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What size drive should I use for System? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I have been using WHS since it was in beta over 18 months ago but I have not really kept up with the latest news on WHS.  I plan to rebuild my server in the next few weeks and I am wondering what size to use as my system drive?  I know back in the "old days" before PP1 the general rule was to use the biggest drive for your system drive.

    I will likely have a mix of drives in the new server:  500 GB, 750GB and 1TB.  If history is any indication over time the smaller drive(s) will get replaced with bigger drives.  Therefore should I use the 1 TB as my system drive as I want the server to last for several years and I believe the hardest drive to replace is the system drive, is it not?

    Is there any downside to using such a large system drive?  Does WHS still use the system drive as a landing area and then try to move data to the other drives?

    FYI - my server will also serve as a SageTV server as I will install SageTV for WHS.  I will likely keep a couple of hard drives outside of the storage pool to use as RecordedTV storage for Sage.  Since this PC will be running Sage I am installing more CPU than one would normally do for WHS since it will be doing other tasks like compressing shows, transcoding HD files over the internet and running Comskip (to automatically detect commercials).  Therefore I am using an E8400 as my CPU with 4 GB of RAM.

    I am planning on using an Asus P5Q as my mobo since I wanted 8 SATA ports and a firewire port.  Does anyone have another mobo that they would suggest that has 8 SATA ports?
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 3:34 AM

All replies

  • The 500G drive will be plenty big, even if you resize the C partition.

    The landing zone is no longer an issue, WHS copies to the pool now.

    Keeping drives out of the pool is no longer needed for SageTV, you can even format the pool to 64K clusters (see my tutorial), just  turn off duplication for the recording share.

    I use the Abit AB9-Pro which supports C2D and 9 SATA drives and there's a quad-core version of it.
    The GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P supports quad core and has 8 SATA ports too.

    Hope that helps...



    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 4:01 AM
  • Thanks - I found your tutuorial on the Sage forums.  I am still wondering if I should use the 1TB for my system drive since I envision replacing the smaller drives eventually.  For example my WHS box originally had several 250GB drives and 320GB drives.  I have gotten rid of the 250GB drives completely and I am now down to 1 320GB drive.  I kind of envision using this WHS box for several years and by then I am hoping that 500GB will seem trivially small.  It is very simple to replace drives that are in the pool but not so simple for the system drive, unless something has changed.

    It looks like you have to quickly add the new drives to the pool and then reformat to 64K - how much tiime do you have before it starts using the drive?

    Do you run Comskip?  Will running Comskip change anything regarding having the recorded TV drives in the pool?

    Any idea on whether my E8400 processor will be sufficient for transcoding HD-PVR files?

    Is there anything else I should be considering when building my WHS/SageTV server?  I read your tutorial already.  Any nuances with having to control STBs with firewire and a USB-UIRT?  My server will have at least three tuners - OTA HD, HD-PVR connected to a SA3250HD (or4250HD) using firewire for channel changes and a PVR-150 hooked up to a SA3200 box (for SD digital cable).
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 5:45 PM
  • wayner9 said:

    Thanks - I found your tutuorial on the Sage forums.  I am still wondering if I should use the 1TB for my system drive since I envision replacing the smaller drives eventually.  For example my WHS box originally had several 250GB drives and 320GB drives.  I have gotten rid of the 250GB drives completely and I am now down to 1 320GB drive.  I kind of envision using this WHS box for several years and by then I am hoping that 500GB will seem trivially small.  It is very simple to replace drives that are in the pool but not so simple for the system drive, unless something has changed.

    It looks like you have to quickly add the new drives to the pool and then reformat to 64K - how much tiime do you have before it starts using the drive?

    Do you run Comskip?  Will running Comskip change anything regarding having the recorded TV drives in the pool?

    Any idea on whether my E8400 processor will be sufficient for transcoding HD-PVR files?

    Is there anything else I should be considering when building my WHS/SageTV server?  I read your tutorial already.  Any nuances with having to control STBs with firewire and a USB-UIRT?  My server will have at least three tuners - OTA HD, HD-PVR connected to a SA3250HD (or4250HD) using firewire for channel changes and a PVR-150 hooked up to a SA3200 box (for SD digital cable).


