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Upgrading Homeserver system drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am planning in the next few days to upgrade my server and finally discarding the existing IDE drives (2) for a couple of 1tb SATA's. Due to poor initial planning I setup the system drive on an IDE which I'm sure is slowing the whole thing down as elsewhere its a very high spec server on a full gigabit network.

     

    I'm scared rigid of losing my data, currently at 2tb or so. I've backed up my music and photos but have nowhere to store over 1tb of video and tv recordings which have taken a while to collect.

     

    Anyone care to share a stress free step by step solution to achieve this. I've currently got 8 drives in the server with 560gig free and will be replacing 2x500gig ide's with 2x 1tb sata's.

    Monday, July 28, 2008 8:00 PM

Answers

  • Ideally, you will be able to do a server reinstallation.  That will preserve all the data in your shares.

    Step 1 is to make sure you have enough storage to turn on duplication for all shares. If you do, you pull out the old system drive and replace it with the new, larger one. You pray a bit, because Windows Home Server setup will tend to try to use the first drive the BIOS gives it as it's system drive. Then you start a reinstallation. If you can identify the new system drive specifically, you should be able to tell if it's been selected or not.  Assuming it's been selected, you should be able to proceed through the rest of the server reinstallation.  Note: with the amount of data you have, a server reinstallation may take a very long time to complete.  When replacing the system drive, part of server reinstallation is rebuilding the tombstones.  Several terabytes of data could easily take a couple of days.

    If your new system drive isn't the one selected, the safest thing to do is to disconnect every drive except your system drive, perform a new installation, then connect drives one at a time, copy the data on that drive into the storage pool, then add the drive to the pool.
    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 2:59 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Ideally, you will be able to do a server reinstallation.  That will preserve all the data in your shares.

    Step 1 is to make sure you have enough storage to turn on duplication for all shares. If you do, you pull out the old system drive and replace it with the new, larger one. You pray a bit, because Windows Home Server setup will tend to try to use the first drive the BIOS gives it as it's system drive. Then you start a reinstallation. If you can identify the new system drive specifically, you should be able to tell if it's been selected or not.  Assuming it's been selected, you should be able to proceed through the rest of the server reinstallation.  Note: with the amount of data you have, a server reinstallation may take a very long time to complete.  When replacing the system drive, part of server reinstallation is rebuilding the tombstones.  Several terabytes of data could easily take a couple of days.

    If your new system drive isn't the one selected, the safest thing to do is to disconnect every drive except your system drive, perform a new installation, then connect drives one at a time, copy the data on that drive into the storage pool, then add the drive to the pool.
    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 2:59 AM
    Moderator
  • I seriously doubt IDE system drive would be affecting the performance of the server. While the max ATA/133 may limit to 133 MB/s, it seems that the Drive Extender adds some overhead on its own. I don't see file transfers ever getting that high. If you are using Powerpack 1, WHS will automatically save files directly onto other drives besides the system disk. The idea of the landing zone is changed now.

    So unless you're doing direct copies from drive to drive all day, I don't think you'll much of a difference.
    Wednesday, July 30, 2008 6:52 PM
  • I tend to agree, Unless your IDE system disk is seriously too small, I would not bother going to the trouble changing it. The overall performance of the server won't be appreciably better for the amount of possible angst. I would just use the two new drives as extra storage.

    Also, as an IDE drive, if you ever need to do a server re-installation, it will be a lot easier as WHS/Server 2003 doesn't as a matter of course, include SATA drivers which again might introduce an element of risk to the re-installation.

     

    Colin

     

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 4:50 PM
  •  

    Thanks for the advice guys. With a bit of disk swapping and taking a risk with not keeping the shadow copies, I've managed to make the transition and now have 5 SATA's in the case. However I took the two 500gb IDE's out as I thought they were affecting performance, so may try to drop them back in.

    Monday, August 4, 2008 3:01 PM
  • I did a similar change over the weekend.  I changed a Samsung 750 for a Western Digital 640.  Used Acronis to clone the disk.  ended up having to do a repair install for some reason, but it's working and I lost no data.
    Monday, August 4, 2008 3:58 PM