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Anybody safely remove drives from pool? RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    I think I want to avoid data corruption by removing my second hard drive from the "pool".  My first disk is a 1 TB WD GP and the second is a Seagate 250 GB.  Is it safe to use the WHS interface and choose "Remove" on the second drive?  Would the very act of removing the second drive send the Drive Extender into a frenzy likely to corrupt the existing data as files are consolidated onto the 1 TB drive?

     

    Has anyone here tried this yet?

     

    Thanks.

    Saturday, March 15, 2008 8:55 PM

Answers

  • I have multiple times.  It can take awhile depending on how much data needs to be moved.

     

    If you are moving from 2 hard drives to 1 hard drive, you want to make sure that you have enough disk space to store your 'PC backups' and your 'shared folders'.  These are the steps I have taken when I wanted to do this:

    1. Open the Console and go to the Server Storage tab, look at the pie chart and calculate the space of your PC Backups and 'Shared Folders'
    2. Look at the size of the first hard drive (the one with the WIndows Flag in its icon) and after subtracting 20 GB for the operating system partition - will you have enough space?
    3. Go to the Shared Folders tab and turn off Folder Duplication for all of your Shared Folders
    4. Go back to the Server Storage tab, highlight the 2nd hard drive and click the 'Remove' button

     

    You can make it go faster if you choose to delete your Home Computer Backup database prior to removing the hard drive.  This option all depends on how long you have installed your home server and whether you consider any of those backups to be 'important'.  If you want to delete the Home Computer Backup database - Open the Console - go to Settings - Backup and click the 'Delete' button at the bottom.  The 'Delete' option was added to the Backup - Settings with the November, 2007 Windows Update.   In Power Pack 1 (not shipped yet) - the 'Delete' button will be replaced with a more friendly 'Repair ...' button.

     

     

    Saturday, March 15, 2008 9:14 PM
  • I have successfully removed multiple drives from the same WHS, and never have lost the backup database. The removal does take some time, due to the amount of data needing to be moved, but I have never had any issues with removal of hard drives.

    Sunday, March 16, 2008 7:49 AM
    Moderator
  • I can confirm that I've also safely removed a drive, and the backup database and all files are maintained correctly.

     

    I did have an issue with the Beta version where when I removed a drive, all the data that was duplicated was OK, but all the non-duplicated files that were on the removed drive were lost. (And to boot WHS removed them from the drive I was taking out of the system, but didn't copy them anywhere!!)

     

    Sunday, March 16, 2008 9:34 AM
  • I have moved 4 drives in and out of WHS as a result of starting out playing with WHS with some small drives and having only 2 sata ports.

    I have upgraded and removed drives 4 times. This includes pulling them out of the storage pool where my data is now stored.

    On my system it took 1-3 hours to remove a drive from the storage pool.  No problems.

     I only have backups and a small subset of duplicated data that I want remote access to on the WHS storage pool now.


    Sunday, March 16, 2008 11:39 AM

All replies

  • I have multiple times.  It can take awhile depending on how much data needs to be moved.

     

    If you are moving from 2 hard drives to 1 hard drive, you want to make sure that you have enough disk space to store your 'PC backups' and your 'shared folders'.  These are the steps I have taken when I wanted to do this:

    1. Open the Console and go to the Server Storage tab, look at the pie chart and calculate the space of your PC Backups and 'Shared Folders'
    2. Look at the size of the first hard drive (the one with the WIndows Flag in its icon) and after subtracting 20 GB for the operating system partition - will you have enough space?
    3. Go to the Shared Folders tab and turn off Folder Duplication for all of your Shared Folders
    4. Go back to the Server Storage tab, highlight the 2nd hard drive and click the 'Remove' button

     

    You can make it go faster if you choose to delete your Home Computer Backup database prior to removing the hard drive.  This option all depends on how long you have installed your home server and whether you consider any of those backups to be 'important'.  If you want to delete the Home Computer Backup database - Open the Console - go to Settings - Backup and click the 'Delete' button at the bottom.  The 'Delete' option was added to the Backup - Settings with the November, 2007 Windows Update.   In Power Pack 1 (not shipped yet) - the 'Delete' button will be replaced with a more friendly 'Repair ...' button.

