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3TB drive for storing backups + system restore from it


azazello
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Hi everybody,

 

I'm setting up the new and improved network and need some advice/clarification on the use of 3TB drives with WHS. I know that this issue was discussed a lot, but I seem to be getting results, conflicting with the common picture. I just finished a complete system (C: drive, home of the server OS) restore (MBR formatted) from the image stored on a 3TB (GPT formatted) disc, which finished successfully, contrary to the speculations in this thread - http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/3731-any-issues-using-a-3tb-for-backups/.

 

The question is - will this keep working? I plan to have server shared files on :D, the 2TB partition of the MBR drive, have it backed up to the 3TB local drive and that mirrored over the VPN for offsite backup to my boss' home server, which would be serving his home network in much the same way and mirroring its backup drive on the office server (another 3TB)

 

I currently have 2 boxes built, each with two 3TB drives (we didn't know about the 2TB limitation when we got them), so should I go ahead and ask him to buy two more 2TB and set up the system the way I described it (here's the diagram: https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1w2wzWx6LP_cQ7YHojN9vpFhQodUfDk0VWeWsv0yP3Ig/edit), or is there something I'm overlooking and this whole setup is a disaster waiting to happen?

 

Thank you!

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So there are two 3TB drives on each server outside of the OS drive?

 

 

BTW, welcome to the forums....this is a friendly place where they guys really enjoy helping one another.

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I'm not 100% certain but I think you may be confusing 2 things. From what I recall, you can restore the OS FROM a GPT drive but you cannot restore it TO a GPT drive. As you already stated you restored TO an MBR drive, I would think you're OK.

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from that topic, pcdoc's post #34:

We appreciate your experimentation as this subject comes up now and than, however, I can tell you will not be able to restore the server in full from a 3T drive.

 

I am very confused indeed, I expected the whole set up to be simple (which it is - everything works after all, apart from the possibility that it won't work when we really need it to) but this compatibility issue won't let me continue the data migration without worrying...

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With WHS2011, you can add 3TB or 4TB drives as pooled drives. You're maximum OS drive can only be a 2TB drive, setup by default with a 60Gig partition for the OS. You can only use a 3TB as a system drive if your motherboard supports it, from what I have read, WHS2011 like Windows 7 & 8 can install properly on a GPT system drive, but again the motherboard must support UEFI booting. Now if you add a 3TB drive as a pool drive, it must be formatted using Disk Management as a GPT drive to take advantage of using a single partition. Or else you will be formatting it MBR and that has a maximum of 2048gig so there will be a balance that you can format as a 2nd partition of 768Gig. Since your using a 3rd party app to copy files to an other server, you shouldn't have an issue. The issue with WHS2011 is that there is a 2TB shared folder limit if you use the builtin backup. So if you are using a 3TB GPT drive with over 2 TB of files, the builtin backup which uses VHD will fail because it's over 2TB. But you are using some other software to backup so you're good to go.

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from that topic, pcdoc's post #34:

 

 

I am very confused indeed, I expected the whole set up to be simple (which it is - everything works after all, apart from the possibility that it won't work when we really need it to) but this compatibility issue won't let me continue the data migration without worrying...

This is true if you tried restoring the 3TB drive using the builtin Server Recovery VHD route. If you restore missing files using Robocopy or Allwaysync or file copy, you will be ok.

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diehard, just to clarify - I'm using both 3TB drives as backup drives only (one for local backup, one for off-site over the internet backup), the system partition and actual shared files are on the 2TB drive. I'm using WHS backup utility to back it up onto the local 3TB and AllwaySync to mirror that local 3TB to the remote one. I'm still not 100% sure it'll work, though...

 

Thank you for your help!

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