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Storage spaces can only use whole drives RRS feed

  • Question

  • One of the features that I was really interested in with WS2012E is storage spaces as it replaces the old driver extender of WHS v1. Having now installed WS2012E onto my WHS2011 box I am bit staggered to find that it can only use whole drives. My box came with 2 * 2Tb drives, the first partitioned as boot, then a 60G of OS followed by the rest allocated as storage. I have successfully created a Storage space pool of the second drive but cannot find any way to add the remaining storage from the large partition on the other drive into the pool. As the UI just shows me drives rather than partitions, I am bit challenged. I thought that storage spaces was meant to be flexible about adding drives just like the old drive extender. Even add on technolgies like DriveBender for WHS2011 allows for a storage space to be made up from this type of set up. So we seem to be going backwards.

    Plus when creating the drive pool it defaulted on a 2Tb drive to a 2Gb size! How useful is that? As soon as I started copying data to the drive it ran out of space. I then had to go in and expand it.

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 9:13 AM

Answers

  • My storage space consists of three entire drives, plus the remaining partition of my system drive. So it is certainly possible to do what you want to do.

    Since I did only create the two partitions needed to install the server, it may help if you delete the third partition of your primary drive, and then try again with the storage spaces GUI to add it. I think it ignores already formatted partitions.

    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Sunday, July 22, 2012 1:16 AM
    • Marked as answer by NevilleH Thursday, July 26, 2012 6:37 PM
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 5:40 PM

All replies

  • My storage space consists of three entire drives, plus the remaining partition of my system drive. So it is certainly possible to do what you want to do.

    Since I did only create the two partitions needed to install the server, it may help if you delete the third partition of your primary drive, and then try again with the storage spaces GUI to add it. I think it ignores already formatted partitions.

    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Sunday, July 22, 2012 1:16 AM
    • Marked as answer by NevilleH Thursday, July 26, 2012 6:37 PM
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 5:40 PM
  • The problem there is that I can only see the user interface option for adding physical drives to the current storage space. It doesn't seem to allow for logical drives and/or partitions to be added. So even if I delete the partition then how do I add it to the storage pool? 
    Could it be my understanding that is wrong. Each storage space is like a RAID array. What I need to do is create two separate storage spaces, one for each drive and then link them together so that files are duplicated across both drives?
    • Edited by NevilleH Friday, July 20, 2012 2:51 PM
    Friday, July 20, 2012 2:44 PM
  • The GUI seems to be a bit misleading. It always talks about "physical drives", but in my case I could add an unused partition of my first drive. This partition is now listed as "physical drive", but it is still only one of three partitions of my first hard disk.

    I only have one storage space, "parity" variant, consisting of three full disks and one partial disk.

    Friday, July 20, 2012 4:45 PM
  • The problem there is that I can only see the user interface option for adding physical drives to the current storage space. It doesn't seem to allow for logical drives and/or partitions to be added. So even if I delete the partition then how do I add it to the storage pool? 
    Could it be my understanding that is wrong. Each storage space is like a RAID array. What I need to do is create two separate storage spaces, one for each drive and then link them together so that files are duplicated across both drives?

    As Tinue pointed out, it can be done.  I was able to do it in a VM.  I created a 500 GB virtual drive, then made a 100 GB partition on it.  I installed WS2012E to that 100 GB partition (leaving the rest as "unallocated").  Once the WS2012E install was complete, I went to the Dashboard to try to create a Storage Pool from the unallocated portion.  Here is what the Storage Pool creation screen shows when you have an unallocated portion of the system drive and you want to use it to create a Storage Pool:

    Sunday, July 22, 2012 1:16 AM
    Moderator
  • Deleting the volume taking up the third large remainder partition on the drive seems to have done the tricky. I have now added it to my drive pool. Slighly counter intuitive to me, hence why I was sceptical that it would find it. I presume that what it was really trying to say was that it was the wrong type of volume. So sorted now. Thanks for the help.
    Thursday, July 26, 2012 6:36 PM
  • You can add partial disk into storage pool through cmdlet "Add-PhysicalDsik". In Beta, GUI can only add system disk into pool. this may be changed in later release. Anyway, you can achieve it through cmdlets.

    This post is "AS IS" and confers no rights

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012 7:40 AM
  • Hi all.

