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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:46 am 
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Hi, after reading the forums here, and there and everywhere I’m just trying to get a few things confirmed and some opinions.
The problem is that the EX470 we’ve been running has run out of space (down to 30GB free when it really started screaming at me). And yes that does include a 4 bay eSATA enclosure.
The setup we have is:
EX470
2GB ram
non upgraded processor
running HP MSS v3
eSATA 4 bay enclosure attached and full
(Mediasonic ProBox 4 Bay (HF2-SU3S2))
present drive size:
2x1TB
2x1.5TB
4x2TB (one is the sys drive)
All data backed up and removed & fresh factory reset install done - server is empty

so what i'm trying to do is swap out 2 of the old 1TB drives with 2 4TB ones
Swapping out the 1TB and 1.5TB drives out for 2TB is just too expensive for the gain… and getting the 4TB drives to work on the WHS v1 even with the posted workarounds has not worked :(

So it looks like my only option is installing WHS 2011.

At the moment User Folders and Folders like Photos is duplicated, Media Folders like Video and Recorded TV is not (just too big and while painful can be replaced).
Streaming is only done to PC’s, and only 3 PC’s are backed up on the server.

So basically the server is set up like a big central repository for files without any fancy add-ins.

So my questions are:
1. WHS 2011 on EX470 WILL handle 2TB+ drives in the pool? NOT for Backup and not for OS but just in the pool?

2. when people refer to NOT for Backup they are not talking about computer backup to the server but the actual server backup to ‘external’ drive?

3. I can set up WHS2011 to backup just certain Share folders not full drives?

4. Since the DE functionality of the WHS v1 is not there and I have folders that are definitely larger then HDD space if I don’t want to worry about placing them myself on drives my option is something like StableBit DrivePool to mirror the functionality of the DE. Any concerns over the add-in? Stability? Will my pool vanish? If a drive fails will the duplication really be there? It’s been a while so I guess they are not in Beta any more… but asking…

5. Still on the above drive pool issue – is the D: drive (the partition from the SYS drive) added to the pool like in WHS v1? Can it be with StableBit DrivePool? Or is it just left as some ‘other’ space in which case a smaller system drive might be better. The logic for WHS v1 for the 2TB first dive was that the next drives left to swap out where the 1.5TB drives and since the D: partition is part of the pool this leave the most amount of space available.

6. Hardware – till now with the 2GB ram upgrade it’s been without issue… how much more ram does the 2011 OS use? And how critical is the 4GB upgrade?

6a. from what i read the fans in the EX470 are OS controlled and not in the BIOS. So something like SpeedFan is recommended to fix it. is this sufficient?

7. Drivers - i've seen some comments on the eSATA drivers needed after the install from what i understand its for the
marvell 61xx marvell RAID controller and the SiS 0182/1182 RAID Controller. I'm looking for the Windows 7 64bit version? Anyone have links? haven't really managed to find them.

8. can the system be factory reset back to WHS v1 without any problems? not restored i know that won't work but total factory reset.

9. remote access – i’ve had the remote access through the HPshare.net which if I’m not mistaken was part of the HP media server option. Can I still use it? And if not what are the options? Free preferable. Do I need to set up a windows live domain (the other option available on the HP MSS) while still on WHS v1 or can it be done from 2011?

10. not quite sure I understand the issue of Auto Logon for WHS 2011 – what is different?

11. Are the Network share folders still set up the same way? i.e. can users still access them without anything installed on the local PC’s?

I like the WHS v1 it works fine for us… if it wasn’t for the drive size issue I’d see no reason to switch. So I’m looking for about the same functionality..
-a central repository for files
-easy access to shares
-file duplication for more sensitive files (without my head exploding or having to think about it)
- home PC backup

I would really appreciate the confirmation’s/answers to the above and any comments on getting WHS 2011 on the EX470 people have.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:38 pm 
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well.
just another avenue to think about before going the new OS trip..
Are you aware you have usb ports that should work on say a sans digital TR8U-B / TR8U which will give you eight more bays.
I say should because I am not sure about a EX470. so you need to look it up on this site.
If it does work for you.
You could use the 4tb drives for server backups

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Ruben Rocha wrote:
well.
just another avenue to think about before going the new OS trip..
Are you aware you have usb ports that should work on say a sans digital TR8U-B / TR8U which will give you eight more bays.
I say should because I am not sure about a EX470. so you need to look it up on this site.
If it does work for you.
You could use the 4tb drives for server backups


yeah, but the USB ports on the EX470 are 2.0 and running that many drives or even just 4 on USB 2.0 with multi-user simultaneous access is just not ideal

