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WHS Install vs C Drive Size Allocation RRS feed

  • Question

  • Greetings,

    This question has probably been asked before but I could immediately find an answer so I apologize for any burden I create.

    I'm not happy with the arbitrary 20 GB C drive allocation.  I think that it is too small and would like to make it larger.  as an aside, I think that the installation process ought to be modified so that a user may specify an allocation or take the Microsoft allocated default according to the individual whims/needs.  My very limited attempts to create a larger space have been unsuccessful to date.  Normally, I'd be happy to play but I'm in a time crunch at the moment, so...

    I'd like a 70 GB C Drive.  I understand that the WHS install process allocates 20 GB to D: and the rest to a JBOD pool.  I also understand that the minimum hard disk space available to WHS must be at least 80GB.

    My disk hardware is 3 x Seagate 1TB drives controlled by an Areca 1110 SATA RAID card.  Initially I had all 3 drives in a single RAID 5 set.  I'm now thinking that the only way to meet my requirements is to:

    1. create two (2) raid sets.  One at the minimum 80 GB size allocation and the other for the balance of the available space (approx. 2.7 TB);
    2. install WHS into the minimum allocated space and let it create its' 20 GB and 60 GB C and D drives;
    3. after the installation is complete, bring the second RAID set on line;
    4. transfer everything from the install created D drive to the now E drive;
    5. delete the WHS install created D drive;
    6. change the drive letter of the E drive to D;
    7. reboot;
    8. add the remaining 60 GB from the first RAID set into the C drive.
    Please show me the error of my ways/suggest an alternative so that I can complete my WHS installation in a drive space that is more appropriate to my perceived needs.

    Many thanks in anticipation of your suggestions/advice.

    Best Regards,

    Ken McNeill
    Sunday, November 22, 2009 8:05 PM

Answers

  • Ken it really does not work the way you are thinking.   I am not sure why you need a bigger C: but 20 gig has worked fine for me.  You have to think a system drive and the rest being the d drive:  ( even though in reality it can be many other drives pooled together).  I an not sure about raid as different people have different levels of success with it.

    I have 6 -  500 gig drives and they are all pooled although for a long time I kept various drives outside of the pool and did direct shares on them.  Especially at the beginning when the dread data corruption bug was alive.

    The way they want you to use the system is simple plug in all your drives.  Specify the first as the system drive and then let all the other drives join the storage poll.  It will allocate 20 gig for the system drive and pool the rest.  You do not use drive mirroring in raid but rather turn on duplication in WHS shares and then all the data in the share will reside on 2 different drives.

    You have to use the WHS shares and not the underlying shares when you use the system.  EG if you go directly to the windows share from a terminal and monkey with permissions etc you can mess-up the system (do not ask me how I know this)

    I do not think that you can delete the d: drive after transfering data to e: and renaming it but I have never tried it and have no experience with this.  Doing it the way you are trying is basically fighting against the design of the drive storage.

    Having said that lots of folks have played with raid and had some success.  I have not!

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/windowshomeserver/support.mspx

    Go to the above page and download the drive extender white paper and it will explain the storage to you.

    Have fun!


    • Marked as answer by KenMcN Wednesday, November 25, 2009 4:45 AM
    Sunday, November 22, 2009 8:30 PM
  • Ken, unfortunately there is no supported way to enlarge the system partition. As for finding an unsupported way, you might want to search the forums again, for search terms such as system partition size .

    I will warn you that Windows Home Server uses basic disks, and therefore does not support GPT disks (required for a partition greater than 2 TB in size). In addition, changing a disk to dynamic is known to cause issues . So you will have to create multiple volumes on a large RAID array, each less than 2 TB in size, if you want to make full use of the space. Finally, I urge you to reconsider plans to use RAID, as doing so is certain to significantly complicate a server recovery scenario from e.g. OS corruption. At a minimum, once you have your server running with the RAID array, try a server reinstallation so that you will bette3r understand the process you will have to go through.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Monday, November 23, 2009 5:52 AM
    • Marked as answer by KenMcN Wednesday, November 25, 2009 4:46 AM
    Monday, November 23, 2009 12:58 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Ken it really does not work the way you are thinking.   I am not sure why you need a bigger C: but 20 gig has worked fine for me.  You have to think a system drive and the rest being the d drive:  ( even though in reality it can be many other drives pooled together).  I an not sure about raid as different people have different levels of success with it.

    I have 6 -  500 gig drives and they are all pooled although for a long time I kept various drives outside of the pool and did direct shares on them.  Especially at the beginning when the dread data corruption bug was alive.

