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Replace, upgrade, swap primary hard drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • I want to swap my primary and secondary HD to a new larger one. I've read hundreds of post on this topic...some twice and I"m still not clear. Plus, with RC1 maybe there are some changes.

    So, here is my old/new set up and questions:

    Step One-The easy part:
    1. I originally had WHS RC1 installed on a 200 gig primary hd and had an 80 gig secondary drive. I did NOT have duplication turned on as I did not have enough drive space between the two to dup everything. I have two pc's backed up also. I noticed that WHS had basically split all the data evenly between the 200 gig primary and the 80 gig secondary...almost. Data totaled about 145 gig. Shares+backups=145 gig. Which adds up perfectly.
    2. I bought two WD 500 gig drives planning to upgrade BOTH the primary and the secondary drives with them and removing the 200 gig drive altogether.
    3. I used console to remove the secondary drive. The primary drive had enough room for the data it had plus gobble up what was on the 80 gig secondary drive. Worked nicely, but took FOREVER...LOL. 5 hrs. I added the new 500 gig secondary drive and over night WHS worked its magic. All the data that was crammed onto the primary was automatically moved to the new 500 gig secondary. It appears that the primary 200 gig drive is about 98.00% free of data. It has only 1.74 gig of something on it....    Ok, 1/2 done.
    Step two-Meat and potatoes part:
    1. Now I want to take out the primary 200 gig HD and replace it too with a 500 gig hard drive. Again, file duplication is still turned off. So, it's my understanding that there really is no data on it since it is 99.5% free. Aside for some stray tombstones and such.....All shares and PC backup data appears to now live on the new secondary 500 gig drive. Good!
    2. I think that I can simply remove the old 200 gig primary, install the new one, and then reinstall WHS as re-installation/upgrade. I should not loose any of my Shares including my pc backups. WHS will then rebuild/create new tombstones to the new primary hd. Correct?
    3. I do know I will loose my user account info. I'm not concerned about that. That takes 20 minutes to redo.
    4. Am I correct here? If so, since I just swapped the secondary drive should I wait a day or so just to make sure that last 0.50% on the primary gets moved?
    Or Should I just leave the 200 gig hd as the primary and install the second 500 gig hd as a second-secondary drive? Basically a 200 gig primary + 2x 500 gig secondaries. Is there an advantage to having a matching 500 gig primary anyway?

    Ken Warren or any MVP's ....can you lend a hand and set me straight?
    Tuesday, June 26, 2007 11:34 PM

Answers

  • If you really want to make the 2nd 500 GB drive the system drive, then you should plan for total data loss on all drives connected at reinstall time. I would take that as a given, and not even worry for a minute about losing my backups. So at a minimum I would disconnect the currently connected 500 GB drive and do a clean install. Then hook it up and copy from it to the WHS shares, then add it to the pool. There are other permutations; you could turn on duplication now, then wait a few days until all the data is copied onto the primary data partition. Then replace the current system drive and do an upgrade/repair type installation.

    Think about it for a few minutes; you'll probably come up with something that fits within your comfort zone.

    And as for where tombstones go with three drives, tombstones always go on the primary data partition (D: ). The question is where the files the tombstones reference go. With three drives, they should all go on secondary drives (without drive letters) in the storage pool, until those drives are full. At that point, they'll start landing back on the primary data partition.
    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 3:51 AM
    Moderator
  •  judgeschambers wrote:

    Oh boy. Did I open a can of worms here...LOL.

     

    If duplication is not turned on there is no way to gaurantee that the files exist on a non-primary drive and the primary drive is not removable from the console.

     

    If duplication is turned on than any (data) files which happen to be on the primary drive will also be located elsewhere.

    Thursday, June 28, 2007 1:11 AM
  •  judgeschambers wrote:
    Ok, here are the answers.
    • 200 gig primary
    • 500 gb secondary
    • Primary HD empty
    • All shares and pc backups on 500 gb secondary
    • File Duplication turned off on ALL shares
    • Replaced only the 200 gb primary HED with another 500 gb HD
    • Insert WHS RC1 DVD
    • WHS only gave me the choice of NEW INSTALLATION.
    • Both HD's were formatted.
    • Basically, loosing all shares data on the secondary HD.

