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  • Question

  • I am considering purchasing WHS but before I do I want to make sure that I can use my existing hard drive configuration in Raid 1.  I am currently running a file server with my storage drives in a Raid 1 array and standalone 160gb system drive.  I want to be able to keep this configuration using the same PC as its setup with the WHS serving the box.  Can this be done?  I feel more comfortable using a hardware raid than a software setup. 

    If its possible, what is the likelyhood that WHS will require my backup drives to be formatted?
    Thursday, December 25, 2008 5:55 AM

Answers

  • You don't have any control over how windows Home Server uses the drives it's given, and it will only manage shares that are on drives it's managing, so you won't be able to force particular server content to particular drives unless you manage the drives and shares yourself. If you're going to do that, then you're going to miss out on a good bit of the WHS functionality.

    I would recommend you read a lot of the documentation on this page, certainly including the Drive Extender and Home Computer Backup technical briefs.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by jc49erfan Thursday, January 1, 2009 2:23 AM
    Wednesday, December 31, 2008 6:57 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • RAID is not supported by Windows Home Server and (in my view) is overvalued in a home environment, since it protects only against one specific failure (harddisk fault) while consuming a full disk in exchange.
    Since RAID controllers are showing the disk configuration transparent (hiding the backup disk of the RAID 1) to the OS, installation should not take over this backup disk. More difficult may be to find drivers for the mass storage controller, which not only support a fresh installation, but also reinstallation in case of any disaster with the installed OS.
    All drives which are seen by setup during installation will be formatted, so if you have data disks (and your wording Backup drives is not pointed to the secondary drive of the array), you wish to integrate with data (or transfer it to the shares after installation) you will need to disconnect them during setup.
    Best greetings from Germany and happy holidays
    Olaf
    Thursday, December 25, 2008 10:20 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for replying to my post.  So if I understood your post correctly that if I can get the raid to be visible in WHS, then I'd want to disconnect the drives from the system while WHS is installing?  After WHS is done installing will I be able to see the array (in theory if the drivers work) and will it show the raid 1 in its present state as a single hard drive? 

    I like raid 1 because its purpose is to back up everything as data hits it.  The purpose of that setup is specifically for data redundency.  As far as backing up my pc's connected to the network which I am aware that WHS is greatly used for, I intend to add an additional drive to the setup to allow those backups to a specific location.  I just want my shares setup on a raid 1 configuration
    Wednesday, December 31, 2008 5:45 PM
  • You don't have any control over how windows Home Server uses the drives it's given, and it will only manage shares that are on drives it's managing, so you won't be able to force particular server content to particular drives unless you manage the drives and shares yourself. If you're going to do that, then you're going to miss out on a good bit of the WHS functionality.

    I would recommend you read a lot of the documentation on this page, certainly including the Drive Extender and Home Computer Backup technical briefs.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by jc49erfan Thursday, January 1, 2009 2:23 AM
    Wednesday, December 31, 2008 6:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ken,

    You might have seen in another thread that I am running WHS in a different way. No drive extender, 2nd hard drive mirrored by a software raid program. I only did this because I was unsure how WHS worked, and it came installed on a PC I bought.

    Olaf has worried me with respect to the stability of my system, which I think is OK, but still it is nagging me.

    I would be happy to reinstall WHS to it's original state if you can tell me if I can still run my networked email client (Turnpike) on it. The main program should be on the server and client PC's run a program to access the email database. I couldn't see a way of doing this with the console. I also want to run another networked program in the same way.

    Please tell me if this is possible or if I have to keep my WHS as it is or go for the proper server 2003.

    Thanks,

    Gary.
    Friday, January 2, 2009 10:57 PM
  • What you want to do is unsupported. That is not the same as saying it won't work. However, it does mean that you will probably have to figure out the specifics yourself. In your particular case, I would recommend against trying to use Windows Home Server as your mail server; there are too many unsupported elements to be comfortable. You are at the point where you are looking for "Windows Server Lite" I think; this isn't really a design goal for WHS.

    I can give you some general guidance if you decide to proceed. First, you can connect to your server using Remote Desktop. Use the login name "Administrator" and the same password as you have configured for the server console. From there, you can install software as you see fit (with the understanding that this is an unsupported access method, and you're working at your own risk). For any software installed in this fashion, I would strongly recommend that you install a drive in your server, but omit it from the storage pool (a drive is only added to the pool if/when you choose to do so; until then it's just another drive). Use the drive that's not part of the storage pool for your mail database, and allow WHS to use Drive Extender to protect the data in your shares. If it's important to you to have your mail database protected with some form of redundancy, you can probably configure a RAID array (please use hardware, or at least motherboard, RAID, not the software you're currently using; you'll probably get significantly better performance).

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, January 3, 2009 3:34 AM
    Moderator