    The way they want you to use the system is simple plug in all your drives.  Specify the first as the system drive and then let all the other drives join the storage poll.  It will allocate 20 gig for the system drive and pool the rest.  You do not use drive mirroring in raid but rather turn on duplication in WHS shares and then all the data in the share will reside on 2 different drives.

    You have to use the WHS shares and not the underlying shares when you use the system.  EG if you go directly to the windows share from a terminal and monkey with permissions etc you can mess-up the system (do not ask me how I know this)

    I do not think that you can delete the d: drive after transfering data to e: and renaming it but I have never tried it and have no experience with this.  Doing it the way you are trying is basically fighting against the design of the drive storage.

    Having said that lots of folks have played with raid and had some success.  I have not!

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/windowshomeserver/support.mspx

    Go to the above page and download the drive extender white paper and it will explain the storage to you.

    Have fun!


    • Marked as answer by KenMcN Wednesday, November 25, 2009 4:45 AM
    Sunday, November 22, 2009 8:30 PM
  • Ken, unfortunately there is no supported way to enlarge the system partition. As for finding an unsupported way, you might want to search the forums again, for search terms such as system partition size .

    I will warn you that Windows Home Server uses basic disks, and therefore does not support GPT disks (required for a partition greater than 2 TB in size). In addition, changing a disk to dynamic is known to cause issues . So you will have to create multiple volumes on a large RAID array, each less than 2 TB in size, if you want to make full use of the space. Finally, I urge you to reconsider plans to use RAID, as doing so is certain to significantly complicate a server recovery scenario from e.g. OS corruption. At a minimum, once you have your server running with the RAID array, try a server reinstallation so that you will bette3r understand the process you will have to go through.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Monday, November 23, 2009 5:52 AM
    • Marked as answer by KenMcN Wednesday, November 25, 2009 4:46 AM
    Monday, November 23, 2009 12:58 AM
    Moderator
  • Mike and Ken ,

    RATS!  It really should work as I want it to - obviously, my way is better!  :-)

    Many thanks for the input from both of you.  I apologize for my slow response to it - life has been a little hectic of late.

    Obviously, a combination of too little relevant reading and too much presumption as to how things might/should work are my downfall.  I will go back to ground zero, study the documentation and include your very useful comments as I replan/restart the installation process.

    Based on the strong advice to avoid including RAID in the solution I'm going to switch systems for my HS environment and use a much older, but still very functional dual P3 Tyan motherboard with a non-RAID SATA controller and an initial 2 x 1.5 TB Seagate SATA II drives.  I might even toss in some 37 GB SCSI-3 drives I have.  I'll now use the original candidate system to host my Windows 2008 environment (an upgrade from the current 2003) rather than waste the RAID functionality.

    To answer Mike's question as to why I wanted more disk space - I was going to install a bunch of apps which I might want to access while traveling.  Also, both candidate systems have large memory installed and I was concerned about pagefile issues although I realize that I can move/split the pagefile if I choose to do so.

    Happiness to all,

    Ken
    Wednesday, November 25, 2009 5:00 AM
  • I don't recall the current limits for drive size, but it's possible that Windows Home Server will decline to use your SCSI drives in the storage pool. And they're certainly too small to function as the system drive.

    As for memory: Windows Home Server is based on the same core OS as Small Business Server 2003. This is a 32 bit OS, so it will not use more than 4 GB of memory.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, November 25, 2009 2:14 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken,

    Boy, I just can't pick anything these days can I?  I wasn't thinking of using them as the system drive - just additional storage.  I can throw them at the Server 2008 system and use them as a software image repository.  Or, I have to rebuild the wife's desktop so they could become boot drives.

    I'll accept the 4 GB limit but not all 32 bit OS's appear to be created equal.  I know the 32 bit Enterprise edition of 2008 Server handles more than 4 GB of memory, and, from memory, I was under the impression that 2003 could also do so.  Must be one of life's little differences.  :-)

    As always, thanks for the feedback.

    Happiness,

    Ken
    Friday, December 4, 2009 9:02 PM
  • Windows Home Server is based on a version of Windows Server 2003 which doesn't support PAE (Physical Address Extension), which is what you're probably thinking of.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, December 4, 2009 9:09 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi guys! just wanted to drop in and mention one thing.

    this goes way out of the realm of standards and will cause issues with licensing.

    do some research on the web and you will find that the whole 32 bit windows limit of ram is just a file code issue. there are files that artificially cap the RAM that way and there are ways to get around it.

    Yes is can kill your OS.
    Yes it will break the ToS.
    Yes it bad bad thing to do.

    but yes I have seen 32 bit versions of xp and 2K3 (2K3 is the base of home server) running with more then 3.2 gigs of RAM. Way more...
    Friday, December 4, 2009 10:01 PM