EX470 has a limit of 4 drives on eSATA not sure of the limit on the USB and a quick search did not give me any answers, but assuming it works, TR8U+B would probably be a better choice since it has USB 3 (for future upgrade - DIY server), but again there is limitation in space where all this is set up, the 400$, and the issue that i'm back to 2TB drives and those we seem to fill up really quickly ...

as for the 4TB drives for backup, i'm not - gasp- using server backup.. so all the drives listed right now are in the pool. adding the 2x4Tb for backup is 'nice' but it does not solve my space issue now. I was thinking when i take out the 2x1TB drives to replace with the 4TB to use those in USB enclosures for backup with 2011, since i have them and the 2011 is new to me and the folder duplication runs of an Add-in, so just in case...

But as i said the server backup is not my issue the pool is.. and being able to add 4TB drives just seems like a longer term solution for the speed at which we seem to fill them up. And to be honest i don't want to 'deal' with this again in 8 months... getting, begging, borrowing and stealing enough drives to backup the whole server to do this is a pain ... transferring 12TB+ of data of the server took days... and the server has been off line or almost 2 weeks... i'm about to be crucified...

so while i'm not crazy about switching to WHS 2011 it seems the 'best' option for the needs. If i can be reasonably certain with the list above that it will work.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:37 pm 
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Hi nev99,

All good questions indeed but let me give you an overview of my experience with installing WHS2011 on an EX470.

First it better to do it with a DEBUG board and external DVD Drive with a keyboard and mouse connected to the server. There are ways around it but you really should have a video output to run this OS especially if down the road you chose to perform a recovery which is much different then what you have done in the past with WHSv1.

Before I go on the one main reason why I opted to take WHS2011 out of my EX470 was because HomeServerSMART2013 did not work properly with the server and I did not investigate the reasons why or attempt to contact Matt to find out if there was a solution. So if keeping an eye on your hard drives is important to you then you may want to contact Matt over at DOJONORTH Software an inquire about it.

One thing you need to know about the way you go about Server Recoveries with WHS2011 is that you need to have a backup of WHS2011 and there are two options for this. The first is a manual backup which doesn't keep up with your server status and the 2nd and best way is to dedicate a drive for daily backups be it internal or external. Its the server backups which you will use for a recovery and without them you would have to reinstall and configure WHS. Difference in the recovery with WHS2011 is that when you do it everything is recovered including your settings.

You can also clone a WHS2011 drive and pop in the new one and be running which is much better then what you have to do with WHSv1 so that's a big plus.

As for Stablebit Drive Pool its just outstanding and works well. Stablebit Drive Pool does support the larger then 2TB drives but I never tested this on an EX470 because all my 4TB Drives are in my WS2012E server. I do have an EX485 running WHS2011 and did not even bother with larger then 2TB Drives in that server either because that's not where my focus is at the moment.

Now Stablebit Drive Pool is friendlier than DE and is portable meaning if you opt to build another server and use Stablebit Drive Pool you can move your License and install the Storage Pool Drives and Stablebit will see them and start using them. Also you can have multiple pools. I moved my Storage Pool from WHS2011 to WS2012E and only had to tell WS2012E where my Shares were and it worked properly. Since the migration was done on the same server I also had to do some folder renaming so that WS2012E would not use the WHS2011 folders which were similar.

As for the fans I do not recall this to be a big issue as I think mines turned on full speed and stayed running full speed. I have a dual core processor running in all my EX470's be it a BE2300 or ADD3800 and I only had 2GB of RAM but from monitoring operation of WHS2011 I would recommend 4GB RAM because the server seemed to utilize about 2.2GB on average.

Its been a while but I do not recall which drivers if any I had to go seek out and install but because no red flags come to mind it basically means that I do not recall drivers being a big issue or overly difficult to find for the EX470. I would however urge you to protect your current disk set if you opt to install WHS2011.

