How To's & GuidesRemoving a Drive from your Windows Home Server

Removing a Drive from your Windows Home Server

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There seems to be a lot of people who are still a little unsure about adding or removing drives on their Windows Home Servers, so I figured some simple walk-throughs would help here.

In this first walk-through, I will discuss removing a hard drive from the storage pool.

REMOVING A DRIVE FROM THE STORAGE POOL

A time may come when you want to remove a hard drive from your Windows Home Server,
either because you suspect that there might be a problem with it or because you want to
replace it with a larger and possibly faster hard drive.

You cannot remove the primary hard drive, which is the one with the Windows Home Server program files stored on it. If you want to replace the primary hard drive, you will need to reinstall Windows Home Server.

To remove a hard drive, just perform the following simple steps:

1. In the Windows Home Server Console, click the Server Storage tab.

WHS Console - Storage Tab

2. Click the hard drive that you want to remove, and then click the Remove button above
the list, or right-click the hard drive and select Remove from the context menu.

Selecting a drive to remove

This will launch the Remove a Hard Drive Wizard.

The Remove a Hard Drive Wizard

Beware, because the removal process moves the files that are stored on that hard drive to another
hard drive, you must ensure that you have sufficient space available in the storage pool before continuing. Otherwise, you may lose files or some shared folder duplication may stop.

3. Click Next. The wizard will check that there is enough storage available to move the
files to before continuing.

Estimating Available Space

Depending on how many hard drives you have in your server storage pool and how much data is stored within the pool, the process of calculating the available space could take a few minutes. As usual, be patient!

4. Once the calculation has completed, you will be presented with a Hard Drive
Removal Consequences page. Review this information as it could be very important.
There are two major areas of possible consequence, plus a reminder if you’re removing
an external drive.

• Files and Folders is where you will be informed if files that are stored in duplicated
folders will continue to be duplicated.

• Computer Backups is where you will be informed if any computer backups will
be lost.

• Do Not Disconnect will appear if the drive being removed is an external hard drive.
The wizard is reminding you that this drive must be connected and powered on
until the wizard has completed.

Removal Consequences

It is also possible that you won’t have any consequences (wouldn’t that be nice), in which case you will will just be told you can remove the drive.

Hard Drive can be removed

If you have only two hard drives in your Windows Home Server and decide to remove
one of them, the biggest consequence is that shared folder replication cannot continue, because a minimum of two hard drives are required for replication. You will be warned of this on the Hard Drive Removal Consequences screen.

More consequences

5. Click Finish. The hard drive is removed from the server storage pool, and the data is
moved to other hard drives within the pool. You can monitor the progress while this is
taking place.

Watching removal progress

Depending on how much data needs to be moved from the hard drive, the removal process can
take a long time. The wizard even advises that this process could take several hours to complete. Do I need to say that you should be patient?

6. Once the removal process has completed, you will be presented with a Hard Drive
Successfully Removed screen. Click Done to complete the removal process.

Successfully removed

If the hard drive is an external hard drive, you can now safely unplug it from the
Windows Home Server. If the hard drive is an internal hard drive, you will need to power
off your Windows Home Server and remove the hard drive before restarting the Windows
Home Server.

Andrew Edneyhttps://moviesgamesandtech.com
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.

70 COMMENTS

  1. With the HP MediaSmart Server that I have, I installed two additional WD 2 TB drives (the "green" ones) and one of them has unfortunately failed (started with soft "click" "click" sounds, then the server said it was dead. ARRRG!).

    I tried the HDD uninstall wiz but it keeps saying that it is unable to remove the drive since it cannot copy the files it has on it to another drive. The 3 other drives are 1 X 2 TB WD, and 2 X 500 GB pre-installed HDD's that came with the machine.

    I had file duplication set up, as as far as I know, everything on the dead drive is duplicated to the other 2 TB. I de-selected file-duplication now and just turned the server off.

    Can i simply remove the dead drive, and install a new 2 TB (Seagate? I haven't decided which one yet) into the soon-to-be empty slot, re-start the server, re-enable file-duplication and everything should be back to normal??

    The wizard says it is unable to remove the drive, so I am at a loss if my above thoughts are right or not.

