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Installing Windows Home Server

Posted on 2014-02-12
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Last week I tried installing WHS 2001 to a 64GB SSD (primary) and 1TB Hybrid (secondary) mounted for data. WHS wouldn't install and didn't provide much help via error log.  Then I tried installing to a 128 GB SSD and it still wouldn't load but gave me the reason - min boot drive size is 160GB. As I didn't have any larger SSDs, I installed it to the 1TB hybrid now residing on the primary port.

Everything installed great and then I noticed that it partitioned the 1TB drive into a ...
64 GB C:\ boot drive (it only uses about 24 GB) and a 936 GB  D:\ - data drive.  

Q: Is the WHS installation 'hard-wired' to partition the drive provided or is there a work around? (I really like SSDs - especially when you leave lots of headroom ( >50%) but don't want the expense of a 180 or 240 GB SSD where 86 - 90% would be wasted space).

TIA - Ed
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Question by:Ed-SSA
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Expert Comment

by:TRTurner
ID: 39854952
Window Home Server has a Requirement that the hard drive be at least 160GB's I think.

My question would be. Why do you want to install the OS on the SSD? SSD are good for boot times and loading software quickly but your WHS should be on 24/7. I would keep your WHS SSD as storage for media or other software, they way your bottleneck will be the wire or the device your moving media to.

What is your goal with WHS?
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Author Comment

by:Ed-SSA
ID: 39855189
>> Window Home Server has a Requirement that the hard drive be at least 160GB's I think.
Yes, but why? It installs on a 64 GB partition it creates!!!

>> My question would be. Why do you want to install the OS on the SSD?

Longevity! With >50% headroom, a 2MLC's expected life is 50-100 years. Can't say that for the 1TB spinner. I back up data all over the place

>> SSD are good for boot times
and lots, lots more if used to their best advantage.

>> and loading software quickly but your WHS should be on 24/7
Which shortens a spinner's life - NOT an SSDs.  The only event that shortens an SSDs life is .. actually writing to it, I suspect a WHS boot drive write cycle to be < 2 GB daily.

>> I would keep your WHS SSD as storage or other software,
NEVER!! I'd be reducing it's expected life to that of a spinner.

>> your bottleneck will be the wire or the device your moving media to
Not a concern - there are no bottlenecks. It's an always on "File Server/Sharer". The "clients" control the "server" not visa-versa. If my PC wants to back-up every time I exit Excel, or every time I exit a Camtasia session, that's easily accomplished on the client side. And as I am a freak about back-ups, I'll backup the servers 'data' nightly. Please believe me, data wise, no one is closer to zero risk.

>> What is your goal with WHS?
It's a 24/7 'available' repository for data I want to share (the wife & I (desk tops & lap tops) - and sometimes friends and family). Very simple home network, Our desk-tops are used daily, The laptops - once or twice a week and the guest DT / visiting laptops are never backed-up but do access 'server' resident data.
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Accepted Solution

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Ed-SSA earned 0 total points
ID: 39871769
When I tried to install WHS 2011 to a 64 GB SSD, the installion failed with an error "the data partition must be at least 50 GB, etc. So I tried to install it to a 128 GB SSD and it again failed but at least this time it provided a more accurate error indication. "Installation drive MUST be at least 160 GB". I didn't have a  larger SSD handy so I installed it to the 1 TB drive I had indended for data only. Installation went great and all updates were in place within a day or two.

The installation created 3 partitions, which I had no control over:
(1) a 100 MB hidden partition,
(2) a 64 GB boot drive,  C:\
(3) a 936 GB data partition,  D:\

To get the "install" I wanted, I thought I'd try to clone the first 2 partitions to my original 64 GB SSD and behold - it worked! Although I have been an avid Acronis user for years, the server prices were insane and trial versions don't allow cloning, so I tried EaseUS. They gave me a 15-day trial (no gray out functions) and although a little more clumsy (I had to manually create the two target partitions and then clone them separately).
EaseUS has three great advantages -
  - try before buy,
  - it cloned the boot drive without a shutdown. (how do they do that??)
  - and much less expensive.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Ed-SSA
ID: 39882047
1) I found the way to get it, none of the 'experts' did.
2) You didn't give me an opportunity to award '0' points. So my only option to clear my 'opened' question' was to provide the solution. I didn't award points, you automatically did.

If I should have followed some other procedure, please let me know.  

- Thanks, Ed
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