WHS2011 may expose the SMI Area on your motherboard. If it does by all means copy the contents but do not disturb this area or if you opt to go back to WHSv1 by popping in your drives you will have no issue running the OS but if you down the road require a Server Recovery and the SMI Area is compromise you may not be able to recover the server as some have found out. To use those SMI Files on a flash drive all you need to do is create a bootable USB Flash Drive then copy the SMI Files onto the flash drive and then you can boot from it to place your server into its recovery mode. Just plug in the USB Flash Drive to the bottom USB Port, back out the system drive, turn the server on and when you see the health light blinking Purple/Red Slide in the system drive and begin the recovery. When the server needs to reboot several times just remove the Flash Drive and your done.

Just because you can install WHS2011 on an EX470 does not mean its your best course of action. I understand you already own the equipment and want to make full use of it but I would urge you to build a new server or purchase one already built but building one allows you to have full control over the components and you get to enjoy the longer warranty periods. The EX470 is getting up there in age and to keep one running you should have another one to use as a backup. While I have a few I do get nervous about how much longer they will last but if one dies I have another to replace it with.

Back to your server expansion and wanting to replace or upgrade some of your existing storage pool drives. What I would recommend is adding a storage pool drives externally using a USB Port/ This will allow you to tell the server to remove an existing storage pool drive. When WHS removes the drive you can then slide it out and install a 2nd Storage Pool Drive then remove the other drive you want to change out. When that drive is removed you can pull it out and shut the server down. Then you can move the USB Connected Drive to the available bay in the server and you will not have to run USB Connected Drives in the future.

Now USB2 runs about 450mbps on the transfer speed which is slower then eSATA or SATA but if you think about the transfer speeds within your server they never quite get above 40-60mbps well within the speed of USB2. I would agree that having all the storage pool drives within the server enclosure is your best bet but if you max that out you need to expand outside the box which will buy you time to figure out what your next solution will be. Thing is that you will need to copy all your data to the new server and its a huge task. You may also want to run 2 servers for a while keeping all your data safe on the EX470 until you build confidence in the new solution thus having no regrets. I did this for a solid year before I actually built a new WHSv1 server to downsize the existing server just to get all the drives in one box and I still run that server today because of certain applications I have been running on WHSv1 for years and can not do without plus I have WHSv1-OEM and use its landing pages heavily and when I change those out to run on WS2012E then I will phase out WHSv1 all together especially when the client backups that it currently stores are no longer needed. So I still need WHSv1 because of the offsite client backups which have been protected by BDBB and because I am over protective I actually have then on a redundant WHSv1 server which sits idle until its needed.

I will help you in anyway I can if you want to install WHS2011 on your EX470 even though I do not fully agree with it. Point here is that its your server to do with as you chose and if your heart is set on installing WHS2011 on an EX470 and you have thought this through then who am I to disagree?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:53 am 
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Comp1962 Thanks for the post and the offered help. I'll hold you to it :)

So let me address a few questions/issues you raised...

to start with
Comp1962 wrote:
...and if your heart is set on installing WHS2011 on an EX470 and you have thought this through ...


The answer to the fist part is God NO.... far from it... i wish i could stay on the WHS v1 that is working just fine for us...
but there is an EXCEPT

'The ONLY thing i want is to have more HDD space in the pool. Without running out of space in 4 months and spending a fortune on short term solutions. We have been down to under 20GB since the beginning of the summer... and i have been debating how to 'resolve' the issue.... When the PC backups started screaming at me i knew that i had to stop debating and actually DO something. There are 8 drives in the pool now (4 in the EX470 4 in the eSATA enclosure).
Not counting the network drive i set up over the summer to deal with people not being able to add stuff to the server... with about 1TB waiting to go to the server...

Swapping out 2x1TB drives for 2x2TB will gain me a max of 1TB of space (taking the network drive content into consideration)... and that will be gone by January.

Not to mention that swapping out 1TB for 2TB is just too expensive for the gain..

The next issue is that i just managed to beg, borrow and steal enough drives to move all the data from the server to try to add the 4TB drives (since a backup was needed for playing with something like this)... getting that done again in 6-8 months might not be possible again... plus moving 12TB of data takes foreeeeeeeeeever...

