A valuable feature of Windows Home Server 2011 is the support of 3TB hard drives. If you have one of these large format drives you can add it internally to your WHS 2011 and easily add it through the Dashboard. There are a couple of tricks, and a few changes to the drive, so read on to find out more.

Windows Home Server 2011

During our Skype call, and a with a strong push by Diehard, I finally added my 3TB drive internally to my Windows Home Server 2011. As I worked on my Windows Home Server 2011, I had John Skype in Michael Martis from the BYOB podcast and he walked us through the backup limitations of Windows Home Server 2011.

The 2040GB Backup Limit

Windows Home Server 2011 uses the same backup technology as Windows Server 2008 R2. In order to avoid folder shares beyond the backup limit, Windows Home Server 2011 is designed by default to split a 3TB drive into two partitions. Again, WHS 2011 is designed to do this.

Windows Home Server 2011

This technology is limited to backup sizes of 2040GB. Microsoft says it best as:

Windows Server Backup uses the .vhd format for writing backups. The current virtual hard disk specification limits the size of a virtual hard disk to be 2040 GB, which can fit a volume of size 2040 GB – 2 MB, (i.e., 2088958 MB). Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2008 also limits the maximum source volume size to be 2088958 MB. In Windows Server 2008 R2, if you are not backing up a full volume and, instead, creating a backup of selected files/folders, your source volume size can be more than 2088958 MB, provided your actual data size is less than equal to 2088958 MB. If you are creating a full volume backup, the maximum source volume size limit continues to be 2088958 MB.

The full Microsoft article can be found HERE.

3TB Hard Drives

These large format drives are a great deal lately at around $170 but still not as cost effective per GB as 2TB drives. That being said, if you have a limited amount of space, or limited SATA ports, then you might want to look at 3TB drives.

The Hitachi model below is now under $200 at Newegg.


Adding a 3TB to Windows Home Server 2011

Since there is no longer a “pool” of drives, any new internal drive is added through the Alert Viewer to store server folders or server backups.

Windows Home Server 2011

Formatting a hard disk in Windows Home Server 2011 is very simple…

Windows Home Server 2011

…and just a matter of a few mouse clicks.

Windows Home Server 2011

Check out the full video!

Windows Home Server 2011 Internal 3TB Hard Drive Support

Windows Home Server 2011 Release Candidate

You can download Windows Home Server 2011 at:

Download WHS 2011

Windows Home Server 2011

The installation of Windows Home Server 2011 has only a few basic requirements.

Windows Home Server 2011 is a 64-bit only operating system.

You can install the server software either manually or unattended.

System Requirements

  • 1.4 GHz x64 processor
  • 2 GB RAM
  • At least one 160 GB (or larger) hard drive
  • NTFS is the only supported file system

Supported networking configuration:

  1. Your server computer must be connected to a router via a network cable
  2. Windows Home Server works best with a UPnP certified device, but it is not required
  3. The router works best in the 192.168.x.x subnet, but it is not required

Try Windows Home Server 2011 and download from Connect today!