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 Post subject: (Fake)Raid on the MSS
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:01 am 
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So... following a discussion in the software forum....How many people have video cables and are interested in getting (fake)raid 0+1 going on the MSS?

Raid 5 is not possible. Video cable is a requirement. Similarity of the drives used may be a requirement also.

It can be done and the instructions would be similar to the X2 bios mod.

What I don't know is how WHS/MSS is going to react to seeing one volume (spanning 4 bays, what will the status lights do etc?). That said, since it would appear as one volume, it shouldn't be affected by the data corruption bug.

Anyone interested in participating?

:arrow: Update: (From later on in the thread)
ymboc wrote:
Updated/Modified the bios. Created the Raid 0+1 Array. The windows PE (Server Recovery Software) won't load. It Hangs on the "Windows is Loading Files" Screen.

So it's a non-starter and the corruption bug is fixed now anyway so there's little point anymore.


Last edited by ymboc on Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:07 pm 
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If you're doing RAID in the BIOS, then WHS should be ignorant that there are multiple drives forming a single volume. IMHO the only value of a WHS in this configuration would be for the PC backup solution, as the duplication features would be disabled in a single drive WHS system.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:46 pm 
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Exactly, but what do the drive-bay status lights do when the four installed drives form one volume (all blue/red, all off, one blue/red)?

While you'd lose the WHS duplication features, you wouldn't need them because you be gaining Raid0+1 redundancy where you could lose 1 or 2 drives (depending on which 2) without losing data...

You could argue that you'd be a little better off with Raid vs WHS DE because the OS would be distributed across the raid volume as well. That way if the drive in bay one fails you won't have to do a system restore they way you would with the standard MSS/WHS configuration.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:01 pm 
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I remember yakuza going back and forth with someone regarding raid versus DE way back in the day :) I believe the device that was being discussed was a jobo or something like that.

Yakuza was fairly adamant that DE was more advantageous but that was before the "bug". I wonder if he still feels that way?

I personally understand Raid and am certainly more comfortable with this "tried and true" method than the one that has caused all the problems.

While I believe that M$ intentions are to fix the problem for good, (hence the time it is taking) I'm NOT 100% sure they will.

With this said I will be waiting for PP1, and putting it through as much heartburn as I can throw at it. If not satisfied I will be installing either server 2003 or 2008 and setting up raid.

At that point I won't care if the lights work at all or flash pink and purple :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:53 pm 
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I'm not adamant about DE being superior to RAID, at the time Landmaster is referring to I was likely arguing for the advantages of DE over RAID (and there are pros and cons to each technology).

In this case I believe that having WHS on a RAID platform doesn't buy you any benefit over a plain Server2003 system, except for the integrated backup solution.

Jrock should be able to speak definitively to the behavior of the LEDs, but I believe they will only illuminate a single drive. This is because the LEDs are controlled by Jrock's code which gets its info from WHS DiskInfo (I think) and other Windows internal subsystems. In that case, I'm pretty sure the physical hardware is abstracted by the RAID controller.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:01 pm 
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for a simple home solution, which is what the MSS and other consumer WHS machines are, RAID i believe would be too complicated and not what WHS is ment for. for a custom built machine with somone that know what is going on and willing to "touch" it more, then RAID would probably be good.

from what i can tell, the driver that controls the LED's looks at the hardware address of the drives that windows reports, and it knows which address is for which bay, and turns on that LED, then looks at the statuce from WHS and actually turn on the correct color. If i'm not mistaken, if you were to setup a raid system, that address woud not get reported to windows and thus look liek there was no drive even if there was one, and it would probably go in order of 1-2 being reported at drive 1 and 3-4 as drive 3. i have a feeling that 2 and 4 would not get turned on at all.

as for the security of the bug fix when it comes out, of it working properly or not, microsoft really wants WHS to be something, and they can create a market for this software to really really take off. Backup's alone is key as people just don't back up their computers and WHS just makes it happen. But if this software is to actually make a market, which there is one but only a nitch right now, it has to be rock solid and not have this problem. If microsoft doesn't fix this issue, and make sure it is air tight, then WHS will become the next OS/2 and no one will use it. Data security is what people want, and if the data can't be protected, there is no use for it. I bet that is also the reason they want to beta this fix for so long is to make sure it is rock solid before they call the "all clear".