    Thanks,

    Richard

    • Richard, I have had this happen to me as well in the past.

      Yes, you have no choice but to remove that drive and replace it.

      When you restart and add the drive to the pool, WHS will probably complain and tell you its still missing the old drive.

      You may have had folder duplication on but you may lose some backups as they may have been stored on that drive. In my case all my files were file but I had to do a database repair which eventually deleted all my backups!

      Andrew

  2. Hi Andrew.

    Thanks for the great "How To" site(s), and thanks for the answer.

    I'll install a new HDD ASAP. In the meantime, the server is shut down awaiting new parts. 🙁

    Thanks again!!

  3. The plot thickens…

    In my original post above, I didn't mention the HDD lights that display which drives are installed in my HP MediaSmart Server. The "dead" drive was the second from the top, as the light was off completely, and the WHS console showed the drive as "missing".

    I followed the above steps including physically removing the drive #2 after un-checking file-duplication selection.

    After letting the server sit dormant for a day while trying to find out where to return my HDD to (vendor referred me to WD directly who have a 3-year warranty) I decided to try to see if I could still access certain critical files on the "dead" drive before it finally would pack in completely and I re-installed the "dead" drive into the #2 bay, re-started my server, and….ALL drives showed up fine (all blue lights lit up). Hmmm….

    So I checked via the console and it showed a number of errors:

    1) "File Conflicts" (in three different folders). Details: "A device attached to the system is not functioning" and listed a number of files that had "conflicts".

    Note the only file conflicts I experienced before this happened where they exceeded the Windows file-naming limitation of (?) 255 (??) characters (I have a lot of sub-directories…).

    So this is a new error for me. …What "device" is not attached?

    2) "Storage Status": "Volume with the name DE Secondary Volume is failing. Please try to run Repair for disk WDC WD20 EADS … W-DC …"

    I ran "Repair" earlier (not described above in my first post but that was tried before I tried to "uninstall") with no success.

    In the meantime, all the lights on the server are light up fine, and the second drive from the top which was not showing anything is now glowing fine…and the diagnostics show the TOP drive is the one with errors now. I never swapped any drive…I unracked the second one and re-racked it later, that was all.

    I also keep getting a pop-up box in the Console's "Server Storage" page: "An unexpected error has occurred in the Windows Home Server Storage Manager". Only option is "OK". I click on "OK" and get the Server Storage sub-window on the right side of that page showing it is calculating the storage size, and the four drives I have are shown on the left side and the top-most drive, NOT the second from the top… shows one of the WD 2 TB's as "unhealthy".

    I click on "OK" to close the ""An unexpected error has occurred in the Windows Home Server Storage Manager" and then right-click on the "unhealthy" upper-most drive, select "Repair" and get a number of the "An unexpected error has occurred in the Windows Home Server Storage Manager" pop-ups, and finally (in about one minute…) I get a window showing the drive's status as unhealthy.

    Also, in the "Shared Folders" page, I get a number of folders showing "Failing (Check Health)" (the same folders where the "File Conflicts" are from).

    …and the response to change from one selection to another has become SOOOoooOO slow, too.

    I tried also running "chkdsk /f" for both "drives" (although my machine has 4 drives, the Command Prompt declared a C and a D drive only…) and I re-started the server to enable the chkdsk command. I re-started it and it appeared to go through the motions of a proper chkdsk.

    Now that you have it all, over to you for any advice, Guru!

    …Regards.

    (PS: I do not want to fix this with a large hammer…) 🙂

    • Hi Richard

      Ouch – that isnt good.

      Quick point, WHS only has a C and D drive no matter how many drives are there so that is to be expected.

      The file conflicts thing is probably down to whichever drive may be failing – I have had this happen to me before when I had a drive die on me.

      The fact that drive now appears to be working fine and that a different drive is now playing up makes me think you might have a hardware problem with your server, possibly the controller card.

      I would contact HP and ask them for advice, they may have diagnostic tools that can help determine if it is a drive problem or server problem.

      And I know what you mean about the hammer 🙂

      Let me know how you get on!

