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Primary Drive Failures and WHS Storage scheme RRS feed

  • Question

  • Pardon some potentially newbie questions - but I've searched these forums and others and am not sure I have the concept down 100%.

    I have an HP 470 MediaSmart server. It uses a 500GB Seagate drive as the primary system/data drive. I also added a 500GB WD Caviar secondary drive assuming I'd eventually need the storage.

    If I only had one drive, I think I understand that the system partition, data partition (tombstones and real files) would all be on the same drive. In the event of failure, I'd add another new drive, do a reinstall and then copy the data files from ..\shares\ to the new drive and then remove the failed drive.

    But what happens with 2 drives?

    I'd estimate I had about 360GB of data with no duplication enabled. I began to see/hear signs that the primary Seagate is going to fail. I enabled duplication on all of my shares in the assumption that this is the best way to ensure all of the 360GB of data is being stored on both drives. Since the total (including duplicates) is more than either single 500GB drive, I know some data is on both physical drives.

    Am I correct that in situations where there are 2 physical drives - the primary (Seagate) will contain the C:\ system partition and a D:\ data partition - which will only hold tombstones with the actual files being stored on the secondary (WD) until it becomes full (and/or duplication is enabled)? Would the primary data partition recieve files only after the 500GB is full on the secondary?

    I was really trying to avoid a reinstall of WHS with school and work vying for my time. The machine still boots, so I tried using Acronis to reimage the primary drive to a new WD 640GB. Surprisingly, the new drive booted WHS fine and all settings seemed retained (since I could still log in with my old account), but the drive light doesn't come on and I can't start the console (I can only RDP into the box). I've seen conflicting information on whether it matters if the drives are exactly the same size ...

    I guess I'm going to need to install the new 640GB WD in the WHS itself and do a reinstall (gives me a chance to go up to HP 3.0 software).

    Will the reinstall process look for files (if any) that are stored on the old primary drive? Should I do the reinstall with all 3 drives installed for the time being, or just the 2 known good drives? If I keep the old drive in, will the new 640 GB drive become the primary after which I can remove the failed Seagate from my pool?

    Thanks for any pointers or leads - I'm kind of confused on where data files actually go under various scenarios.

    Friday, October 15, 2010 1:13 AM

All replies

  • See this FAQ for information on what's at risk when a drive (any drive) fails.

    Cloning a Windows Home Server drive (storage pool or system) is known to cause issues. If your system drive is failing, replace the physical drive, then follow the instructions in your product documentation to do a server recovery. If you don't have the disks that came with your server any more, you can order new disks from HP for a fairly nominal charge (I think $15 or so; HP can tell you for certain). If you don't have your printed documentation any more, it's available for download from HP.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, October 15, 2010 12:55 PM
    Moderator