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System partition size RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Just so y'all know, extending the system partition works as Microsoft stated. I first excluded the system disk from server storage and waited for the move to complete (took about 20 minutes, but I don't have a lot of data on my server at the moment). At this point, the server dashboard showed the drive as "excluded from server storage".

    Then I logged in using Remote Desktop, opened an elevated command prompt, and started diskpart . In diskpart I ran the following series of commands:

    list volume
    sel volume 2 (note that this may vary, but you want the C: drive volume)
    extend (with no parameters, it uses the entire next extent, which is the rest of the disk in this case)
    exit

    Then I rebooted (after any server reconfiguration, I always reboot). The system drive is now listed under "Hard Drives" and there's an option to add it to server storage, which I'm going to do shortly since I plan to flatten my server tomorrow anyway. Why try adding it? It shouldn't work (Vail should throw an error), and if it does work I expect that it will wreck the server. :)

     


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, May 15, 2010 10:23 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Good. An appropriate error was displayed, rather than wiping the system drive and wrecking my server. Now to rebuild...
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, May 15, 2010 10:49 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Ken,

    I am not ready to wreck my (headless) server yet :-)
    So please keep us posted?

    - Theo.


    No home server like Home Server
    Saturday, May 15, 2010 11:07 PM
    Moderator
  • I'm not doing anything exciting, and I was going to flatten the box this weekend anyway. So why not take a chance? I'm replacing the (tiny. 160 GB) internal drives with 1.5 TB drives, which will be enough to let me move Vail to be my primary day to day server. My MediaSmart server will remain the "production" server, in that it will be where updates will happen first and it will be primary file storage synced to my server nightly. But I'm going to switch all home computers over to Vail clients.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, May 16, 2010 2:18 AM
    Moderator
  • That's good.
    As I'm getting more and more trust in VAIL public preview every day I was planning to do something similar in a few weeks. But before I do that I first need to test server backup and restore. Need to make sure I have this working before making the final switch. So I was very interested in your findings on this matter.
    Also need to address migration of  the connector software on a number of "production" clients (they all run with non English-us language settings :-). Actually I was hoping on a connector software update in the comming weeks. But I have heard nothing on this that makes me thing this is going to happen.

    For what I have seen VAIL is doing beyond my expectations.
    So I am a very happy tester!

    - Theo.


    No home server like Home Server
    Sunday, May 16, 2010 3:20 AM
    Moderator
  • I have a question relating to flattening the server and starting over...

    I am rotating complete system backup disks offsite.  Is it possible to pull files off them without a windows server 2008 R2 machine?

    I made two copies of my important data before installing Vail and I would like to keep those copies updated as we use the Vail server just in case something does go wrong.  I thought it would be nice if I could pull the files from the server backup disks created by Vail.  It would make me feel better knowing that this was possible.

    I also was then planning on putting another drive in my server to use as the primary drive and attempt a full system recovery.  Not sure this feature is ready yet however.

    Thanks,

    Chad 

    Sunday, May 16, 2010 4:30 AM
  • Server backup: Vail uses the server backup built into Windows Server 2008, so backups are taken in .vhd format and are one per drive/share, plus system backups, etc. You should be able to take a backup image and mount it in any Virtual Server (presumably Virtual PC too, though I haven't tried a server backup .vhd there) machine to read a backup.

    Theo, I'm not migrating any data using server backup. Instead I'll be testing the ability to mount a foreign storage pool. To facilitate that I turned on duplication for everything with one internal and one external drive in the storage pool, then just disconnected the external drive. Then I swapped the tiny (160 GB! Can you even buy those any more? :) ) internal drives for nice roomy 1.5 TB drives and reinstalled. In the morning I'll deal with adding clients, importing the data from the previous build's storage pool, etc. I have a 1.5 TB external drive I can use for backups.

