Avatar of DanielT
Flag for Canada asked on

WHS Hard Drive Configuration

I am reasonably familiar with WHS (2008) but would like to try and clarify something regarding (internal) hard drives.

My current system is in need of a system drive replacement very soon. I have read that it is best to use the "largest drive you can afford" (up to 2TB, I believe) but also know that the WHS reinstall process will partition the system drive into two (I think) parts being 20GB for the O/S and the remaining as a Data drive. Hopefully all this is correct so far.

My problem? I also understand that WHS will use the DATA partition to maintain its management of files and that - in a multi drive system it will place user data and backups on 2nd, 3rd (etc) drives. SO - why purchase a large drive as a system drive? If  WHS tries to push data to subsequent HDDs as it stores and manages the info, having a large system drive such as 2TB would not be desirable but would seemto be better, instead, as added storage and not as a system drive.

Bottom line...
Should I install a 500GB HDD or push it and go for a 2TB HDD?
I do not want to be in a position of reinstalling the O/S next time for a replacement system disk and lose data.
(ps the current system config is 500GB (sys) + 2000GB (userdata) + 2000GB (userdata) - internal HDDs)

Hope this makes enough sense to someone!

Microsoft Server OSStorage HardwareStorage

Avatar of undefined
Last Comment

8/22/2022 - Mon

the difference is physical and logical HDD

a physical HD can be 'broken down' or partition into many logival drives
20GB is the minimum I would use for the system drive 'C:\'
I might encourage that to be larger
if getting a 2 TB
bumping sys drive to 50 GB is good idea



I believe WHS automatically sets the system partition to 20GB during its setup and uses the remainder as a 'system' data drive but cannot recall for sure. WHS certainly handles files VERY differently than conventional storage due to flexibility in expanding HDD space. I do not want parts of my data on a system drive partition that may complicate any recovery through the "reinstall" that is necessary for a new HDD. I would rather add 'data' drives if this is the case.

Are you speaking specifically to WHS - or offering general advice?

Thanks for looking...
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.

I would go with 2TB drive as you could need to use more and more drives to extend your storage when the current one exceeds the size later. Yes, disk management in WHS allows extending the current configuration to use more space but it is better to set and forget.
Rob Knight


Although I am not familiary with WHS 2008, could you 'clone' your failing drive to the new drive to avoid a rebuild?



David Johnson, CD

since we are dealing with WHS2008 the size of the system drive is not an issue.. having lots of storage drives/space is more important.
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.

Log in or sign up to see answer
Become an EE member today7-DAY FREE TRIAL
Members can start a 7-Day Free trial then enjoy unlimited access to the platform
Sign up - Free for 7 days
Learn why we charge membership fees
We get it - no one likes a content blocker. Take one extra minute and find out why we block content.
Not exactly the question you had in mind?
Sign up for an EE membership and get your own personalized solution. With an EE membership, you can ask unlimited troubleshooting, research, or opinion questions.
ask a question

As posted above, I had to make a decision.

Hopefully that decision will result in a more reliable solution (Enterprise class HDD) and be the most efficient with storage use/cost.