      Andrew

  4. Hi there, I have a wierd one… I want to upgrade hard drive capacity on the server. Is there anyway that one can identify the drive that you want to remove…

    Home built machine… 6x Seagate SATA 500Gb Drives (all same model) on Foxconn Mars motherboard.

    Server Storage shows all six drives (with the OS drive right at the top)

    Disk Management Add-In shows all 6 drives also but they are numbered 0-5. The OS drive is identified as drive 4. If I select any of the drives, right click, and choose Details, then it says Drive Serial Number is Unknown.

    OK here is the weird part questions:

    (1) Which one should I believe – is OS on 0 or 4 SATA port?

    (2) Is there software / tool that can tell me which drive is plugged into which port (other than to open box)

    (3) Is there a tool that can allow me to see serial numbers of the drives, maybe that way I can know which drive to remove to upgrade?

    Any advice would be appreciated

  5. Greetings oh great Guru Andrew once again.

    The saga continues with my sorry case…

    I made sure File Sharing was de-selected, shut the server down, pulled the top HDD out (which was showing as failing according to the Console) and restarted the server.

    Light #1 is now off and there is no HDD in that slot, as predicted. However, light #2 is ALSO dark. Drive in #2 is still in place, and according to the Console, it shows drive #2 (I hope you are sitting for this part…) IS HEALTHY. Huh??

    When I check the "Shared Folders" page it shows just one folder as failing now, versus three when both of the top HDD's were in place.

    Yes, I will be contacting HP but…any deeper thoughts before I grab that said hammer?? 😉

    Regards,

    Richard

    • Richard – there is definetely something wrong there, not that I need to tell you!

      I would call HP on this one, I've not had the problem that bad before and when I had a similar one it only affected the one drive that I needed to replace.

      Sorry I cant be of more help…

      Andrew

  6. Hi Andrew.

    No need for any apology – it was nice to unload all this mess on an appreciative fellow technoholic. It drives the wife nuts but it keeps me off the streets! HAH!

    I've already emailed HP and am awaiting further from them now!

    Regards…

  7. Do you have any clue why it takes hours to remove a drive that's not in the computer any more? I had an old drive which died on me this weekend, so I pulled it and replaced it with a larger new one. All fine, booted up and the old drive was tagged as 'missing' (doh…) I went on with 'remove' and now it's been over an hour.

    Is it maybe so that it tracks duplicated data and tags it as not duplicated for further references?

    • Sigge

      That is certainly part of it. WHS needs to understand what was on the drive, what is missing, if it has duplicated files anywhere else, are any backups affected, etc.

      It not quite as simple as just swapping the drive. And depending on the size of your storage pool, this could take a number of hours.

      Andrew

  8. I recently bought myself the acer H340 WHS and I have found that the server tries to keep the disk which holds the C: partition almost clean. Also I have read in various blog and forums that replacing the root drive can not be easily done.

    Thus I am thinking if it is not possible to put the WHS C: on an USB stick or solid state drive. This way the 4th disk could be fully used for data too and the root disk can be cloned easily.

    Do you know if this is a possible scheme?

    • Hi Peter

      No, it is not possible to run it from a USB drive. You could have your internal "C" drive as an SSD but you wouldnt actually gain anything other than a slightly faster boot time.

      The reason your first drive is so "clean" is that one of the Power Packs for WHS changed the way files are copied to your WHS so they no longer need to go to a "landing zone" on your C drive.

      You can replace the system drive with a smaller, or larger drive fairly easily – you just need to run a server reinstallation and when that is complete you need to reinstall any add-ins and recreate all your users.

      Andrew

  9. Andrew in the situation where I have filled my 3 expansion slots on my HP EX470 with the biggest drives I could find and have nevertheless managed to fill everything my only recource is now to upgrade the primary drive of 500GB to a 1.5TB to gain space.

    How do I go about this without putting my data at risk?

    Some handholding would be greatly appreciated as I have not found anything trid and tested on the net.

    • Hi Paul

      It "should" be as simple as pulling the system drive, replacing it with a larger one and the performing a Server Reinstallation, which will keep all your data in tact – make sure to choose SERVER REINSTALLATION though otherwise your data is gone!