    At that point, the first thing I think I'll do is flatten the server again and try a restore from a full server backup. I've done that before, but only in a lab environment. It's always different when you do it for real. :) You can do it from Vail installation media (what I'll do) or there's a way to use the server recovery disk and command line tools to run a restore remotely, supposedly. I have no clue how that works, however, and Microsoft hasn't shared that yet.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, May 16, 2010 5:08 AM
    Moderator
  • I wouldn't recommend following my plan if you value your data. :)

    My steps, on a server with (originally) three drives in the storage pool:

    1. Remove one drive from server storage.
    2. Turn duplication on for everything. Wait for the server to process this.
    3. Shut the server down.
    4. Disconnect one drive (external).
    5. Replace the internal drives.
    6. Reinstall.
    7. Connect the external drive. It appears as "Non-default Server Storage". Good. It's not otherwise accessible. Not so good.
    8. Observe that the second drive in the old build is now "missing" from non-default server storage, as expected. Remove it.
    9. Remove all drives currently in server storage, then promote the non-default server storage to default.
    10. Observe that there are no shares and no way to grant a user access to them.
    11. Try some repair options. At some point, shares like "Videos2" and "Recorded TV2" appear, but there's no way to get at them because they're only visible on the network, not in the dashboard (so you can't actually grant permission to access them). As far as an average end user is concerned, you're done at this point. You can't get to your data off the server, and you shouldn't be using remote desktop to access your data on the server.
    12. Sigh and start reporting bugs...

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, May 16, 2010 2:52 PM
    Moderator
  • Server backup: Vail uses the server backup built into Windows Server 2008, so backups are taken in .vhd format and are one per drive/share, plus system backups, etc. You should be able to take a backup image and mount it in any Virtual Server (presumably Virtual PC too, though I haven't tried a server backup .vhd there) machine to read a backup.

    Yum. Not yet tried this.
    And as I was testing server backups yesterday I though I'd do a quick test. From the VAIL desktop I assigned a drive letter to the backup disk and copied of a .vhd to my Win7 desktop machine through its administrative share (I can see no harm in doing so?).

    Tried to attach the .vhd to a virtual XP mode machine which failed: Vitual IDE adaptor only accepts drives up to 128GB and the vhd's size (containing 2GB data) reported was close to 2T (dynamically expanding  disk?).

    So attached it directly from Win7 using Disk manager. I got a new drive, unreadable (Access denied).
    Added to my task list: check out server backup .vhd's

    - Theo.

     

     

     


    No home server like Home Server
    Sunday, May 16, 2010 7:34 PM
    Moderator
  • I wouldn't recommend following my plan if you value your data. :)

    Thank Ken. I won't, atleast not until you or MS say it 'should work' :-)

    I run VAIL on my headless Mediasmart. The only way I know of (that works) to get VAIL on it is using unattende installaton from a USB-stick. So that somewhat limits my possibilities. I think I might try doing a clean install with one drive. Then add the old storage drives and promote them to default storage. Considering this part failed in your test I might run into problems here also.

    So that case I can try restoring from the server backup disk. I expect this to work somehowe. If not I will need to rebuild based on the robocopy method.

    - Theo.


    No home server like Home Server
    Sunday, May 16, 2010 7:52 PM
    Moderator
  • ...
    I run VAIL on my headless Mediasmart. The only way I know of (that works) to get VAIL on it is using unattende installaton from a USB-stick. So that somewhat limits my possibilities. I think I might try doing a clean install with one drive. Then add the old storage drives and promote them to default storage. Considering this part failed in your test I might run into problems here also.
    ...

    Please document the exact steps required to get Vail to install on a MediaSmart. :) I don't think Microsoft will even admit that it's possible. Not that it's a great idea, of course; your MediaSmart server is pretty underpowered for Vail. And I suspect you could brick it if you do the wrong thing...

    As for promoting server storage: don't waste your time, because it doesn't work right in this build, as far as I can see. I filed several bugs on this this morning. In my opinion, you should be able to get at the files in non-default storage if you want, without the promotion process (which is pretty likely to be what breaks the shares).

    It's fortunate that Vail installs fast; I'm not wasting all afternoon installing Windows Home Server for the 17th time this weekend. :)


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, May 16, 2010 9:20 PM
    Moderator
  • ...
    I run VAIL on my headless Mediasmart. The only way I know of (that works) to get VAIL on it is using unattende installaton from a USB-stick. So that somewhat limits my possibilities. I think I might try doing a clean install with one drive. Then add the old storage drives and promote them to default storage. Considering this part failed in your test I might run into problems here also.
    ...