The answer to the second part is: i'm in the 'process' of thinking it through.

i was 'gambling' that the workaround on getting the 4TB drives into WHS v1 would work... well it did not... so now i have a problem

so my options are
1. ignore all, install the 4TB drives as 2TB move everything back to the server and ignore the issue for 6 months (on the outside)
2. get an USB enclosure add those drives as 2TB and have space for a few more in 6 months..
3. install WHS 2011 on the EX470 and pray it works.. and use the 4TB drives
4. build a new server...

so evaluating the options:
1. expensive joke for the HDD's and does not resolve the problem past very short term
2. for the price of the larger enclosure like the 8bay sans digital TR8U-/+B i can almost build a new server plus 400$ is not in the budget now for this... and i'm back to the 2TB limit on HDD and i'm honestly going to take a tape measure and see if anything over a 4 bay will fit height wise in the space...
3. yeah it has an option of not working ideally... in which case i have to switch to option 2 or 4. 4 probably better and the 50$ i'm out for the WHS2011 i'll need for the new server anyways...
4. yeah would love to build one and there are some good DIY lists of components for a MIcroserver for about 500$ since size in this case is somewhat an issue... but we go back to the 500$ is really not in the budget now for this...

Comp1962 wrote:
Back to your server expansion and wanting to replace or upgrade some of your existing storage pool drives. What I would recommend is adding a storage pool drives externally using a USB Port/ This will allow you to tell the server to remove an existing storage pool drive. When WHS removes the drive you can then slide it out and install a 2nd Storage Pool Drive then remove the other drive you want to change out. When that drive is removed you can pull it out and shut the server down. Then you can move the USB Connected Drive to the available bay in the server and you will not have to run USB Connected Drives in the future.
.....
Now USB2 runs about 450mbps on the transfer speed which is slower then eSATA or SATA but if you think about the transfer speeds within your server they never quite get above 40-60mbps well within the speed of USB2. I would agree that having all the storage pool drives within the server enclosure is your best bet but if you max that out you need to expand outside the box which will buy you time to figure out what your next solution will be. Thing is that you will need to copy all your data to the new server and its a huge task.


Not an issue everything is moved off the server and waiting to see where it and how it goes. and an extra enclosure brings me back to above point 2 . not sure it's financially the best long term solution... I think i'm starting to hate 2TB drives ](*,) not quite reasonable... i know...
maybe i'm looking at HDD's as a more 'long' term purchase then they are... but i'm tired of having to replace and not have a use for components... I still have 5-6 350-500GB ATA and SATA drives floating around with some various backups or just empty.. they were swapped for larger drives when it was needed.. but they are perfectly fine, working drives... that are now just creating clutter with boxes of other working but upgraded components...

Comp1962 wrote:
Before I go on the one main reason why I opted to take WHS2011 out of my EX470 was because HomeServerSMART2013 did not work properly with the server and I did not investigate the reasons why or attempt to contact Matt to find out if there was a solution. So if keeping an eye on your hard drives is important to you then you may want to contact Matt over at DOJONORTH Software an inquire about it.


Now that does give me pause since from what i was reading WHS 2011 does not monitor the HDD health so HomeServerSMART2013 was a add-in i was looking at to fix this... Any other options for Add-ins for this? What about the Stablebit Scanner?

Not that is really solves the hardware monitoring issue but i was considering installing FlexRAID under the Stablebit Drive Pool for some extra security... it would actually be more than we have now since only the more sensitive Photos, User and such folders are duplicated and a drive failure would actually mean re-ripping a good chunk of stuff.. that while possible i'm not looking forward to.

Comp1962 wrote:
One thing you need to know about the way you go about Server Recoveries with WHS2011 is that you need to have a backup of WHS2011 and there are two options for this. The first is a manual backup which doesn't keep up with your server status and the 2nd and best way is to dedicate a drive for daily backups be it internal or external. Its the server backups which you will use for a recovery and without them you would have to reinstall and configure WHS. Difference in the recovery with WHS2011 is that when you do it everything is recovered including your settings.

You can also clone a WHS2011 drive and pop in the new one and be running which is much better then what you have to do with WHSv1 so that's a big plus.


Does this mean that the server back up on WHS 2011 actually backs up the OS? because WHS v1 from what i know did not.
So this would be solved by just setting the server backup in 2011 to an external USB disk? which i was planing on anyways for some of the more sensitive data... or would the OS backup need a separate drive (which i have if needed)

Or is there some special backup workaround to back up the OS?

Comp1962 wrote:
First it better to do it with a DEBUG board and external DVD Drive with a keyboard and mouse connected to the server. There are ways around it but you really should have a video output to run this OS especially if down the road you chose to perform a recovery which is much different then what you have done in the past with WHSv1.


i was looking at the option to use my desktop to install.. it's back to the $$ issue... i know 80$ is not the end of the world but the 2x4TB drives... the WHS2011.... it's starting to add up at the wrong time (September sucks)... i'm hoping i never need a recovery \:D/ but that by the time i unfortunately do it will not be a $$ issue...