      After the process has finished you will have to recreate all your users and reinstall any add-ins but your data will be fine.

      One caveat though, if there is any data that is only stored on your primary drive at the moment it will be gone when you replace the drive – in which case you could plug that drive into another computer and copy it back onto the WHS.

      Andrew

  10. Thanks Andrew. One final question before I jump, is there any way to tell what is on the system drive before I pull it?

    • Hi Paul

      No, but you are not going to do anything with the drive so if anything is missing you can soon connect it back up and copy the files over.

      Andrew

  11. If you are handy with software like G4L, or something non-free like Ghost or Partition Magic, you can also just drop both drives in a regular computer, boot off their respective boot disks and image the drives over. Then you don't need to go through the annoying server re-installation process. This also solves the caveat where data is only stored on a single drive. I've actually done this to separate the physical drives of C and D so I could setup separate raid schema's.

  12. Andrew many thanks appreciate your reassurances.

    Kaiser, sounds like a great idea but noy totally sure I follow you about having to boot off their respective boot disks to image the drive. Is it not a simple matter of adding both drives to a desktop and using Ghost to copy the image of the old server system drive to the virgin 1.5 TB unit?

    Thanks in advance.

    Paul

    • Respective boot disks in reference to the various disk imaging software you could use, IE, Ghosts boot disk vs G4L boot disk.

      And you are right, its really just a simple matter of dropping the drives into a Desktop (PC, Regular Computer, etc.) and performing the desired operation.

      I prefer the imaging method as Windows re-installations aren't always great, and i generally reserve them for when windows has taken a dive and is no longer usable/bootable.

  13. ^^ I thought i read somewhere a ghosted drive would not work in WHS because of Drive ID indexing or some such. Can anyone confirm?

    In any case, Andrew, I think a good post would be hand holding through changing the system drive via various methods available. I think people get the idea behind switchign the non-system drives, but are a little worried about swapping out the main system drive and feel restricted by it's size.

    • Thanks Bobby

      Yeah, if you ghost the system drive and then at a later time drop it in place of the failed sytem drive a lot of the tombstones and pointers will be wrong and you will probably have problems!

      As for your hand holding post idea, it is a very good one, and we will look at trying to put something together 🙂

      Andrew

  14. I am thinking about moving the system drive to an SSD, keeping the old system drive to become part of the pool. The SSD would be far smaller than the original disk that holds the system drive. Am I thinking of doing something that will be a pain to accomplish?

    • Hi Ron

      The big question is what are you trying to achieve by replacing the system drive with an SSD?

      A slightly quicker initial boot up of WHS?

      If you have an SSD sitting around it might be interesting to try though 🙂

      Andrew

  15. Hi guys I have a HP homeserver where a drive now shows as unhealthy. The Windows home server console reacts sooo slowly. I'm unable to hit repair or remove.

    Would it work to take the bad drive out and clone it with a low level tool like DD? Replacing it with the bran new clone.

    • John

      I cant say I have ever tried that – sorry.

      Im more concerned that your console is running very slowly.

      Have you added something recently? Do it act in the same slow way from a different computer or via Remote Desktop directly on the server?

      you should remove the drive properly through the console to minimise the chances of any data loss.

      Andrew

  16. Hi,

    Do you know what happens if I turn off my WHS and remove one drive and put it into a USB enclosure, connect it to the WHS and power back up? Will the server recognize the drive as the same drive as before?

    The reason I ask is, could I do this with my smallest drive when I want to put in a bigger drive and all my hard drive slots are in use?

    • I cant say this is something I have ever tried.

      Why dont you post this question in our forums where more people can see it and respond?

      Andrew

  17. Hi, I just set up my WHS (first time using). I had previously kept all my data (Music, Video, Docs, etc.) on special partitions over several hard drives inside my primary desktop which were separate from my system HDD. My question is can I add the hard drives containing my data without having to format the drives?

    Thanks,

    Clay

    • Hi Clay

      No – when you add the drives to WHS they will be formatted and added to the storage pool.

      If you choose not to add them to the pool then WHS wont be able to use them.

      You will need to move your data to your WHS and then add the drives to the pool.

