locked
Upgrading from XP Pro 64bit to WHS2011 RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a PC set up as my Music On Hold Server, it currently runs Win XP pro 64bit.  The the applications it runs is Winamp to play the music on hold library in random order, WakeUpOnStandBy which hibernates the computer at a specific time in the evening and wakes it up the next day to commence the music on hold programming and Vipre Anti-Virus software.

    It is a dual processor AMD 2.31 Ghz with 2.75 GB of ram.  There is a single 250GB drive which XP pro resides on along with Winamp, WakeUpOnStandBy and Vipre.  There is an additional pair of 2-terabyte HDs set up as Raid 1 Mirrored.

    My question is can I install WHS2011 as an upgrade and/or format the 250GB drive and install fresh? Will it leave the existing files on the Raid drives undisturbed or does that have to start fresh also?

    Sincerely

    Don Resor

    Los Angeles


    • Edited by Don Resor Friday, January 31, 2014 9:15 AM Rearrange subject line
    Friday, January 31, 2014 9:14 AM

Answers

  • In theory, WHS only formats the HDD on which it installs (creating C: ad D: drives, where the Shared Folders are located initially). I would suggest though that you install with your RAID disconnected and then reconnect. If it's a hardware RAID, ensure that there are suitable drivers available for WHS.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    • Marked as answer by Andy Qi Sunday, February 9, 2014 4:35 PM
    Friday, January 31, 2014 11:41 AM

All replies

  • In theory, WHS only formats the HDD on which it installs (creating C: ad D: drives, where the Shared Folders are located initially). I would suggest though that you install with your RAID disconnected and then reconnect. If it's a hardware RAID, ensure that there are suitable drivers available for WHS.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    • Marked as answer by Andy Qi Sunday, February 9, 2014 4:35 PM
    Friday, January 31, 2014 11:41 AM
  • Currently I am using the raid controller on the motherboard.  I checked the NVIDIA website and drivers are only available for MS Windows Server 2003 64x which is still priced at "
    "quite" a premium.  The alternatives seem to be, to leave it as is or now, look for a PCIe raid controller which works with this motherboard and has a 3GB p/s throughput, or build a new box.


    Thank you for mentioning the drivers.  I had no idea the nForce 430/GeoForce 6150SE was now considered so very ancient, though this (K9N6PGM2-V2) MS-7309 motherboard was revised in July of 2009 to Version 2.0

    Friday, January 31, 2014 9:19 PM
  • The most appropriate drivers for WHS2011 are those for Server 2008 R2 as WHS is built on that code.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Friday, January 31, 2014 10:20 PM
  • I think I have found a new card which will work, and it will operate with Windows Server 2012 if I were to choose.

    http://www.sybausa.com/productInfo.php?iid=537

    • Notes:
    • RAID Array Maximum size: 2.3TB; Except for JBOD mode.
    • Supports Windows 8 (Uses Windows 7 Driver)
    • Supports Windows Server 2012 (Uses Windows Server 2008 driver)


    Friday, January 31, 2014 10:48 PM
  • Not a big fan of RAID , but then I have two WHS servers instead . Always have problems in the event of hardware failure as unless you can source identical controllers you end up having to rebuild the RAID as you have to. Good luck.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Friday, January 31, 2014 11:20 PM
  • I do not have the liberty of hosting two separate servers :)

    I considered the idea that I would have to rebuild the raid if I made this move. I did some other research elsewhere, if the motherboard hosted raid fails, it's a bigger headache than moving a separate raid controller and the two drives into a new motherboard.

    Thanks for your assistance.

    Don Resor Los Angeles

    Friday, January 31, 2014 11:31 PM
  • Agreed. Once again good luck with your transition.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Saturday, February 1, 2014 1:04 AM
  • I found a interesting article about WHS 2011 and it's demise. 

    http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/07/windows-home-server-is-dead-but-we-shouldnt-mourn-it/

    After digging much deeper I see that there aren't any RAID controller cards which appear to be compatible with WHS2011.  Only compatible with legacy Windows Server 2003 or the current Windows Server 2012.

    There is mention that the "Drive Extender" feature never worked right until the advent of Windows Server 2012 that maybe I should abandon my raid configuration and run automatic weekly backups from one 2tb drive to the other. 

    Digging to see if it can be disabled...and now seeing somewhere else that it was removed in the second incarnation of the product...

    The plot thickens.