Comp1962 wrote:
As for the fans I do not recall this to be a big issue as I think mines turned on full speed and stayed running full speed. I have a dual core processor running in all my EX470's be it a BE2300 or ADD3800 and I only had 2GB of RAM but from monitoring operation of WHS2011 I would recommend 4GB RAM because the server seemed to utilize about 2.2GB on average.


will have to look into that more then, heat is an issue here, lets put it this way... heating is totally turned off in the office in winter (and its NOT a small office 300sq ft at least) and we live in Canada. and the A/C has a hard time maintaining temps under 24C in summer at full blast.

Part of the reason i`m not crazy about another expansion bay... just adds more heat...

Comp1962 wrote:
I will help you in anyway I can if you want to install WHS2011 on your EX470 even though I do not fully agree with it. Point here is that its your server to do with as you chose and if your heart is set on installing WHS2011 on an EX470 and you have thought this through then who am I to disagree?


LOL i don`t fully agree with it... going back to above points 1-4 i`m kinda feeling like i`m out of options... or that this is the least expensive option to try and hope it works...

plus long term if/when the server does need to be replaced with Stablebit Drive Pool i should be able to just move the drives and the pool to the new server if i`m reading everything correctly.

comments all welcome :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:45 am 
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Sounds like you need to come to terms with just how much storage capacity you really need and also weigh in on the age of your EX470 and what you would do if it should fail. WHS2011 is only suppose to be installed in one server and if it should fail that's suppose to be it and you would need to buy another license. Now you maybe able to move it and be fine but the OEM license is suppose to be good only for the equipment it was installed on.

Guess the thing to do now is to find out if the EX470 running WHS2011 with Stablebit Drive Pool will run with the larger drives. I know Stablebit Drive Pool will support them but uncertain if the EX470 hardware will so we need to find out.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:58 am 
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Comp1962 wrote:
Guess the thing to do now is to find out if the EX470 running WHS2011 with Stablebit Drive Pool will run with the larger drives. I know Stablebit Drive Pool will support them but uncertain if the EX470 hardware will so we need to find out.


yeah a 110% confirmation would be nice :D
i know that it behaves strange in the WHS v1
if i insert an unformatted drive it sees only 1.6TB and does NOT see the 2TB in both the console and in the Disk management
if i format and create a 4TB partition then it does see it in Drive manager and in the console offers to as as backup and when adding to the pool re-formats again to 1.6TB

I have used 3TB drives to back up the server now and did not have any issues... plugged in and they worked...

the external eSATA bay handles 4TB drives, but does create a bit of an issue with WHS v1. You are supposed to turn it on wait 30 sec for the drives to initialize and then start the HP MSS. HP has to find the drives running when it starts...
the only problem is that with a formatted 4TB drive in the enclosure the HP starts and just keeps power cycling..

I'm hoping this is fixed with either 2011 or the new W7 drivers...

But a very important question i had every intention addressing on the last post but then my brain is all fuzzy from all the cold meds i'm on keeping a thought for more then a min is exhausting

Comp1962 wrote:
WHS2011 may expose the SMI Area on your motherboard. If it does by all means copy the contents but do not disturb this area or if you opt to go back to WHSv1 by popping in your drives you will have no issue running the OS but if you down the road require a Server Recovery and the SMI Area is compromise you may not be able to recover the server as some have found out. To use those SMI Files on a flash drive all you need to do is create a bootable USB Flash Drive then copy the SMI Files onto the flash drive and then you can boot from it to place your server into its recovery mode. Just plug in the USB Flash Drive to the bottom USB Port, back out the system drive, turn the server on and when you see the health light blinking Purple/Red Slide in the system drive and begin the recovery. When the server needs to reboot several times just remove the Flash Drive and your done.


Yeah it was the SMI Area that i ran across as a mentioned problem and advice to back up ...

OK here is the response - Ouch - and this is over my pay grade... i have no problem doing it but i will need step by step instructions... The only thing here i do know how to figure out it how to create a bootable USB flash drive...

The plan was to take the WHS v1 and install it on the server with no attached drives and then just remove and archive the disk in case i have to go back... what you are saying that will work but if i have to recover WHS v1 it will not recover without the SMI files on the USB flash drive... that just for the first time and once you do it it's back to normal and the next recovery is standard? or is it for every recovery on WHS v1 later

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:19 pm 
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2TB drives when formatted will should up at 1.82GB not 1.6GB.