    If file duplication was turned on for a few days...would WHS have allowed me to do a repair/reinstallation? I'm not sure it would. Everyone keeps saying that File Duplication must be on for this to work and  puts the file dups on the primary. So, If I remove the primary for a new one...then why/how would WHS then give me the option for a repair/re installation of WHS and retain all my shares on the old secondary?

    That's what I would like to know the answer to....

    Thanks in advance guys....

     

    Not sure what you're not understanding... but let me try again.

     

    First, as is stated in the docs for RC1, and as I stated clearly above in this thread:  You can ONLY perform a new install, with the RC1 version, if you BOOT off the DVD.  An upgrade install can be performed, but you have to manually run setup.exe off the dvd, while within an OS.  (In other words, boot WHS, insert the RC1 DVD, run setup.exe off that DVD, follow directions)

     

    As to your specific config:  200gb Primary, 500gb Secondary.  With Duplication OFF, there's no guarantee all the data will be off the primary.  It's possible DE would leave some on the Primary for some reason.  With Duplication ON, there are 2 copies of every file, one copy on the Primary, one copy on the Secondary.  This protects you, because if you physically remove the Primary, you KNOW that all files exist on the Secondary drive.

    Thursday, June 28, 2007 7:46 PM

All replies

  • Based on what you report, I would probably just install the second 500 GB drive as additional storage in the pool, and keep the 200 GB primary drive. Unless you're in the habit of moving multiple hundreds of GB of files a day to/from your server, you'll probably never hit a barrier due to the smaller system drive.
    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 12:46 AM
    Moderator
  • Ken,

    Thanks for the info...

    Ok, IC. Because my one time transfer to WHS is limited by remaining unused space on the primary drive. In this case 169 gb + 20 gb C. New files go there first then they are migrated to the remaining drives.  So, that would be my only limitation to leaving the 200 gig as the primary?. Hmmmm.I guess I could live with that.

    Back to some of my questions regarding the primary swap.
    1. With RC1 and what appears to be only 1.74 gb of data remaining on the primary...and it ain't moving anywhere so far...is there any serious issues with yanking it and running the RC1 Disc again as a reinstall? Sure there could be a total loss of data. It should keep all shares and PC backups on the secondary? All I should have to do it recreate my user accounts..theoretically. Or do you feel that the effort is really not worth it?
    2. If I turn on file duplication...where would the tombstones go with the three drives?
     I'm tempted to just put the 2nd drive into the pool....
    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 1:54 AM
  •  judgeschambers wrote:
    Ken,

    Thanks for the info...

    Ok, IC. Because my one time transfer to WHS is limited by remaining unused space on the primary drive. In this case 169 gb + 20 gb C. New files go there first then they are migrated to the remaining drives. So, that would be my only limitation to leaving the 200 gig as the primary?. Hmmmm.I guess I could live with that.

    Back to some of my questions regarding the primary swap.
    1. With RC1 and what appears to be only 1.74 gb of data remaining on the primary...and it ain't moving anywhere so far...is there any serious issues with yanking it and running the RC1 Disc again as a reinstall? Sure there could be a total loss of data. It should keep all shares and PC backups on the secondary? All I should have to do it recreate my user accounts..theoretically. Or do you feel that the effort is really not worth it?
    2. If I turn on file duplication...where would the tombstones go with the three drives?
    I'm tempted to just put the 2nd drive into the pool....


    I am interesting as well for in-depth clear answer.
    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 2:59 AM
  • If you really want to make the 2nd 500 GB drive the system drive, then you should plan for total data loss on all drives connected at reinstall time. I would take that as a given, and not even worry for a minute about losing my backups. So at a minimum I would disconnect the currently connected 500 GB drive and do a clean install. Then hook it up and copy from it to the WHS shares, then add it to the pool. There are other permutations; you could turn on duplication now, then wait a few days until all the data is copied onto the primary data partition. Then replace the current system drive and do an upgrade/repair type installation.

    Think about it for a few minutes; you'll probably come up with something that fits within your comfort zone.