    As I said, I'd use the 500G drive, it really is overkill as long as you have plenty of space in the pool.

    How much time depends on how full your other drives are, I suggest doing it ASAP/immediately, just to be safe.

    I don't use comskip, yet. In fact, I used the stock STV with no plugins at all for many years, I just recently added the IMDB search STVI and one to add "set watched and delete" in the last few weeks.

    I'd guess that CPU would be fine but I'm not doing HD yet.

    I use 2 old analog, PVR-250 and Roslyn, tuners, that didn't even have 2003 specific drivers, and they work fine but I can't speak for other HW, I'd be optimistic. To be honest I haven't even looked at the Hauppauge site for drivers in over a year because they hadn't updated the drivers since 2005. I just let MS update take care of it. My Sage use is fairly light, I'm pretty sure there are people using the HW you mention though.


    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 11:49 PM

  • Seems the trend is to install the OS onto the smallest drive these days.  Perhaps the system drive is more likely to go bad?  I don't know.
    Wednesday, December 17, 2008 1:26 AM
  • Chris H said:


    Seems the trend is to install the OS onto the smallest drive these days.  Perhaps the system drive is more likely to go bad?  I don't know.


    I don't know about the smallest, I'd still go for 320-500G for the system drive and I resize the C partition. The D partition is still needed just not like it was. I wouldn't use a 120-250G drive, although I could.


    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Wednesday, December 17, 2008 2:19 AM

  • I meant to put a smilie in there...:)

    My next change will be to replace my system drive with a 320gb 2.5" 7200rpm one.  My current system drive is 500gb.

    Considering that the system drive is no longer used as a landing zone, and no longer checked for space requirements by vista clients it no longer needs to have that much of a size requirement.  Although, the space checking done by vista clients may only be fixed for a short while given that people are complaining that their drive spaces now reflect the pool size.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2008 5:49 AM
  • Backups are still stored on D (if there's enough space); if you have a lot of clients to BU or if the clients have large/many/full drives you could use more than you'd think. A WHS box backing up 10 clients, even with moderate size drives could easily use more than 500G but most people don't BU 10 clients. YMMV ;)
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Wednesday, December 17, 2008 6:10 AM
  • The original thoughts regarding system drive size were based on WHS at that time. It originally only used the free space remaining on the system drive, when it calculated the space available for file transfer, so a 'larger' system drive was the way to go.
    However, WHS doesn't use that space, either alone in it's calculations, or as a 'landing zone' now, it displays all available free space, including your other drive(s)), to Clients when they check for destination space. As such, the drive size isn't such a deciding factor now.

    Colin




    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Wednesday, December 17, 2008 1:55 PM
    Moderator
  • S_M_E said:

    Backups are still stored on D (if there's enough space);


    Backups have only ever been stored on D: if the server was initially configured and put into service with a single drive, or if at some point every other drive in the server was too full to hold more backup data files. And even in the case of a server which was initially configured with only one drive, prior to Power Pack 1, WHS would move the physical files off the system drive when a second drive was added.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, December 17, 2008 5:58 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken Warren said:

    S_M_E said:

    Backups are still stored on D (if there's enough space);


    Backups have only ever been stored on D: if the server was initially configured and put into service with a single drive, or if at some point every other drive in the server was too full to hold more backup data files. And even in the case of a server which was initially configured with only one drive, prior to Power Pack 1, WHS would move the physical files off the system drive when a second drive was added.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)


    My backups are still in D, it appears, and I have many drives and PP1.

    111G worth of backups in D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}; are those not actually on the D drive? An older thread also suggested that they live in D if there's enough space. *shrug*

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Wednesday, December 17, 2008 9:28 PM
  • I have less than 10% of my backup database (36 GB of 381 GB) physically resident on my D: partition. I wouldn't even have that if I hadn't nearly filled my server up a few months ago.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, December 18, 2008 1:20 AM
    Moderator
  • Mine are 100% on D: and post-PP1 isn't migrating them to other drives nor was it built with a single drive. Now I'm curious about other WHS boxes... *shrug*
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Thursday, December 18, 2008 2:35 AM