I have EX470's that run all the time and never give me any grief unless a drive is acting up. For me WHSv1 has served me well over the years but I have to tell you honestly WHS2011 with Stablebit Drive Pool will run circles around WHSv1. Now the one thing WHSv1 has going for it is all the available ADD-INs that WHS2011 does not have.

Some people have reported issues with the larger drives in external enclosures not working properly with their MSS and you can search the forums to find those posts. This may have more to do with the specifications of the Port Multiplier more than the EX470 so I would not read to much into this. Thing is that if the Port Multiplier can not properly support larger then 2TB Drives then you really need to stay within its specs to operate properly. You could connect the Port Multiplier with those larger drives to another computer to see if it behaves differently.

WHS2011 by design if I am correct only supports drives up to 2TB but with Stablebit Drive Pool I was able to run 4TB Drives but the other thing I need to mention is my motherboard supports larger then 2TB Drives so maybe my experience was more positive due to the hardware and with Stablebit Drive Pool well that was just the icing on the cake.

The only time you would need to use a Bootable USB Flash Drive with the SMI files on it is if the onboard SMI area was compromised to the point it will no longer function properly. If its left alone then you should have no issues should you want to reinstall WHSv1 back onto your EX470. Because its maybe exposed its important to just leave it alone but more important to copy the files to a safe place so that you will have them if you ever need them down the road. I can get you a file Diehard wrote with regards to configuring a USB Recovery Flash Drive for the EX490 which does a great job explaining how to create a Bootable USB Flash Drive.

I will search the forums for those who have WHS2011 installed on their EX470 and see if they are using larger then 2TB Drives. I wish I knew the answer to this one but if I don't know I will just admit it and then try to find out because it will drive me crazy.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:11 pm 
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Comp1962 wrote:
2TB drives when formatted will should up at 1.82GB not 1.6GB.

yeah they do but 4TB drives at least here show up as 1.6TB it's like WHS sees the drive concludes its to big divides it into the 2TB and 1.6TB section and then instead of displaying the 2TB section displays the 1.6TB.

Comp1962 wrote:
Some people have reported issues with the larger drives in external enclosures not working properly with their MSS and you can search the forums to find those posts. This may have more to do with the specifications of the Port Multiplier more than the EX470 so I would not read to much into this. Thing is that if the Port Multiplier can not properly support larger then 2TB Drives then you really need to stay within its specs to operate properly. You could connect the Port Multiplier with those larger drives to another computer to see if it behaves differently.


not quite sure i follow... I thought the port multiplier is determined by the eSATA connector on the EX470 side since it's not available on the EX480.

But if you are asking if the multi bay enclosure itself can handle the larger drives then the answer is yes. i connected to my W7 and formatted the drives in it no problem.


Comp1962 wrote:
WHS2011 by design if I am correct only supports drives up to 2TB but with Stablebit Drive Pool I was able to run 4TB Drives but the other thing I need to mention is my motherboard supports larger then 2TB Drives so maybe my experience was more positive due to the hardware and with Stablebit Drive Pool well that was just the icing on the cake.


i hate to assume anything because you know what they say about it... but IF the EX470 can recognize a 3TB drive as a backup drive without any issue would that not mean it can support >2TB drives ... but that just the WHS v1 the way it's adding to the pool is dumbed down cannot?

Comp1962 wrote:
The only time you would need to use a Bootable USB Flash Drive with the SMI files on it is if the onboard SMI area was compromised to the point it will no longer function properly. If its left alone then you should have no issues should you want to reinstall WHSv1 back onto your EX470. Because its maybe exposed its important to just leave it alone but more important to copy the files to a safe place so that you will have them if you ever need them down the road. I can get you a file Diehard wrote with regards to configuring a USB Recovery Flash Drive for the EX490 which does a great job explaining how to create a Bootable USB Flash Drive.


yeah that info would be welcome because i honestly don't know where to even look for the SMI files i need to copy less even which ones.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:45 pm 
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My bad....been up all night. If a 4TB drive is formatted in a single partition you get 3.726 TB. I very rarely format a drive with multiple partitions but you may be losing some capacity due to the 2nd partition. I understand why you had to go that route. Even a single partition on a drive loses some space due to the overhead for the file system.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:59 pm 
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nev99 wrote:
yeah they do but 4TB drives at least here show up as 1.6TB it's like WHS sees the drive concludes its to big divides it into the 2TB and 1.6TB section and then instead of displaying the 2TB section displays the 1.6TB.


