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Identifying Physical Discs? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I thought I had it covered when I put a piece of white electrical tape on each drive and wrote the model number and drive serial number along with "Disc (n)" on the tape.

    But, of course, Server Storage and Disc Management only show model numbers (??  *&*&^$##!!!!).

    In my installation, at least, Serial Number is not always shown in Disc Management's "Details" - comes up as "Unknown" for some drives; and, unless I'm missing something, Server Storage doesn't show much of anything.

    Now, I've just discovered "GUID" in Disc Management's "Details" option.  "GUID" seems tb populated for all drives.

    The Question:  When I unwrap a brand-new drive, before I put into service, is there some way for me to determine it's "GUID"?

    I guess adding it to the drive pool and then doing a Disk Management  | Details would do the job after-the-fact... but then I'd have to get shut down the box and go in there and do the write-on-the-electrical-tape thing for each drive.

    End Game in all this comes on the day that WHS tells me a drive is failing or has failed and I need to determine which hunk of iron to remove/replace.
    Wednesday, September 9, 2009 4:52 PM

All replies

  • On a server that you get from an OEM (say HP or Acer) the manufacturer will have supplied a way to identify each disk physically in your server. Usually that's drive lights that change color. That's achieved through hardware and a device driver that the server uses to control the lights.

    On a self-built server, you don't have the same hardware available to you, so it's more difficult. If there isn't enough information available, you might find it difficult to identify your disks. The Disk Management add-in helps, but isn't a panacea in this case, as not all disk controllers, drivers, etc. pass through all the information you would like to have. For the Disk Management add-in, you can use the wireframe to identify disks as you add them to the server. Normally a disk won't "magically" switch from one location to another.

    However, as it happens it's really perfectly safe to just disconnect a disk and start your server. If it's not the disk you want to remove, shut down, reconnect it, and try a different disk.

    Oh, by the way,  please don't use the Disk Management MMC snap-in to actually manage your disks; it's not aware of how Windows Home Server uses drives and can reallly screw your server up if used incorrectly (i.e. significant chance of data loss). Use the Disk Management add-in instead.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, September 9, 2009 5:40 PM
    Moderator
  • However, as it happens it's really perfectly safe to just disconnect a disk and start your server. If it's not the disk you want to remove, shut down, reconnect it, and try a different disk,
    That's what I'm currently reduced to.

    Frustrating bc it's seemingly an easy fix:  they're building the list of discs from metadata on the disc - so they could just as easily use something unique instead of the model number.   Disk Management returns GUID in it's details dialog. 

    At least they should follow Disk Management's convention and list BIOS' "Disk 0" "Disk 1"... and so -forth.

    I'm guessing WHS's UI design team knows about such an oversight.  

    If not, somebody tell me how to file a problem report and I'll be glad to take my little rant there.



    Sunday, September 13, 2009 12:07 AM
  • You can file your bug report on Connect .

    However, tying a particular physical drive to a drive in the console is not as easy as you seem to think. The manufacturers of OEM units can do so reliably, because of the design (hardware, firmware, and Bios all play into this) of their servers. This design is a requirement in order to be a Windows HOme Server OEM. But there is no reliable general case that will allow Microsoft to even tie a drive in the console to a port on the motherboard with 100% accuracy. So when you file your bug, don't be surprised if it's closed as "By Design (won't fix)".

    Your best bet if you build your own server is generally to install the Disk Management add-in (and by the way, please stop using the Disk Management MMC snap-in before you screw your server up; this is something you've been warned about before) and build the wireframe as you build your server. The Disk Management add-in can, if properly configured, identify the disks in your server for you.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, September 13, 2009 1:13 AM
    Moderator
  • You can file your bug report on Connect .

    However, tying a particular physical drive to a drive in the console is not as easy as you seem to think. The manufacturers of OEM units can do so reliably, because of the design (hardware, firmware, and Bios all play into this) of their servers. This design is a requirement in order to be a Windows HOme Server OEM. But there is no reliable general case that will allow Microsoft to even tie a drive in the console to a port on the motherboard with 100% accuracy. So when you file your bug, don't be surprised if it's closed as "By Design (won't fix)".

    Your best bet if you build your own server is generally to install the Disk Management add-in (and by the way, please stop using the Disk Management MMC snap-in before you screw your server up; this is something you've been warned about before) and build the wireframe as you build your server. The Disk Management add-in can, if properly configured, identify the disks in your server for you.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    What indicates use of the snap-in?

    I did not know there were 2 things called Disk Management and thought I was using the add-in.  Whatever I am using, it does support wireframes bc I just tried importing a couple.  Whatever I am using came from Tentacle Software .

    I get the part about DM's providing a visual representation of which disc is which, but also understood in a prior post that DM is not tb used to add/remove discs - but maybe DMs wireframe will identify a removed disc.  If so, that seems to solve half the problem - the other half being the desire to choose a physical disc and then relate it to the list so it can be singled out for removal.

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 2:08 AM
  • What indicates use of the snap-in?

    The problem is that the snap-in by MS and the add-in by Sam Wood are both called "Disk Management".  Ken probably assumed you meant the MS snap-in because you referred to "Disk 0" and "Disk 1".  However, both of those tools use those names (which obviously adds to the confusion  :)  ).  The snap-in is only viewable from the server desktop (which is unsupported).  The add-in is viewable only from the Console.  (Maybe Sam should rename his tool.  :)  )

    I did not know there were 2 things called Disk Management and thought I was using the add-in.  Whatever I am using, it does support wireframes bc I just tried importing a couple.  Whatever I am using came from Tentacle Software .

    That is the add-in written by Sam Wood.  You're ok.  :)

    I get the part about DM's providing a visual representation of which disc is which, but also understood in a prior post that DM is not tb used to add/remove discs - but maybe DMs wireframe will identify a removed disc.

    I was the one that said that.  Although his add/remove function is probably ok to use, I still see no reason to use the add/remove function through Sam's add-in since MS already provides a way to do the exact same function (and if you have any problems during a drive removal, you might get some assistance from MS if you use their process; they won't help if you use the add-in).

    Anyway, what I did on mine was I edited the disk name (through his add-in) to include the serial number of the drive, as well as the mount point assigned to it by WHS.  I believe that all of that info (plus the fact that each of my hard drives are different sizes) will be enough for me to determine which drive to remove (should the need ever arise).

    If so, that seems to solve half the problem - the other half being the desire to choose a physical disc and then relate it to the list so it can be singled out for removal.


    Sunday, September 13, 2009 5:59 PM
    Moderator