WHS Update

This weekend I decided that it was time to take the next step towards installing Window Home Server (Beta 2). One thing that prompted this was that I discovered the power supply on my Domain controller was fried. The fan wasnt working and there was strange plastic smells coming from it. Also I kept finding the server off and because its up high on a cupboard to keep away from kids I didn’t notice the problem initially.

So I pulled apart my domain controller and my old desktop and spent the morning swapping motherboards. I had planned to put 4 drives into the new machine basically merging two PC’s into one. I then realised two things. 1. Domain controller motherboard (only about 2 months old) only has 2 SATA ports. I need 4. My old desktop (3+ years old) was a good one (not counting the NIC had stopped working) so it has 4 SATA ports. 2. I realised that my desktop pc has 2 x 250Gb drives striped in RAID 0. I thought it unlikely putting these two drives on the other motherboard would recognise the RAID 0. It’s backed up but I still have stuff on there that isn’t and I didn’t want to risk it…
I also discovered while trying an install that WHS wipes ALL hard drives when you install it. What the…??? Where am I supposed to put all of my data that I want to store onto WHS while i’m setting it up?
So I installed Vista onto the new machine (old desktop with 4 SATA drives. 3 x 250Gb + 1 x 120Gb. I order a new powersupply (430W should do) and a 500Gb SATA2 hard drive. (would have gone the 750Gb but none in stock…) Then i discover the computer shop is closed for the long weekend. Doh!!

So i’ll be spending the next few days sorting through this PC seeing what crap I can delete before shuffling what I can onto the new 500Gb drive so I can install WHS and let it wipe everything.
Once it’s set up I can transfer the data back to a share on the WHS box and then swap the 120Gb drive with the new 500Gb. End result should give me a huge storage area for backing up all the PC’s in the house (currently 2 laptops and 2 desktops). One question springs to mind though… how do you remove a drive from a WHS? Adding them is easy (apparently) using the wizard but can you remove drives as well? Time will tell.

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