    Interestingly, although you can use internal drives for server backup, I notice that the online help only talks about external drives for this purpose. Another case where the online help seems to confuse more than it clarifies:

    http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/windowshomeserver2011/server-backup-support-2.aspx


    • Marked as answer by JamieJamie Thursday, July 7, 2011 12:19 AM
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 8:09 AM
  • Geoffc1,

    You hit the nail on the head.  Since the drive was already formatted, having been used in my WHS 1.0 system, it was automatically assigned a drive letter and added to server storage.  I did as you suggested--used Disk Management to delete the volume.  Then an alert appeared indicating a new drive needed to be formatted.  I instead chose to go to Server Backup and it detected the drive as a backup candidate once I ticked the Show all disks that can be used as backup disks.

    Thanks for the help.

    Jamie

     

     

    Thursday, July 7, 2011 12:19 AM

All replies

  • Yes you can use both internal and external drives for Server backup. As for why yours is not listed as a backup candidate, not sure. Have you already added it as server storage?

     


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 2:03 AM
  • I hadn't done anything explicit with the drive.  I attached a single drive to do the initial install.  Then I connected the other two drives and immediately moved the server folders to one of the two.  They both appeared in the hard drives tab in the same list as the OS and secondary partition created during the install.

     

    All three drives were from my WHS 1.0 setup. 

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 2:33 AM
  • Jamie, I think the clue is in the fact that the drives had already been formatted previously. In this situation, WHS 2011 will automatically assign such a drive a drive letter, and add it into server storage. It's only if the drive is unformatted that I think you get the option to choose between having WHS 2011 format it for you and add it to the server storage, or adding it as a server backup drive. See:

    http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/windowshomeserver2011/increase-storage-2.aspx

    Or it might be that when you use the Server Backup wizard, that will be when WHS 2011 will pick up the fact that there is an unformatted drive available, and offer to use it for server backup. It's been a while since I set up an internal drive for my server backup.

    If you want to use one of your drives as a backup drive, you're going to have to use the Disk Management services of the underlying Windows Server 2008 OS to delete the volume and start again. Log into the Administrator's Desktop using RDP, click on the Server Manager icon in the Task Bar, and choose Disk Management under the Storage section of the Server Manager.

    Interestingly, although you can use internal drives for server backup, I notice that the online help only talks about external drives for this purpose. Another case where the online help seems to confuse more than it clarifies:

    http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/windowshomeserver2011/server-backup-support-2.aspx


    • Marked as answer by JamieJamie Thursday, July 7, 2011 12:19 AM
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 8:09 AM
  • Have you tried using the little tick to display all drives ?
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 8:47 AM
  • Internal drives generally can't be removed to take off-site, and a backup that you keep in the same location in your sever will probably be lost if a force majeure event costs you your server. This probably why the help doesn't talk about internal drives as backup drives.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Edited by Ken Warren Wednesday, July 6, 2011 5:07 PM fix formatting issues
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 1:24 PM
  • Well, if the internal drive is in an ICY Dock, it can certainly be removed to take off-site, and that's what I do...
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 1:32 PM
  • Geoffc1

    That's exactly my solution - a much neater solution than trailing wires, external PSUs etc.

     


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 1:41 PM
  • Geoff, most computers don't have hot swappable drives, or at least not hot swappable drive bays (though the BIOS may support the feature). This includes the type of server we're talking about, which is expected to be supplied by an OEM with preinstalled software, please remember.

    As for an internal drive being usable as a backup drive (hot swappable or not), certainly it should be possible, and yours are. I believe it's purely a question of whether there's already data on the drive, and the drive is already a part of server storage, in this case. It's not because the drive is (or isn't) formatted, though. 


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 2:05 PM
  • Same here, but I use an Athena Power 5 to 3 hot swap backplane.  Actually, only one of the 5 bays has a backup drive, the other four are storage pool drives using Drive Bender, still in beta, but working nicely in my test box. My production box is  using a Lian Li 3 to 2 in a Lian Li PC-A04B case with WHS v1.  However, backup on this one is in a 4 bay Mediasonic Pro Box with a Sil 3124 eSata port multiplier, with just one eSata cable connected.  The production Lian Li box will convert to WHS 2011 when Drive Bender goes RTM later this month and it runs for a couple of "defect free" weeks.  Until then, WHS v1 will remain production.  Still swapping in and out hardware combinations to see which perform better and reliably with WHS 2011.  Looks as if I will go with the ASUS Zacate E35M1-M Pro (current test box) board over the Gigabyte GA-D510UD (current production box) for now as the Zacate seems to handle streaming better and with less power consumption, 31 watts vs 43 watts for the Atom, both using a 80+ Gold certified 400W power supply. 400W is the smallest 80+ Gold power supply I could find.