Make sure your hard drive doesn't have some compatibility setting that restricts what the machine can see. Although I'll bet the older BIOS in the 470 is the issue :(

Quote:
But if you are asking if the multi bay enclosure itself can handle the larger drives then the answer is yes. i connected to my W7 and formatted the drives in it no problem.


So that points me to a BIOS problem on the integrated SATA controller - I'm pretty sure screen shots from those with a VGA adaptor diag board showed that the eSATA port is a different controller with it's own BIOS - so that's probably why the larger hard drives work on it without issue. Bummer.

Quote:
i hate to assume anything because you know what they say about it... but IF the EX470 can recognize a 3TB drive as a backup drive without any issue would that not mean it can support >2TB drives ... but that just the WHS v1 the way it's adding to the pool is dumbed down cannot?


Apples to oranges. Server 2008, what WHS 2011 is based on, uses a new image backup that is limited to backing up from volumes that are under 2TB in size. You CAN back up to 3TB or larger drives - I administer an SBS 2011 server which is also based on Server 2008 and I have a pool of multiple 3TB drives I backup to.

Easy way to handle this - make your system drive 1TB to give plenty of room and install EVERYTHING else on another drive. Use the drive wizard to move the shared folders to other drives, use the built in backup to give you bare metal recovery of your system partition as well as system state and use something else like the free edition of CrashPlan to backup your data files. Easy peasy - that's what I do on my SBS server and while it would be convenient to back up everything with one backup, the truth is the built in Windows backup from Server 2008 forward is downright clunky with large numbers of files. Really it's only good for backing up the OS and system state, and nothing else.

And I'm pretty sure Server 2013 still has this ridiculous restriction that Server 2003 didn't :P

As for installing WHS 2011 on a MediaSmart - just don't do the initial install on the MediaSmart hardware. Headless installs are finicky, a PITA and at the end of the day COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY. Just temporarily unplug all the hard drives from your normal desktop machine, plug in the desired system drive for your WHS, boot off the install DVD, install WHS but DO NOT activate it, nor check the box and let it do updates. Let the install process go to completion (it will reboot two or three times). Once it's installed and you can log into the desktop, shut it down, let the hard drive spin completely down before disturbing it, transfer it into your EX, let the server boot and the much better hardware detection in Server 2008 will do it's thing and after a few minutes you should be able to remote into it, activate it and then enjoy the next couple of hours and rounds of windows update you now get to endure :) Tip - apply the Windows Server Service pack first and by itself (uncheck everything else in Windows Update). It will dramatically jump start the windows update process since service packs are - wait for it - consolidated bundles of previous windows updates! Why the Windows Update client is still stupid about applying updates and then service packs that contain the updates it just installed is beyond me. Luckily you can override it and dramatically cut down on the number of downloads and reboots.

Good luck - post pack if you get stuck, but it really doesn't have to be that complicated. Even before I upgraded to 4GB of RAM, my EX490 ran noticeably better on WHS 2011 - it's just based on a much better and newer OS. I don't miss Drive Expander at all - Stablebit is far superior and I happily paid for it. I'm so glad MS dropped DE - too bad they eventually dropped WHS too :(


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:19 am 
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nev99 wrote:
Comp1962 wrote:
Guess the thing to do now is to find out if the EX470 running WHS2011 with Stablebit Drive Pool will run with the larger drives. I know Stablebit Drive Pool will support them but uncertain if the EX470 hardware will so we need to find out.


yeah a 110% confirmation would be nice :D
i know that it behaves strange in the WHS v1
if i insert an unformatted drive it sees only 1.6TB and does NOT see the 2TB in both the console and in the Disk management
if i format and create a 4TB partition then it does see it in Drive manager and in the console offers to as as backup and when adding to the pool re-formats again to 1.6TB

I have used 3TB drives to back up the server now and did not have any issues... plugged in and they worked...

the external eSATA bay handles 4TB drives, but does create a bit of an issue with WHS v1. You are supposed to turn it on wait 30 sec for the drives to initialize and then start the HP MSS. HP has to find the drives running when it starts...
the only problem is that with a formatted 4TB drive in the enclosure the HP starts and just keeps power cycling..