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:47 pm 
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Personally I put the RAID drives on my client and would NOT want to bother with it on the MSS. If I had felt that RAID was better I would have gone with a different server.

(Of course that does assume the Data Corruption Bug gets fixed -- and I am sure it will!)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:06 pm 
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Helllo everyone!

Well, this is my first post, but I've been lurking on this forums for a couple of weeks now. I'm planning to get MSS in a few days and wanted to know what I could do with it. I'm a big fan of what Ymboc and others have done with the MSS!!!

Anyways, I'm very interested in this mod and I like what WHS can bring to the table. I like the idea of RAID as a way to not only backing up the data and the operating system, but increase speed as well. It could even help with transfer speeds over a gigabit network I would presume to desktop or laptop PCs.

I still think RAID's benefits outweigh what DE could offer me. And as you have mentioned, this would avoid the corruption bug.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:36 pm 
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Welcome DaveB!

I guess this is my question, what do you see WHS offering you (besides the PC backup solution) without DE?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:01 pm 
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agreed. i see that DE was designed to give the raid like duplication without the overhead and to simplify the process of it. adding raid will complicate things and go above what the MSS was designed for. This is also not to mention that you will have to crack open the case to have the VGA port on it.

If someone really wants RAID, i would say you should just custom build a PC for WHS or just use server 2003.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:23 pm 
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Well I like the idea of WHS. Outside of DE, I like the idea of being able to back up my PCs in a relatively easy way and the ability to access it online.

Yea, there are easier ways to get RAID with a WHS. I could build a system from the ground up. But, I already got a WHS coming my way in the next couple of days that was a college graduation gift.

And besides, I like to tweak and mod electronics. This looks like a project that would be a lot of fun to mess around with.

I'm definitely interested in trying to get RAID to work on the MSS! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:04 pm 
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Personally speaking, if it weren't for the corruption bug I wouldn't be motivated to pursue fakeRaid on the MSS/WHS. While I don't think that DE is generally as robust as RAID it would be 'robust enough' for my purposes.

The sentiment seems to be that RAID isn't worth the trouble or that there's little to gain from WHS on a raid array say vs just a plain install Win2k3.

I disagree in that I think the best feature of WHS is how easy it makes backing up attached systems. Make no mistake this is the killer app.

This is what blew me away about my MSS/WHS: it automatically turned on & backed up my whole computer that first night I had hooked it up -- all on its own. Easy. This is a feature worth retaining.

All that said, I believe the corruption bug will be fixed by the end of the year. The easiest & probably best thing to do is to wait for it. Still, I will tinker with raid largely for the sake of tinkering and share what I learn.

Finally, in case it needed saying... Neither RAID nor WHS's DE file duplication is the last word in protecting your data. Keep an offline backup.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:32 am 
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to me raid on the MSS is more trouble than it would be worth, but i do agree if you have your own system at home it would be great.

and agreed about the computer backups. saved my ass several times.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:17 pm 
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I am not a fan of DE (drive extender)...
- I am unwilling/unable to store some of my data (e.g. vmware .VMDKs) in a share (no no redundancy)
- it doesn't offer any performance benefits

Currently, I have 3x 500GB disks with all shares 'duplicated'.

I have a bit of MS Windows Sys Admin experience & am comfortable with MS S/W RAID, so, I am planning to try the following:
- collapse all my data to disk 0 (by 'removing' the 2x 500GB HDDs);
- remove / disable DE;
- convert Disk 0 to a dynamic disk (using the Disk Management snap-in);
- add Disk 1 & Disk 2 as dynamic disks (WHS uses basic disks);
- mirror the C: drive (maybe after enlarging it to 40GB using GHOST);
- 'convert' the D: drive to a RAID volume (using GHOST?);

Has anyone tried any of the above? Or any other comments?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:44 pm 
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Check the MS Knowledge Base... I don't think you can make the system drive dynamic. I looked into this briefly a couple months ago. The other drives however should be fair game.... please correct me if I'm wrong though; I was searching under a different context: for info on installing the system to a dynamic volume.


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