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How To: Migrating from WHS v1's Drive Extender

edited January 2013 in DrivePool
Assuming a brand new, empty, WHS 2011 + DrivePool:

* before you share any folders in it, use Disk Management to change the DrivePool drive letter to something like Z: or P: or whatever. Windows has an annoying bug of sometimes bumping drive letters if you add a new drive later on, so pick one away from your existing drive letters if you can

* add at least one data drive to the pool (e.g. D: drive) - ignore any Windows error about Shadow Copies
* use the Dashboard to move your default WHS shared folders (Documents, Music, Videos, etc) into the pool
* optionally, add any additional shared folders that you want on the pool, so long as they're not called "Shares"
* personally I recommend leaving the Client Computer Backups folder out of the pool, but if it works for you, make sure duplication is turned on for that folder.

You can start at this point if you've already been using WHS 2011 + DrivePool for a while. Caution - where I say "use Explorer", I mean use it via Remote Desktop or logged directly into your WHS machine, NOT use it on your workstation (since we're using it to access the WHS drives directly, not their network shares).

* use the Dashboard to add all of your DE data drives (and any other drives you want) to the pool
* use Explorer's "Tools" menu, "Folder Options", temporarily enable "Show hidden files, folders, and drives"
  (so that you can see the hidden Drive Extender and DrivePool folders on each drive)
* use Explorer to move (not copy) eachdrive:\DE\Shares to eachdrive:\PoolPart.guidstring\Shares
* I don't mean moving the individual subfolders under Shares, I mean the Shares folder itself!
* once you've moved the Shares folder out of each drive, you can safely delete the old WHSv1 DE folders

Once you've finished moving everything from DE to DP, use Explorer to view your drivepool drive:

* you should see your Shares folder
* bring up its context menu (usually right-click), go to Properties, Security tab, Advanced, Owner, Edit
* choose Administrators, tick Replace, then OK, OK, OK, OK.
* again bring up its context menu, go to Properties, Security tab, Advanced, this time Change Permissions
* remove all non-inherited Permissions, tick Include and tick Replace, then OK, Yes, OK, OK.
* if this doesn't go according to plan, investigate and/or seek advice

Now that any wayward DE permissions have been (hopefully) dealt with:

* use Explorer to rearrange your folders, files, etc, on the drivepool drive to your liking, e.g. you might want to move everything under \Shares\Videos into \ServerFolders\Videos - and you don't have to keep the Shares folder if it ends up empty - or you can just leave it all as it is if you were happy with how you had your old WHS folders set up

* you'll be warned if you attempt to move, rename or delete a shared folder - HEED THIS WARNING

* use the Dashboard to "Add a folder" (NOT "Add a folder to the Pool") so you can "Browse" to the folders you want to share with your network from the drivepool drive

* use the Dashboard to enable duplication on the shares that you want to have it

Other tips:

* if you don't want to wait for the nightly check, use the Dashboard to force a consistency check by DrivePool to find any remaining problems.

* if you want a folder duplicated but not shared, you can share it, enable duplication, then stop sharing it.

* DrivePool happily uses drives even if they don't have a drive letter; you can free the letters via Disk Management (in Explorer, right-click Computer, click Manage, click Disk Management in the tree under Storage, right-click the drive letter, click Change Drive Letter, click Remove)

* keep in mind while DrivePool can use drives without drive letters, Explorer can't - if you want it to see them you have to give them their own drive letter or mount them as a path under another drive that does have a letter

* don't remove or change DrivePool's drive letter while you're sharing folders in it, it will break those shares until you put the letter back

And that's it. Please let me know if you spot any errors or need further info.

EDIT 2012-04-20: added Otis's tips re enabling display of hidden folders and re removing drive letters.
EDIT 2012-05-24: noted if Client Computer Backups kept in the pool, recommend duplication is on for that folder.
EDIT 2013-01-08: added tslrulz's tips re Disk Management, shadow copies, empty folders.


  • Thanks for this!  I used this guide to migrate the physical disks with my data on them from my WHSv1 VM to a new WHS 2011 VM in Hyper-V last night.  Everything went smoothly thanks to this guide!  Before I added any computers or users to the WHS, I moved the empty Client Backups folder to the pool.  I don't use duplication for anything except a custom Users share, so this should be ok.  All 3 of my PCs have backed up successfully on the automatic schedule!