    I'm running the Windows 8 Enterprise Trial and am trying to add the rest of my Primary HDD to the pool but after following the suggestions here none of them have worked and I havn't got a clue how to use cmdlets or the Add-PhysicalDisk bit.

    Anyone able to provide info on a solution they have used in the Windows 8 Enterprise Trial?

    Friday, August 24, 2012 12:51 PM
  • Hi all.

    I'm running the Windows 8 Enterprise Trial and am trying to add the rest of my Primary HDD to the pool but after following the suggestions here none of them have worked and I havn't got a clue how to use cmdlets or the Add-PhysicalDisk bit.

    Anyone able to provide info on a solution they have used in the Windows 8 Enterprise Trial?


    You should ask your question in one of the Win8 forums located here.
    Friday, August 24, 2012 3:12 PM
    Moderator
  • I'm having the same issue as Neville. I originally installed WS2012E to a 2TB drive, left the install settings alone, and found it created a 350MB system partition, and a 2TB C: boot drive. So I shrunk the C drive down to the recommended 120GB in Disk Management. The remaining unallocated 1742 GB is visible in Disk Management, but doesn't show up in Storage Spaces. I see the storage space I created and the 3 other physical drives that pool spans (1TB, 1.5 TB, and 2TB), but neither the boot 2TB drive nor the 1742GB of unallocated space on it shows up anywhere.

    When I try to Add Drives (or Create a New Pool), I get "No drives that work with Storage Spaces are available. Make sure that the drives you want to use are connected."

    In Storage Spaces, I see the Storage Spaces section (which shows my pool) and a Physical Drives section (which lists the other 3 physical drives). I don't see a System Drives section like in kariya21's screenshot.

    Any ideas? Or help on deciphering the syntax for the Add-PhysicalDisk cmdlet Davie Chen mentioned?

    Also, the Get-PhysicalDisk cmdlet shows all 4 drives, with CanPool set to false for the 3 already in a pool, and True for the troublesome boot drive. But it shows the full 1.82TB capacity (like the 2TB drive already in the pool), not the unallocated space which should be 120GB smaller. So I'm worried that if I added it using the Add-PhysicalDisk cmdlet, it would try to add the whole drive and ... bad things would ensue.
    • Edited by microeye Thursday, December 27, 2012 7:45 PM
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 7:33 PM
  • i cannot understand why you would want a 2TB drive partitioned as your boot and system drive. You would be far better installing a small drive, say 160Gb and use that as your system drive, then use your large drives for data.
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 10:29 PM
  • Here's a few reasons:

    1. On a cost per GB basis, 160 GB drives are ridiculously expensive. 2 TB is the sweet spot today.
    2. My WS2012E box only has 4 drive bays, and I have 4 drives (1, 1.5, 2, & 2 TB). Using up one of the bays for the boot drive only means I lose 1 TB of storage, or go buy a new case (and the boot drive).
    3. I just dropped off half a dozen 160GB and smaller drives at Staples for recycling. They all had IDE connectors, and the WS2012E box doesn't.
    4. The 2TB drive probably uses less power than a 160GB one. I'm going green, saving the earth.  ;-)
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 10:43 PM
  • hey all, i encountered the same issue of trying to add an available partition from Disk 0  (with Win 8) into Storage Space. i have 2 hdd and was planning to do a Raid 1 or "Two-way mirror". i found that the alternative to achieving the mirror via Storage Space, is to do it via Disk Management. here are the steps ...

    1. format the partition on Disk 0 intended for mirror.
    2. on Disk 1, leave the partition intended for mirror UNformatted.
    3. right-click partition on Disk 0 and select "Add mirror".
    4. select Disk 1. only the unformatted partition will be added as mirror.

    i do not have a 3rd hdd to try adding to this mirrored pair. it may either be impossible, or you may need to "Remove mirror" of this married pair and then "Add mirror" again to select more hdd.

    also, this married pair is NOT listed under Storage Space for management.

    Tuesday, January 1, 2013 6:24 PM
  • Well, I only have 4 drive bays, so I don't want to sacrifice half my capacity to mirroring. I ended up just creating a partition on the boot drive that I put my non-critical folders on. Stuff that I have elsewhere, so no biggie if that drives fails. Still wish I could add the space to the storage pool, especially since a lot of other people seem to have no problems doing it, but at least I have a passable workaround.
    Wednesday, January 2, 2013 3:42 AM
  • Just chiming in... I had this same exact problem. I ended up doing the same thing as austinios.

