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Hard Drive configuration question... RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have ordered all new hardware for a new Windows Home Server yesterday. But I am confused as to what hard drives need to be used. maybe someone on this board can clear this up.

     

    I ordered a 1TB hard drive in the initial order with the intention of adding a second 1TB hard drive later ( month or so ).

    After adding the second 1TB drive, I intended to turn on Folder Duplication. I have seen in these forums where you guys

    recommend a 3 drive setup. If I understand this setup correctly, it would be a 300-500GB drive as the system drive with a system partition ( I understand WHS makes this 20GB ) and a second partition which is a Primary Data partition. Then I would add the first 1TB hard drive and it would be where the actual data is stored and then add another 1TB hard drive for the Folder Duplication.

     

    Also can I make the system drive partition larger than 20GB since I plan out having a web site and other things installed?

     

    Would the optimal hard drive configuration be two(2) 1TB hard drives or one(1) 300-500GB hard drive with two(2) 1TB hard drives? Can some one please clear this up for me as I want it right on the beginning.

     

    PS : Yes I need those big drives. I am a software developer ( MCAD ) and I am after backup for my development machines along with remote access and maybe a web server.

     

    Thanks....

     

    Steve Graddy

    Orgbrat Consulting

    Thursday, January 31, 2008 3:15 PM

Answers

  • The recommendation is to make your largest hard drive your system drive during the initial install. The size of the system drive limits the amount of data you can copy to your server at a time, and can limit backups of extremely large volumes. That said, I have trouble believing that any home user will have a problem with a system drive that's 300-500 GB in size. Smile

    As for backing up your dev PCs, I should warn you that the Windows Home Server backup tool is not designed as an archival tool. A variety of issues may occur which will corrupt the backup database; the only answer in many of those cases is to reset the backup database and start over. For home users, this is acceptable, as the purpose of a backup is to be able to restore a client PC in the case of a disaster. For your use, you may not find this as reasonable a compromise.
    Thursday, January 31, 2008 3:37 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • The recommendation is to make your largest hard drive your system drive during the initial install. The size of the system drive limits the amount of data you can copy to your server at a time, and can limit backups of extremely large volumes. That said, I have trouble believing that any home user will have a problem with a system drive that's 300-500 GB in size. Smile

    As for backing up your dev PCs, I should warn you that the Windows Home Server backup tool is not designed as an archival tool. A variety of issues may occur which will corrupt the backup database; the only answer in many of those cases is to reset the backup database and start over. For home users, this is acceptable, as the purpose of a backup is to be able to restore a client PC in the case of a disaster. For your use, you may not find this as reasonable a compromise.
    Thursday, January 31, 2008 3:37 PM
    Moderator
  • As to the other part of your question, it is quite difficult to change the C: partion. If you search back through the forums, there were a couple of cases where this was achieved; however, it's likely that any major updates or indeed, a re-install, would 'bork' it.

    If you have the three drives set up as you suggest, with the third (system,) drive being 500Gb, it would mean that the largest file you could transfer to the server would be something around the 450Gb size. This would then have to be migrated to your other drives prior to the next file transfer.

     

    Colin

    Thursday, January 31, 2008 6:39 PM
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    The recommendation is to make your largest hard drive your system drive during the initial install. The size of the system drive limits the amount of data you can copy to your server at a time, and can limit backups of extremely large volumes. That said, I have trouble believing that any home user will have a problem with a system drive that's 300-500 GB in size.

    An additional issue here is that WHS tries to move files off the landing zone and keep it open.  Thus if you dedicate a 1 gig drive to the landing zone it might very well end up mostly empty.  If you add a second drive (there are only two drives) and then turn on duplication, the system has no choice but to leave one of the copies of each file in the first drive (landing zone) but as soon as you add a third drive it may very well spend the next month shoveling all the "duplicate" files off the landing zone off onto the third disk, emptying out your terrabyte landing zone.

    For this reason I would tend to agree that starting with a 500 gig drive and a terabyte drive might be good.  Then when you add another terabyte drive later the "small" 500 gig drive would empty out and would nto waste as much room.