      Andrew

  18. Hi,

    I have the 490 mediasmart with two internal 1TB and 2 external 500gb each, last saturday I needed an external drive for other purposes and I decided to remove one from the WHS, I went to the whole deal of waiting for the process to complete and i got the Happy green checkmark with the "there is enough storage in your server…"

    I've removed the drive safely and today I went to check my files and I've lost 2 folders with about 200gb on them, lost, gone!

    Do you know if maybe they got moved automatically to another path?, they shouldn't as I had enough storage for this.

    Please help

    • Carlos

      they should have been moved and would appear in the same location, so no, I dont think they would have been moved to another path.

      I cant explain where the files have gone – certainly every time I have performed the process I havent lost anything.

      It might be worth you contacting HP for additional advice.

      Andrew

  19. I bought an Acer Aspire H320(?) server running Windows Home Server so I could consolidate a ton of files from other desktop computers into one place. The problem was, the drives NEVER ONCE ever stopped churning. 24×7, churn, churn, churn.

    I had installed a 1TB drive in addition to the 1TB drive it came with, and the drive I added is now dead. Sometimes the server will come up (after a number of hours of the blue info light flashing), and sometimes it won't (even after letting it sit for a couple days). I had file duplication enabled, though when the server did come up, I could see some files I wanted to access, but got errors reading them.

    I'm looking at a ton of stuff here I cannot afford to lose, and I was banking on WHS to avoid exactly what I am facing now!!! Can I install a replacement drive and expect my duplicated files to be intact?

    I've contacted Acer, but the info they sent me was lame at best. I need to know what steps to take, and am having trouble finding the info online, which really worries me.

    Thanks for any advice you can give!

    • Bill

      The drives on a WHS will constantly be in use – that is the way WHS works. The drives are constantly being checked, data moved, etc, depending on your setup.

      That being said, if you had a drive failure then I dont think it will be the fault of WHS, more likely you had a drive problem to begin with.

      I have never had a drive problem caused by WHS and I have been using it constantly now for over 3 years.

      If all your files were duplicated onto the other drive, then yes, they should be fine.

      You could just pull the drive now, plug it into another computer and check to see if your data is there.

      You may also want to consider having the faulty drive professionally looked at if the data is that important.

      Andrew

  20. MY HP WHS has conked out so am trying to get the data from the various drives. The external drives aren't a problem as they are happily formatted with NTFS and are easy to read/copy from etc.

    The problem I am having is that the internal drives do notn appear to be NTFS or FAT – can someone please tell me more and how I may access thr drives to get the data off.

    Thanks

    Bob

    • Bob

      If you connect the internal drives one at a time and then just drill down into the folders, you will find all your files. They wont be all neatly layed out because of the way drive extender works, but all the files will be there.

      Andrew

  21. Thanks for article.

    Question — I have 2 identical drives in the drive pool and need to remove each (not at same time) to switch a jumper setting.

    If I go through steps above, how do I know which drive I just removed, since they are both identical? Hopefully I just don't have to make a 50/50 guess and disconnect one after I remove it.

    Thanks

    • Hi Jed

      Why not remove them both at the same time, after powering down the WHS?

      Failing that, why not install Sam Woods great add-in Disk Management?

      Andrew

  22. I have an issue of my MB burnt on me so i pulled the drives out and put them in another case with another board and tried to stack the drives the same way and i got the main OS drive right and it boots fine but i cannot open console or the shared files folder, if the drives are not in the place meaning the master slave 1,2,3,4,5,6 state will whs auto rebuild this or am i screwed now cause i can't remember which drive goes where.

    i can open explore and see my files though

    should i just do a repair of the system with the rom disk and hope it works itself out????

    • Chris

      The best thing to do is to post your question in our forums so that others can respond – more people will see it now.

      Is the hardware in the new box indentical to the old, if not, its likely to have problems. There isnt an auto rebuild function, if the drives are not exactly where they are supposed to be it wont work correctly.

      Personally I would do a clean install of WHS (without the data drives in, after copy off any data from the system drive) then copy the data back on. You will lose your backups but your data will be safe.

      But like I said, post the question in the forums as you might get a better response.

