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Replacing system drive RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    I've read the other posts and they are helpful, but I am still a bit worried about the process.

     

    In my current configuration I have 1 x 300gb IDE as my primary and 1 x 500gb IDE as a 2nd drive, the other 2 drives are 500gb SATAs.

     

    I want to replace the 2 IDE drives with 1TB SATA drives.

     

    I am worried about data loss as practically all of my data is personal photos and videos of my children and family. I dont have room to turn on duplication for the entire system.

     

    Should I add 1 of the new drives to the pool and then turn on duplication and then replace the sytem drive?

     

    How will I know when duplication is done? 

     

    Would I just be doing a WHS re-install?

     

    TIA

     

    P.S. Yes, I have a project in the works to back it all up to optical disks, but am weighing my options there.

    Thursday, August 21, 2008 11:14 PM

Answers

  • In general yes. The only time that might not happen, is if you started out with one drive, nearly filled it, then added further drives.

    I doubt very much if you will see any noticeable difference by changing the system drive, the other processes and operations cumulatively act as a moderating influence, the only time you might see and speed-up, would be during the boot phase.

    I would just add the extra drives to the storage pool if you have the space/connectors, or alternatively keep one as the backup drive for your Shared Folders.

     

    Colin

     

    Friday, August 22, 2008 2:18 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  •  Cmm1777 wrote:

     

    I've read the other posts and they are helpful, but I am still a bit worried about the process.

     

    In my current configuration I have 1 x 300gb IDE as my primary and 1 x 500gb IDE as a 2nd drive, the other 2 drives are 500gb SATAs.

     

    I want to replace the 2 IDE drives with 1TB SATA drives.

     

    I am worried about data loss as practically all of my data is personal photos and videos of my children and family. I dont have room to turn on duplication for the entire system.

     

    Should I add 1 of the new drives to the pool and then turn on duplication and then replace the sytem drive?

     

    How will I know when duplication is done? 

     

    Would I just be doing a WHS re-install?

     

    TIA

     

    P.S. Yes, I have a project in the works to back it all up to optical disks, but am weighing my options there.



    Regardless if you're worried about data loss or not you should back up photos & videos onto a secondary hard drive (i.e. external USB) prior to attempting this.
    Thursday, August 21, 2008 11:46 PM
  • First, why do you wnat to remove your current 500 GB IDE drives? There's no need as long as there's room in your case. Just add the new drives to the storage pool.

    When you replace the system drive, you remove the old drive, put the new drive in, make certain that the new drive will be the very first drive presented ty the BIOS in setup, and boot off the WHS setup DVD. Near the end of setup, you are asked what kind of installation you want to do. You should have the option of a server reinstallation; choose that and proceed. If the only option you get is a new installation, then either Windows Home Server setup isn't seeing all your drives, or the drive you wnat to use as your new system drive isn't being presented as the first available drive.
    Friday, August 22, 2008 12:24 AM
    Moderator
  •  

    To answer your question, the 300 I have as my primary is very slow, so I plan to take it and the 500 IDE out and put them in an external enclosure.

     

    My primary disk uses 20gb for system, 280 for Storage. What happens to that 280 GB of data on storage when I pull the drive?

    Friday, August 22, 2008 12:40 AM
  • I doubt you're seeing any significant performance impact from the drive being slow. The system drive is used for storage of tombstones, until you run out of space on your other drives. Only then do files get forced onto the system drive.

    To answer your question, though, any files that WHS has been forced to store on your system drive will be lost unless you have duplication turned on for everything. Also, if server storage is full there's a chance that there are components of the backup database on the system drive. If that's the case, you'll lose your backup database. If you're determined to replace your system drive, you would be best off backing up your server's shares to an external USB drive first.
    Friday, August 22, 2008 2:02 AM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    I doubt you're seeing any significant performance impact from the drive being slow. The system drive is used for storage of tombstones, until you run out of space on your other drives. Only then do files get forced onto the system drive.

    To answer your question, though, any files that WHS has been forced to store on your system drive will be lost unless you have duplication turned on for everything. Also, if server storage is full there's a chance that there are components of the backup database on the system drive. If that's the case, you'll lose your backup database. If you're determined to replace your system drive, you would be best off backing up your server's shares to an external USB drive first.


    I know this is off topic, but speaking of the system drive.  Is there any benefit for it being much larger than than the C: partition anymore?  Pre PP1 it was advised to make the system drive big enough to handle what ever data you copied to to the server because the data would go to the system drive and then off load to the other drives.