    Actually, I ended up just mirroring the entire drive using this guide, which includes instructions for setting up EFI and MSR partitions on the second drive: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951985
    Friday, January 18, 2013 3:01 PM
  • I also couldn't see it in Manage Storage Spaces, but I was able to add it via the Server Manager - (right click and click 'Add Physical Disk', then select the drive - it should automatically add the unpartitioned space. I was then able to go and increase the Storage Pool capacity in Manage Storage Spaces and the partition shows up as available.
    Sunday, February 24, 2013 3:50 PM
  • Hi guys.

    Read thru this entire thread and can confirm that unallocated space on system drive CANNOT be added to storage pool in Windows 8.

    I carried out full reformat on partitioned 1TB HDD .  The OS was installed on the 80Gig partition and the remainder was left as unallocated . Upon completion of installation I added 2 x 2TB HDD's.

    Rebooted system and proceeded to create storage pool. The two 2TB drives were available, but the unallocated space of the system drive was nowhere to be seen.

    Created a unformatted partition on the unallocated space of system drive but did not help..  still not available to add to pool.

    Cheers

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 3:36 AM
  • In Windows Server 2012 Essentials I started the Server Manager and selected "File and Storage Services".

    From there I navigated to "Storage Pools" then right clicked on Storage Spaces and selected "New Storage Pool...".

    I was able to select all my primary drives, including "PhysicalDisk0" which initially listed 1.36 TB even though there is a 60 GB system partition.

    After creating the storage pool I was able to go to Storage Spaces and use the pool to create a space.

    This simple storage pool has enabled me to create one merged drive of 5.38 TB.

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013 2:00 PM
  • I note that you did this with Windows Server 2012 Essentials.  I cannot seem to do this with Windows 2012 Standard.  I have two 500 GB disks and 40GB of the first disk, PhysicalDisk0 is partitioned for the OS.  Nothing I do makes PhysicalDisk0 show up in the Storage Pool area of Server Manager - all I can see is PhysicalDisk1.  (Refer to 'Physical Disks' in the bottom right corner of the previous poster's first screen shot above.  I can only see 'PhysicalDisk1', not 'PhysicalDisk0'.)  If I click 'Disks' just under 'Volumes' in the same screenshot above, I can see PhysicalDisk0, and it shows 466 GB capacity, 423 GB unallocated.  PhysicalDisk1 shows 466 GB capacity, 466 GB unallocated.  My intent was to mirror the remaining 423 GB on PhysicalDisk0 with 423 GB on PhysicalDisk1.  I would then allocate the leftover 43 GB on PhysicalDisk1 as a 'scratch' disk.  I have tried leaving everything unallocated and have tried all variations of creating volumes and virtual disks, but nothing I do makes a difference.  I found other threads related to this issue which indicated there was a flaw in the 2012 GUI and that this process could be done via Powershell.  However, there seems to be a mix of Windows 8 and Windows 2012 in these threads and, apparently the Powershell commands I've found apply to 8 and not 2012, as I get invalid command errors when I try to use them.

    Can anybody tell me how to mirror the unallocated portion of the primary disk PhysicalDisk0 (which has a partition for the OS) with a same-sized portion of PhysicalDisk1 with Windows Server 2012?  Thanks!



    • Edited by Ken1950 Tuesday, July 2, 2013 9:20 PM clarification
    Tuesday, July 2, 2013 9:12 PM
  • Powershell should work in Server 2012.

    1. Open powershell in elevated mode.

    2. Run "Get-PhysicalDisk" to check whether the CanPool of disk #0 is true

    3. If yes, you can use disk #0 and disk #1 to create a storage pool. Note that stoarge pool, is just collection of physical disk, and mirror property only applies to storage space. So create a mirror storage space on the pool.

    You can email me dac@microsoft.com if you have more help.


