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System drive size and server storage RRS feed

  • Question

  • I understand that currently a drive of 160GB is required for a Vail install (60GB System and 100GB Server Storage). If I then elect to 'Exclude the hard drive from server storage', I assume that 100GB is now free and unused. So in theory one could use just a 60GB drive for the system. I like the idea of having a single physical disk just for the System and was thinking of using a SSD device - ideally an 80GB as this is a lot cheaper than a 160GB device. This 160GB restriction seems to be focused on single drive servers (not the most common scenario?) but maybe there is another reason? Is this restriction likely to be altered or will we just end up wasting 100GB on System only drives?

    Saturday, May 1, 2010 11:52 AM

Answers

  • The restriction is unlikely to be altered, I'd say. Most users will be buying a server from an OEM, not building their own, and most OEM servers will doubtless be sold with a single large drive. So you will have to use a 160 GB drive for the system drive.

    However, you can change the size of the system partition using an answer file for setup, as is documented in the release notes. And after installation, once you have excluded the system drive from the storage pool, you can use diskpart to extend your system partition over any space not used, so you can have the full space on the drive used (no waste).
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, May 1, 2010 1:17 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • The restriction is unlikely to be altered, I'd say. Most users will be buying a server from an OEM, not building their own, and most OEM servers will doubtless be sold with a single large drive. So you will have to use a 160 GB drive for the system drive.

    However, you can change the size of the system partition using an answer file for setup, as is documented in the release notes. And after installation, once you have excluded the system drive from the storage pool, you can use diskpart to extend your system partition over any space not used, so you can have the full space on the drive used (no waste).
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, May 1, 2010 1:17 PM
    Moderator
  • I think this is worth a little beta "hacking" experimentation.

    I would think that if the system will install to a 60GB partition, then the following sequence might work (though would certainly be unsupported).

    1. Install Vail as prescribed to a 160GB drive.

    2. Add another storage drive to the system.

    3. Remove the system drive from the storage pool

    4. Use a drive imaging/cloning tool (I use Acronis True Image) to clone the 60GB system partition to a 60GB (or 80GB) physical drive

    5. Swap drives - having only the 60GB as the system drive

    6. Add the 160GB drive that originally had the system partition back to the storage pool.

    Unless I have missed something, this should work.

    Maybe I'll try it when I get around to setting up my Vail server (hopefully sometime this weekend)

     

    Saturday, May 1, 2010 3:38 PM
  • Between 5. and 6. add a step to wipe the disk using e.g. diskpart to clean all partitions off of it.

    And be careful if you try to use Acronis or other disk imaging tools on the new advanced format drives. They pretty much all expect 512 byte physical sectors and therefore fail to properly align the image. Horrible performance results.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, May 1, 2010 10:06 PM
    Moderator
  • Another thing you can try is Vail's own server backup and recovery.  If anything will work, this probably has the greatest chance.

     

    Sunday, May 2, 2010 6:31 AM
  • Dear Roddy_0,

    I am not so sure about Vail's server backup and recovery; in Home Server there is an anoying irritation that you cannot restore a drive to a drive that is smaller than the original; even if the extra space is not in use. Perhaps again Vail will not allow a recovery of a 160Gb partition to an 80Gb disc. I am sitting here with two Intel SSDs in front of me sized 80Gb and 160Gb so I hope I am wrong.

     

    Ian

    Sunday, May 2, 2010 7:10 AM
  • I read about that limitation, but I took that to mean the system partition, which is only 60GB.  Of course I have not tried this, so maybe it really is the whole 160GB and it won't work.

    I will add this to my list of things to try.

     

    Sunday, May 2, 2010 9:47 AM
  • As I posted in a separate post ("SrvRecovery.iso not bootable?"), I have backed up the 'C' system drive (removed from storage pool) and recovered it to a smaller 65GB drive. So this seems like a workable solution :-)
    Wednesday, May 5, 2010 12:37 PM