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How to tell which drive to physically remove from WHS after selecting remove drive option RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I have a home built WHS server with 3 identical drives.  Fortunately they are all working right now.  However, if one fails or I want to swap one out for a larger capacity (2TB maybe), how do I know which one to remove?  Under WHS, they all show as the same drive name.  Is there a good procedure for this situation?  The only solution I can think of is to add the new high capacity drive and then select 2 of the 3 drives (not the OS drive) for removal.  In theory, this should move all the files off of those 2 drives and to the new drive and OS drive.  Then I could remove 1 of the 2 drives and add the remaining one back in.  This seems like it would work if I just wanted to increase my size.  However, what do I do if WHS states that drive 1 is failing/failed?  How do determine which physical drive is drive 1 (from WHS perspective)?

     

    Thanks,

     John

    Sunday, February 1, 2009 4:51 PM

Answers

  • I found the disk management version and loaded it up.  It works nicely.  I created my own diagram, since I just wanted to have 3 drives stacked - didn't need the full server wireframe.  I booted to bios and recorded which sata channels were being used.  I then disconnected a single sata cable and booted to bios again.  I noted which drive had disappeared and then repeated for another drive.  Once I had the proper drive channels and master/slave mapped, I could then go back into the disk management software and assign the proper drive path.  Now I have a nice diagram where each drive is labeled and mapped.  I didn't let the OS boot to see what WHS thinks, because the bios way seemed pretty good - plus I didn't want to risk any file issue that might arise.

    Does that seem like enough?  Or do I really need to let the WHS boot and see if it thinks a drive is missing.

    Thanks for pointing me to the add-in.

    John
    • Marked as answer by jlentz1 Sunday, February 1, 2009 9:25 PM
    Sunday, February 1, 2009 8:47 PM

All replies

  • John,

    The time to find out which drive is which is now, before failure! WHS itself, has no in-built mechanism to identify individual drives, it's left to the system builder to provide that - such as the LED's in the HP units.
    However, there is an Add-In, Drive Labeler, which will help to to identify each one. You will probably still need to pull the individual drives to ensure that the information is correct.
    A 'rough & ready' method is to switch off the server, pull a drive and restart. You will get the drive failure message, but if you then switch off without doing anything on the server and put the drive back, then next time it boots, the 'failed' drive will be cleared. This will show you the relevant info to identify that drive.

    HTH,

    Colin

    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Sunday, February 1, 2009 5:43 PM
    Moderator
  • I agree.  Now is the time.  I may have to try the "rough'n'ready" approach.  The only other solution I thought of was to replace 2 of the 3 drives with higher capacity drives, but of different sizes.  That would identify them to.  In hindsight, having 3 identical drives wasn't the best way to go.

    Thanks,

    John
    Sunday, February 1, 2009 6:28 PM
  • John,

    It's something that's come up repeatedly, but I guess it's up to the system builder to do the work. That Add-In does a good job though, it's accurate and makes it straightforward to check it's results against the physical drives.
    I've ended up, even when fitting same-sized drives in retail units for customers, is to do one drive at a time and stick a label on each drive and also provide a print-out schematic for the customer.

    Good luck,

    Colin

    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Sunday, February 1, 2009 6:39 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks.  I'll give the add-in a try.  I like your method too - just didn't realize when I was building it that it would be a good idea.  Definitely 20/20 hindsight!

    John
    Sunday, February 1, 2009 6:41 PM
  • No joy with the add-in.  It provided the same location for all 3 as Internal (ATA).  They're SATA drives, but it didn't show them like the screen shots indicated. :(  I tried uninstalling the add-in then reinstalling it, then rebooting.  Still getting only Internal (ATA) shown as the location - which is what it shows w/o the add-in.  So maybe because it isn't an HP mediaserver is causing the problem.
    Sunday, February 1, 2009 6:51 PM
  • Duh! No, you're right. I'm not sure what I did, but the Add-In that I meant to show is the Disk Management one, not the HP specific one.
    This one allows you to design your own layout along with the extra drive info. (Just check though, someone else could well have already done the hard work and created the wireframe.

    Colin

    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Sunday, February 1, 2009 7:23 PM
    Moderator
  • I found the disk management version and loaded it up.  It works nicely.  I created my own diagram, since I just wanted to have 3 drives stacked - didn't need the full server wireframe.  I booted to bios and recorded which sata channels were being used.  I then disconnected a single sata cable and booted to bios again.  I noted which drive had disappeared and then repeated for another drive.  Once I had the proper drive channels and master/slave mapped, I could then go back into the disk management software and assign the proper drive path.  Now I have a nice diagram where each drive is labeled and mapped.  I didn't let the OS boot to see what WHS thinks, because the bios way seemed pretty good - plus I didn't want to risk any file issue that might arise.

    Does that seem like enough?  Or do I really need to let the WHS boot and see if it thinks a drive is missing.

    Thanks for pointing me to the add-in.

    John
    • Marked as answer by jlentz1 Sunday, February 1, 2009 9:25 PM
    Sunday, February 1, 2009 8:47 PM
  • John,

    No, if you recon you've got them sorted, then there's no need to try the 'failed drive', unless you just want the reassurance.

    Glad you got it sorted. Knowing which drive is which, just gives that feeling of security.

    Good luck,

    Colin

    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Sunday, February 1, 2009 9:10 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for all the help.  Now it seems like I need to get additional storage.  Two of the drives show 3% free, so I imagine they aren't storing too efficiently.  The OS drive has a bunch free, but maybe the other 2 drives are used for folder duplications.

     

    Thanks again,

     

    John

    Sunday, February 1, 2009 9:26 PM