    And as for where tombstones go with three drives, tombstones always go on the primary data partition (D: ). The question is where the files the tombstones reference go. With three drives, they should all go on secondary drives (without drive letters) in the storage pool, until those drives are full. At that point, they'll start landing back on the primary data partition.
    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 3:51 AM
    Moderator
  • Ken,

    Now you are hitting on the part that is confusing me all along. If I want to do a upgrade/repair by replacing the primary drive....and don't want to loose the shares on the secondary......why does duplication have to be on? If the primary is just going to be taken out anyway.....why does that matter?

    See, that is what has confused me in all the other posts I"ve read. Some say duplication must be on for this to work and some say it does not matter as long as all the shares are on the secondary drive.

    Honestly, I'd rather not run 3 drives now. I don't have the space without modification to the case, reduce heat and power consumption and replace this older prime HD. I've been running a backup program duping everything to my main pc anyway (WHS is still beta). Sure, I could take out the old 200gb prime drive and install only the two 500's and do a fresh install. Then copy the data back...Done But, understanding this "primary swap rule," with regard to duplication being on/off, will come in handy 3-5 years down the road when the primary actually fails and I need to get WHS up and running again with minimal losses......fast.

    I just want to understand this more thoroughly....
    Thanks
    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 10:44 AM
  • With RC1, there is no way to do an Upgrade/Repair install by booting off the DVD.  So, you'll have to do a fresh install on the 500gb drive, and with a fresh install, there's no guarantee data will be saved, and there's no automatic way to rebuild the storage pool.

     

    In the Final version, you would install the 500gb drive as the primary boot drive in the system, run a Repair/Upgrade Install and WHS will see the old storage drives and recreate the Storage Pool automatically.  However, due to the dynamic nature of DEMigrator, only Duplicated shares are guaranteed to be rebuilt with no data loss.  Basically, without duplication, there's a chance for a file somewhere to have been left on the Primary, or for a file to become corrupted during the Rebuild process or even for a drive to fail during the rebuild process.  With Duplication turned on, you know there are 2 copies of every file out there, so even if one is corrupted, the 2nd one should be safe.

     

    Remember, even in normal operations, WHS guarantees data security with Duplication ON, without Duplication, it's best effort, and anything could happen.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 1:28 PM
  • With all the talk of changing the primary drive, and knowing that all hard drives eventually fail, I think it would be a good idea for Microsoft to add in some functionality for adding a new primary drive to a system.  Maybe when a drive is installed, instead of just being able to add it to the pool, there could be an option to make it the system drive, which would then allow the old system drive to be removed without needing to reinstall.  I think this option would be especially useful for the OEM products that are going to be released that have no DVD drive or video output.  It would allow the user to possibly be able to fix a failing system drive without having to ship the product back to the manufacturer.  And for those of us that know what we're doing, it would save a few hours of reinstalling, recreating user accounts, and recreating tombstones.

     

    Just my 2 cents' worth

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 1:45 PM
  • Is there any reason why a power user couldn't use 3rd party software to take an image of the primary disk partitions to be restored in the case of system drive failure or replacement? Reinstalling the server is more involved than just recreating users, especially if you installed add-ins or other applications. I would prefer to avoid going through that lengthy configuration process again. Assuming one was to take regular backups of the primary disk and at some point restore an image a few hours old, would it be possible to manually invoke RebuildPrimary to bring the tombstones up to date?
    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 3:57 PM
  • Ok, I appreciate the tech info, but things are starting to get confusing again. Two things about duplication vs no duplication and whether it is required to do an upgrade/reinstall/repair installation.  Not a fresh install:

    1. Last week I messed up WHS  OS with Symatec Corp 10.2.  I had my 200gb primary and my 80 gig secondary. I did NOT have duplication on any of my shared files. My shares were spread evenly between the primary and secondary drives.   I put the dvd in,,,,, selected upgrade/repair...whatever it was ...but not Fresh Install. And it simply reinstalled the OS on C. All my shares were completely intact across both drives. All I had to do was recreate my user accounts. Heck I was able to keep the original user folders and the pc backups!
    2. Now, I want to replace the primary drive only. I should be able to do the same thing.  If not, why does duplication have to be on in order to do so?  I ask this for two reasons: A) In item #1 above I did not need it to reinstall/repair/upgrade the OS. Duplication was not on then....., B) If I turn on Duplication for a few days....I thought the duplicated folders are stored on the primary. So what purpose does duplication serve with reinstalling/repairing/upgrading WHS OS on the primary drive when the duplicated files are on the very drive being removed?  I don't see the purpose. 
    Now, if the duplicated folders were on the Secondary HD along with all the original shares....then the need for duplication being turned on would make sense. But everyone keeps saying the the duplicates are stored on the primary.... This does not make sense...

