Replacing System Drive with Drivepool
Page 1 of 2

Author:  T-Bone [ Sat May 03, 2014 2:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

I am about to upgrade my System drive on my WS2012e system. is there anything I need to know when doing this with drive pool, not to lose data?

My plan is to pull all the drives, insert the new one, install WS2012e, reinstall drivepool, and then reinsert drives. am I missing anything?

Author:  Comp1962 [ Sun May 04, 2014 4:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

Not sure how your server is configured or if you have an OS Backup to work with or plan on just imaging the System Drive to another drive like an SSD. If you do not have an OS Backup you can have the server perform a one time backup to a drive of your choice and perform a server install from the backup which took me about 45 minutes when I reinstalled the Server Software to an SSD.

I run Stablebit Drive Pool and there was no ill effect on my pool drives as I was just recovering the System Drive which in my case only contains the OS and System Reserved Partitions because I moved all the other stuff to the pool and then removed the 2nd Partition for Data and created one large partition so I would not be restricted to a 60GB OS Partition which in my opinion is way to restrictive especially if you want to add other software to the server. I have been running my server this way now since April 25, 2013 when I first installed WS2012E. So if you have the 3 partitions still on your OS Drive and are going to perform an installation from a backup them make certain your backup contains all the partitions on the System Drive so it can work properly if your changing the drive to a new drive and make certain the drive is the same size or larger.

I have in the past imaged my System Drive when my server was running WHS2011 and my feeling is that it may also work with WS2012E. At that time I used the Acronis Imaging Software when I switched from a mechanical drive to an SSD.

What I do not know is what cause and effect it would have if your using Storage Spaces, Drive Bender or if your running a RAID Solution on your server as I can only share with you what my experience was with what I am running but I certainly believe the Pool is treated separately with the information about the pool and how the OS utilizes the pool being contained on the system drive and its not like DE on WHSv1 where the server needs to see the actual pool.

When I migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E I actually backed out some 21 drives because I had a concern about my existing pool and what the Server Installation might do to the pool. When I performed a Server Installation from my OS Backup Drive I left my pool drives connected and I was backup and running in about 45 minutes which was less time then actually my having to troubleshoot the problem I created and did not have the desire to troubleshoot so I opted to reinstall the OS from a backup and it worked great!

I would get more opinions on this so especially from others who have gone down this road and have a similar server configuration as you to make certain you will not make a mistake you might regret. I am only sharing with you my experience with the configuration I am running which again is WS2012E not an R2, with Stablebit Drive Pool and my System Drive only has the Reserved Partition and the C:\ Partition for the OS on it. I have my System Drive setup for automatic backup which takes place twice a day.

If you have additional questions please ask and I will try my best to answer them. Again seek advise from as many people as you can so that when you take on the task your about to perform you will have a full understanding of what to expect and what precautions if any you may need to take so that you will have a very positive experience.

Author:  T-Bone [ Sun May 04, 2014 6:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

My current set up is

Ex495 with Q9550s
Stablebit Drivepool with 1 pool
System drive only has the system on it no other partitions.

I am changing SSD's from a 180 intel to 250 Samsung EVO, I want to repurpose the 180 SSD into a laptop that I am giving to family.

Ive been getting a lot of errors in event viewer and tried to make some changes and think I might have broke something.

Author:  Comp1962 [ Sun May 04, 2014 9:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

Changing the drive is one thing changing it to resolve errors your seeing in the event logs is an entirely different ball game especially if your going to perform a clean installation of the Server OS rather then install from a backup or perform an image of the current drive.

So do you have a clean installation planned?

Author:  T-Bone [ Mon May 05, 2014 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

I want to do a clean install.

As for plan as far as I've gotten is what I've described above.

Author:  Gardian [ Mon May 05, 2014 3:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

I can't say I have done it, but I can tell you that when I installed R2 on a test box and brought in my stablebit drives, they showed right up as stablebit pooled drives.
I think you would have to try real hard to break stablebit.
If you keep all the drives except your main drive in place, and just do a clean install on the main drive, I think you will be fine.
But again, I had junk data that I didn't care about, if you have a backup I would go for it.
Goodluck, let us know which way you went and how it turned out.

Author:  Comp1962 [ Tue May 06, 2014 11:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

Yesterday I performed a System State Recovery because I mucked up my server trying to resolve an issue and created a few other issues along the way. Of course to do this I had to use my OS Backups to get me out of trouble.

As for a clean install and preserving the pool all I can comment on is that with Stablebit Drive Pool you can just simply back out all your storage pool drives and just reinstall the system software, reconfigure the server and of course install Stablebit Drive Pool. Then shut the server down and connect your pool drives and turn the server back on and your pool drives will show up in the pool and all you would need to do is add the shares back onto the server and tell the server the shares are on the Drive Pool Drive and you will be back in business.

I would assume Drive Bender would be the same way but I am not sure how other Pooling Software would work.

Once you get your server back up and running I would highly recommend you configure a Server Backup Drive for the OS this way you can recover and repair your server easier in the future and the backup drive can be internal or external but the drive will be totally dedicated to that purpose. In the past year of running WS2012E its the OS Backup Drive which has saved my butt twice and without it I could of gotten backup and running but it would of taken me several hours rather then less then 1 hour.

Author:  T-Bone [ Wed May 07, 2014 5:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

My new System Drive is 250gb what size back up drive do you recommend? I will go pick that up before I start my reinstall.

