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best way to setup non-shared drives? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi Guys,

    I have an HP home server setup with the following:
    1 500GB system HD (original drive that came with system) using for backups as well.
    1 1000GB drive NOT setup as part of the shared storage pool - used to store and stream all media files.

    Reason the 1000GB is not part of the shared pool is because I want to keep all my media on one disk and not spread out over both disks (as would be the case with the shared pool).

    Basicly I want:
    2 drives as a shared pool and system drive
    2 additional drives as one big storage pool to store and stream media - these will likely have to be backed up some other way I know.

    What do you guys think is the best way to setup the above?
    • Edited by JohnnyUtah Thursday, October 23, 2008 11:46 AM
    Thursday, October 23, 2008 11:45 AM

Answers

  • The best way is to let Windows Home Server control all your drives. Anything else is unsupported.

    regarding the desired disk configuration: there is no way to take the two drives that aren't part of the storage pool and make them look to a client like they're a single large drive, which I think is your goal. That's what Windows Home Server does for you.

    Why exactly don't you want to store your media in the WHS storage pool, again? Putting it there would allow you to use share duplication (another feature of WHS) to protect your media files from a single disk failure. Single disk failure is the most common (by far) cause of data loss in the home today. Or do you have you media files somewhere else as well?

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, October 23, 2008 5:08 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • The best way is to let Windows Home Server control all your drives. Anything else is unsupported.

    regarding the desired disk configuration: there is no way to take the two drives that aren't part of the storage pool and make them look to a client like they're a single large drive, which I think is your goal. That's what Windows Home Server does for you.

    Why exactly don't you want to store your media in the WHS storage pool, again? Putting it there would allow you to use share duplication (another feature of WHS) to protect your media files from a single disk failure. Single disk failure is the most common (by far) cause of data loss in the home today. Or do you have you media files somewhere else as well?

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, October 23, 2008 5:08 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken Warren said:

    The best way is to let Windows Home Server control all your drives. Anything else is unsupported.


    regarding the desired disk configuration: there is no way to take the two drives that aren't part of the storage pool and make them look to a client like they're a single large drive, which I think is your goal. That's what Windows Home Server does for you.

    Why exactly don't you want to store your media in the WHS storage pool, again? Putting it there would allow you to use share duplication (another feature of WHS) to protect your media files from a single disk failure. Single disk failure is the most common (by far) cause of data loss in the home today. Or do you have you media files somewhere else as well?

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



     Hi Ken,

    Thanks for your reply!

    To answer your question:
    The reason I don't want to store it in the WHS pool is
    1. Because I would like to control which drives my media is on so I can point to a single drive when streaming to other computers   
        in the house.
    2. In case I have to restore the WHS system drive I don't risk losing any part of my media.
    I recently had to restore the whole server with the restore CD and got the message "part of your data may be lost"...etc. etc.
    3. easier to back-up the media files only when I need to

    In this case, I had all my media on a separate drive, so restoring the system disk meant I didn't risk losing any of my media.  I know it probably sounds illogical, but I don't find WHS to be rock solid yet (I've already had to restore the server once).

    Of course this means I need to back up those non-shared drives some other way.  If only WHS was able to separate the system files on a diff. partition from the rest of your media/backups I think I would feel more confident about it.

    Am I totally backwards in this approach? =)

    • Edited by JohnnyUtah Thursday, October 23, 2008 5:38 PM
    Thursday, October 23, 2008 5:37 PM
  • I think you're totally backward, but I'm one of those people who believes that throwing some cash at a problem will often fix it. :)

    I keep duplication turned on for everything and add hard drives as needed. If you had taken that approach (which I believe you didn't, since reinstallation warned that you were going to lose files or backups) even a single disk failure wouldn't cost you any data. No matter what disk failed, there would be another copy of the data in your shares on another disk. 

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:57 PM
    Moderator
  • ah ok...i think i see what you mean now.
    so because i only had the system drive and no other drive as part of the shared pool, i got the "may lose system files" msg...is that what you're saying?
    at first i did follow the typical WHS way...but seemed that turning on duplication for everything (which is the only way to be safe as you said) would use up a lot of space.

    if i do change it and set all disks as shared pool to which drive should i copy my media?
    would it just show up as one big drive under network in explorer?
    Thursday, October 23, 2008 9:18 PM
  • Hello,
    if you loose a disk, the client backups may be lost as well, but in this case the original PCs still should be there in most scenarios. Data on shared folders will still be available, if folder duplication was enabled, if not, it depends, which disk has died.

    Regarding your wanted configuration - while this is not supported you would be able to use a feature of Windows Server 2003 which is identical to what Windows Home Server also does: You could share a folder on the first disk, and create an empty folder within that folder. After that you would use the disk management console and mount the second disk into that empty folder.
    The difference between WHS managed drives and this kind of mounting is, that you still have only split volumes, since the folder with the mounted volume is still limited to the disk size behind. So you could limit the usage of that mount point to videos, while you put photos into another share.

    But as Ken already mentioned - there is no reason to do so.

    The only reason for a drive not in the storage pool is it's usage for backup or for applications, which should not go in conflict with Windows Home Server components for the shared storage volumes. An example would be WSUS with local data.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, October 23, 2008 9:59 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes, because you had only a single drive in the storage pool (your system drive) you lost files and backups. Turning on duplication for everything will potentially use a lot of disk space, yes, but if you have files that you don't mind losing, or that you're willing to recreate if needed, then you may be able to turn it off for some shares.

    As far as your client PCs are concerned, all the drives in the storage pool are one big JBOD "array". Drive extender manages the drives and takes care of making sure that files in duplicated shares have two copies, on separate physical disks.

    Olaf is incorrect about how Windows Home Server manages the shares. They are not mounted in the way he describes. (The disks themselves are, for management of the files and copies that are on them.) For more details, you should check the Drive Extender technical brief.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, October 24, 2008 3:57 AM
    Moderator