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How to remove (replace) a drive in Storage Spaces?


Puulima
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Seems the online info doesn't jive with the real world? This details how to remove a drive - and sounds quite simple...take out the drive, put in a new one and Storage Spaces starts rebuilding your data from resiliency. Except there is no "Remove Drive" option for the drives in the pool?

 

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/11382.storage-spaces-frequently-asked-questions-faq.aspx#How_do_I_replace_a_physical_disk

 

I read through this posting here:

 

http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4710-remove-disk-from-2-way-mirror-in-storage-spaces/

 

 

And it points to the same article I found but again, there is no "Remove Drive" option, even after clicking "Change Settings". All I see is "Rename" next to each physical drive in the pool. One articel I read suggested simply removing the drive and forcing Windows 8 to rebuild (after putting in a new drive) but that seems wrong.

 

Related to this - the initial drive pool I created was 3 x 2TB drives and 1 x 1 TB drive. Based on all the reading I've done since and what I've learned about SS NOT auto-rebalancing - I should not have bothered with the 1 TB - should have started with drives all the same size - so want to rectify that now. I expected to find the data stored on that drive to be double the % of the drive used vs the 3 other 2TB drives - but Windows reports all the 2TB Drives at 53.4% used and the 1 TB at 71% used ??

 

So theoretically if I replace that with a 2 TB I'll have 53.4% on 3 drives and 35.5% on the "new" 2 TB?

 

I also read that when adding drives to a storage pool, sometimes the entire pool goes missing and is reported as "raw" - and you're stuck trying to recover data from the pool using 3rd party software and lots of hours and external drives. Can anybody report back on this - wondering if this is a current issue or a pre-release issue? sounds rather scary to have to cross your fingers when adding drives. Once my data is copied over from 2 of my old drives I'd like to add them to the pool...but this concerns me.

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OK, so I went ahead and added 2 new 2TB drives to the pool. That worked fine. My initial Thin Provisioning setting is still greater than the usable capacity - not sure if I have to increase THAT before I add more drives or if I exceed that - will Windows just bump up to what the "real" max is?

 

I do now notice that there is a "Remove Drive" option for these 2 new (empty) drives in Storage Spaces manager. I think I'll wait to hear back from someone before I go and physicaly remove the 1 TB drive though. Worst case, I've only copied over just shy of 2 TB of data into the pool - all from one drive - which I still have the source data on. So if something goes awry, I can start over...but with the reduced throughput created by the two-way mirroring - I was only getting roughly 25 MB/s on copying the data over...don't really want to do that over.

 

Thanks for your insight...

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One articel I read suggested simply removing the drive and forcing Windows 8 to rebuild (after putting in a new drive) but that seems wrong.

 

Not sure why you think this is wrong. After all, what would you do if a drive physically failed? These systems are supposed to be designed to handle such failures. In effect, if you yank a drive, you are mimicing a physical failure - the system should be able to handle it.

 

Now, there's no need to be rash in a home situation, so I would always shut the system down and remove power before yanking and replacing a drive (even though commercial hardware is designed to allow for drives to be hot-swapped while the system is running, to avoid downtime).

 

Also, before doing any of these things, ensure you have good backup of the data, just in case.

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Not sure why you think this is wrong. After all, what would you do if a drive physically failed? These systems are supposed to be designed to handle such failures. In effect, if you yank a drive, you are mimicing a physical failure - the system should be able to handle it.

 

Understood and would agree if it weren't for the MS instructions indicating a structured way to accomplish this.

 

Also, before doing any of these things, ensure you have good backup of the data, just in case.

 

:-) That's exactly what I'm working on...my old WHS v1 drives seem to be all dying at once. Lost 2 so far and 2 others keep developing file structure and/or partition issues - the oldest of the drives form my WHS v1 box - so not taking any chances and backing up the rest.

 

Weird though, Windows 8 will lock up when one of these drives with issues is installed, and if I hook it up to my laptop, Windows 7 reports the disk has problems and needs to be scanned & fixed. I do that and that it reports errors fixed successfully - then move it back to the Win8 box and all runs well for a while...then issues again. This time I move it to the Win7 machine and no errors are reported, so put it back in the Win8 machine and now IT reports errors and is scanning/fixing. You would think Windows would report errors consistently?

