RAID problem RRS feed

  • Question


    Okej, my setup is:


    Intel E2160

    4GB RAM (overkill i know)

    5x750GB WD

    2x160GB WD

    GA-G33-DS3R (intel ICH9R)


    now my problem, I can't install WHS on my 2,7 TB RAID-5 drive. It's too large for it to boot.

    Then I installed WHS on a 160GB RAID-1 instead. And it worked fine.


    C: System 20GB

    D: DATA 128,9GB

    The problem is, when i put files in the DATA partition it stays there until WHS balances the drives. I can't put the files directly in my big RAID-5 array. With this comes that my drives have to work all the time and sometimes if I put large amount of data in DATA, it gets full. First i put the files in data then WHS moves them to my RAID-5.


    My drives are going to die soon if it keeps on doing this. All the time when I look at the server, my drives are working.


    I want to eather be able to install WHS directly on my RAID-5 array or move where WHS stores the files by default.

    I've even tried changing the drive letters, so my RAID-5 would become DATA D: But WHS changes back!!!


    Any suggestions?


    Sorry about my poore english, I'm frome sweden...


    Thursday, November 15, 2007 10:44 PM

All replies

  • From what i've read, WHS does not support RAID at all.  Also, the stuff that's happening is because of the drive extender doing it's job and there is no way to change it's behavior...  That i'm aware of at least.  But I have a limited knowledge so you might want to wait until someone else responds.
    Thursday, November 15, 2007 10:51 PM
  • As far as I know Raid will work but is not reccommend. As it defeats the purpose of the drive extender.

    I am familar with your situation as there seems to be a bottleneck with the data always being dumped on the first drive then rebalanced out th the other drives. This slows things down on big file copies, for example the same copy performed on another data drive on the network that might be running in a raid stripe, will copy much faster albeint with no protection(depending if you requested the data to be duplicateed)

    Raid 5 mirrors and stripes so if you enabled duplication on one of your folders with a RAID 5 in the mix of WHS data drives then you would be duplicating the data twice with no way of telling which data is being backed up.

    Friday, November 16, 2007 6:07 AM
  • Ehm. Is it only me that think that Micrsoft is stupid too not support RAID?

    I mean, I what all my files to be safe even if a HDD fails

    If I duplicate all folders then i loose halv of my disk-space. The moste effective whay to do this would be a RAID-5


    Many of the people who by WHS are aware of how stuff works, and are interested in computers. nearly all new motherboards support RAID. Why can't MS do something right? They don't even have to do much, just allow me to determine where my files should be stored!


    I've read that hardware/motherboard RAID works, and I can install WHS on my RAID-1 array.

    But like I said, if I do this then "balancing storage" is slow and it wears out my drives.


    This sucks, I hope someone soon will find out a way to modify the registry or something

    Friday, November 16, 2007 8:20 AM


    Why? Because it has its own implementation through the drive extender, more information can be found here http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/F/C/2FC09C20-587F-4F16-AA33-C6C4C75FB3DD/Windows_Home_Server_Drive_Extender.pdf


    But basically to summarise the article Windows Home Server Drive Extender is one of the major technical innovations in Windows Home Server. It’s the technology that pools all of your internal and external storage, removing the need to worry about the physical location of your storage. No more drive letters! Automatic folder duplication is another great feature delivered through Drive Extender.

    This week, Microsoft published a technical brief for Drive Extender that outlines the technology in detail, covering:

    • Features and Functionality
    • Benefits
    • Comparison to RAID
    • Drive Extender Filter and Migrator Service
    • The Magic of Tombstones
    • Balancing Storage
    • NTFS and Drive Extender
    • Unhealthy and Missing Hard Drives

    It does a great job of explaining some of the dark art of Windows Home Server in a pretty clear way. If you’re interested in understanding how WHS works, it’s a great read.


    So unlike a RAID, it is easier to keep adding hard drives to the system, so in theory you can never run out of  disk space.


    If you check the enable folder duplication (which is be default), the software aspect will always ensure that data is duplicated on alternative drives, so if a drive files, the data can be found.  If you uncheck the directoy, the data within will not be duplicated, e.g. downloads


    I hope this helps




    Friday, November 16, 2007 10:09 AM
  • Jonahan, I think Microsoft is right to not use RAID natively, and to not to allow OEMs to include RAID subsystems in their WHS offerings. Why? Because, while most WHS users today are technically sophisticated users and early adopters, that's only a secondary market. I fully expect that, once the HP MediaSmart Server and similar offerings from other OEMs are really available in the channels, we will quickly be outnumbered by people who are willing to use technology when it "just works" but who aren't technophiles by any stretch. For folks like that RAID is hard to configure and use.

    I note that you have installed WHS on a PC with a RAID 1 (mirroring) array installed. That particular RAID configuration is more wasteful of space than WHS itself is. RAID 1 requires two disks of a particular size to have that amount of disk space available. With WHS, if you have two disks, all that space is available, not half. They can be any two disks; their sizes are simply summed to arrive at the total available space. If you use share duplication, fiels in those shares occupy (file size x 2) space in the storage pool, but there's no requirement that every share be duplicated (you might not want to duplicate a share that contains only music ripped from your CD collection, for example). In addition, other files such as backups are stored in the pool but not duplicated (there's no need because the PC being backed up is the "duplicate").

    As far as I know there's no need to modify the registry to make WHS "support" RAID. The "not supported" status is not because it doesn't work, it's because Microsoft doesn't feel that the average user of WHS will be willing to deal with the hassles of RAID (as stated above).
    Saturday, November 17, 2007 4:45 AM
  • Okej,


    I'm not sure why alot of people here is against RAID.

    I'm not saying that MS should abandon the "pool" idea, but give me as an user, an option to choose if I want to control where my files are stored. It's not hard to let me change the paths for shared folders. Now MS instead forces me to let them choose. Even if I change drive-letters so D: is another disk, WHS changes back.... Come on!!!

    Give me a tab for "advanced" settings or something... what's the problem?


    The registry thing wasn't to make WHS support RAID, but editing the pathes for shared folders and so on...


    And I'm fully aware of that RAID-1 wastes 1 HDD's space, but if you look at my setup, you see that I've got alot of space over, right? And I've choosen to have the OS on a RAID-1 because one of my RAID-controllers only support 2 disks, plus it gives me better performance.


    For me the best thing would be a Win2003 SBS with media sharing and automatic dyn-ip dns update.

    Like a more advanced WHS, I would'nt care if it would cost as much as the Win2003 SBS


    And one other thing, I don't get why WHS can't sync outlook-folders between computers.

    Why not letting WHS fetch my pop mails and then forward them to the computer in my network.

    I mean, not like a "mail-server", WHS should still use my ISP's SMTP and POP-server.

    This way all my mails are safe on the server if my Workstation fails. and also I can see the same inbox and outbox on my laptop and workstation...


    Saturday, November 17, 2007 9:39 PM