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Mirroring OS Drive in WHS v1


BigSpenderNOT
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Hi guys,

 

This may be a stupid question, but, if I have 250GB OS drive in my WHS, can I buy another 250GB drive at a later time and turn it into a mirrored drive so that I have OS drive redundancy if one fails? Through Disk Management or something?

 

I'm just finishing up a whs server OS reinstall that was a total pain and would like to avoid doing that again at nearly any cost!

 

Thanks for any thoughts.

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I don't think you can do this via Disk Management. If your OS drive is on a port that is RAID capable you can probably do it. I did it with the Icy Dock adapter that has RAID built into it but I did it at install. The WHS doesn't even know there is RAID at install. It just sees a drive though that drive is mirrored.

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Thanks Dave (love the show BTW),

 

Is this possible AFTER having WHS installed... I already went through the reinstall process and THEN I had this bright idea. I'm guessing not, hey?

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You would have to create the mirror before any installation occurs, or at least it would be better that way.

 

This is one reason why installs of V2 will need a lot of planning up front and if you are doing installs for commercial use, if would be good to create several templates of standard builds with some add-on flexibility.

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OK, so after poking around a bit, I've discovered that you technically "can" add a mirrored drive later through Disk Management, but this would mean changing the OS drive to a dynamic disk, then adding the new drive as a mirror of that drive. Some of the mentioned downfalls of this are that if one disk fails, software RAID 1 rebuilds may be tough or not even do-able (so if one is doing this to avoid reinstalling WHS, should the OS drive fail, it may in fact bring more headaches or at least the same amount of headaches), a strong server performance hit, seeing the new mirrored drive through the Console as an no-yet-added pool disk.

 

Has anyone banged on their Frankenbuild enough to have actually tried this? I'd like to know what the "performance hit", may look like and if I should even care and also what the process would be should one of the mirrored OS drives fail.

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OK, so after poking around a bit, I've discovered that you technically "can" add a mirrored drive later through Disk Management, but this would mean changing the OS drive to a dynamic disk, then adding the new drive as a mirror of that drive. Some of the mentioned downfalls of this are that if one disk fails, software RAID 1 rebuilds may be tough or not even do-able (so if one is doing this to avoid reinstalling WHS, should the OS drive fail, it may in fact bring more headaches or at least the same amount of headaches), a strong server performance hit, seeing the new mirrored drive through the Console as an no-yet-added pool disk.

 

Has anyone banged on their Frankenbuild enough to have actually tried this? I'd like to know what the "performance hit", may look like and if I should even care and also what the process would be should one of the mirrored OS drives fail.

 

Tim Daleo has done this with DATA drives see the article here:

 

http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2011/02/10/windows-home-server-2011-drive-mirror-video-edition/

 

Would you be better off using the OS partition backup capability now built into WHS2011, or perhaps doing what Dave did with the IcyDock unit?

 

Jim

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Using Dynamic Disks for data is acceptable when no other option is available but as pointed out, doing this with the OS is like playing with fire, an upset wife, and bad credit all rolled into one. Just don't do it because if you have a failure the chances of you rebuilding that drive are slim to none and Slim just left town.

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So, basically, even if I do this, if one of the mirrored OS drives fail, I'd still be in the same boat needing to reinstall WHS (as opposed to just adding another drive and re-mirroring), so why even bother? Guess I'll just cross my fingers that the OS drive doesn't fail before I decide to migrate away from WHS v1 (maybe when WHS 2014 comes out). :)

Edited by BigSpenderNOT
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Yes, because it is not really a true mirror as you are spanning the data across a dynamics volume. Two physical drives, no problem. just put in another drive and let the array rebuild. Spanning the volume could work for years without issue but could fail next week too.

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So, even if it would be two physical 250 GB drives, the fact that each one would need to be formatted (or whatever) as a Dynamic Disk and mirrored through WHS' disk management system would cause an instability that would not allow a mirror to rebuild if one of the drives takes a dump? Is that correct?

 

Thanks, BTW for all the help!

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