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Can I use an internal HDD to back up my server? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I used the WHS 2011 when it was in beta form.  I had 1 2TB HDD for the server and 1 1.5TB HDD to back up the server.  Both HDDs were internal and I didn't have a problem.  But now that I have the complete (paid) version, anytime I try to identify the 1.5TB as the back up HDD, I get an error that the server cannot find an suitable HDD.

    I've read some of the internet information and it seems like WHS will only back up the server to an external HDD.  Is this correct?  Or can I use an internal HDD to back up the server?

    Any input is greatly appreciated.

     

    Sunday, August 21, 2011 3:08 AM

Answers

  • Thank you, all, for helping me out with this situation.  Good news: I am now using my internal drive as my backup.

    So here's the skinny on what happened:

    Where I went wrong:

    When I added the HDD to my server (and started it up) the server recognized the HDD as a new disk and asked me to format it.  I agreed, and followed the prompts.  This created the 100mb partition (which is kinda invisible) and the "regular" partition.  This 100mb partition must provide some basic information to the server because from that point forward, the server would not identify the disk as an option for the backup. NEXT TIME: Cancel the alerts and don't format the disk like the server wants.

    Why my first solution didn't work:

    So when I pulled the HDD out and attached it to another computer to format it, the 100mb partition remained.  A simple format will not erase it.  I noticed this, but I was hoping the swapping between computers (and the reformat) would be enough. Obviously, it wasn't.

    Solution:

    You have to use the command prompt and "diskpart". THIS WEBSITE has a very basic overview of diskpart; it was enough that I was able to complete the process. I'm running out of time, or I would give a more detailed description of how it works, but suffice it to say Diskpart removed the 100mb partition.

    With the HDD completely wiped, I fired up the server and it prompted me to add the disk.  THIS time, I canceled out of the prompt and then set up the server backup.  I had to check the box to recognize all available disks, and it was there!  There rest was easy-peasy.

    If I get a chance, I will edit the post and give more detail on how to use diskpart, but I wanted people to have the answer for future searches.

    Thanks!

    • Marked as answer by btdog Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:30 AM
    Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:30 AM

All replies

  • External drives for server backup are the recommended option so that you can easily rotate off-site to allow for unexpected problems (fire, flood etc.). Having said that, I use an internal drive (in an internal SATA dock) for my backups, so yes it can be done. Have you allocated the drive you are trying to use as a Server backup to server storage?
    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    • Marked as answer by Ken Warren Tuesday, August 23, 2011 12:59 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by btdog Wednesday, August 24, 2011 3:24 AM
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 4:03 AM
  • Thank you, Phil, for your response.  I understand the reasoning behind using an external drive for backup, but I have nothing that important that needs to be stored offsite.

    I'm not sure what I did wrong when I installed the backup HDD, but I am going to remove the HDD, reformat it, and then reinstall it in the WHS and try again.  The problem is when I tried to reformat within the server it didn't do any good.  I think reformatting on a different computer might make a difference.

    When I get a chance to do it, I will update the forum.

    Thanks!

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 3:31 AM
  • Ok.  I removed the drive, reformatted on a separate computer and reinstalled.  Unfortunately, the server was able to identify the HDD (I think because it has the 100MB EFI partition).  So, I'm still not able to use the internal drive as my backup.  Perhaps, removing the 100MB partition would help, but I don't know how to get rid of it.

    Well, my searches for using the internal HDD are turning up quite a bit of junk.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 12:47 PM
  • What happens if you clear all partitions (not formatted) and then add it to your Server? From what I recall, if it's formatted it is automatically given a drive letter and consequently is part of Server storage.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 1:12 PM
  • Like Phil I am using an internal SATA in a swapable tray (AHCI mode) that I can swap the drives in and out.  Internal is definatly supported.

    Formating with efi and inserting into a bios box is not though :)

    Just delete all your partitions, foremat the drive ntfs and run the wizard again.  You may need to tick the box that says show all available drives.


    Grey
    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 2:27 PM
  • Thank you, all, for helping me out with this situation.  Good news: I am now using my internal drive as my backup.

    So here's the skinny on what happened:

    Where I went wrong:

    When I added the HDD to my server (and started it up) the server recognized the HDD as a new disk and asked me to format it.  I agreed, and followed the prompts.  This created the 100mb partition (which is kinda invisible) and the "regular" partition.  This 100mb partition must provide some basic information to the server because from that point forward, the server would not identify the disk as an option for the backup. NEXT TIME: Cancel the alerts and don't format the disk like the server wants.

    Why my first solution didn't work:

    So when I pulled the HDD out and attached it to another computer to format it, the 100mb partition remained.  A simple format will not erase it.  I noticed this, but I was hoping the swapping between computers (and the reformat) would be enough. Obviously, it wasn't.

    Solution:

    You have to use the command prompt and "diskpart". THIS WEBSITE has a very basic overview of diskpart; it was enough that I was able to complete the process. I'm running out of time, or I would give a more detailed description of how it works, but suffice it to say Diskpart removed the 100mb partition.

    With the HDD completely wiped, I fired up the server and it prompted me to add the disk.  THIS time, I canceled out of the prompt and then set up the server backup.  I had to check the box to recognize all available disks, and it was there!  There rest was easy-peasy.

    If I get a chance, I will edit the post and give more detail on how to use diskpart, but I wanted people to have the answer for future searches.

    Thanks!

    • Marked as answer by btdog Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:30 AM
    Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:30 AM
  • Sound to me that this was not a new hard drive, but one you had removed from a system and once upon a time it was a system drive.  The lil 100mb partion only gets created for system drives during install. 

    I did not realize that partition would prevent windows from using it as a backup destination.  Will have to play with that.  Good find if so :)

    FWIW, you can remote to the server desktop and use the storage manager GUI to delete these partitions and not have to use the comandline DISKPART

    No clue how much "stuff" you have, but I tend to prefer the same size or bigger backup drive than the system/data drive.  The really neat thing is 2tb drives just get cheaper every day lol


    Grey
    Thursday, August 25, 2011 1:07 PM
  • I have to agree with Mr Grey, I reused an old system drive that also had the 100Mb partition but I went into drive manager and removed the partitions and reformatted it. When I went and assigned the drive for the system backup it reformatted it again.

    Then I added four 2Tb drives (one at a time) and formated them normally thru windows detected new hardware, none of which received the 100mb partition.

    Sunday, August 28, 2011 9:29 PM
  • >FWIW, you can remote to the server desktop and use the storage manager GUI to delete these partitions and not have to use the comandline DISKPART<

    Can you elaborate on how to login to the server's desktop remotely?  I can only get to the dashboard from my client computer, and cannot find the storage manager GUI?

    Any advice would be appreciated as I am new to WHS!

    Monday, September 19, 2011 6:20 PM
  • on your XP client clcik start>run, on newer click start/windows, then type  mstsc  and press enter.  there you type servername, click ok.  user administrator/password.

    read the warning you should not be doing this.

    at the server desktop click start, type diskmgmt.msc press enter


    Grey
    Monday, September 19, 2011 6:34 PM