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Setting up a Raid 1 questions RRS feed

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    I have a brand new mboard and 2 500gb drives.  I want to do a Raid 1 for mirroring incase the WHS main drive has an issuse.  I have read that WHS does not support raid so can this be done?  Do I setup Raid First in the Bios and then install WHS?  If not, then how the heck if your main drive goes bad do you recover everything on your server without a Raid/Mirror setup?

     

    Thanks in advance

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007 11:39 PM

Answers

  • WHS doesn't support RAID for many reasons. "Not supported" doesn't mean that it doesn't work, but it does mean that if you have a problem it may be hard to find help for it.

    As for how WHS protects your data, if you have two or more drives installed, WHS uses a feature that Microsoft calls duplication to put copies of your files on multiple drives. The advantage of this over RAID is that you can choose which shares are duplicated, and if you need to it's easy to add more storage: just connect another drive, use the WHS Console application to add it to the storage pool, and WHS will take care of the rest. If a drive fails, as long as all the files on it were duplicated, you lose no data. (You could lose backups, and if your system drive fails you would lose OS customizations, users, installed programs, etc.)

    If you really want to use RAID, though, you would install the two drives, then create your array before installing WHS. You'll have to provide a driver for your RAID controller at two points in the installation: during the initial graphical setup, and at the beginning of text mode on a floppy (at the "Press F6" prompt). then you proceed as normal.
    Wednesday, August 22, 2007 11:49 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

    WHS do not support raid, but if you want to do it, setup your raid in bios, and creat the array, then install whs.

    WHS can do better with file dubplication protection issue.

    My best.
    Wednesday, August 22, 2007 11:47 PM
  • WHS doesn't support RAID for many reasons. "Not supported" doesn't mean that it doesn't work, but it does mean that if you have a problem it may be hard to find help for it.

    As for how WHS protects your data, if you have two or more drives installed, WHS uses a feature that Microsoft calls duplication to put copies of your files on multiple drives. The advantage of this over RAID is that you can choose which shares are duplicated, and if you need to it's easy to add more storage: just connect another drive, use the WHS Console application to add it to the storage pool, and WHS will take care of the rest. If a drive fails, as long as all the files on it were duplicated, you lose no data. (You could lose backups, and if your system drive fails you would lose OS customizations, users, installed programs, etc.)

    If you really want to use RAID, though, you would install the two drives, then create your array before installing WHS. You'll have to provide a driver for your RAID controller at two points in the installation: during the initial graphical setup, and at the beginning of text mode on a floppy (at the "Press F6" prompt). then you proceed as normal.
    Wednesday, August 22, 2007 11:49 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    If a drive fails, as long as all the files on it were duplicated, you lose no data. (You could lose backups, and if your system drive fails you would lose OS customizations, users, installed programs, etc.)

     

     

    That is the part that scares me.     If I have say 2 drives, then how would the files get duplicated?  And, if WHS uses the first drive for the OS part, the rest of the first and some of the 2nd for shares, backups of other computers etc, And if Drive 1 goes bad, how would I recover everything asap?   Would Raid 1 not take care of this issue or can I set WHS up to Mirror Drives?

     

    Just curious of what to do if a Drive goes bad

    Thursday, August 23, 2007 12:19 AM
  • Hi,

    WHS make 2 partitions in the first system (boot drive), as Drive C and Drive D.

    Drive C for the system OS, and Drive D for your share and bavkup.

    With 2 hard disks, as your setup without RAID, then Second hard disk when add to the WHS pool, will duplicated files of the first hard disk, partition D. You have to chose the option to duplicated within the share folders.

    If your system drive get bad, then you need to replace the bad one, and do reinstall, and that about it.

    My best.
    Thursday, August 23, 2007 1:34 AM
  •  

    ok, then let's take this one step further, what about 4 drives?  What if something goes wrong with one of the drives?  With duplication, will the information/files be recovered by replacing the bad drive with a new drive?
    Thursday, August 23, 2007 2:57 AM
  • Hi,

    4, 6, and 8 drives ...etc, WHS will replace the drives within the pool, if a drive failed.

    And your data will be recover as been explain in the above replies.

    My best.
    Thursday, August 23, 2007 3:11 AM
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    You could lose backups, and if your system drive fails you would lose OS customizations, users, installed programs, etc.


     abobader wrote:
    Hi,
    If your system drive get bad, then you need to replace the bad one, and do reinstall, and that about it.
    My best.


    OK, so the WHS duplicates data but doesn't protect itself - great ! Good that i've looked in here otherwise i could have bought that HP Box ...

    Let's say i have bought the HP and loaded it with 4 * 500GB drives, 900GB used, all my data is on there and i need it all the time cause my Laptop has only a small HDD. Then the OS drive dies because it's the oldest drive and my data is unaccessible ... i can't reinstall the OS because the HP box is headless and i just have no idea how to do it.

    Even if i knew how to do it i would still have to buy/order a replacement HDD which takes time -> buying local for ridiculusly high prices or order online and wait at least 2 days with no access to my Data. 3 perfectly fine disks are still in the HP with lots of free space - but i can't use those.

