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Replace Windows Home Server System Disk RRS feed

  • Question

  • I know this has been asked already but I can't find a definitive answer that applies to my situation.

    I want to replace the system disk in my home server, as its only 80GB in size with a 2TB drive. In total I have 8.5TB of storage in my server and have about 700GB free space.

    Should I:

    a) unplug the system disk and plug in the new drive and do a reinstall thereby rebuilding the tombstones on the new system drive?

    if so what happens to the data stored in the data partition of the old system disk and can it be retrieved?

    b) unplug all secondary drives and then do a clean install, then re-add the secondary drives one at a time and copy their data over to the shared folders, then with the empty drive add that back to the pool?

    c) clone the current system disk with a norton ghost type app or is this not possible?

     

    On a side note why can't you have the system drive as a completely seperate drive, i'm sure there's a good reason for it but I can't see it?

    Sorry for all the questions, I do a lot of wildlife photography/videography and can't afford to loose the data on the homeserver so need to double triple and quadruple check I'm doing it correctly.

    Thanks for your time

    Kindest regards

     

    Chris

    Thursday, July 15, 2010 4:26 PM

All replies

  • Is there an issue with your current system disk? Other than it being relatively small, that is? If not, I honestly don't recommend replacing it. Just add another disk.

    If you want to proceed anyway, start by reading this FAQ; it lays out your data risks in the event of the loss of a drive. For your replacement, either a) or b) will work and is supported to some degree (the "supported" way to recover data in scenario b is to connect disks to another computer and copy over the network to your shares). Option c) will also work, though you'll need additional tools and knowledge to be successful, and it's wholly unsupported.

    As for why you can't exclude the system drive from the storage pool: "Because Microsoft said so." :) In this version of Windows Home Server, it's where the primary DATA partition is, and your shares. All other drives are secondary data drives. There's no supported way to separate the SYS and primary DATA partitions. In Vail (V2) it will be possible, however.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, July 15, 2010 5:43 PM
    Moderator
  • a) There typically should be no data on the system drive, unless you've run into a situation where your storage pool has too much data. The reinstall is probably the best approach. You can easily go into the hidden \DE\ folder and get your data off

    b) The manual process works, if you're paranoid about your data being copied over. But it is certainly slower

    c) Cloning is possible, but dangerous. You have to do some registry hacking and you're liable to put your system into a failing state. Not recommended

     

    WHS is designed for a one-drive scenario to start, as there needs to be a place to hold that data. :)
    Many OEM WHS start with just one-drive.

    Thursday, July 15, 2010 9:01 PM
  • Many thanks for the responses.

    When I built the homeserver originally I started with an old "shudders" 80GB SATA 1 Maxtor drive I had lying around. Its now making a great deal of noise when reading and writing and I would like to replace it while its still operable just in case, and the price of a 1.5 or 2TB drive now is very cheap so I thought I might as well take the plunge.

    Once again thanks for the clarifications.

    Kindest regards

    Chris

     

    Friday, July 16, 2010 7:39 AM
  • say all you have to do is reinstall whs on the main drive and let the system work out the parts and then copy over the the data folders from the data parition. then reboot using partition magic resize the sys part. to what u want then parition the data partion format the data part. then reboot then copy all the data folder back to the data partition. i have no-problem doing that and it. and the shared folders work just like it did on the new install. *******note be sure you dont format your TB drive or transfer the infor to some were save just in case it doesnt work for you.im using a acer 1501 case daul quad process and 12 g of ram so i dont know how long it will take you me it takes about two hours to transfer10 TBs so go at your own speed..P>S. have you tryed the 64bit home server yet?
    Friday, July 16, 2010 9:56 AM
  • say all you have to do is reinstall whs on the main drive and let the system work out the parts and then copy over the the data folders from the data parition. then reboot using partition magic resize the sys part. to what u want then parition the data partion format the data part. then reboot then copy all the data folder back to the data partition. i have no-problem doing that and it. and the shared folders work just like it did on the new install. *******note be sure you dont format your TB drive or transfer the infor to some were save just in case it doesnt work for you.im using a acer 1501 case daul quad process and 12 g of ram so i dont know how long it will take you me it takes about two hours to transfer10 TBs so go at your own speed..P>S. have you tryed the 64bit home server yet?

    I haven't tried the Vail beta yet is it worth doing?

    Friday, July 16, 2010 10:00 AM
  • Vail is in beta; using it in production isn't supported or recommended at this time.

    I would skip crazykevo's advice; resizing partitions on your system drive as he suggests is known to cause issues, and his math is suspect (10 TB in 2 hours is nearly 1.5 GB/second, an unlikely value given the bus speed for a SATA II disk is 3 Gb/s = 300 MB/s).


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, July 16, 2010 12:39 PM
    Moderator