Looks like I can get a 500gb or 1tb portable for 70 bucks at bestbuy that would work: ... &cp=1&lp=5

Author:  Comp1962 [ Thu May 08, 2014 3:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

A 1TB drive is more then enough. I am not certain how that drive will work since it will operate 24-7 unless you plan on doing manual OS backups. So keep an eye on it particularly the temperatures. I have my server configured to do 2 backups a day which is done by default when setup. I am also thinking that every time I make changes I would make a manual backup before and after the changes as well and use a small 2.5" external drive.

Author:  T-Bone [ Thu May 08, 2014 7:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

Good point, I was going to get that drive as a bday present to myself today, but you make a good point. ill just have sans digital send me replacement parts to fix my storage enclosure that is 5 bays I can use 4 for duplication and 1 for OS back ups.

Author:  Comp1962 [ Thu May 08, 2014 8:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

What part are you actually looking for? If its the backplane you can order one from This is where I have ordered my Backplanes from in the past for my projects. If you ask the good folks at Sans Digital about that link they should confirm its the backplanes are the same and ordering from that link is not an issues as I believe its actually their site.

Author:  T-Bone [ Thu May 08, 2014 9:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

What Im finding is that when the unit is fully populated and Im doing a big file move or sometimes even rebooting a drive will fall out. When I was moving my data from the WHSv1 to WS2012e I had a heck of a time getting my data off the enclosure. I would continually drop a drive making me have to reboot and try again. The more drives I removed the more stable the unit seemed to be. It could be a power issue or a backplane Issue from what I'm thinking.

Author:  Comp1962 [ Fri May 09, 2014 7:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

I can tell you honestly I have dealt with the drive drop out issue when I was running only WHSv1 and it annoyed me which is why in July 2011 I built my current server which can house 24 drives just because I did not want to have to deal with drive drop out issues anymore. Oh at the beginning I had an issue with one of my Supermicro Cards but got that replaced and have never looked back.

In April 2013 I did some testing with both 4 and 5 Bay Port Multipliers on WHS2011 and at the end of the month I migrated to WS2012E and continued testing using my 5 bay enclosure and did not experience a drive drop outs. With these very same enclosures I experienced drop outs on 2 WHSv1 servers so I have to wonder if its something in the OS. I do recall my issues started at the time of some MS Updates but at the same time I had upgraded Perfect Disk and some other things which I eliminated which only left the updates but it was too difficult to pin point which updates as too much time had passed.

I can also tell you I tried swapping cables using shorter cables and cables from different manufacturers which others had reported resolved their issues. The PSU is an interesting thing to look because I have custom units that I do not recall having issues with drop outs but can't say for sure with 100% certainty. I even swapped out old drives for newer drives first blaming the Green Drives but you know they are running in servers I gave away as gifts to friends and families and they are still running today and they were the first drives I expanded my servers with back in 2008/9.

I know all to well the frustration your experiencing. I did have good luck with my testing on WHS2011 and WS2012E but it was only for a couple months and there are times even with WHSv1 that I would run that long without a drop out issue and then it would occur so my initial testing was way to short to know for sure. So for me the only thing I use them for these days is for a Docking Station.

Author:  T-Bone [ Sat May 10, 2014 3:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

Ok I pulled the drives an installed a new OS drive. it didn't go smoothly that is for sure. I had an error that told me to reinstall. I did that but now I cant get windows to activate. I called Microsoft and they transferred me all over and I got dropped by a rude automated phone tree person, just to find out I have to call back in the morning. When I installed drivepool and reinstalled the drives, drivepool saw them and reset up my pool. the issue at this point is that windows wont let you move the basic folders to the new locations because there is already a folder with that name. This was annoying, I tried multiple different ways to accomplish this, basically I had to rename the root folder in my pool then move all the data from that folder to the new folder. the example is Server folder had to be renamed to server folder23 so that windows could create server folder in the new location.

Does that make sense?

Hopefully I can reactivate my product

I even deactivated my code off my old install and I cant get it to activate

Author:  Comp1962 [ Sat May 10, 2014 9:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacing System Drive with Drivepool

Its a bit different but I had to rename my WHS2011 folders with the same names that WS2012E used as well so that I could move the WS2012E Folders over to the pool. You will have to recreate the Shares and point them to the Drive Pool just make sure you name the shares correctly so that your data will show up to the clients.

As for activating it I hope your able to get that done its a pain but maybe it was more to do with a NIC not being fully functional. When you get past that and then setup the OS Backup then you will not have to worry about the key anymore should you ever have to use the backups to restore your server and its if your able to do it within the Server OS but you will need to use the Key again if your OS Drive Fails and you have to recover from a Server Image off the Backup Drive. You may also want to from time to time when the server is running really well perform a Manual OS Backup just incase something goes wrong with your OS Backup Drive.

I mentioned the other day I had to perform a System State Recovery which is done through the Server Manager but I will tell you depending on how your server is setup that doing it from Server Manager with the server booted may not work because of a Domain Controller or something to that effect so you would have to boot the server into safe mode. This would be done from the Command Prompt and MSCONFIG and then you have to logon differently. Because I have a couple WS2012 Books to help me out I was able to get through it but it was an initial PITA.

While I have not done so I am thinking of manually forcing the server to create a Restore Point because I think that would be a much easier approach to correcting things when things go wrong but not sure if its a full solution moving forward but possibly one worth trying from time to time.

Thing is WS2012E is easy to break and in the past year I have had to restore my server twice and each time I was able to do it in under 1 hour and it worked perfectly but this last time took me a bit longer to figure out a solution to get my server back and I am happy to say its running the best its ever run so good things can come from it.

Good Luke with Microsoft!

Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group