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Moving WHS to a new machine RRS feed

  • Question

  • Anyone
    I'm running WHS at a Dell PE840 with 2 HD's in Raid1 as "system" (160GB) and 2 HD's 1TB each also in Raid1 as data (using HW Raid so WHS only sees 2 HD's) This has been running fine for about a year or so, and still do.

    However, I have another Dell PE840 with 4 x 1TB HD's in Raid5, give's me a total of ~3TB disk, I'd like to move my initial WHS installation to this machine, anyway to "clone" the old install to the new install? Alternatively, clone the initial installation to some external media, install the 4 1TB disk in the origanl machine (in Raid5) and copy the clone back to the new disks?

    Pls advice anyone.

    Thanks

    hkl
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 9:41 AM

Answers

  • There's no supported way to "clone" a Windows Home Server installation, and doing so has a way of causing serious problems that lead to reinstallation. So how about:
    • Break the RAID in the new machine (RAID isn't supported, and dramatically complicates server recovery in the event of e.g. OS corruption)
    • Install Windows Home Server on the new machine.
    • Connect an external drive to the old machine.
    • Use the Server backup feature to back up your shares to the external drive.
    • Connect the drive to the new machine.
    • Restore the shares.
    If you have a pressing need for the backup database, you can copy it to the new server using the instructions in the Home Computer Backup and Restore technical brief. Or you can install the Backup Database Backup (BDBB) add-in if you think you'll be needing to do this regularly.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 3:16 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • There's no supported way to "clone" a Windows Home Server installation, and doing so has a way of causing serious problems that lead to reinstallation. So how about:
    • Break the RAID in the new machine (RAID isn't supported, and dramatically complicates server recovery in the event of e.g. OS corruption)
    • Install Windows Home Server on the new machine.
    • Connect an external drive to the old machine.
    • Use the Server backup feature to back up your shares to the external drive.
    • Connect the drive to the new machine.
    • Restore the shares.
    If you have a pressing need for the backup database, you can copy it to the new server using the instructions in the Home Computer Backup and Restore technical brief. Or you can install the Backup Database Backup (BDBB) add-in if you think you'll be needing to do this regularly.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 3:16 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks

    Sounds like the way to go. You mention that RAID is not supported, as mentioned I run the "old server" with RAID1, and this has not caused any trouble for about 1 year. It's a hardware RAID, as far as I understand the OS only sees 2 "normal" disks in this case (2 x RAID1) (Dell SAS5I/R Raid controller) the new server has a Perc5/I Raid controller.

    Any reason that this should cause a problem/not supported? The OS again in the new server will only "see" a ~3TB HD

    Again thanks

    HKL
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 8:01 AM
  • "Not supported" does not equal "doesn't work". However, Microsoft designed Windows Home Server to work without RAID, they are very explicit about RAID in the server being an unsupported scenario, and a Windows Home Server OEM is not permitted to include RAID in their designs. Thus, "Raid is not a supported scenario". For more information see this blog post .

    In addition, when you include RAID you dramatically increase the complexity of server recovery. You need drivers for your RAID card, and those drivers will be required if you need to recover the server at some point. If you have a RAID array as your system drive, you'll need those drivers on an F6 floppy, and you'll need them twice.

    Also, if you have a large array, you'll have to split it up into logical volumes because Windows Home Server doesn't use GPT disks. Any disk larger than 2 TB will be formatted with a 2 TB MBR partition for inclusion in the storage pool, and the rest of the free space will be inaccessible. So in your 3 TB example, you will lose 1 TB of space.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 12:35 PM
    Moderator