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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:46 pm 
.5TB storage
.5TB storage

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My MSS Gen 1 is currently fully populated with 4x 2Tb drives. This backs up 3 Windows machines plus I also use it as a file server and media server for all my DVDs and music. I also have two 2Tb external USB drives which are used as a Homeserver backup.

I need to add more storage.

I know I have the option of adding another drive via the eSATA port on the rear of the MSS, but what would happen if I replaced one of the internal 2Tb drives with a 4Tb drive... but pre-partitioned into two 2Tb partitions?

Because WHS v1 is 32bit I assume 2Tb is the max partition size, but if I add a physical 4Tb drive will WHS v1 automatically reformat it and just use 2Tb or will it recognize there are two 2Tb partitions and thus make use of both?

I also read somewhere that WHS v1 had a 8Tb storage limit... so even if I add another drive it would not work because I already have 4x 2Tb drives installed? Is that correct?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Kind Regards


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:55 pm 
2.5TB storage
2.5TB storage

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I've only got 4tb on my server so no practical experience with larger drives.

But both OS drives appear to be limited at 2tb because the OS install is MBR instead of GPT. v1 does seem to permit pooled drives larger than 2tb but I haven't tried it myself. It takes a fair amount of hoop jumping to get them running properly.

Try searching the following threads: ... s.1559559/ ... 1.1673666/ ... in-whs-v1/

Vail is a quite a bit easer to setup using GPT, but the OS drive still will be setup with MBR. If you format the drives with GPT on w7 or newer, you can then install them into the pool and they will be seen for sharing purposes. But you cant rely on the baked in backup function because in s2k8, the backup software doesn't play nice with single partitions greater than 2tb. All that means is you have to install a third party backup solution on the server and access it using RDP.

Check this thread:


I also read a recent thread where a user installed the OS onto a USB drive. Depending on how big the USB is that may also be an option to add drive space.

Hi All, Thanks to everyone for your continued effort to keep the MSS & WHS alive. Haven't registered yet? Please do so the moderators know your here!

ex49x/v1 (toyin w/Vail)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:42 pm 
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Somebody here has posted a work around to do just that, larger drives beyond 2 tb.
I can't recall who or where the post is.
The reason it is a issue is when you add the drive to the datapool the server will reformat it again.
Best to add say a towerraid type device. Using esata or usb.
I use a ESATA Sansdigital Towerraid TR5M-B
5 bays is the limit for 1 esata port.
Some usb types have both interfaces.
But bear in mind that server usb is I believe ver 1 in the server which is slower than esata and way slower than usb 2 or 3
But no matter what you are still limited to 2TB per drive unless you change the OS.

Now backup drives are not in the data pool but the server when adding the drive gives you a option to format or not but it will allow 3TB drives if you opt not to format. Some as well as myself tried 4TB drives but two people including myself they went raw.

Oh and the 8TB limit is the internal storage of the 4 drive bays.
I believe the theoretical limit is 31TB with internal and external 2TB drives.

WHS v1
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:23 pm 
.5TB storage
.5TB storage

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Better late then never, I just wanted to add my experience with this in case there is still any interest.

I was in the same situation about 6 months ago. 4 x 2TB drives and down to my last 300 Gb of free space. I wasn't keen on adding an eSata tower, not least because they're pretty expensive for a decent one these days, at least here in the UK. So after reading the guides several times (the ones linked to by lioninstreet in his reply above) and backing up all my data to an external USB drive, I purchased a cheap 4TB HGST Ultrastar drive off ebay and decided to try a little experiment.

The guides are very useful and informative, hats off to the individuals who have shared them. Between them they contained most of the infomation I needed to successfully do this, but I found when attempting to follow them, the odd step was either missing or not quite correct, at least for me at any rate. After a few initial failures, some trial and error, and probably a bit of dumb luck, I managed to successfully replace one of the 2TB drives in the pool with the 4TB one. It's been nearly six months now, and everything is still working great, the 4TB drive is over 80% utilised within the storage pool and I've had no errors to date.


A few things I learnt that aren't covered or are different in the guides.

1. Before you begin, you need to make sure you have updated the Intel SATA controller driver for your MSS (iaStor.sys) to This was the cause of most of my initial problems in getting the MSS to correctly recognise and format the 4TB drive. You shouldn't need any third party apps to format and partition your disk once you do this, disk management works fine (at least it did for me).
2. Stop the Drive Extender Migrator service BEFORE you add the new drive to the storage pool. This will save you a world of pain later on, trust me ](*,)
3. When you stop the Virtual Disk service, you will need to restart the Windows Home Server Storage Manager service, otherwise you will not be able to use disk management or diskpart to prepare the disk.
4. Within the mount point files that you make a copy of before you delete the MBR partition, you will find a WHS.reg file. I found using this to compare to the registry after you have edited it as per the guides helped in tracking down and fixing any remaining errors.
5. Use an AF disk that has some form of smart align/emulation support and avoid any sector alignment problems.

One last thing,

I mentioned earlier that I back up my server to an external USB drive. It's a 6TB Seagate Expansion drive, it was preformatted to NTFS out of the box, I just plugged it in and selected to use it as a server backup drive. It has always shown the correct capacity, and backups have always been succesfull, even before I updated the SATA driver. I'm curious to know how long other peoples USB drives worked for before they went RAW, was it longer than 6 months?


Hope this has been of interest to someone and I've been able to payback a tiny piece of the huge amount of help I've found in this forum over the last 10 years.

WHS v1
Stock Ram
HGST 1 x 2TB, 1 x 4TB, 1 x 6TB, 1 x 8TB

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