    Oh boy. Did I open a can of worms here...LOL.
    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 10:05 PM
  •  Aaron Oneal wrote:
    Is there any reason why a power user couldn't use 3rd party software to take an image of the primary disk partitions to be restored in the case of system drive failure or replacement? Reinstalling the server is more involved than just recreating users, especially if you installed add-ins or other applications. I would prefer to avoid going through that lengthy configuration process again. Assuming one was to take regular backups of the primary disk and at some point restore an image a few hours old, would it be possible to manually invoke RebuildPrimary to bring the tombstones up to date?

     

    This is what OEMs will be doing for their recovery solutions.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 10:13 PM
  •  judgeschambers wrote:
    Ok, I appreciate the tech info, but things are starting to get confusing again. Two things about duplication vs no duplication and whether it is required to do an upgrade/reinstall/repair installation.  Not a fresh install:

    1. Last week I messed up WHS  OS with Symatec Corp 10.2.  I had my 200gb primary and my 80 gig secondary. I did NOT have duplication on any of my shared files. My shares were spread evenly between the primary and secondary drives.   I put the dvd in,,,,, selected upgrade/repair...whatever it was ...but not Fresh Install. And it simply reinstalled the OS on C. All my shares were completely intact across both drives. All I had to do was recreate my user accounts. Heck I was able to keep the original user folders and the pc backups!
    2. Now, I want to replace the primary drive only. I should be able to do the same thing.  If not, why does duplication have to be on in order to do so?  I ask this for two reasons: A) In item #1 above I did not need it to reinstall/repair/upgrade the OS. Duplication was not on then....., B) If I turn on Duplication for a few days....I thought the duplicated folders are stored on the primary. So what purpose does duplication serve with reinstalling/repairing/upgrading WHS OS on the primary drive when the duplicated files are on the very drive being removed?  I don't see the purpose. 

    Now, if the duplicated folders were on the Secondary HD along with all the original shares....then the need for duplication being turned on would make sense. But everyone keeps saying the the duplicates are stored on the primary.... This does not make sense...

    Oh boy. Did I open a can of worms here...LOL.

     

    It's real simple:  If you want a guarantee your data is going to be OK, then you have to use duplication.  If you don't use duplication, there's no guarantee.  Nothing says you HAVE to use duplication for the Reinstall process, but there's no guarantee without it.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 10:23 PM
  • No disrespect, but I'm not getting the answer in the format I need to understand.

    If duplication is on ...then where do the dups go?  If they are put on the primary.....then why does it matter if dup is on?  That drive is being removed, so dup files on it would not matter anyway...

    Im in the middle of backing up some files off of WHS. When done, I'll remove the primary drive leaving the secondary in tack with my shares and pc backups and test my theory...er...ah...everyone's theory...LOL.

    Stand by.....
    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 11:02 PM
  • Ok, here are the answers.
    • 200 gig primary
    • 500 gb secondary
    • Primary HD empty
    • All shares and pc backups on 500 gb secondary
    • File Duplication turned off on ALL shares
    • Replaced only the 200 gb primary HED with another 500 gb HD
    • Insert WHS RC1 DVD
    • WHS only gave me the choice of NEW INSTALLATION.
    • Both HD's were formatted.
    • Basically, loosing all shares data on the secondary HD.
    If file duplication was turned on for a few days...would WHS have allowed me to do a repair/reinstallation? I'm not sure it would. Everyone keeps saying that File Duplication must be on for this to work and  puts the file dups on the primary. So, If I remove the primary for a new one...then why/how would WHS then give me the option for a repair/re installation of WHS and retain all my shares on the old secondary?

    That's what I would like to know the answer to....

    Thanks in advance guys....
    Thursday, June 28, 2007 12:27 AM
  •  judgeschambers wrote:

    Oh boy. Did I open a can of worms here...LOL.

     

    If duplication is not turned on there is no way to gaurantee that the files exist on a non-primary drive and the primary drive is not removable from the console.