     

     

    Saturday, March 15, 2008 9:14 PM
  • Todd, have you actually ever successfully removed a drive and maintained the backup database? 

     

    Every time I've had to remove a drive the wizard has claimed that I won't lose any files or backups.  But after the process is finished I've always found an entry (ID 281) in the event log stating that WHS needed to wipe the backup database because a file was permanantly removed. 

     

    If you're concerned about your backups at all I would recommend shutting down the backup service and making a full copy of the backup folder prior to removing any drives. 

     

     

    Sunday, March 16, 2008 6:02 AM
  • I have successfully removed multiple drives from the same WHS, and never have lost the backup database. The removal does take some time, due to the amount of data needing to be moved, but I have never had any issues with removal of hard drives.

    Sunday, March 16, 2008 7:49 AM
    Moderator
  • I can confirm that I've also safely removed a drive, and the backup database and all files are maintained correctly.

     

    I did have an issue with the Beta version where when I removed a drive, all the data that was duplicated was OK, but all the non-duplicated files that were on the removed drive were lost. (And to boot WHS removed them from the drive I was taking out of the system, but didn't copy them anywhere!!)

     

    Sunday, March 16, 2008 9:34 AM
  • I have moved 4 drives in and out of WHS as a result of starting out playing with WHS with some small drives and having only 2 sata ports.

    I have upgraded and removed drives 4 times. This includes pulling them out of the storage pool where my data is now stored.

    On my system it took 1-3 hours to remove a drive from the storage pool.  No problems.

     I only have backups and a small subset of duplicated data that I want remote access to on the WHS storage pool now.


    Sunday, March 16, 2008 11:39 AM
  • Fair enough.  Since I know from personal experience that data can be lost on drive removal, the next question I would ask is: Have any of these successful drive removals followed a drive failure or glitch?

     

      In both instances that I have lost the backup database after drive removal I was removing the drive because there had been a failure - the first drive (USB) had a failing power supply.  The second drive was SATA in an ESATA enclosure that kept getting lost by the OS.  In both cases prior to drive removal I was seeing OS level failure notices such as delayed write errors. 

     

    Maybe I just have rotten luck. Smile

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008 4:50 AM
  • I've had about a dozend cases where the cable to my two external Firewire drives got unplugged. In all cases but one 2-3 reboots got things back to normal. In one case WHS declared the Backup Database to be corrupt and didn't even give me a chance to reconnect the external drives. After reboot, the backups were gone. At this point, I did not try to remove the drives.

     

    Meanwhile I have removed both external drives without any data loss. The backup DB was also migrated successfully to one of the internal drives.

     

    So it is also my experience that external drives are risky, because apparently the backup subsystem (unlike the duplicate folder subsystem) can't handle temporary drive failures reliably.

     

    Regards, Martin

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008 10:05 AM
  • Thanks for your reply Martin.  If I read your thread correctly about the issues you've had with the two external firewire drives your experience isn't exactly what I'm asking about.  I can unplug active drives and most of the time they will recover. 

    What I'm trying to find out is whether others have experienced any data loss after removing a drive via the Windows Home Server Console.  And so far the consensus is "no".  The main difference between what I've experienced and the responses I've read through is that in both cases I am removing a drive that has experienced some measurable issue (isn't 100% reliable). 
    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 3:19 AM
  •  

    ok I have been haivng the issue of not being able to remove hdds from whs for a while.(clicking remove puts me in a retry loop stating whs could not copy files despite being plenty of space)  If I understand your steps correctly, I have to turn off duplication before I am able to remove the discs?
    Saturday, March 22, 2008 3:03 AM