WHS 2011 with 4 1.5TB RAID 5 setup RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have been piecing together hardware to build a reliant, reliable home server. Just a quick over view, I purchased 4 1.5TB HDD's, and installed a RAID controller card and initialized RAID5 for 4.5TB of storage. I was aware that WHS 2011 only allowed 2TB partitions, but after formatting one drive to 2TB, the server will not allow me to format the remaining 2.5TB of diskspace into other drives. Even though I would have 2, 2TB disk drives, they would still be supported by the RAID controller if a HDD fails. I need to know what the maximum allowed disk pool space is, I also need to know why I cannot format the drives into two logical 2 TB drives that are backed up in itself for redundancy.

    One thing to mention is that I did not authenticate my key online yet, I wanted to test out the server first. Would this be why I cannot do so? If so I will authenticate right away but I doubt that is the case. 

    After reading some related topics, it seems that this isn't possible. Will have to check to see if SBS Essentials supports this or just go out and get a copy of Server 2008 R2

    Thank you for your time, 
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 2:26 PM

All replies

  • This is nothing to do with not activating WHS.

    You should be able to partition as you want to do although I have not done it myself - it has been reported here as being possible. Personally I prefer not to use RAID but backup my server and data - this approach is dependent upon how much data you have. WHS2011 limits backups to 2TB without working outside the Dashboard or swapping backup disks.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 5:57 PM
  • it should be possible to

    • define a single array using all disks,
    • create a single large volume on your array, and
    • partition and format that volume (using GPT) as a single large disk of 4.5 TB.

    Then you can move your shares and backup database to that disk if you like. Just realize that you won't be able to back that data up using the tools built into the dashboard.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 6:26 PM
  • Nok : It isn't an activating issue as my WHS is activated and I have the same issue. Did you find a solution?

    Phil : Why would you not use RAID and backup if you have the resources? Isn't it better to have redundant backups just in case of backup or hardware failure?

    Ken : You cannot have a partition that your system boots from as GPT. Therefore if you have your OS on the RAID 5 then you cannot change it to GPT.


    My Situation.

    I wanted to have my OS on one drive and the ServerFolders on a second drive. So I started with a 2 port sata raid card and RAID 1 two 1TB hard drives. Preformed an automatic install with WHS 2011. It created 1x 100mb partition, 1x60GB partition for the OS and left the rest in a third partion and installed the ServerFolders directory onto it.  Worked well for a couple of days.

    I brought a 4 port sata RAID 5 card and 4xWD 2TB hard drives and set up and RAID 5. In WHS everytime I created a single large partition on the RAID 5 card the partition disapeared. Then I thought of a great idea of installing the OS onto the RAID 5 setup and allow it to manage it as it wanted. Unfortunatley it created a 100mb partition, 60GB OS partition and a 1980GB partition with the rest unallocated.

    Due to having the OS on this setup I am unable to make it GPT. When you right click on the unallocated section of the raid 5 setup it only has the properties selcetion selectable and the rest greyed out. I cannot extend the 1980GB partition past the 1980GB mark as it doesn't allow you to. I can use gparted and make the 60GB OS partition to be 1980GB as well but that defeats the purpose of having the OS on a small partition (making it easier to backup) and installing programs and shared files on a different partition.

    It would be nice if I could used the remaining 3TB plus as either 2 1.5TB partitions or a 1.9TB and a 1.1TB partitions.

    So far I have not been able to find a solution to this problem and might have to go back to the 2x1TB RAID 1 for the OS and ServerFolders and try and add the 4x2TB RAID 5 as a folder attached to the ServerFolders drive.



    Monday, October 3, 2011 1:05 PM
  • I assumed the OP wanted to use the array as server storage, not as a boot partition. I may have been wrong in this. C'est la vie. :)

    If you want to have a single RAID array, with several large disks and a single large data partition, as your only storage, you need to follow a slightly different path. (Note: all of the specifics are documented in your RAID HBA documentation; these are only general steps.

    1. Define the array itself: disks to be used as storage, hot spares, etc.
    2. Define a volume of less than 2 TB on the array. For Windows Home Server 2011 purposes, 160 GB is simplest; it's the minimum requirement without using an answer file to override hardware checks.
    3. Define a second volume encompassing the rest of the array.
    4. Partition, install OS, etc. all as normal on the smaller volume, supplying drivers for your RAID HBA if needed. EK is correct that you can't boot from a GPT disk (without UEFI, anyway), so your smaller volume will wind up being the boot "disk", and will be partitioned using MBR.
    5. Partition the larger volume, using GPT, and create a single partition.
    6. Move all server shares to the newly created partition.

    If you don't mind multiple "disks", skip 5. and 6. above. Windows Home Server 2011 will pop an alert regarding the unpartitioned second volume. You can partition etc. from there, and you should wind up with one or more 2 TB partitions, and one that's less than 2 TB, on that second volume. Move shares as desired afterward.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, October 3, 2011 2:30 PM
  • Phil : Why would you not use RAID and backup if you have the resources? Isn't it better to have redundant backups just in case of backup or hardware failure?
    The reason I say that is because most people see RAID as a means of backing up data rather than as an enhancement to data availability. The OP said nothing about having a backup strategy other than RAID.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Monday, October 3, 2011 9:26 PM