    To further enhance the guide, you may want to add that you need to temporarily enable "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" under Tools>>Folder Options in Explorer.  This will avoid people thinking they have lost their data because they can't see any files on the drive.

    Another good point to add is that you can remove the drive letters from the pooled drives after migration in Start>>Administrative Tools>>Computer Management>>Disk Management in order to avoid unnecessarily taking up drive letters on the system
  • Member
    Great guide Shane, while I've been on 2011 for quite awhile now, I have a few friends that are finally ready to migrate from V1.  I sent this page to several people and it was greatly appreciated. 
  • WOW, just ran through this after getting WHS2011 up on my EX490 Mediasmart server.  WIth much trepidation I ran through and to my amazment EVERYTHING worked like a charm, with no lose of data....I am sold...thanks for this solution and the step by step guide

  • Just a question.. My entire WHS1 pool has ducplication turned on.. So as I  do this for each drive (7) I have in WHS1 as I move them to WHS2+Drivepool .. will it know that the files are duplicated on subsquent drives as they get added ?


  • Shane, Thank you immensely for this guide. I have been dreading upgrading from WHSv1 for a while now and this made it so simple. One question though, can I delete the old DE folders on my HDD's without repercussion? I don't see why not just wanted to be sure.

    Thanks again
  • Resident Guru
    @tlsrulz: Short answer: if you've used my method, then no, not as they are added, only when it performs the consistency check. Longer answer: DE and DP use different methods to identify duplicated folders but use congruent drive structures to store them. So when DP performs its consistency check, the duplication status of your files will be reprocessed according to the folder duplication rules you've set for DP. If you had DE duplicating everything and you've told DP to duplicate everything, DP won't have much work to do. :)
  • Resident Guru
    @scasplte: yes, once you've finished moving the Shares folders out of the DE folders, you can safely delete the DE folders.
  • @Shane: thanks for the reply.. appreciate it. So with your method, do I have to attach one drive at a time, do the steps.. shutdown, and repeat.. or can I setup WHS 2011+ DP, shutdown, attach all drive, and do the process ?

  • edited July 2012 Resident Guru
    Best to attach them all at once, if you can.

    If for some reason you can't, the thing to avoid is making any changes to the pool before you've moved each and every old drive's Shares folder from its old \DE\ location to its new \PoolPart.guidstring\ location.

    Scenario: you had an old WHSv1 system with six old 250GB data drives and your new WHS2011 system came with six new 1TB data drives, but you don't have even one spare SATA port remaining to attach the old drives (let alone six). What to do?

    Solution: add all the new data drives to the pool. Shutdown the machine, remove three of the new drives, attach three of the old, boot the machine, and move EachOldDrive:\DE\Shares to CorrespondingNewDrive:\PoolPart.guidstring\Shares before shutting the machine down again, removing the three old and three new drives, attach the other three old and three new drives and repeating the move process. Shutdown the machine one last time, remove the three old drives and add the other three new drives back in. If you're paranoid and/or want to keep the old DE drives as a backup, use copy instead of move. Then proceed with resetting the ownership and permissions of the Shares folder that is now in the pool as per the how-to.
  • edited August 2012 Resident Guru
    Bonus scenario: old WHSv1 system had twenty 250GB drives, new system has four 2TB drives and no spare ports. What to do?

    Bonus Solution: you're not going to maintain the old duplication pattern, so don't even try. Add all four 2TB drives to the pool, pull two* and attach two old drives. Copy (not move) all of the Shares folders over as per the previous scenario, then - keeping the same two new drives - repeat the process (skip existing files) with further sets of two old drives until the new drives are full. When that happens, pull those two new drives, attach the other two, and repeat again with the last set of old two drives plus the rest of the old drives until all of the old drives have been copied. Then with all four new drives attached, continue as per the how-to.

    *(of course, if your system or drives don't support hot-swapping, always shut down first!)