    Please document the exact steps required to get Vail to install on a MediaSmart. :) I don't think Microsoft will even admit that it's possible. Not that it's a great idea, of course; your MediaSmart server is pretty underpowered for Vail. And I suspect you could brick it if you do the wrong thing...

    As for promoting server storage: don't waste your time, because it doesn't work right in this build, as far as I can see. I filed several bugs on this this morning. In my opinion, you should be able to get at the files in non-default storage if you want, without the promotion process (which is pretty likely to be what breaks the shares).

    It's fortunate that Vail installs fast; I'm not wasting all afternoon installing Windows Home Server for the 17th time this weekend. :)


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Look here for installing Vail on a HP MSS: http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/04/26/how-to-install-windows-home-server-vail-on-the-hp-mediasmart-server/  I followed the instructions to the letter and installed Vail on my upgraded MSS without any issues. My MSS is upgraded with 2GB RAM and an AMD 3800+ dual core CPU.
    Monday, May 17, 2010 12:13 AM
  • Please document the exact steps required to get Vail to install on a MediaSmart. :) I don't think Microsoft will even admit that it's possible. Not that it's a great idea, of course; your MediaSmart server is pretty underpowered for Vail. And I suspect you could brick it if you do the wrong thing...


    (*grin*)  do not have to anymore. As cavediver linked: its allready on the Net :-)

    Actually I new that I could boot my EX47x (with 2GB memory upgrade, the BIOS did not take the CPU upgrade) from USB-stick. Finding the boot menue through googling arrounf for EX's BIOS screen shots helped a lot here :-) I did ones blindly got the server into its "last known good configuration"  after diabled the network while in RDP. Also had MS's tool to move a Win7 .ISO/DVD to it.  I had two spare drives laying arround. And as unattended installation for VAIL was well documented I could not resist thinking I'd give it a try....

    To my big surprise I (or do I say MS?) got it right on the first try.
    Moreover, this fairly underpower thing feels relatively smooth in operation. Network LAN access is as fast as the original HPv1 (at about 300-500Mbits/sec) , RDP is quite responsive, avarage memory usage is < 50% on idle and for normal operation CPU is at less then 50% (idle at 1%), CPU and case temps are well within specs, even with 4 drives. Tried removing drives from the pool, tried client restores. All happend without noticable delays. At least that is my user experience. Must admit I have no comparison.

    Fast?. No, starting the Dashboard takes up to 30 seconds.
    Only drawback is that it a little bit noisier than in it's original configuration. This is because I can not control the 2 cooling fans (running now at 1800 rpm)Also one of the 3 blue led's on the front of the case is flickering quite irritating when the environment ligthing is dimmed. Solved this by putting a small sticker over it :-)

    Don't think I will brick it. I must admit that I was a bit concerned about the build-in flash drive for server restore. It showed up in the VAIL's device manger (oops) so I disabled it to make sure VAIL could not add it to the storage pool.

    Sure is a lot faster and managable then running VAIL in a virtual machine onder VMWare (Quad CPU at 3GHz)
    So for now I am quite happy with it :-)

    - Theo.


    No home server like Home Server
    Monday, May 17, 2010 6:56 PM
    Moderator
  • As for promoting server storage: don't waste your time, because it doesn't work right in this build, as far as I can see. I filed several bugs on this this morning. In my opinion, you should be able to get at the files in non-default storage if you want, without the promotion process (which is pretty likely to be what breaks the shares).

    That good information. Thanks. I willl spend my time on other 'usefullnesses' :/
    Did you by any chance test a clean install + restoreing from the server backup?

    It's fortunate that Vail installs fast; I'm not wasting all afternoon installing Windows Home Server for the 17th time this weekend. :)

    (*LOL*) They should give you another medal for this. Or maybe we should recommend you for an entry in the Guiness Book of Records?
    - Theo.


    No home server like Home Server
    Monday, May 17, 2010 7:11 PM
    Moderator