I'm hoping this is fixed with either 2011 or the new W7 drivers...

But a very important question i had every intention addressing on the last post but then my brain is all fuzzy from all the cold meds i'm on keeping a thought for more then a min is exhausting

Comp1962 wrote:
WHS2011 may expose the SMI Area on your motherboard. If it does by all means copy the contents but do not disturb this area or if you opt to go back to WHSv1 by popping in your drives you will have no issue running the OS but if you down the road require a Server Recovery and the SMI Area is compromise you may not be able to recover the server as some have found out. To use those SMI Files on a flash drive all you need to do is create a bootable USB Flash Drive then copy the SMI Files onto the flash drive and then you can boot from it to place your server into its recovery mode. Just plug in the USB Flash Drive to the bottom USB Port, back out the system drive, turn the server on and when you see the health light blinking Purple/Red Slide in the system drive and begin the recovery. When the server needs to reboot several times just remove the Flash Drive and your done.


Yeah it was the SMI Area that i ran across as a mentioned problem and advice to back up ...

OK here is the response - Ouch - and this is over my pay grade... i have no problem doing it but i will need step by step instructions... The only thing here i do know how to figure out it how to create a bootable USB flash drive...

The plan was to take the WHS v1 and install it on the server with no attached drives and then just remove and archive the disk in case i have to go back... what you are saying that will work but if i have to recover WHS v1 it will not recover without the SMI files on the USB flash drive... that just for the first time and once you do it it's back to normal and the next recovery is standard? or is it for every recovery on WHS v1 later

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Can you confirm that WHS v1 on my ex470 will support 3TB drives? I have upgraded BIOS to support the dual core upgraded CPU.
I'm running out of space on my 2TB drives and hoped to breathe some life into the old girl by updating to 3TB drives as the server does everything I need it to do, despite it's age.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:57 pm 
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The WHSv1 Storage Pool is limited to 2TB Drives. Some have tried using larger then 2TB Drives and have reported the drive got partitioned so its possible but it would have to run with 2 partitions. If you add drives to the server as unmanaged drives that are larger then 2TB in size they would have to be setup GPT but this means they would not be part of your Storage Pool and you would lose a bay thus reducing your Pool Capacity.

Personally I have never installed any drive larger than 2TB in any of my WHSv1 servers. Only option if you heart is set on expanding the server is to add external drives with a multibay enclosure which has its plus and minuses with the biggest minus being drive drop out issues.

My recommendation would be to seek out an alternate solution one which can support the larger drives and in an enclosure which can house as many drives as you may require to meet your storage needs. I can tell you that even with a 4 bay external enclosure you can eat up drives quickly and I saw this and moved to another solution for my server needs and stuck with WHSv1 at the time but I found myself spending more money on enclosures to keep up with my storage growth that I bit the bullet and built a large server I named Highlander back in July 2011 and while the up front cost was high its allowed me to keep up with my storage growth. Now with 4TB Drives I am now in a position of reducing the drive compliment in Highlander.

Shortly I will be building a couple 10 bay Servers that will run WHS2011 but 2 bays will be for the OS and OS Backup the other 8 for Storage and if populated with 4TB drives it does allow ample capacity for the average person. The other thing to note is that as time passes the drives will only get larger in size so the need for large bay enclosures is become greatly reduced. At one time I had like 24 drives in my enclosure and today its down to like 19 of course I had to modify my enclosure to get that 24th drive in.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:43 am 
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Globespy wrote:
Can you confirm that WHS v1 on my ex470 will support 3TB drives? I have upgraded BIOS to support the dual core upgraded CPU.
I'm running out of space on my 2TB drives and hoped to breathe some life into the old girl by updating to 3TB drives as the server does everything I need it to do, despite it's age.

I had nothing but problems with a 3TB Seagate drive used in a Mediasonic HUR1 SU3S2 ext. enclosure. I wanted to use it as one large partition but when it was hooked up to my EX470 it would not even allow the MSS to boot up properly !! With the help of this forum, I was able to test and resolve it - the 3TB had to be pulled and used in my HTPC and a 1TB drive went into the SU3S2 - problem solved ! As much as I thought it to be initially an ideal drive for a backup of my MSS, it just never worked.

Note that I have the updated BIOS on the MSS and I'm running an X2 3800+ chip, not that this changed anything, but just offering it up for comparison's sake. YMMV, but don't be surprised to be met with problems with that particular hardware config.


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