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Reinstall WHS 2011 and add DrivePool

edited March 2013 in DrivePool
Hi all,

I was previously using the AMD Raid 1 solution on my N40L and also backing some data up to the cloud with crashplan and felt pretty good about it.
Somehow, I lost my 250 gb system drive completely, and one of the 2 TB WD greens went critical on me. In hindsight, I need a better solution because this will take days to recover from. I want to get away from the Raid 0 which leaves you unable to access the drive from other systems. I have been reading and will implement the DrivePool solution.

Can someone help me with a methodology that will save me some copying and work? Right now, I reinstalled WHS to a new 500 gb drive, but had to leave RAID on in bios so that I can access my share data on the remaining drive from the mirror. I am copying about five hours worth of data over to a new NTFS formatted 2 TB drive. I have several questions.
1. Crashplan was backed up off of d:\... shares. In order to avoid copying all that up to the cloud again, I need to set the shares up on d:\... Is the best way to do this by leaving all other drives but the system drive unplugged, reinstalling WHS (after setting bios settings to AHCI instead of raid), then adding Drivepool to that drive? Can I force it to become D: somehow?
2. Once I do that, is there a way to add the drive I am copying to right now over to the pool, and somehow set my shares so that I do not need to recopy all of the data again into the Drivepool share folders?
3. Is there anything else you would recommend? I intend to set up some type of backup on the operating system drive so that I do not need to do the whole reinstall again. Other good practices?

Thanks in advance for your advice.



  • Resident Guru
    A1a. Yes, that's the best way: unplug all but OS disk, install WHS, plug data disks in, install drivepoool.

    A1b. You can use Disk Management to change drive letters, and you can use the WSS Troubleshooter tool to fix broken pool shares after changing the pool's drive letter. However, D: is normally used by WHS and I've never personally tried changing it to something else and then using D: for the pool.

    If I was going to try it, I'd move ALL shares off D (e.g. to the pool), then swap the drive letters, then run the Troubleshooter, and hope it worked. If it didn't, swap them back and run the Troubleshooter again.

    A2. Add the drive (let's call it X) to the pool, then use Explorer to move its data from X:\whatever to X:\PoolPart.GUIDstring\whatever. PoolPart.GUIDstring is a hidden folder that DrivePool uses to keep the pooled content on the pooled drives. Don't overwrite existing folders. Your data will then show up in the pool.

    A3. Read the wiki and the blog. Don't be afraid to use the forums (but if you absolutely must get a response from StableBit, it's best to use the form). Also, DP updates are tweeted by Covecobe if you're interested in that.
  • Member

    Thanks Shane for being the resident Guru. I have been
    working on it today and have been in-line with your suggestions in A1. I found
    that I could rename D drive to another letter and pull it into the pool. This
    left D open and I was able to assign the pool to Drive D. So far so good. I
    need to mess around with A2. I think I understand what you are getting at.

    I purchased DrivePool and Scanner today and installed them.
    An interesting note. Both of my WD 2 TB Green EARS drives have not fared well
    for the last 1.5 years. One failed and the second is nearing failure (Scanner
    states within 24 hours). I will do a warranty return. I purchased 2 of the new
    WD Red drives and am hoping these do better in the server environment. It looks
    like I cooked three drives if you include the completely dead system drive that
    came with the system and started this project when it failed. I am hoping this
    is an anomaly and that Scanner helps me keep on top of it from here on out.

    Thanks Again!


  • Resident Guru
    So far so good with my WD Greens, though I've also recently bought a pair of 3TB WD Reds to replace other dying/dead drives. Here's to hoping they're all they're touted to be. :)

    Re cooking drives, Scanner is good for seeing all your drive conditions at a glance, and for watching how their temps react to different tasks (e.g. prolonged streaming, defrag, bulk copy, etc).

    Related anecdote: I had a bunch of multi-bay drive racks in my server with "rear" fan assemblies - they were horrible dust collectors, and they were also condensing water out of the air and corroding the SATA bridges tucked next to them. I got rid of the rear assemblies and hung three big fans down the front of my server to blow air through the bays - dropped the HDD temps by ten to fifteen degrees and no more trapped dust/water either.

    Seriously have to wonder whether the people who design these things ever test them outside of a climate-controlled lab.
  • Member
    Shane, this mostly worked. I have been reading up quite a bit and believe that I mucked up the order of things. I have all the shares showing up on the Pool drive G. But I want that to be D. If I change it to D, shares no longer show up in WHS and the WSS troubleshooter will not fix it (WSS is looking for G). So I change back to G, use the troubleshooter, and the shares are all good again.

    What I think I should have done is create a pool first as D drive, then move empty WHS shares to it, then use your method to add the next drive and move into the hidden folders. My question is if there is a good way to back out of where I am. I am thinking I can move the data out of the hidden pool directories back into a regular directory, then do things in the proper order. I just don't want to lose any of the data.

    Thanks again,

  • Resident Guru
    When you changed the pool drive letter, did you do a reboot before running the WSS Troubleshooter to fix the shares? If not, the troubleshooter will still be looking for the old letter.
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