    Now we have the bug where if your other drives fill up WHS will start using your system drive even if you add additional storage.  Only when the system drive hits ~90% will it start offloading data (correct me if I'm wrong on that %#).
    Friday, August 22, 2008 4:23 AM
  •  Lliam wrote:
     Ken Warren wrote:
    I doubt you're seeing any significant performance impact from the drive being slow. The system drive is used for storage of tombstones, until you run out of space on your other drives. Only then do files get forced onto the system drive.

    To answer your question, though, any files that WHS has been forced to store on your system drive will be lost unless you have duplication turned on for everything. Also, if server storage is full there's a chance that there are components of the backup database on the system drive. If that's the case, you'll lose your backup database. If you're determined to replace your system drive, you would be best off backing up your server's shares to an external USB drive first.



    I know this is off topic, but speaking of the system drive.  Is there any benefit for it being much larger than than the C: partition anymore?  Pre PP1 it was advised to make the system drive big enough to handle what ever data you copied to to the server because the data would go to the system drive and then off load to the other drives.

    Now we have the bug where if your other drives fill up WHS will start using your system drive even if you add additional storage.  Only when the system drive hits ~90% will it start offloading data (correct me if I'm wrong on that %#).

     

    You bring up another question I had. If that limitation for copying of files doesnt exist anymore, would it be OK to use a 40gb raptor (10k rpm) as the primary, knowing 20gb of it will go to the system partition and only leaving 20gb to be used as initial storage?

     

    I could then add the 2 1TBs as storage pool.

     

    Sidenote: Another reason I want to remove the IDE's is that my motherboard somehow shares channels of IDE with SATA. If I use IDE I lose 2 of my 6 sata channels.

     

     

    Friday, August 22, 2008 9:48 AM
  • First, you can't use a drive that's less than about 73 GB in size as your system drive. Windows Home Server will not select it as system drive if there are other drives in the system, and will refuse to install if it's the only drive. So you can't use a drive in the range of 20-40 GB.

    Regarding system drive size, your system drive should still be a drive of 250-500 GB, because free space on the drive will still limit you in various ways. Client PCs will still see the free space on the system drive as the total space available, and Vista will still refuse to copy more than that amount of data in a single shot.
    Friday, August 22, 2008 11:46 AM
    Moderator
  • Gotcha, Thanks.

     

    I am sorry, but I am sometimes very dense.

     

    Lets say I use a 500gb drive for the system drive. 20 of that goes to the system partition. The other 480 is initial storage (landing zone, whatever). That 480 will not be used until the rest of the storage is used up, so theoretically if I have enough storage elswhere, that drive will remain empty except for the tombstones? Which is a bad name by the way, makes me think that it marks the spots where my files died.

    Friday, August 22, 2008 12:19 PM
  • In general yes. The only time that might not happen, is if you started out with one drive, nearly filled it, then added further drives.

    I doubt very much if you will see any noticeable difference by changing the system drive, the other processes and operations cumulatively act as a moderating influence, the only time you might see and speed-up, would be during the boot phase.

    I would just add the extra drives to the storage pool if you have the space/connectors, or alternatively keep one as the backup drive for your Shared Folders.

     

    Colin

     

    Friday, August 22, 2008 2:18 PM
    Moderator
  • Finished removing both the Samsung 300 GB EIDE drive and the WD 500 GB EIDE drive from my system last night. I performed a new installation and started fresh, patched everything through Windows Update and the system is very stable and fast.

     

    I have seen a drastic increase in system responsiveness and in copy operations. As I said in another post, when I moved about 495GB off of the IDE drive and on to a 500GB SATA drive the operation took from Friday Night until Monday mid-day to finish. When I copied 141GB from the 300GB IDE drive to a 1TB WD Caviar Black SATA drive it took 4 hours.

     

    After I removed both the IDE drives from my machine, I copied 495GB of data from SATA to SATA and it took about one and half hours.

     

    I feel vindicated in my efforts and am very pleased with the current performance of my WHS.

     

    When giving advice in the future, please understand that what is true for one system is not always true for all systems. Logic dictates that if I am using SATA II drives the system is going to be markedly faster than if I am using EIDE drives when we are talking about disk access.

     

    Regardless, thanks for your advice and help.

     

    Current Specs:

     

    C2D E6600 2.4GHZ

    2GB DDR2

    Gigabyte GA-G31MX-S2 (Onboard Video/Audio/GB NIC)

    2 x 1TB WD Caviar Black SATA II

    2 x 500 GB WD SATA II

    Antec Sonata III case

    Antec 600W PSU

     

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 12:27 PM