      Andrew

  23. Hi,

    I have an HP WHS and was having intermittent trouble with one 1TB disk.

    So from the consol I elected to remove the hard drive (at this point the drive status was showing healthy).

    The wizard went through all the expected steps and got to the information window saying that it make take several hours to complete. The progress bar moved along to about 20% complete and then stopped.

    I

  24. I have an HPEX475 with two 500GB drives and 2 free bays. I'd like to add a 3rd 2TB drive to the server…but with the drive sizes being substantially different will my files be protected (mirrored), ie If I fill up the 2TB drive how will the 2 500GB drives protect the files? When adding a new drive, do bays 3 and 4 need to be the same size drives?

    • Hi Chris

      You an add any size drive to either one or both remaining bays – WHS just uses the drive as part of the storage pool.

      Any folders that you have enabled duplication on will use a different drive to ensure they are duplicated.

      Andrew

  25. Hello there and thanks for your great tutorial..

    I have a question if is possible, i add a usb disk to my whs (add to the pool)because i wanted gain some space to release another internal drive, in order to remove it completly.

    Now i want to connect that USB drive internally, where the other disk used to be.Do i have to remove the usb disk again, shut down and then connect it internally, or i can shut down and connect the disk with out removing since the disk is USB?

    P.S. I dont use file duplication yet..

    Thanks, George

    • George

      You should be able to just shut down and connect it again, although I have never tried it with an external USB drive then putting it internally.

      Just be careful, if it warns you about formatting, stop, remove the drive and copy the data first.

      Andrew

  26. Andrew

    Thanks a lot i will try this..i will shut down, remove the disk from usb case and attachec it internally to the mb sata controler..I hope it works because it will take me 2 days or more again to remove the disk..(2TB)

    Thanks again, i will let you know

  27. Hello Andrew,

    As i promised, i am back to report!

    Ok i turn off WHS, and disconect the drive from USB case, and the i connect it to an internal sata (actually i run out of sata's so i get a Sata 150 Raid controler pci card).Anyway, when WHS start, i get the warning that a drive is missing and on server storage it was trying to calculate sizes..After a while WHS found the raid controler and install it, and the red status of the missing USB disk become geen, indicating a healthy status.The usb icon on the disk left and replaced by the normal icon of storage hard drives, and the location instead of "external USB" become internal SCSI.

    As i can see it thats good news but still something troubles me and i would like any opinions i could get from you.

    1)The name of the disk had "USB Device" at the end of the name, and still have it.

    2)After so long time the server storage is still calculating sizes.Maybe is because the disk was too big (2TB) i dont know.

    Maybe the name also is related with this, and after finish calculating sizes, and restart the server to remove the "USB Device.

    I will wait to see this finished or get a notice about and i 'll inform again.

    Regards, George

  28. Andrew – I have a large WHS system with 14 drives. With that many drives, the odds have caught up with me and one has died. How do I "kill" it in WHS? I can't use "Remove" because it wants to see the drive. Even if I put in a new drive, it's still looking for the old one. How do I proceed?

  29. Hi Andrew,
    I had two 1TB hard drives in my system that were 96% full. I added two 2TB drives and initiated remove hard drive for the non-system 1TB drive. I never got past the initial “Remove Hard Drive” screen even after I let the system run for 12 hours. When I now look at the hard drives, nothing has changed. The 2 new drives are empty, the two original drives are still 96% full. The drive I tried to remove is shown as status “Remove”. How should I proceed, cancel the operation (that seems the only option that I can click for that drive)and start over?

    • Hi Gus

      I think you have no choice. Im actually doing a drive removal myself right now and it should only take a few minutes to get past that first screen. If it still doesn’t work, drop a question in our forums as someone might have another suggestion for you.

  30. I have been removing hard drives from my WHS and can’t believe how long it takes! I realize it has to copy all of the data off the disk and move it to another disk. But when I check the Windows Performance snap-in, I see that bytes/sec for the drive to be removed is always just under 6.5 MB/sec. It’s very consistent. That is slow! I know my hardware is much faster than that and capable of at least five times that speed. Any idea why it is so slow?