    EDIT (14 Aug 2012): in this scenario, simply hooking the servers together via gigabit LAN and moving the files from the old machine's shares to the new machine's share over the network would be a lot easier, but we're presuming that option isn't available to you for some reason (dead board on the old server or something).
  • edited July 2012 Resident Guru
    Final(?) comment: as with any movement (or copying) of such large amounts of data between drives, there's always a chance of data error. Consider using a program that can test whether the copies match the originals after each copy operation, such as teracopy (no affiliation, just a happy end-user).
  • Shane:

    Thanks for your tutorial.  My questions are going to sound stupid, but I really want to be sure I understand.  I've currently got a WHS v.1 machine (Acer) with 4 drives (one 500 gig "system" drive and three 2 TB drives).  I want to migrate to a new machine (HP n40L) running WHS 2011 + DrivePool.  The new machine will have 4 drives (one 250 gig system drive and three 2 TB drives).  The 2TB drives for the new machine are new. 

    Am I correct that you're saying I can remove a 2tb drive from the Acer and put it in the HP and move the shares to one of the new drives in the Acer?

  • edited August 2012 Resident Guru
    I'm not sure I'm parsing your question correctly. Should that be "one of the new drives in the HP"?

    Though perhaps I'm better asking: what are your plans for the old Acer? If you plan to keep both running, each keeping their own drives, and just want some/all of the shared data from the Acer moved to the HP, it might be easier just to hook both up to a gigE switch and move everything across that way.

    Moving the physical drives themselves is only the preferred option if (a) you intend to re-use the old drives in the new server, (b) your network is sufficiently slower than the throughput you get by hooking up multiple old drives to move folders from DE to DP at the same time and/or (c) you can't do it over the network, e.g. the old server's dead or you've got a bad/slow network.
  • You were correct that I meant moving the data to the HP.  At this point, I haven't decided definitively what I'll do with the Acer.  At a minimum, I will keep the client backups on the Acer for a while because they're v1 backups.  Ideally, I'll migrate all of the other data from the Acer to the HP.  The idea would be to be able to shut down the Acer and leave it off unless I need to access the v1 backups on it to restore a client.       

  • Resident Guru
    Sounds like a good plan. So to answer your question: since files stored in WHSv1's Drive Extender are not stored in sorted order - any file from any directory could be on any one or two DE drives - you'd have to repeat the process with the other two 2TB drives from the Acer to the HP to end up with a fully assembled structure. It's a lot like assembling a jigsaw puzzle; you need all the pieces put together in the right orientation to create the complete picture.

    So if you /can/ just simply network your old and new servers, it's a lot easier to do it that way. Not necessarily faster, mind you, more likely to be much slower, but definitely easier. Maybe I should mention that in the how-to. :)
  • Hi Shane,  I been using WHS v1 for about a year and the OS drive failed. Time to upgrade to WHS 2011. I have a new 500gb OS drive and want to continue using the existing 1tb & 2tb data drives. I added the 500gb & the 2tb drive, xfer'd the various new folders, but can't seem to locate the "PoolPart.guidstring\Shares" folder. I've set the folders to "unhidden" but no luck. If I xfer some of the existing DE data to one of the new folders that WHS 2011 setup, the files appear in the dashboard, but other folders that I moved to the "serverfolders" directory don't appear in the dashboard. Thoughts?

    Also, both of my WHS v1 data drives were set to "duplicate". Do I move all the files/directories from both DE drives to the same "PoolPart.guidstring\Shares" once I find it? Thanks.

  • Resident Guru
    For the PoolPart.guidstring folders to be present, you must have added their drives to DrivePool's pool. Have you done that yet?

    E.g. you have the pool as drive "P". You have physical drives "E", "F", "G". You add them to the Pool, and DrivePool creates hidden folders "E:\PoolPart.guidstring", "F:\PoolPart.guidstring", "G:\PoolPart.guidstring".
  • Everything went well, except i must have missed something with the Default WHS folders, they are all showing empty under server folders, i added the drive they were on to the pool, what did i do wrong?

  • I notice the folder name under poolpart for the D drive that has the default WHS is "ServerFolders", not "shares" i need to rename my folders to ServerFolders that i moved from the WHS v1 DE folders?
  • That did indeed fix my previous issue, however, I still can not see my files from my media streamer (i can see them fine from a Win 7 machine).  Something to do with the guest account shares i presume...still investigating

  • Resident Guru
    Generally after migrating you need to move the content of whatever folders you had under WHS v1's Shares - which should now be in your pool drive - to your WHS2011's shared folders.