    This post is "AS IS" and confers no rights

    Thursday, August 29, 2013 2:53 AM
  • FYI, as of Windows 8.1 Update 1:

    - it *is* possible to create a storage pool and add an unallocated portion (a part) of a drive
    - as far as the storage pool subsystem is concerned, a "physical drive" is either a physical drive in its entirety, or an unallocated portion of a physical drive
    - the unallocated portion (a part) of a drive must be un-partitioned, since a "Storage Spaces Protective Partition" needs to be created automatically
    - both a system (boot) drive and any non-system, secondary drives can be added
    - both SSDs and HDDs can be added and mixed
    - Windows 8 Control Panel >> Storage Spaces GUI needlessly (and misleadingly) insists on erasing any drives to be added to a storage pool
    - Windows 8 PowerShell "New-StoragePool" cmd-let seems to return strange error messages, such as HRESULT 0x80041010, "Invalid Class"
    - Windows 8 Storage Management API works perfectly well and Microsoft C++ "Storage Management Application Sample" can be easily modified into a tool for creating a storage pool from up to three (3) drives

    A downside: storage spaces "Mirror"-ed across (mixed) SDD and HDD drives with integrity streams enabled (self-healing) and BitLocker seem to result in horrible SSD performance degradation, even when read-only. Oh, well, let's hope it will get optimized, with time. Nevertheless, the feeling of complete freedom from manual backups and CHKDSK - priceless :).

    Gary
    Saturday, April 5, 2014 9:49 PM
  • Gary17, you are referring to Windows 8.1 Pro Update 1, correct - not Windows Server. I have 2 drives in the PC. I drive has a small partition with the OS on it.  The remainder of drive 1 is unallocated. Drive 2 it totally unallocated.

    When I go to setup a storage pool the only drive I can add is the 2nd empty drive. Suggestions to get part of the OS drive included in the pool?

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 5:22 PM
  • Tom OC, Exactly the point I made in my July 2, 2013 post above - and received no meaningful responses.  My conclusion was that it could not be done.  I was just about to load all pending updates on the server I was trying to do this on and then try again.  However, it sounds like from your post that the issue has still not be addressed.

    David Chen, in your post above, you say I can use powershell in elevated mode, run "Get-PhysicalDisk" to check whether the CanPool of disk #0 is true, then proceed, assuming it is "True".  However, when I do that, CanPool says "False" for disk #0.  You don't say what, if anything, I can do if it is "False".  So I am still stuck.

    • Edited by Ken1950 Wednesday, April 16, 2014 7:26 PM
    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 5:37 PM
  • If CanPool = False, there should be a CannotPoolReason field that describes why that disk cannot be added to the pool.

    if you share the output of the following commands from admin powershell, it will help me understand why you are not able to add this drive to the pool.

    get-physicaldisk PhysicalDisk0 |fl

    get-disk 0 | fl

    get-disk 0 |get-partition fl

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014 8:49 PM
  • I was finally able to get by this issue by using the Computer Management/Storage/Disk Management GUI.  Right-Clicked on the volume on C: that I wanted to mirror, selected 'Add Mirror', selected D:.  At some point in this process it said I had to convert to a drive type of Dynamic, which I did.  After that, I was able to establish the mirror without an issue.  Sorry I don't have the exact details, but that was the gist of it.
    Wednesday, April 30, 2014 9:41 PM
  • Tom,

    Just to clarify: Windows 8.1 Update 1, Storage Spaces GUI, does NOT seem to support adding an unallocated portion (a part) of a drive to a storage pool, either (just as you mention is the case with Windows Server). My point was, however, that the root of problem was the GUI (wrapper) itself, not the (underlying) Storage Spaces subsystem. Thus, you can still use Windows Storage Management Application Programming Interface, API (for example, through a modified Microsoft C++ "Storage Management Application Sample", compiled into a command line utility .exe) to create a storage pool with any number of partially or entirely unallocated drives, without the GUI. In other words, the functionality is there, within Windows itself, but the GUI does not take the proper advantage of it.

    Gary

    • Edited by Gary17 Saturday, May 3, 2014 10:48 AM
    Saturday, May 3, 2014 10:40 AM
  • Ken,

    Using Storage Spaces did not require converting a drive to Dynamic (through Computer Management/Storage/Disk Management), only creation of an additional "Storage Spaces Protective Partition", so those might be two different Windows storage technologies (?). I was specifically interested in Storage Spaces, Two-Way Mirrors, with ReFS self-healing (as opposed to raw RAID -style mirroring).

    Gary
    Saturday, May 3, 2014 10:42 AM