    • Edited by Don Resor Saturday, February 1, 2014 3:07 AM additional information
    Saturday, February 1, 2014 2:55 AM
  • Drive extender worked very well - I am surprised we have not seen its legion of fans rushing to its defence. What you have in server 2012 is a Windows8 technology known as Storage Spaces. Not the same as Drive Extender but has a similar effect but as I recall with a few more limitations. There are 3rd party equivalents to Drive Extender that seem to work but I have not used them (DrivePool and Drive Bender).

    "Digging to see if it can be disabled...and now seeing somewhere else that it was removed in the second incarnation of the product..." - not sure what you mean by this


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.



    Saturday, February 1, 2014 1:03 PM
  • "Digging to see if it can be disabled...and now seeing somewhere else that it was removed in the second incarnation of the product..." - not sure what you mean by this

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.



    My mistake, after reading a bit more I found that versions prior to Windows Home Server 2011 had "Drive Extender".  According to Wikipedia which can be incorrect at times "Drive Extender" was not included with Windows Home Server 2011.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Home_Server

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Home_Server_2011

    Saturday, February 1, 2014 9:35 PM
  • It was there in WHS 2011 in early beta's but never in the released code.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Sunday, February 2, 2014 12:17 AM
  • I have to come to the defense of WHS 2011.

    WHS 2011 is a fine product, better in most ways (that count) than WHS version 1, even without Drive Extender.

    In my view, the usefulness of RAID in a home server is overblown. RAID is intended to provide high availability in case of disk failure. It is NOT a replacement for true data backup. RAID controller cards can and do fail, and RAID arrays experience rebuild and recovery problems more frequently than people realize.  This is particularly true of low-end "fake RAID" and motherboard RAID solutions which home server users tend to use. In addition, hardware RAID arrays are not portable between machines unless you have an identical RAID controller, and if the controller fails, you may be stuck with no way to access your data unless you can source another, identical controller.

    It's true WHS 2011 does not have Drive Extender or Storage Spaces, but WHS 2011 DOES provide an automated server backup solution that runs twice daily by default but can be scheduled to run hourly if you choose. This is true scheduled, versioned backup with point in time recovery, a lot more useful than RAID of you lose something other than a hard disk (like a motherboard or disk controller).

    In addition, WHS 2011 offers support for Volume Shadow Copies, enabling users to restore previous versions of files and folders on the server (providing a quick way to recover a file or folder that has been corrupted or deleted) without administrator intervention.

    Drive Extender worked (mostly), and was cool conceptually, but it was something of a hack, layered on top of the file system instead of integrated within it, and it was slow.  A WHS 2011 file server can typically provide much faster file access and sustain higher numbers of users.

    There is a bit more administrative overhead in setting up and maintaining a 2011 Home Server: chiefly you have to manage the layout of shared folders on physical disks, and migrate folders to larger disks in case you run short of space (for which an automated wizard is provided). But if you are competent with Windows and have some experience with setting up PCs, you shouldn't have any trouble.

    Finally, if you really, truly must have some resiliency on a 2011 box, you can use Windows Server's native dynamic disk mirroring (RAID 1). This cannot be set up through the WHS Dashboard, but is easily configured via Disk Manager.

    This is just my opinion, but I think 2011 is much better product than a lot of people realize. The various 2TB volume size limits (surely the subject for another post) are a much bigger deal for my use case than is the lack of Drive Extender.  But if you don't have huge video collections spanning terabytes of disk space, it's great.




    • Edited by Gary Voth Tuesday, February 4, 2014 4:40 AM
    Tuesday, February 4, 2014 4:31 AM
  • Gary Voth,  I have read your reply and taken it to heart.

    One of my primary uses for this is music on hold server (so to speak) which will play music for the local business phone system, in addition to other tasks.

    There will be no remote access/playing of music files, except maybe an occasional "drag and drop" (if possible) of a shortcut to the playlist for another machine on the LAN.

    I have also looked at Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials but may have run into a road block.

    Cliff Galiher MVP has mentioned that MS Server 2012 R2 Essentials may not be a good fit as Music On Hold Server as it is a DC software package. I am waiting for a reply to his definition.

    Here I am once again looking at WHS2011 as a possibility. (Running in circles)

    P.S. what is with the error where you can't post links until your email is verified?  I receive reply notifications via emails, so therefore I should be verified?


    • Edited by Don Resor Saturday, February 8, 2014 11:40 PM grammar errors
    Saturday, February 8, 2014 11:38 PM