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How to question: Changing the main drive in WHS


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OK, it's that time of year and I got a brand new shinny 1.5TB drive and want to exchange it for the existing 500GB drive. I have a 5 drive system and all the other drives are 1.5TB except my main drive that came with the original WHS home server. I do have some add-ins and make use of BDBB. So now I want to get rid of the 500GB drive and replace it with my new 1.5TB drive. So what do I have to do? Well for one I have to plug the new drive, and re-install the WHS operating system and then what? Add the backup from BDBB or something else? How do I make sure I do not lose anything?

I looked at maybe using some sort of disk copy for that 500GB drive onto the new 1.5TB drive

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I have also read many good things about Acronis, or just use the disk utility that comes with most new drives. I am most familiar with the WD tools, as I only buy that brand.

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Although I have never tried Acronis copying a WHS drive, there is no reason it would not work. I have used it many times from laptops to PC's to SSD's and it is great. I would certainly give that a shot, you do not have much to loose. Just pull the main drive and clone it in another PC, then put the new drive back in.

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awraynor, as long as you have your backups - Folder Shares and computer backups - and you have some time and want to experiment, go for it. At worst, you'll have wasted some time but your stuff will still be safe if you end up doing it the officially supported way.

Acronis True Image WD Edition - is that the WD tool you were using? Interesting. I might have to check that out.

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Acronis is not going to work even if you have the $500 server version.

The problem is that WHS checks the disk volumes info. Since you cloned the drive, the new 1.5TB will have the 500gig drives volume ID. You will get a "Drive Missing" error in the WHS Console.

You would have to change that info;

Something like this;
1.Turn off the WHS and pulled out the system drive

2.Attach both the old system drive and the new system drive to another computer that has Acronis True Image installed

3.Clone the entire drive from old system drive to new. This method works even if they aren't the same size as long as the new drive has enough space e.g. my old system drive had 30gb system partition and the rest was data for the storage pool, the data partition was about 1/2 full but I was still able to clone it to a smaller drive. The 30gb partition remained the same and the 435gb data partition was shrunk to about 249gb (almot 90% full).

4.Once cloning was complete (took about 35 min), I reconnected the new system drive to my WHS and turned it back on, make sure to use the same cable and port, if you change the port then this gets a little more complicated. (If you're really paranoid you should disconnect all your old storage pool drives, but I'm a rebel so i did this will my drives were still connected).

5.Once your server is done booting log in directly (or remote in with RDP but don't use the Console) and manually start up the WHS Console (you should probably manually move all of the addins out of the WHS folder because they will slow down the process).

6.Once the WHS Console is started on the Server Storage tab you will probably see that it can't find the old system drive, but gives you the option to add the new system drive, DON'T ADD IT. Copy down the long name for the old (WDC WD5000AAKS-00YGA0 2020202057202D44435753413338373034313638) and new system drive (WDC WD3000GLFS-01F8U0 2020202057202D445857354C3830313030303939).

7.The final step is to update the registry with the new system drive info, this part is a little complicated:

a.Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Storage Manager\Disks

b.Look through the keys until you find the matching manufacturer name of the old system drive under the Attributes subkey

c.Update the Attributes with the correct information, if you didn't change the port or interface type then just the manufacturer's name would need to be changed to the long name you copied down earlier.

d.Go back up and update the parent key with the new Size and SystemName from System Information (in your start menu under accessories)

i.Size will be found at System Summary->Components->Storage->Disks, find the right drive and get the full size in bytes

ii.The SystemName is the volume signature, you can find this a couple of ways but since you're already in System Information go to System Summary->Software Environment->Signed Drivers look for the device name Generic Volume and under the device ID there will be a long string (STORAGE\VOLUME\1&30A96598&0&SIGNATURE70D5586COFFSET77FE09800LENGTH3E5D79EA00). The System name is between SIGNATURE and OFFSET in that string (70D5586C).

8.Once the registry is updated restart and pull up the WHS Console to verify that the New System drive is now part of the Storage pool.

9.Finally re-connect all other storage pool drives, if you disconnected them earlier and restore all the add-in dll's if you removed them earlier.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Storage Manager\Disks

Old System Drive

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Storage Manager\Disks\8106aa88-0000-0000-0000-000000000000]"FriendlyName"="System disk""SystemName"="fa4b74b5-0000-0000-0000-000000000000""Size"="500107862016""ObjectID"=dword:00000001[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Storage Manager\Disks\8106aa88-0000-0000-0000-000000000000\Attributes]"DevicePath"="\\\\?\\PhysicalDrive1""BusType"="ATA""ManufactureName"=" WDC WD5000AAKS-00YGA0 2020202057202D44435753413338373034313638""External"=dword:00000000"QRole"=dword:00000001"ReadOnly"=dword:00000001

New System Drive

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Storage Manager\Disks\8106aa88-0000-0000-0000-000000000000]"FriendlyName"="System disk""SystemName"="70D5586C-0000-0000-0000-000000000000""Size"="300066439680""ObjectID"=dword:00000001[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Storage Manager\Disks\8106aa88-0000-0000-0000-000000000000\Attributes]"DevicePath"="\\\\?\\PhysicalDrive1""BusType"="ATA""ManufactureName"=" WDC WD3000GLFS-01F8U0 2020202057202D445857354C3830313030303939""External"=dword:00000000"QRole"=dword:00000001"ReadOnly"=dword:00000001


I would do a Shares backup ( Console, Computers & Backup) to a non pooled drive, just as a safe messure and pull it out, first.

John (homeservershow).

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You can also try this,

First, some backgrounder information on how the Drive Extender storage system works.

Windows Home Server, when initially installed on a machine, formats all internal disks. On the first disk (we call this the primary disk) we create two partitions and format them with NTFS:

C: (10GB) - used for the system
D: (the rest) - the "Primary" data partition

Subsequent disks are formated as one NTFS partition and are known as "secondary disks".

The primary data partition (the second partition on the primary disk) is special because that is where Drive Extender starts working it's magic from. This is where all "tombstones" are stored. Tombstones are really NTFS reparse points that DE understands. They are tiny files that redirect to one or two "shadows". The shadows are where your data really is, and shadows always exist on partitions other than the primary. If duplication is on for a shared folder there will be 2 shadows. If duplication is off there will be 1.

Any-hoo, during server setup (booting from the setup DVD) you are asked if you want to "New Installation" or "Server Reinstallation".

If you choose Server Reinstallation we will re-install the OS on the first partition of your primary (first drive), but will not touch the second (the primary data) partition if it is already there (if it is not there because it is a new disk it will be created). In this "Server Reinstallation" mode, setup will also NOT format any other disks (internal or external)

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and now for your next trick... - how about the process for those of us using OEM systems like the HP MediaSmarts that don't have DVD drives - I'd be interested in doing this on my EX485.
I'm not sure if the EX485 has the rebuild ROM in it - can you recall? - I know the EX47x series did and I'm pretty sure the EX49x series don't

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I just can help but wondering why Microsoft didint include any kind of redundency on the system drive or a way of replacing it.

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