    A really unsecure solution, better said the WHS archilles heel, a damocles sword just waiting to fall anytime ... as long as that isn't solved WHS won't become an option for me. I just can't trust a Server that doesn't protect itself against HDD failure.




     sissipher wrote:
    ok, then let's take this one step further, what about 4 drives?  What if something goes wrong with one of the drives?  With duplication, will the information/files be recovered by replacing the bad drive with a new drive?


    If duplication is enabled then the data from the dead disk is still there as a copy on another disk - it'll be duplicated again when a replacement drive is added - so there is no "recovery". Data that was not assigned to be duplicated and stored on the dead drive is gone for good then ...
    Thursday, August 23, 2007 1:39 PM


  • So they know that a dead system drive means :
    - Downtime for the user with no access to the stored data
    - Booting from DVD, which is a problem if the WHS is a standalone-headless box and has no optical drive.
    - Reinstallation can take very long depending on how much data is stored (tombstone recreation)
    - Configuration is gone
    - Massive frustration for the user


    So i'll just keep my WinXP server + RAID5.
    Thursday, August 23, 2007 2:17 PM
  • Why pick apart something that you have no intention of using and also putting forth useless scenario's that have no meaning. All of these channel sold machines will have at least one optical drive. Most if not all will have at least 2 drives with plenty of encouragement to the buyer to add additional drives at the time of purchase. That is the most likely scenario and in that case if a data drive fails then the data would be repaired by the other drive. If the system drive fails then you simply replace the drive and run the DVD to setup your O/S again. I think it is a very elegant solution for the average homeowner that needs to proect his/her data. If you need 24/7 365 protection then thsiis not the solution fo ryou and you would already know that.

    Bryan
    Thursday, August 23, 2007 4:06 PM
  •  

    This is an amazingly stupid oversight by MS. Why screw up software RAID1 for the system drive when the underlying OS (server 2003) fully supports it? I tried it and it will let you create the mirror, but the unused space over 20GB on the 2nd hard drive becomes unusable by WHS.  A storage server should have an option of high availabilty via RAID1 at least for the OS partition so you don't have to waste your life trying to patch the config back together again if the OS drive fails. Which face it.. happens all the time in the real world!

     

    Just because the average user is ignorant of such things doesn't mean that we all are. All this kludge'd crippleware lately just baffles my mind.

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007 4:56 AM
  •  

    Would it be possible to for someone to write an add-in that could capture and save user data and any plug-ins (and any other settings) to somesort of recovery file that either gets stored in the primary store (and therefore duplicated) and or copied off to CD/DVD. This would be similiar to the back-up config files that you can usually create for routers and such in case you have to reset etc. This seems like a fairly painless solution to this conundrum, that doesn't require fancy hardware solutions or anything else...

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007 3:59 PM
  • Yes, it's possible. For example, Tranquil PC's home server can store a backup of the system partition on a hidden partition on the system drive. There's no reason why one wouldn't be able to copy that entire hidden partition off to another medium. Be warned, though: restoring just the system partition from a very old backup could conceivably result in various unpleasant issues if system configuration has changed in the meantime...
    Wednesday, October 24, 2007 4:45 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    Yes, it's possible. For example, Tranquil PC's home server can store a backup of the system partition on a hidden partition on the system drive. There's no reason why one wouldn't be able to copy that entire hidden partition off to another medium. Be warned, though: restoring just the system partition from a very old backup could conceivably result in various unpleasant issues if system configuration has changed in the meantime...

     

    I agree, you would probably be better of doing a new install. But if the WHS was capable of constantly updating a config file stored on the primary store (and duplicated) you could do a new install, then "apply" the configuration file to the machine. The config file could contain user accounts, add-ins (with license keys as req.), networking settings, printer settings, etc... If this config file were being generated by an add-in (or built in), the WHS could constantly update it automatically when configuration changes were/are made. The point wouldn't be to back-up the partition information, only settings, thus substanially reducing the amount of data you would need to be backing up. Users could have the option of copying the config file to another location if they so desired, but wouldn't have to. Heck if you wanted to get crazy, during the back-up of a system(s) the WHS could push the config file back out to client machines, thereby if your WHS goes down, hopefully your config is safe on a client somwhere, kinda the reverse of what the WHS is doing for the clients.... Course if you take a lighting hit without good electrical protection you're just going to be screwed anyways.....

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007 4:58 PM
  • It sounds as though we are starting to get a few people who don't really understand the technology and are hell-bent on running it down.

    I personally think the majority of peoples concerns will be addressed either by Add-Ins, or software updates as Microsoft realise that the people who this system is aimed at, are going to be lost when it comes to the reinstallation, especially down the line when there are numerous patches and updates to be applied to both the server or client.

    I do know that a couple of people are trying to develop a way of backing up the variable system/user data to external storage.

     

    Also, don't forget this is version one. Version two I reckon, will be like and day!

     

    Colin

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007 5:26 PM