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The MS instructions notwithstanding, you should still be able to do it. AFAIK, the Remove Disk button has the added feature that it will relocate all the data (on the disk to be removed) to other disk(s), thus avoiding the 'rebuilding' scenario that would ensue with a failed drive. I agree it's a better option if it's available, but yanking a drive should still work.

 

It might seem like consistency should be the goal, but consistency can often stifle innovation. Win8, for example, (and I'm not saying this is the case; it's just an example of what might be) could include some new ideas on how to check the status of drives, or what constitutes a failing drive.

 

BTW, it certainly sounds like your drives are nearing failure; you're a wise man to back it all up. I do wonder, however, how it is you don't already have multiple backups, including at least one offsite.

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BTW, it certainly sounds like your drives are nearing failure; you're a wise man to back it all up. I do wonder, however, how it is you don't already have multiple backups, including at least one offsite.

 

Ugh. Don't rub it in! I used to be religious about this...had multiple backups to multiple external devices and then got complacent...and paying for that now. Fortunately most all of all my truly "critical" data is backed up. But the with failure of 2 of the WHS drive pool - I'm certain I lost some files (2 of 7 drives) but at least one was only a 1TB thus minimizing the total loss...

 

Just bought a bunch of new 2 TB's - different sources, different times so duplicating all of my old WHS drives onto those for now - and then creating another backup of the critical stuff from that collection. Next step is to look at some sort of cloud service. I looked at CrashPlan and like the pricing for their unlimited model - and the "we'll ship you an external drive to start" - but you have to have a US address ;-( So far all of the Canadian cloud backup services look to have ridiculous pricing. Thanks for the feedback on this stuff...good to have a sounding board.

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Don't forget, if all else fails and you have a drive or drives that won't read, you can try SpinRite to get the drive into good enough shape to get the data off. I've done it many times. It's not magic; there's no fairey dust, but it often can give you that one last go.

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Don't forget, if all else fails and you have a drive or drives that won't read, you can try SpinRite to get the drive into good enough shape to get the data off. I've done it many times. It's not magic; there's no fairey dust, but it often can give you that one last go.

 

I used DiskTest to fix the partition errors on one of the drives - one that Windows didn't recognize When the drive finally appeared in Explorer it told me it needed to be formatted first. I used DiskTest, anad it fixed the partition pretty quickly. It even copied the files to another drive for me, however I did notice afterwards that it missed or skipped some - but Windows was able to copy the rest afterwards.

 

Sounds like SpinRite is similar - and likely better?

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Actually, SpinRite is very different. It doesn't know anything about file systems at all. It works at the lower drive levels; clusters, sectors, etc. What it does is try to read every sector on a drive. If it has trouble reading one, it will try various techniques to re-read the sector again and again. As it gets more and more bits of data from the sector, it builds up a complete (or as complete as it can) image of the sector in memory. When it's done the best it can, it will write the data out to a new, good sector, and get the drive to mark the faulty sector as bad. You can find out all about it at http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm

 

I use SpinRite as a burn-in tool for new hard drives, and for preventative maintenance. I normally will SpinRite a drive once or twice a year, just to refresh the surface and lock out any sectors that are starting to get weak.

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Actually, SpinRite is very different. It doesn't know anything about file systems at all. It works at the lower drive levels; clusters, sectors, etc. What it does is try to read every sector on a drive. If it has trouble reading one, it will try various techniques to re-read the sector again and again. As it gets more and more bits of data from the sector, it builds up a complete (or as complete as it can) image of the sector in memory. When it's done the best it can, it will write the data out to a new, good sector, and get the drive to mark the faulty sector as bad. You can find out all about it at http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm

 

I use SpinRite as a burn-in tool for new hard drives, and for preventative maintenance. I normally will SpinRite a drive once or twice a year, just to refresh the surface and lock out any sectors that are starting to get weak.

 

Wow, almost sounds too good to be true. So you can run it with Data on the drive w/o risk of loss (when you do it the once or twice a year)? So for my 2 seemingly completely dead drives that Windows won't acknowledge at all - this will "see" the drives and be able to do it's thing? If I can rescue the data on the smaller drive (1TB) then I potentially would have zero loss of files...that would be sweet.

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