    • Dave – unfortunately its quite a slow process which can be made even slower depending on various factors including speed of disks, size of disks, AV, size of files on the disk, etc.

      I think you will just have to wait – I usually do mine overnight.

  31. Well, I’m trying to pull a 1 TB drive out of a pool of 4. It said that this may take several hours. It’s now Day Ten and I’m only at about 70%.
    Please tell me that it’s just getting stuck trying to read the bad drive, and that it will eventually finish!

  32. I had a 2TB WD disk experience signs of failure according to WHS, and the drive light was flashing red. An attempt to remove it failed because of insufficient disk space among my remaining 3 x 1TB disks. I attached the replacement drive via usb and was able to copy everything from the failing disk to a replacement Samsung 3Tb disk. Then I swithced off the server and switched the disks. The new samsung disk is listed as ‘not attached’ in server storage, while the WD disk is listed as ‘missing’. Attempting to remove the missing disk via server storage started promisingly, but seems to have got stuck at about 90 % completion. The first stages took only about a minute, so I was hoping that it would finally be successful, but now I don’t know.
    Luckily I have always been rather sceptical about leaving all backups in the hands of an automated system, so I have all my data intact even if the bloody ACER WHS box fails totally..
    This experience has finally convinced me that Microsoft actually made the right decision not keeping the storage management solution from WHS 1 in the 2011 version! In my opinion it is so badly designed that all advantages that it theoretically should have drown in the sea of lost time and frustration that users experience when there is the smallest HW or even sw problem!

  33. PS Perhaps the main problem is that it was designed for small disks and cannot cope with the monster disks that we are using today?

  34. I did a search for changing windows homeserver drives and found this site and your article. Very informative as I just read through all the comments afterword learning a few things.

    I had a WHS installation to play around with a few years ago and I think I’d like to give it another chance. For the last few years I’ve had an XP box running shares for all my data and a printer, wired and wirelessly networked to all flavors of Windows clients without any real problems. I also have a Asus O!Play to interface with my network for music video and pictures. I have a number of internal drives and 6 or so large external drives. I like the idea of pooling the drives to avoid the limitations in my shares, hence my refound interest in WHS, plus the fact there is a new version of WHS.

    My concern is data loss with WHS.

    As I said, I have tried it, but I had drive issues. If I have a problem now, I simply disconnect that drive and hook it up to another workstation or laptop to recover my stuff (if the drive error isn’t a mechanical one.) That wasn’t the case with WHS. As I remember, I had difficulty using WHS to relocate my data off that drive and when I couldn’t, I disconnected the drive only to find ‘headstones’ of the files, not the actual data. Maybe it was hidden?

    So my questions: Which version of WHS do you suggest? Now that same question with regard to data integrity? I don’t use a RAID solution as I have way too much data and not enough drives. Should I use a small fast drive for the OS and then pool the larger drives? Does it not use the sys drive for sorage? Has anything REALLY changed in the 2011 release? I read reviews on it and the horrors of losing drive-extender, but what is your take?

    Like I said, I do have a system that works, but WHS is supposed to make all of this steamlined and easier. But I hate to put too much confidence in Microdoft.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    (and sorry for the long post!)

  35. I love my good old version WHS! I’ve had zero issues with it for the past 5-6 years. Today, I got the warning message that one of my drives was failing and it was telling me to run the repair utility. I browsed the net looking for what to do and came across this page. I didn’t want to just run the repair utility and cross my fingers so I ran out and bought a new drive. When I got home, I shut down the server then loaded the new drive in (keeping the failing drive connected too). Once I booted up, the new drive was found and I added it to the drive pool within the Server Storage tab. When that was done, I clicked the drive that was failing and went through the remove drive option. It successfully copied all its contents to the new drive. How easy was that?!!!! The only reason WHS failed for home use is because Microsoft did a piss poor job advertising it. It is sooooo easy and such a blessing to have in my home network. Over the years, I’ve recovered both my desktop and my laptop’s with the backup recovery disk/tools. Everyone should consider changing their old PC into a WHS when they buy a new computer. With all our beloved pictures and videos at risk of being lost due to hard disk failure, its a blessing to have a device like this caring for our data.

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