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What happens to the data partition(multiple drives) if main boot drive fails? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Just built a new WHS w/ a 9 HD capable case. I am running the trial software and still undecided if I am going to purchase WHS. I like the safety of being able to pull a HD out of one system and have the data available without any fuss. Now with WHS and the storage pool I am concerned what would haappen to my large ammounts of data if the D partition is spanned between not only the boot drive but any added drives. What happens to the pooled data if the main C:/D: boot drive is gone due to hardware failure or corruption? I have read the server reinstallation process that leaves the D data alone but add ons/software/settings would have to put back into the system. That is great for the reinstall of the WHS software and the C drive but if the D drive held some of my files wouldn't I then have lost  data on  D? What would happen under say this described situation below?


    Basic Example ( simplified example said 100gb to keep it simple on the mind )


    "Added Storage Drive Hard Drives in Console" (NO DUPLICATE BACK UP DRIVES AT THE MOMENT AND FOR THIS EXAMPLE)

    Boot Drive 100gb  (C:\ 20gb & D:\ 80gb)

    2x 1TB Pooled Storage (2000GB added to pooled storage)

    Lets say I have a total of 1.75tb of data between the Pooled Storage, where does the data start? I would think it starts to store my files on the D drive and then overflows to the first TB drive? If so , lets say my collection of data is now spanned across both D partition and the first & second TB drive. So if the boot drive fails and I simply have to replace it and lets just say I reload the entire server from scratch on a new boot drive, what is now left of my data that was stored in the pooled storage? Will only some of it be available since it uses the boot drive as the start for storage? So would 80gb of my data files be lost since it starts on the boot drive?




    Right now I just don't like being dependant of the pooled storage and not knowing what would happen to the overall files in the event of boot drive replacement and full reload of server. I currently have left my 1TB drives out of the pooled storage and stored as "Server Back Up Hard Drives" that way the boot drive is completely seperate from the large ammounts of saved content on my TB drives. Now with those TV drives I simply have the root drive shared and then mapped the same drive letter on the client systems so the software apps can work correctly that point to the TB drives.

    So after all this I am basically asking what happens to the spanned data if I add all my drives to the pooled storage. I like the idea of less drive letters but not at the cost of loss of ability to control where my data is going. I wish I could simply allow the data partition to  start at the first 1TB drive so that way all the files are neat and not attached to the first boot drive which sometimes could need reloading.
    Friday, December 19, 2008 8:17 PM

Answers

  • No. You have no control over how WHS uses the drives in the storage pool, and the system drive partitions are fixed at 20 GB for the SYS partition, and the rest for the primary DATA partition. Files stored on your server are, however, just files in a file system, and can be recovered in extremis by connecting storage pool drives to another computer which can read an NTFS formatted drive. Home computer backups are different; they are stored as clusters in a database for to improve performance and reduce disk utilization.

    You can learn a great deal about Windows Home Server by reading some of the documentation that you will find here. In particular, you should read such documents as the Reviewer's Guide and the Drive Extender technical brief.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by Colin HodgsonModerator Saturday, December 20, 2008 5:47 PM
    • Marked as answer by eno45 Monday, December 22, 2008 7:44 AM
    Saturday, December 20, 2008 4:23 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • If you don't have duplication turned on for one or more shares, and a hard drive fails, then it is possible to lose files. It doesn't matter which drive it is that fails; it could be a secondary drive in the storage pool or it could be the system drive (there are circumstances in which WHS will store files on the system drive). Not having duplication on for a share means that there is only a single copy of each of the files in that share on your server. If your server has stored some of those files on the drive that has failed, you will lose them.

    If your system drive fails, you will have to perform a server reinstallation. This is a special installation mode which will preserve the contents of your storage pool (minus any files that were stored only on the failed system drive). You will have to recreate users, re-install add-ins, re-join PCs to your server, and reset any customizations (OS tweaks, additional non-add-in software, etc.) you may have performed outside of the console.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, December 19, 2008 9:35 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the reply. I understand that concept, I am mainly trying to figure out what data is on the main drive D partition. Is there a way to simply just allow the main drive be the entire boot drive and start the Data  partition say with my 1TB drives since that is where my files will stay? I believe the purpose for the 20gb partition for C drive was to allow those extra GBS to be available for storage so if someone was using a large 500-1tb drive as boot they could simply have 1TB main and 1Tb Back up. But in the situation where a hard drive fails or if the entire boot drive needs to be replaced I like the simple method of chucking the main boot drive, loading WHS onto new and then allow reinstallation process to grab stored data back from the larger storage drives . Does this make sense or is my mindset pointless? I guess one of the reasons I am not mixing well with this setup is I don't like local back ups in the same case. What if their was fire, theft , surge. This back up only protects me from a failed drive which is why I have always used external drive that is ran manually montlhy and then unplugged and stored in bolted fire safe.

    So with the server reinstallation, say I buy another 2TB drives and set them as storage back up and use those simply as back up drives to the D:\Data partition will the server reinstallation be able to correctly recover everything that was under D:Data? Also if worse comes to worst and lets say I want to pull the drives and access the data from another OS, will the files be setup in a simple way to be able to be access from say just a XP , Vista , Windows 7 workstation PC? Or must they be recovered only in the WHS OS?


    Also I believe it would be a nice feature to be able to back up C boot drive as a image on the back up drives but with native support from WHS.
    Friday, December 19, 2008 9:53 PM
  • No. You have no control over how WHS uses the drives in the storage pool, and the system drive partitions are fixed at 20 GB for the SYS partition, and the rest for the primary DATA partition. Files stored on your server are, however, just files in a file system, and can be recovered in extremis by connecting storage pool drives to another computer which can read an NTFS formatted drive. Home computer backups are different; they are stored as clusters in a database for to improve performance and reduce disk utilization.

    You can learn a great deal about Windows Home Server by reading some of the documentation that you will find here. In particular, you should read such documents as the Reviewer's Guide and the Drive Extender technical brief.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by Colin HodgsonModerator Saturday, December 20, 2008 5:47 PM
    • Marked as answer by eno45 Monday, December 22, 2008 7:44 AM
    Saturday, December 20, 2008 4:23 AM
    Moderator