    That of course is just my understanding of how this thing works.


    Thursday, January 31, 2008 7:08 PM
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    As for backing up your dev PCs, I should warn you that the Windows Home Server backup tool is not designed as an archival tool. A variety of issues may occur which will corrupt the backup database; the only answer in many of those cases is to reset the backup database and start over.


    Ken, What is your opinion on backing up the backup files off to a usb drive or something?  It seems like a good backup program backing up the backups might solve this issue.
    Thursday, January 31, 2008 7:15 PM
  • You can do that manually today, John, but it's a pain because of Drive Extender, and restoring is even more of a pain. Wait for PP1 which will give you a tool that lets you just push a button and make it happen in either direction.
    Thursday, January 31, 2008 8:47 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    You can do that manually today, John, but it's a pain because of Drive Extender, and restoring is even more of a pain. Wait for PP1 which will give you a tool that lets you just push a button and make it happen in either direction.


    I noticed that there is a directory that contains the backup files.  Remember that in my case at least, I only have a single large drive so there is no shuffling around.  I created a raid 0 array to store the backup database files from that directory and am backing it up.  It does take about 3 hours to do the backup of the backup database directory.  It seems that if you just delete those files then WHS "rebuilds" everything and performs a backup as normal.  I am wondering if I were to delete the backup database from that directory and then restore a backup to that directory if the backup would come in usable.
    Friday, February 1, 2008 5:05 AM
  • That's what the tool in Power Pack 1 does, John. But it's "DE aware", which backup tools (including NTBackup, Backup Exec, ArcServe, etc.) aren't. And backups participate in the DE functionality; otherwise you could fill up your system disk with them.

    As long as you can keep DE out of the picture, you'll be fine. As soon as an end user plugs in a USB drive for a little more storage (which I can guarantee will happen sooner or later) you've got problems.
    Friday, February 1, 2008 1:41 PM
    Moderator
  • That's what the tool in Power Pack 1 does, John. But it's "DE aware", which backup tools (including NTBackup, Backup Exec, ArcServe, etc.) aren't.


    Understood, but I want something in the meantime.

    And backups participate in the DE functionality; otherwise you could fill up your system disk with them.


    I have a 400 gig drive installed that is not DE managed.  I set up the built-in backup program to just backup that specific directory on a schedule.  The backups are huge of course; I can do about 4 of them before filling up the 400 gig drive. 

    As long as you can keep DE out of the picture, you'll be fine. As soon as an end user plugs in a USB drive for a little more storage (which I can guarantee will happen sooner or later) you've got problems.


    This will not be happening on my system because I am the only user and I know what I am doing and why.
    Friday, February 1, 2008 5:48 PM
  • So in a two or three drive system the primary data partion on the first or system drive is just a landing zone for data storage. WHS uses the primary data partition as a caching device to move data to the second drive along with the third drive if Folder Duplication is turned on. Is this how the DE works? I am just trying to understand.

     

    Orgbrat

    Saturday, February 2, 2008 11:09 PM
  • yep you are correct

    but DE will move the data whether duplication is on or not - depends on if you want two copies of your data on differnt physical disks for redundancy
    Sunday, February 3, 2008 12:00 PM
  • I am trying to do something similar and have some questions on the drive build and concerns over having the system manage the drives.

    Scenario:
    Have 3 drives
    120 GB
    300 GB
    500 GB

    Is the following feasible (please excuse my assumptions as I have only read a bit on the drive management for WHS)?

    I want to have 2 copies of my pics and music on 2 physical drives as a back up.  I dont have alot and can be held on the 300 GB drive.  So could I use the 300 GB as the main drive and add the 120 GB to be used as an extension?  And then use the 500GB drive as the other physical drive where the copy can be held?

    I also want to use my 500 GB drive as a dumping ground for large files (like movies) that I am not too interested in keeping 2 copies of as I can retrieve if needed.

    Is this possible?  Can I select what I want to have multiple copies/back ups of and what I don't that granular?

    Thanks.
    Monday, September 22, 2008 5:56 PM