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Ultimate Geek
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# 138559 8-Jan-2014 18:52
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So I finally went out and bought a 2tb WD Red drive today and stuck it in my HP MediaSmart server running Windows Home Server V1, I decided to add the drive to Drive Expander so now it says my D: drive is bigger.
If the server did fail if I took the 2tb drive out and stuck it in another machine would I be able to access the data or would it be lost cause the server crashed?

Right now the drive is still blank so I should be able to undo it and just have it as a normal drive.




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BDFL - Memuneh
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  # 963457 8-Jan-2014 19:05
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Drive Extender stores data in a hidden "DE" folder at the root of each drive.

You should absolutely be able to access the data on it if the server fails. It might actually be the best way to get at it if the OS disk fails.


A couple of pointers while you're reading.
1) WHSv1 is now end of life.


2) If you don't have any disk monitoring addin, I'd seriously recommend it. No Windows OS has any idea about disk health, and it will continue to tell you the disk is healthy until it fails.
HomeServerSMART is a free addin that monitors SMART data. StableBit Scanner costs $, but it monitors SMART data and also does surface scans.




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  # 963460 8-Jan-2014 19:06
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Also note that if you ever want to reinstall Windows Home Server you should do it with all HDD disconnected or you risk selecting a "fresh install" by mistake and the installer will initialise all disks.






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  # 963465 8-Jan-2014 19:21
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Hmm good news and bad news.




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  # 963467 8-Jan-2014 19:23
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It's not bad news. It's how it works. When you install WHS it will by default format all drives. If you had a system drive failure and want to reinstall then unplug the data drives, install the system, plug one drive at a time and copy to the data store. When one drive is copied, you can add it to the pool, making more room...

If there's a data drive failure then you just replace that one drive and wait for the system to recreate the files (assuming all of your folders were set duplicate).






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Ultimate Geek
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  # 963479 8-Jan-2014 19:34
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Hmm that was strange, the drive added and said that it had free space but when I tried to copy something over the network it said no space, oh well back to normal disks then.




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  # 963485 8-Jan-2014 19:38
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What's the size of your system drive? Have you installed all Windows Updates?

The way WHS works it reserves 20GB on the first drive for OS and the rest for data. In early versions the system would return a "not enough space" error if you wanted to copy something large and the amount of space available on the second partition of the first drive wasn't big enough.

For example (free space):

Disk 0: 20GB + 30GB (out of 80GB)
Disk 1: 3TB
Disk 2: 3TB

You try copying a folder containing 35GB... Even though you clearly have 6TB free, the system would stop saying 'not enough space" because it could only see 30GB free.

You could copy in small batches, wait for it to balance out and then keep copying. Or use a larger drive on that Disk 0 slot... Later updates removed this problem.





 
 
 
 


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  # 963491 8-Jan-2014 19:42
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I believe there is a balancing addin that creates bogus files and forces WHS to move files to the other disks. I'll try to find it's name.




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  # 963493 8-Jan-2014 19:44
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Here is a LONG thread on We Got Served about the balancing addin.
http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php/topic/6466-drive-balancer-app-now-available/




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  # 964565 10-Jan-2014 14:33
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After one of my HP DataVault x510 (like MediaSmart) system drives started failing I reconsidered how efficient it was as my backup platform.

I recently bought the Diganostic Board for MediaSmart / DataVaults which allows you to do OS upgrades by connecting a VGA/Mouse to the motherboard.

I was a big fan of Drive Extender, but Windows Home Server 2011 doesn't support it natively.

WHS 2011 was a breath of fresh air, and was considerably faster and more stable than V1. So, I was really stoked with that upgrade. However, Drive Extender was not supported natively. That is because WHS 2011 wants you to use normal RAID which was nigh impossible on V1.

However, I read that StableBit's DrivePool solved this issue by introducing 'pooling' features with folder duplication straight into the WHS 2011 interface.

Create a pool using several disks (ie. 1TB+1TB+2TB + 500GB USB : Pool Size = 4.5TB). Files and folders designated for duplication are stored on two drives 'within' the pool. You can even specify for it to duplicate it across a third, or fourth drive (depending on how many you have connected within the pool).

When a drive goes down, it works just as you'd expect. Any files designated for duplication will be accessible from one of the other drives. Naturally as you'd expect, duplication costs twice the storage - so any non-duplicated files stored on a drive as a part of a pool that fails will be lost, but you knew that anyway.

So if you're looking for an easy alternative to DE in WHS or it's a reason why you're sticking with V1, I suggest checking out DrivePool.

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