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[How to] setup WHS2011 server backup to use a VHD.


Mr_Smartepants

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KydDynoMyte

Has anyone done this with the "Dynamically Expanding" enabled and had it actually expand and still work properly? I'm just curious with how server backup takes over a drive and what it is going to do when the drive size changes.

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Mr_Smartepants

Has anyone done this with the "Dynamically Expanding" enabled and had it actually expand and still work properly? I'm just curious with how server backup takes over a drive and what it is going to do when the drive size changes.

Yes.  As I listed in the first post.

I created a "500GB" dynamic VHD and it was about 10GB initially I think but has grown to about 64GB.  It's been my server backup destination for the past month and I haven't had a failure yet.

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KydDynoMyte

Sorry, I didn't understand how it worked. I thought it created a 500GB VHD and would increase it if needed. So 500GB is the max and it starts at 0 and increases as it needs to but stops when it reaches 500GB. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Edited by KydDynoMyte
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Mr_Smartepants

Yeah, I'm nowhere near the max size so I can't tell you what happens when I hit that wall.

I imagine I'll get close in about a year, but I think the backup utility will start pruning the older backups long before then.

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Yeah, I'm nowhere near the max size so I can't tell you what happens when I hit that wall.

I imagine I'll get close in about a year, but I think the backup utility will start pruning the older backups long before then.

The fact that the volume is actually a dynamically expanding VHD should be invisible to the backup engine which simply sees it as a fixed size 500 Gbyte disk. So what should happen is that eventually the backup system will think (correctly as it turns out) that the disk is getting low on space and start killing off the older backups.

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KydDynoMyte

Sorry, my fault for not being familiar enough with it and thinking it would start off with a 500GB file and expand after hitting 500gb. Then with the way server backup takes over a drive I thought it might do some type of special formatting to it that could have trouble with it when the size expands. But since the size expands from 0 to start with all my thinking was wrong. Googling a little bit on the "Dynamically Expanding" option seems to warn not to do this on a production system because of the performance hit of it always having to expand a little bit. But it is good to know Mr_Smartepants didn't notice any slowdowns, so it must not be much of a performance hit afterall.

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  • 1 year later...

This is a GREAT idea!  It allows me to backup my server backup onto Crashplan.

 

However, if my Server boot drive does die, how would I ever use this to recover?  I know I can boot with the WHS 2011 drive and enter recover option, but since the VHS is not connected, and you really cannot connect it in the recovery drive mode, how is this useful?  Eventually, you will have to somehow copy this back over to a physical drive I suppose?

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Conneckter

Hi blueman2,

 

Diskpart is also available in the installation media of whs2011. You can open a command prompt and connect the vhd from the disk where the vhd was saved, with diskpart. After that, the recovery wizard can find the backup drive.

 

But at all, I would not prefere a virtual drive, because if the physical drive file system becomes unstable and the vhd is big, than your backup is broken. This would be a other case with vhdx (better error correction), but the whs2011 does not support this format.

 

 

Gesendet von iPhone mit Tapatalk

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On re-reading the OP I, too, began wondering about how I would recover such a system. The DiskPart idea may well work, but you have to remember where the VHD is. You likely would have to identify which drive DiskPart thinks it's on. They you would have to mount it. Overall, I like my small HDD in a drive toaster, connected via USB2, better - it's basically bomb-proof.

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