    Sorry I digress, but, to get back on subject, I believe we will find these internal hot swap drive bays more prevalent in the future.  They certainly make testing much easier.


    _______________

    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    _______________
    <PhilipJH> wrote in message news:568807eb-bd7c-4f2b-8936-b11c27e19e09@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    Geoffc1

    That's exactly my solution - a much neater solution than trailing wires, external PSUs etc.


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


    BullDawg
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 3:32 PM
  • Yes, that didn't cause the drive to be shown.  Before I connected external drive, WHS kept showing me the D partition it created on the system drive.  Once the external drive was connected, it no longer displayed the D partition.
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 4:44 PM
  • I believe we will find these internal hot swap drive bays more prevalent in the future.  They certainly make testing much easier.

    Pretty unlikely in the general case, for a few reasons:

    1. They add expense and complexity to consumer products, where everything is manufactured to meet a price point, and anything that can be cut to allow more profit at that price point is cut.
    2. Most such devices are really nothing more than sliding drive rails with a handle on the front. They offer no protection to the drive itself. (Note: there are swappable enclosures that are designed to protect the drive. They cost a lot more than e.g. the previously-mentioned IcyDock).
    3. They have a significant negative impact on cooling the one component of a computer that's most likely to be negatively impacted by the cooling issue introduced. (Again, some enclosures don't have this issue; they sound like small vacuums though.)

    They've been a niche product in the consumer space for a long time, and I don't see that changing any time soon.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 5:17 PM
  • Geoffc1,

    You hit the nail on the head.  Since the drive was already formatted, having been used in my WHS 1.0 system, it was automatically assigned a drive letter and added to server storage.  I did as you suggested--used Disk Management to delete the volume.  Then an alert appeared indicating a new drive needed to be formatted.  I instead chose to go to Server Backup and it detected the drive as a backup candidate once I ticked the Show all disks that can be used as backup disks.

    Thanks for the help.

    Jamie

     

     

    Thursday, July 7, 2011 12:19 AM
  • On Wed, 6 Jul 2011 14:05:15 +0000, Ken Warren [MVP] wrote:

    Geoff, most computers don't have hot swappable drives, or at least not hot swappable drive*bays*?(though the BIOS may support the feature). This includes the type of server we're talking about, which is expected to be supplied by an OEM with preinstalled software, please remember.

    Kind of an odd comment given that the original HP WHS V1 servers had
    hot-swappable drives.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    BPI: A 1960s term used to describe unmentionable parts of the anatomy, as
    in "you bet your bpi".

    Thursday, July 7, 2011 7:14 AM
  • Ken,

    My comment was more intended for what would be found on most WHS 2011 units, not just add-in aftermarket units.  Since I build my own, it makes sense to use an aftermarket backplane as there aren't many cases available with hot swap bays.  However, this is what I have found so far for 2011 versions.

    Not many WHS 2011 units available yet, but these all have "hot swap" available.

    http://www.mswhs.com/2011/05/i-o-data-will-have-whs2011-hardware/

    http://www.mswhs.com/2011/04/the-acer-revocenter-for-whs2011/

    http://viridianpcshop.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=54

    http://www.tranquilpcshop.co.uk/products/Leo-HS4.html

    Even the two units shown on the Microsoft Page

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/windowshomeserver/buy.mspx

    are hot swap.  In fact, I was a little hard pressed to find units that were not hot swap.


    _______________

    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    _______________
    <Ken Warren [MVP]> wrote in message news:73b57153-451a-485b-a514-525289e4183a@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    I believe we will find these internal hot swap drive bays more prevalent in the future. They certainly make testing much easier.

    Pretty unlikely in the general case, for a few reasons:

    1. They add expense and complexity to consumer products, where everything is manufactured to meet a price point, and anything that can be cut to allow more profit at that price point*is*   cut.
    2. Most such devices are really nothing more than sliding drive rails with a handle on the front. They offer no protection to the drive itself. (Note: there*are*   swappable enclosures that are designed to protect the drive. They cost a lot more than e.g. the previously-mentioned IcyDock).
    3. They have a significant negative impact on cooling the one component of a computer that's most likely to be negatively impacted by the cooling issue introduced. (Again, some enclosures don't have this issue; they sound like small vacuums though.)

    They've been a niche product in the consumer space for a long time, and I don't see that changing any time soon.


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


    BullDawg
    Friday, July 8, 2011 12:56 AM
  • The point of using the internal drive is simply to account for a drive failure.  It's just convenient.  I use a cloud-based backup solution to account for an event that would take out the server.
    Wednesday, October 31, 2012 3:02 AM