    E.g. if your pool drive is "Q:" then after migrating your shares will all be in Q:\Shares, and you might decide to move all your videos from Q:\Shares\Videos to Q:\ServerFolders\Videos (assuming you've already moved your WHS2011's default Videos share to that location).
  • edited December 2012 Member
    Just successfully migrated my home-brew server from WHS V1 to WHS 2011 with DrivePool. Didn't lose a byte of  data.  Thanks, Shane, for the very useful tutorial.  It has just the right of amount of detail. If DrivePool wasn't available, I would probably not have migrated to WHS 2011 at all.  Great add-in!
  • Thanks Shane for the excellent guide.. Followed all the steps and the transition from DE->DP was smooth, so far WHS2011 is functional..  Couple of items I want to clarify.  Using DP

    - the very first bullet.. "take the opportunity to change the DrivePool drive letter to something like Z: or P: or whatever" .. for a while I was searching in the Dashboard for an option to change this.. then I did it via disk management.. maybe it should say .. "<Using DiskManagement> take the opportunity to change ..." Sorry I know I am knit picking..

    - when I was adding drives to Pool I got the msg, Drives added with the following ERROR.. Shadowcopies not available for this drive.  @Alex Maybe this should not say "Error" as it gave me the "oh oh" what did I do wrong.  Maybe explain that its not supported on pool drive and if user wants it can be turned on the individual drives....

    - when enabling duplication for the folders.. It put up a window with "Enabling Folder Duplication" with a continues progress bar and a "Close" button.. And then immediatly started the duplication process. If the folders were small this dialog closed by itself .. but for my pictures and videos .. it remained even after duplication completed and pool condition was 100% .. not sure if this is a bug or what..  Just thought I'd post.

    - I want to cleanup the DE Shares folder structure .. now that I have moved to the 2011 Serverfolders structure.. do I have to go to each DE drive and delete the shares folder.  There is no data in any of the subfolders as all have been moved over.  Not sure if I should delete it form the pool drive Z:\ or go to each individual DE drive.. maybe this can be added to the guide.

    Thanks again.. appreciate the effort and commitment.


  • Resident Guru
    Thanks tlsrulz. I've incorporated your tips. You can safely delete the Shares folder from the pool drive if you have emptied it into other folders and aren't sharing it with the network (and I've also added that you can safely delete the old WHSv1 DE folders once you've moved out their Shares folders).
  • Just want to make sure I understand the moving process - hope these aren't dumb questions...

    1)   When you say "add at least one Data Drive to the pool" - is this a drive from the old server (with the DE folder ad data on it) or is this a new (empty) drive? (or am I missing something).

    2)  Sounds like adding the drives to a DrivePool pool is not destructive like it was when you added a drive to DE in WHS vs1?  That might be obvious - but I'm new to DrivePool

    3)  So if I understand correctly - I can add the old drives form the WHS v1 server and then add them to the DrivePool and then simply moving files (within each drive) from the old DE folder to the new DrivePool folders?  So truly a much faster process than copying to a new Data drive?  If this is the case - then this is genius.

    4)  I saw some references to "cleaning up" the "shares" folders and/or using something like "ServerFolders" - is there some benefit to this or is this a personal choice thing?

    Much thanks
  • Resident Guru
    Hi puulima, nope, none of those are dumb questions. :)

    A1) you need to have at least one drive in the pool before you can place content (files, folders) into the pool. If your install of DrivePool already has a physical drive assigned, you're good to go onto the next step.

    A2) That's correct, DrivePool does not delete anything already on the drives (caveat: DrivePool relies on Windows to determine whether a drive is unformatted; if Windows says a drive is not formatted, DrivePool will format it if you add it to the pool).

    A3) Yes, this is the case. The TL;DR version of migrating is "add your old DE drives to the pool, move your Shares folder across on each drive, reset the permissions, customise to taste", but I didn't want any inexperienced users to "accidentally the whole thing".

