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WHS - Upgrading all drives, including system drive!




WHS Upgrade Time!

As I squeeze the life out of my WHS Home Server system, I need to upgrade drives and overall capacity! Everything is working great, so I thought I’d ride this system longer until I need to move the drives to a new server or NAS.
Current system (HP EX490 with 4GB):
  • 4 x 2TB Internal Drives
  • 1 x 4TB External Drive
10.9 TB Capacity / 1.82TB free (approx 370GB per drive)
WHS 2011 - 6.1 (Build 7601 Service Pack 1)
StableBit DrivePool - - (Duplication turned off due to capacity limitations)
To facilitate this process, I have attached an 8TB drive to the system to increase the pool size and allow other drives to be removed from the pool. (Once I get a couple drives changed out, I’ll remove this and use it internally).
1) Is the ‘remove drive from pool’ the most effective procedure for the 3 non-system drives? Or, can I remove a (non-system) drive from system, one at a time, and copy the contents (pool folder) from the current 2TB drive to the new 8TB drive and reinsert this in the place of the 2TB? Or, will the change in configuration affect anything? 
2) How about the system drive? For this, I will use the ‘remove drive from pool’ option for the data partition of this drive. Then I remove the drive, drop in the new 8TB then initiate a server recovery, correct?
3) Once the OS is reinstalled and the system drive is reinserted, then I’d need to reinstall DrivePool? Anything else I need to do to re-establish the pool?
Hopefully this is on the right track - I read through the DrivePool manual but wasn’t sure if I was headed in the right direction and doing this most effeciently!
Thanks for your information and advice! It’s been 5-6 years since my last upgrade … gotta refresh my mind on some of this!


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I assume the 8TB is attached through USB. My advice:
1. "Remove drive from pool" one of the 2 TB non-system disks;
2. Replace it with actual 8TB HDD (I am always suspicious of USB-connected HDDs for longer periods)
3. "Remove drive from pool" the (data partition on) a 2 TB system disks;
4. That HDD, really, replace it with an SSD. Not only does the system become way snappier, I would never use OS and Data from the same HDD. Do a Server Recovery for the OS partition to that SSD (I always disconnect the other HDDs when I do a system recovery).
5. "Remove drive from pool" another 2TB HDD, replace with an 8TB HDD and so on.

Do you backup your data as well? Remember, WHS2011 does not support backups of _volumes_ in excess of 2TB, so if you want to backup an 8TB HDD with WHS 2011 Server Backup, you MUST partition the HDD in 2TB partitions. THis has a performance cost that is real.

Consider moving to WSE2016. I just did. I fumbled a lot but it it worth it IMO.

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Great info and recommendations, thanks!!

I use this mostly for storage of photo/video - once projects are complete, this media moves here. I’ve never needed much speed since I rarely work off this, maybe with photos but never video. If I work with this again, I move it back to my Macbook.

I guess 24TB would still be a good upgrade or I could add my other 8TB via eSATA for 32TB, if I were to do an OS only disk. 120GB SSDs are cheap and that’s all the more I’d need with WSE2016, right? I’ll look into WSE2016, might be a good move and seems like this system could handle it.

Otherwise, I use this only for long term storage, I never use streaming or other features so it’s worked well for me. I use my desktop to back this up to an external drive doing regular backups of the folders on the server to alternating drives. 



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Is it even connected to the interweb? If not then a move to WSE2016 might be a bit expensive (I got a really cheap 2nd hand license, still more expensive than WHS2011 at the time). Yeah, 120GB is enough although I am never sure about how much it needs at install time (that was a thing with WHS2011). I got a 240GB.

Maybe may advice was not that sensible after all, it does depend on your use case. If it is basically cold storage/archiving _and_ you only backup the OS HDD (which I would not like but he, 24 TB is hard to backup and rotate offline), then I would also consider keeping it as is, don't bother with 2TB partitions and replace one at a time once in a while with the largest HDD you can get.

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