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Adding New Storage to WHS As Backup


byronomo
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Ok...I just waved in 2 more 2TB drives for my enclosure and as I was going through the installation process via WHS console, I was presented with a choice of adding the drive to the storage or using it as backup. At that point, I decided that it might make sense (not sure why) to add one to the pool and to use one to specifically backup Photos, Documents and Home Videos.

 

Adding one drive to the storgage was a piece of cake. However when I tried to add the drive as a backup drive, I got an error message stating that the drive needs to be partitioned.

 

Questions:

1. How do I partition the drive? (hopefully it doesn't mean removing it from the enclosure)

2. Does backing up these files provide an added layer of security above and beyond file duplication? (considering that the drives are all either in my EX475 of the Sansdigital enclosure)

 

 

Thanks in advance!

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Could you tell us a little more information about your system? You stated you have an EX475 and Sansdigital enclosure. How many drives and what size are already installed in the EX475? How many in the SansDigital box? It looks like you added 2 more drives (each 2 TB). Maybe a little more detail might help others determine what is happening. I don't think I have seen WHS ask to partition a drive so that seems a little odd. Others my have seen this, though.

 

Have you tried removing the last drive from the box (since it hasn't been added yet)? Maybe remove the drive, reboot the server and make sure everything is back to normal. Then, add the 2nd drive and see if you now can add it.

 

Regarding backup drives. Using a backup drive is definately an additional layer of security. Duplication is designed to keep your files available on the server but the files are duplicated across 2 drives to protect against file loss if 1 drive fails. However, if someone deletes the file on the server, the duplication file disappears too. Using a backup drive, you create a copy of the files you want and store them on a separate drive. You can then remove the drive and store it off site or simply in another area to prevent file loss.

 

Some people use external HDD docks to connect internal HDDs to the box. They then back up to this drive and store it in their desk at work (offsite). They have 2 or 3 drives that they rotate through on a weekly basis for their back up process. This keeps 1 or 2 drives offsite at all times protects against the offsite drive from failing because there is 2 offsite drives at any 1 time. The drive they have at home is used for that weeks backups and then rotated through the offsite drives.

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Could you tell us a little more information about your system? You stated you have an EX475 and Sansdigital enclosure. How many drives and what size are already installed in the EX475? How many in the SansDigital box? It looks like you added 2 more drives (each 2 TB). Maybe a little more detail might help others determine what is happening. I don't think I have seen WHS ask to partition a drive so that seems a little odd. Others my have seen this, though.

 

Sure thing! Basically my EX475 was purchased w/ 2X500GB. I added 2X1.5TB to it, filling it's four slots. Basically I now have a sansdigital enclosure (http://www.sansdigital.com/towerraid/tr4m.html) that has 4X2TB in it. The enclosure is attached to the EX475 by eSATA. Initially I put 2X2TB in the SansDigital (working fine, configured as part of the WHS storage pool) and yesterday I added 2 more---bringing the storage in the enclosure to 8TB.

 

The drive installation seems fine and WHS Console is able to see all of the drives. With regards to the 2 newest drives, I am able to add either or both to the storage pool, making them available as "regular" storage on the WHS. However, when I try to make one of the drives a backup drive, I am presented with the 3 screens attached, ultimately resulting in an error message that reads "Add Hard Drive Failed. Drive partitioning and restart required. The drive does not seem to have a partition created. Please create a partition and then restart home server before trying to add the drive."

 

Thanks again for your kind offer of assistance.

screen 1.jpg

screen 2.jpg

screen 3.jpg

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byronomo - I found someone who listed a similar problem in the comments section of this blog post on usingwindowshomeserver.com.

 

John B wrote:

I have just physically added 2 new drives to my HP MediaSmart Server running WHS. The new drives show up in “Non Storage Hard Drives” section. When I click on one to “Add”, the dialog begins and eventually says “Drive partioning and restart required”. What is easiest way to partition these new hard drives?

 

Reply from Brian:

John, I had to come in the back door using Remote Desktop Connection to the “server name” and using the admin password. Then, I used Disk Management to fake an initial partioning. Then, after making it active. I logged out of RDC and then back to the Home Server screen to follow the screen shots from above. Hope that helps. -Brian

 

These quotes were grabbed from comments on UsingWindowsHomeServer.com

 

I don't know the specifics or even why this might work, so use the advice at your own risk.

 

You might also get some additional advice from some others like Diehard or pcdoc if they have experienced a similar problem.

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Usually when you add a drive as a non pooled drive, it will ask you if you want to FORMAT the drive, you can choose yes if you want a fresh start, or choose no if the drive is already partitioned as 1 large drive and formated and you might already have data on it that to would like to copy to your shares.

 

I haven't seen when the Console asks to PARTITION the drive. But anyway, as suggested you can RDC into your server and use the builtin windows Disk Management option to partition the drive, then add it through the Console as before.

 

I like to keep my non pooled drives in my external enclosure as opposed to the server because that way I can turn the enclosure off to save wear on the drives since they are only used to run a manual backup, I don't need them using power and spinning for no reason.

 

 

Excellent link cskenney B)

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byronomo,

 

John pretty much answered the question. I am assuming that there is a interpretation issue between the console and the sansdigital controller which is why you are being asked. You can partition (create a simple volume) from the drive management window or you can also attach the drive to any system before you put it into the enclosure and partition it first if you want to make sure nothing goes wrong and you do not accidentally partition the wrong drive (ask me I know this from experience...). Once the drive is partitioned you should be able to add it a back up drive.

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Guys....thanks a lot. With a combination of help from this forum and googling, I was able to figure this out.

 

The key step that was missing was:

RDP into WHS and look for the lone drive indicated as "REMOVED" under Disk Management. Right click on that drive and there was an option to "Make Partition Active". Once that was selected, then the option to utilize the new drive as a backup drive (rather than adding it to the pool) was able to proceed error free.

 

 

After that, I followed the steps here:

http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2009/05/17/backing-up-your-windows-home-server-shared-folders-with-an-external-hard-drive/

 

 

Now I am able to backup my "Home Data", "Photos" and "Videos" shares to that drive. I guess the next step is to buy another 2TB and periodically swap it out and keep one in my fireproof safe at all times.

 

 

Thanks again for all the help...these forums are GREAT!!

 

 

 

As an aside----I'm not sure why the screen captures that I uploaded didn't work. When I tried to view them myself on the forum, I got an error suggesting that my login won't allow me to access them. Strange.

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Yes, I also got an error saying that I didn't have permission to view. Not sure if this is something that Dave could look into and correct. If you need to upload images, you could use a service like Photobucket or similar. That's what I do.

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