    A4) Mostly personal choice. WHS2011 insists on having "\ServerFolders" as the destination root when moving any existing shared folder between drives via the Dashboard, regardless of the source root, and the default WHS2011 shared folders (Documents, Music, Pictures, etc) use this root. Your own existing folders don't have this limitation when you use "Add a folder" to share them, but the similar "Add a folder to the Pool" command creates a new folder and does use this root).
  • Thanks Shane,

    So I migrated everything over and like @tlsrulz, I had duplication turned on for most of my data - so not sure how long DrivePool will (a) take to recognize this (and presumably skip trying to duplicate files already duplicated) and/or (b) take to duplicate the other files that were not duplicated?  It's been running for several hours and says it's Duplicating and is approximately 2.3% done.

    Weird part is it shows most of my space (5.8 TB) as "Pooled" in the pie chart and roughly only 25% as duplicated ( 1.8 TB), 1.4 TB are labelled as "Unsuable for duplication" therefore leaving only 152 GB available for duplication?  I'm fairly certain that almost 40% of the "Pooled" stat is dupe files - and assuming that DrivePool likely has to figure that out first?

    One Last question:  I want to pull out 2 smaller drives (now that I've migrated the data over to larger ones) and replace with 2 larger drives.  How does DrivePool handle a shutdown while it's working?  Assuming it will gracefully cease it's processes and allow the shutdown - and start back up when I reboot?

    This is a great guide - much thanks for this.
  • edited February 2013 Resident Guru
    It can take a while for the duplication run to complete if it's just been turned on (even if your drives could continuously sustain 100MB/sec throughput per drive with zero latency, that's still almost 2.8 hours per duplicated TB).

    You should see DrivePool update its pie chart measurements as it continues or after it completes its initial duplication run.

    If your pool consisted of (for example) two drives, one 3TB and one 2TB, you would have 1TB unusable for duplication (because duplication can only fill two drives to the limit of the smaller drive).

    DrivePool does gracefully handle normal shutdowns during standard operation. I don't know how it handles them if it happens in the middle of, say, a drive removal (that would be a question for StableBit), and whether it would resume a first-time duplication check or wait until the default scheduled time for balancing and duplication (after midnight) - but you can always manually tell DrivePool to run a duplication check, remeasure, or reindex, and the design mantra is to never fail in such a way that data is lost.

    Unexpected shutdowns (e.g. power outages, bluescreens) are handled just like any other Windows program would handle them (i.e. you may need to run a disk check).
  • Shane, I have two WHS v1 SP2 servers.  One is for backups and works fine.  The other is basically a media streaming and storage server used just for that - streaming and storage.  I am using a Norco 4220 chassis with 20 hot-swappable bays. I built this to be a scalable, long-lasting solution.  Currenly I have 8
    drives with about 15TB of data, but now I want to start using 3TB

    I will keep WHS v1 on the backup server, but for the streaming/storage Norco server I've decided to use Windows 7.  Reason is I'm familair/comfortable with it, I've found it to be very stable, plus there's tons of SW, support and tricks which can be leveraged.  

    At the same time, I want to maintain the folder structure and benefits of WHS's Drive Extender.  I like being able to drop in a HDD and spread my folder structure across the entire pool.  So I am thinking Win7 + Stablebit Drivepool.  It provides the DE benefits, redundancy, stability and familiarity. 

    But first, a few questions:

    - Currently I have the Norco media folders shared on my home network.  I use Explorer to add content to the folders, create new folders and move things around.  For instance, after I watch a movie, I move it from the "watch" folder to the "already viewed" folder.  Likewise, sometimes I will create a new folder like "favorite 70s movies".  Can I still do these things with SB Drivepool?  Trying to understand how it works.

    - I read about removing drive letters ... if I did so with SB Drivepool, can I still access the folders with Explorer like I described above?

    If all sounds good I will prep for installation of Win7 + SB Drivepool and the data migration.  I will probably have more questions about the data migration process ... THANKS!!!



  • Resident Guru
    Hi RogerT,

    A1: Yes, DrivePool creates a virtual drive with files and folders that you can view and manipulate with Explorer just like you can on a physical drive.

    A2: If a physical drive is in the pool and you remove the physical drive's letter, DrivePool continues to make use of the drive's space for the pool and you can continue to access any files on it that are in the pool.

    You may find this "How It Works" diagram ( I contributed for 1.0 useful; it still applies to 2.0 single-pool installs and there isn't much more involved for multiple-pool installs.

    Note that DP 2.0 is still in beta; you may need to wear your hiking boots (so to speak).
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