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Windows Home Server 2011 Set up Advice


scouserjones86
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Hey guys

 

I was wondering could you please cast an eye over my plans to build a Home Server.

I have managed to get a couple of bit together and hopefully collect the rest of the Hard disks next Pay day.

 

What i have so far

 

All New

 

MOBO - Asus M5A88-M EVO Socket AM3+ onboard Graphics 8 channel Audio mATX Motherboard

Processor - AMD Athlon II X4 640 Socket AM3 3GHz 2MB L2 Cache Retail Boxed Processor

Memory - Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz CL9 1.5V Non-ECC Unbuffered

Primary Disk (for OS) - OCZ 60GB Agility 3 SSD - 2.5" SATA-III - Read 525MB/s Write 475MB/s 80,000 IOPS

 

Used

 

Secondary Disk (Storage) WD 2TB 3.5" SATA-III 6GB/s Caviar Green Hard Drive - 64MB Cache - WD20EARX

 

I have the case, power supply and fans also.

 

My Concerns are :-

 

Will the 60 GB SSD be large enough to accommodate WHS 2011?

 

The MOBO i have used in this case states that it supports Raid up to Raid 10. My initial idea was to load the OS on to the SSD and then create the Array (When i get the other Drives) thought the BIOS - RAID 5. Then after the array has been built and fully initilozed, boot windows back up and fingers crossed it will pick the array up and off i go.

 

After looking at PCDOCs Video tutorial, he has used a raid card, is there a reason for this or preference or even my idea above will not work.

 

Hope you guys can help

 

Many thanks

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The 60GB SSD will work, but you will have to do some tricks.

 

WHS2011 wants a 160GB drive for installation. After the installation is complete, it only requires around 30GB. There are ways to alter the installation config files so that it will install onto smaller drives. Of course, you won't be able to install from the original DVD, since you cannot alter the files on a DVD.

 

Most people in these forums do not recommend using RAID5 on the motherboard; use an add-in RAID card. There are a number of reasons for this that you can find by searching these forums. Among the reasons is that, if the motherboard dies, it's likely your RAID array becomes unusable, unless you can find an identical motherboard, which is somewhat unlikely if any time has passed since you built the system. Also, if the array needs to be rebuilt, after replacing a faulty drive for example, the rebuild times tend to be much longer with motherboard RAID.

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TigerDirect has a 120gig SSD on sale today for $89. The issue with the 60gig drive is that is will fill-up to about 75% or so quickly. RAID, as ikon mentioned is best done with a dedicated controller such as the RocketRaid 2720.

 

Although it's not on an SSD, my WHS2011 C: drive is still at 30GB. It was built last summer, so I suspect it isn't going to grow much in the future. Still, $90 is a great price for a 120GB drive, so I would be tempted if I was building new.

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Depends on the add-ins, etc, but yea that is an awesome price for a 6 Gbps SSD.

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Hey guys thanks a lot for the speed reply. The earlier post from ikon states that the requirement for drive space is 160GB, will the 120GB work with out altering the files?

 

I will definently look at tiger Direct, just hoping the ship across the POND to the UK.

 

I see the point and benefit of using a dedicated RAID card, do you guys have a decent one to recommend ? i will eventually like to have 6 disks running.

Weather that means 2 cards with 3 outs or one card with 6 outs i dunno, also that it will do SATA 3.

 

Many Thanks again

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A 120 will also need the setup alteration. Rocket Raid 2720 gets a lot of good reviews here. There are some more expensive with more features but this one seems to be rock solid with a good price point.

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I'm very curious why you would want to use RAID3. It used to be that virtually any good card would support it, but many modern cards do not.

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Hey IKON i not to familiar with RAID 3 so i couldn't give you an honest answer my friend :(

 

I have put some thought into the issues over WHS needing 130GB for install and i have 2 points/questions as a result guys;-

 

1) If i use the 120GB, reading on here i will have to modify the installation, how easy is that ? and is there a POST on here I can read about it

 

2) Working on the IDEA that i either can not do the modified install do you guys think an SSD will make much difference in a WHS. i generally will use it to download and store my media, then stream it to various Media players around the house

 

Many thanks again guys

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I really like question 2. In fact, I do not think an SSD will make much difference in a WHS, or any server for that matter.

 

I must have misread your 1st post. I was sure you'd said you wanted to use RAID3 on the mobo. That said, I generally would not recommend using mobo RAID5 - use a RAID card for that.

 

Re: question 1: just a reminder that the requirement is 160GB, not 130.

 

Regarding the installation tricks, I found a post here where a guy uses Acronis to do it by first using a larger drive. And here's an article how to do it with a cfg.ini file at Connected Digital World. It's not really difficult, but you do need an empty USB flash drive and a WHS2011 installation DVD.

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