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Evaluating Home Server RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just went ahead and ordered components to build a windows home server.  Initially, I am going to use 2 80 gig hard drives to kick the tires and then when ready go ahead and purchase 3 terabyte drives for the system.  Am I going to have any issues swapping out the 80 gig hard drives, or should I simply reinstall home server when I purchase the terabyte drives. 
    Saturday, January 3, 2009 4:12 AM

Answers

  • I don't think there is any special guideline which goes over the statement "perform a server reinstall" and remove the failed harddisk via console.
    And a server reinstall is only necessary, if the primary disk or the server OS fails.
    If a single data volume fails, client backups may be lost as well, also files in folders, which are not duplicated folders or have been added to the share less than one hour before the disaster. Removing the broken disk via console takes care of the tombstones and duplicated folders in this case, while client backups can be redone.
    Finally you can still attach each disk to another PC and take a look into the hidden folder DE on the DATA partitions. In the subfolder shares you may find parts or all of your shared files and folders or duplicated folders.
    Since not each disaster is limited to a single disk or even computer (i.e. heavy overvoltage, fire, theft), it's a good idea to use the console function to backup shared data to an external disk regulary and keep these disks offsite or at least in another room or find other ways to backup the important files.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by cpucandy Saturday, January 3, 2009 10:07 PM
    Saturday, January 3, 2009 7:04 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • You can't replace the system drive without a server reinstall.
    I recommend you test WHS on your existing hardware and then use new parts to build your WHS and install again to get a clean system.

    Regards
    Martin

    LightsOut - Power Management for Windows Home Server http://www.home-server-blog.de/add-ins/lightsout/#en
    Saturday, January 3, 2009 11:39 AM
    Moderator
  • If you also use one of the 80 GB disks as system disk and wish to change this against a larger one, you will have to perform a reinstall anyway. The same goes, if you start with the trial version of WHS. If you keep the 80 GB disk as primary drive and add the TB drives to the storage pool, and if the installation has already be done with the non trial version, this should work.
    So a clean install or server reinstall after finishing the test period is the most recommended method in the most scenarios.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Saturday, January 3, 2009 11:42 AM
    Moderator
  • Olaf, Martin, thanks for the advice.  I know it's a little too late to ask, but here is what I purchased for the Server:

    Asus M3A78 AMD 770 Socket AM2+ Motherboard
    AMD Phenom 9500 Processor HD9500WCGDBOX - 2.20GHz, 4 x 512KB Cache, 1800MHz (3600 MT/s) FSB, Agena, Quad-Core, Retail, Socket AM2+, Processor with Fan
    Thermaltake TR2 430W Silent Power Supply Black
    Thermaltake VA3000BNA Tsunami Alum Black Case
    Kingwin 3.5" SATA 4-Bay Internal Hot Swap Rack
    Corsair PRO 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz (2x2048)

    Couple more questions:

    1.  Does everything seem ok concerning what I purchased?
    2.  Just to make sure I understand the Drive Extender technology, I just put the drives into the system and WHS will do all of the configuration.  No need to plan for partitioning of the drives, etc...?
    3.  Has anyone ever used Amanda (http://wiki.zmanda.com/index.php/Main_Page).  I have items that I would really like to make sure if backed up off site. I would use it to backup to Amazon S3.
    4.  Let's say I configure the system get it up and running with my 3 terabytes drives and the drive containing the OS craps out and needs to be replaced.  What are my options?

    Again, thanks for your insight.

    Regards,
    Tom
    Saturday, January 3, 2009 2:18 PM
  • Hi Tom,
    the answers to your questions:
    1. If I see the configuration from the current point of view, my statements would be: somewhat overpowered for the OS (no need for 4 cores!), power consuming, eventually noisy. But fast. The core question will be: Is there driver support for Windows Server 2003 OS, which is the basis of Windows Home Server? If no such drivers are available, are so Windows XP drivers and are they installable on the Server 2003 OS? (Especially for network and storage controllers.)
    2. You put the drives into the system. If they are already present and detected during installation (which may depend from drivers and settings in the Bios, i.e. SATA controller set to IDE compatibility to use the built in drivers instead of havin to provide additional drivers during setup), you need to do nothing. If you add drives later, you have to add them to the storage pool via console. Partitioning etc is then done automatically as well.
    3. No answer to your 3rd question.
    4. In case the OS or the OS disk are failing, there exist a special installation mode, the server reinstallation. Unfortunately this is not always offered, if you boot from DVD - your chances are better to get this mode, if the new disk is still drive 0 and if you used the SATA controller in IDE compatibility mode. Even if this does not work, at least the data in the shared folders can usually be recovered by accessing the disks directly from a second system via Explorer. Only the backups use a proprietary database, which will not always be recoverable (and must not, since usually the clients are still existing).
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Saturday, January 3, 2009 3:52 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf, I beefed up the processor simply because from my past experiences more is better when running windows.  I did verify that the kingwin is 2003 supported.  I have an external intel nic card that I know runs in 2003 because I have this running in my home now.

    My biggest concern is recovering from a drive failure because it will eventually happen at some point.  Would you happen to have any links to documentation from microsoft concerning recovering from drive failures.  I have already read the DE specifications from MS.

    Anyway, thanks again for offering your insight.

    Regards,
    Tom

     

    Saturday, January 3, 2009 4:49 PM
  • I don't think there is any special guideline which goes over the statement "perform a server reinstall" and remove the failed harddisk via console.
    And a server reinstall is only necessary, if the primary disk or the server OS fails.
    If a single data volume fails, client backups may be lost as well, also files in folders, which are not duplicated folders or have been added to the share less than one hour before the disaster. Removing the broken disk via console takes care of the tombstones and duplicated folders in this case, while client backups can be redone.
    Finally you can still attach each disk to another PC and take a look into the hidden folder DE on the DATA partitions. In the subfolder shares you may find parts or all of your shared files and folders or duplicated folders.
    Since not each disaster is limited to a single disk or even computer (i.e. heavy overvoltage, fire, theft), it's a good idea to use the console function to backup shared data to an external disk regulary and keep these disks offsite or at least in another room or find other ways to backup the important files.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by cpucandy Saturday, January 3, 2009 10:07 PM
    Saturday, January 3, 2009 7:04 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf, thank you very much for your help.

    Looking forward to getting it fired up. 

    Regards,

    Tom
    Saturday, January 3, 2009 10:06 PM