     

    If duplication is turned on than any (data) files which happen to be on the primary drive will also be located elsewhere.

    Thursday, June 28, 2007 1:11 AM
  • Bezalel, since I'll be purchasing a system builder license when available and will be implementing my own recovery solution, where can I find information about invoking RebuildPrimary after a primary disk image restore? Or, can I expect DriveExtender to automatically detect this scenario and begin recovery?
    Thursday, June 28, 2007 1:26 PM
  •  judgeschambers wrote:
    Ok, here are the answers.
    • 200 gig primary
    • 500 gb secondary
    • Primary HD empty
    • All shares and pc backups on 500 gb secondary
    • File Duplication turned off on ALL shares
    • Replaced only the 200 gb primary HED with another 500 gb HD
    • Insert WHS RC1 DVD
    • WHS only gave me the choice of NEW INSTALLATION.
    • Both HD's were formatted.
    • Basically, loosing all shares data on the secondary HD.

    If file duplication was turned on for a few days...would WHS have allowed me to do a repair/reinstallation? I'm not sure it would. Everyone keeps saying that File Duplication must be on for this to work and  puts the file dups on the primary. So, If I remove the primary for a new one...then why/how would WHS then give me the option for a repair/re installation of WHS and retain all my shares on the old secondary?

    That's what I would like to know the answer to....

    Thanks in advance guys....

     

    Not sure what you're not understanding... but let me try again.

     

    First, as is stated in the docs for RC1, and as I stated clearly above in this thread:  You can ONLY perform a new install, with the RC1 version, if you BOOT off the DVD.  An upgrade install can be performed, but you have to manually run setup.exe off the dvd, while within an OS.  (In other words, boot WHS, insert the RC1 DVD, run setup.exe off that DVD, follow directions)

     

    As to your specific config:  200gb Primary, 500gb Secondary.  With Duplication OFF, there's no guarantee all the data will be off the primary.  It's possible DE would leave some on the Primary for some reason.  With Duplication ON, there are 2 copies of every file, one copy on the Primary, one copy on the Secondary.  This protects you, because if you physically remove the Primary, you KNOW that all files exist on the Secondary drive.

    Thursday, June 28, 2007 7:46 PM
  • Prelector, Bezalel and Ken,

    Sorry, but it took the bits and pieces from all of you for me to understand. I kept hearing "duplication has to be on." But I was not really getting the answer to my exact question.
    I just could not understand the relevance of duplication if all my shares were on my secondary and nothing was left on the primary other than C. Turns out that there are little bits and pieces of data that get left behind on the primary ....no matter what. (For me I noticed 1.78gb was left behind) And if those get left behind...you can not do a reinstall of just the OS. Duplication ensures that all the shares AND those little bits and pieces also get put on the secondary drive you want to keep and then lets you do a reinstall of just the OS when you swap out primary drives.

    Grasshopper has learned his WHS lesson of the week...LOL. Thanks a lot guys. You are gentlemen and scholars.

    Next post will address Prelector's Install DVD from inside the OS....


    Friday, June 29, 2007 2:06 AM
  •  judgeschambers wrote:
    Prelector, Bezalel and Ken,

    Sorry, but it took the bits and pieces from all of you for me to understand. I kept hearing "duplication has to be on." But I was not really getting the answer to my exact question.
    I just could not understand the relevance of duplication if all my shares were on my secondary and nothing was left on the primary other than C. Turns out that there are little bits and pieces of data that get left behind on the primary ....no matter what. (For me I noticed 1.78gb was left behind) And if those get left behind...you can not do a reinstall of just the OS. Duplication ensures that all the shares AND those little bits and pieces also get put on the secondary drive you want to keep and then lets you do a reinstall of just the OS when you swap out primary drives.

    Grasshopper has learned his WHS lesson of the week...LOL. Thanks a lot guys. You are gentlemen and scholars.

    Next post will address Prelector's Install DVD from inside the OS....


     

    Glad you got what you needed to understand the duplication thing Smile

     

    And feel free to hit us with the Upgrade install.  Just FYI, I've never actually done this process, but it's my understanding of how it works for RC1.  Later versions, and the final version, will support BOTH New Server and Reinstall directly from the Bootable DVD menu.

    Friday, June 29, 2007 2:33 PM