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Thank you,

Change pool drive letter

edited September 2012 in DrivePool
Hi,

I have DrivePool installed on production server and do not want to mess up with anything should changes go wrong. Is there any way to safely change the letter allocation to the pool drive, from G: which I have right now to Z: which is what I typically use for drives with data redundancy.

Can I use regular Windows tools like Administrative Tools->Computer Management and just reassign the letter? I am concerned that it might damage the installation of Drive Pool.

If it is not possible, it would be a nice feature for future release to be able to assign one of available drive letters.

Regards

Marek

Comments

  • Resident Guru
    Hi Marek. This can be done using the regular tools with two caveats/exceptions:

    #1. If any default WHS shared folders have been moved into the pool drive, they must be moved (via the provided WHS Dashboard facility) to another drive letter before the pool drive's letter is changed and then moved again to the new letter afterwards. If this is not done, the shares will stop working and may or may not break other WHS features which rely on those shares. Since you mention it is installed on a production system, I do not recommend experimentation!

    #2. Other shares (e.g. those created by you) which point to folders under the the old pool drive letter will break. You will need to manually re-point such shares to their new location afterwards, or alternatively you may stop sharing the folders before changing the letter and then share them again afterwards.
  • Hi Shane,

    thank you for your answer.

    Considering that I have already loaded 7.5 TB of data into default WHS2011 folders, it has been replicated and balanced, moving that around is not really an option. I'd leave it as it is right now.

    One more questions in the similar area - is it possible to remove the letter assignment from individual pool drives or even hide them in WHS2011 system? I have 14 drives in the pool and it looks kinds of funny to see all these drives show up in the system, when all they contain is pooled data.

    Please consider adding an option to select the pool drive letter during installation (or initial configuration) in the future versions.

    Regards

    Marek


  • Resident Guru
    Yes, you can remove the letters from the drives in the pool without affecting DrivePool's operation.

    By the way, should it become necessary, here is a workaround I have used for moving the default WHS2011 shared folders (except Client Computer Backups) without having to wait for their contents to be copied between drives by WHS2011:

    1* P is the pool's old letter and X is the pool's new letter, and P:\ServerFolders\SharedFolder is the share you wish to move to X:\ServerFolders\SharedFolder, and D:\ServerFolders is a safe temporary location, and no users/computers currently have files open on the server.

    2* Using Explorer, create P:\Temp\SharedFolder and move the content of P:\ServerFolders\SharedFolder (not the folder, only its content) into P:\Temp\SharedFolder - this should be a straight move operation and thus quick.

    3* Using Dashboard, move P:\ServerFolders\SharedFolder to D:\ServerFolders\SharedFolder - this should be reasonably quick as the folder is empty.

    4* Repeat steps 2 and 3 for all of the shared folders.

    5* Change the drive letter of P to X via Disk Management.

    6* Using Dashboard, move D:\ServerFolders\SharedFolder to X:\ServerFolders\SharedFolder - this should again be quick as the folder is still empty.

    7* Using Explorer, move the content of (what is now) X:\Temp\SharedFolder back into X:\ServerFolders\SharedFolder - this should again be a straight move operation and thus quick.

    8* Repeat steps 6 and 7 for all of the shared folders.

    This may not work if you have (for whatever reason) nested shared folders within shared folders.
  • Hi Shane,

    that would work if the shared folders were not spread across multiple drives. I have a folder with data backups which is approximately 3 TB large and spans multiple drives. If I try this method you describe, I will have to move data between drives, something that takes a while with the size of the pool I am operating with.

    I guess I will skip changing the drive letter right now and do that perhaps in the future when and if migrating to a new machine.

    I will test removal of the drive letters today on a VM to make sure I can do that on a production system without affecting anything.

    Regards

    Marek
  • edited September 2012 Resident Guru
    Could you point to the step where you would have to move data between drives? I just tested it myself - my pool drive is K, so I moved a pair of folders totalling 4.5TB from K:\serverfolders\raw\set1 to K:\temp\set1 - and it took barely long enough for the dialog window to appear and then disappear. Considering the largest physical drive in my pool is 2TB and I have duplication turned on...
  • Shane,

    Read through the text again - at one point, I mistook the drive letters and started copying files out of the pool drive. That is why I was concerned about the lack of space and time it would take.

    One thing to note - when the drive letter is changed in the way you describe, I lose information about the replication, so any folders with replication have to be marked as such once again and the pool has to be reorganized. At least that is what happened to me.

    Thanks again

    Marek
  • Resident Guru
    That's interesting; I was under the impression duplication markers used alternate data streams attached to the directories - they shouldn't be affected by drive letter changes.

    Aha (just tested on mine). Duplication status is not affected by changing the drive letter, however the Dashboard addin is still looking for the pool on its old drive letter. Run the WSS Troubleshooter found at http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool_Utilities and choose Restore DrivePool Shares. This will update the Dashboard.
  • Might be interesting but that is precisely what happened. I know it is not a regular process for the drive pool so I am OK with the markers gone. I adjusted them by hand - not that many folders anyway.

    Now, I still have a few folders with funny names like "FOLDER_NAME.DELETE.{9522BF3B-2323-4873-A4FB-F4E16A9BDBD7}" - what to do with these ? Delete by hand? I ran already the folder refresh process several times and they do not disappear ...

    Will the Restore DrivePool Shares fix that ?

    Marek
  • the "Restore DrivePool Shares" fix did not remove these folders with DELETE in their name ... I am looking for guidance on what to do with them ...

    Marek
  • Resident Guru
    Folders named *.DELETE.* are created by WHS when you move or delete a folder that is in use (or that WHS thinks is in use). If they are now empty, or contain old content that you now have elsewhere, they are safe to delete.

  • Thanks - it seems it was some temporary garbage. After two days on its own, they disappeared so I assume the file system discovered them and just removed them

    Marek
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