Replacing WHS 2011 system drive with SSD? - AVS Forum
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I was thinking about replacing my WHS 2011 system drive with an SSD. I have an SSD just sitting around and I thought it might speed things up. I don't want to have to completely reinstall. Has anyone actually done this before? Just some quick googling suggested that it's not as simple as cloning the hard drive due to some WHS quirks. I was thinking maybe I could just use the built-in server backup feature to recover the OS to the SSD.

The SSD is also 120 GB (not 160 like WHS 2011 requires). I know there are workarounds for installing WHS2011 on a smaller drive, but that may complicate my situation.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:24 PM
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Yes, I have installed my WHS 2011 on a 120GB SSD. It is easy to modify one script file in the installation media. I use the flash drive as my installation media so modification is quite easy. It will not increase your WHS performance in any sensible way since your server will be on 24/7.

If you want to clone your existing installation to SSD, you need perform some kind of alignment task for SSD. I have no clue what that is and how to do it.

I picked the SSD mainly because I want a fast boot up and the hope that SSD lasts slightly longer than mechanical hard drive. My previous WHS V1 has its main system drive failed within a year. It is a hassale to rebuild the server and send in the failed drive for warranty replacement where a lot of my documents are still on the drive and I can't erase it.

One thing I should have done is shrink the system partition further down. I leave it at 60GB but only about 28GB is used. I use the left over for server parition to store frequently used documents.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

I was thinking about replacing my WHS 2011 system drive with an SSD. I have an SSD just sitting around and I thought it might speed things up. I don't want to have to completely reinstall. Has anyone actually done this before? Just some quick googling suggested that it's not as simple as cloning the hard drive due to some WHS quirks. I was thinking maybe I could just use the built-in server backup feature to recover the OS to the SSD.
The SSD is also 120 GB (not 160 like WHS 2011 requires). I know there are workarounds for installing WHS2011 on a smaller drive, but that may complicate my situation.

I re-sized the partition then cloned onto a 64 GB SSD. I do have my D: volume on a different disk.
The USB trick wont work for a restore. It is a configuration file for a silent install.

WHS v1 has problems with cloning drives because of drive extender.

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Old 11-11-2012, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help. For the sake of my sanity, I'm going to put changing the system drive on hold. Instead I'll just add the SSD to the server, and then move databases/files/programs over to the SSD as needed.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Thanks for the help. For the sake of my sanity, I'm going to put changing the system drive on hold. Instead I'll just add the SSD to the server, and then move databases/files/programs over to the SSD as needed.

It's really pretty easy to clean install to a 60gb SSD whs2011.

I had a post about it when I did it.

There's two ways you can do it.

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Old 11-11-2012, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

It's really pretty easy to clean install to a 60gb SSD whs2011.
I had a post about it when I did it.
There's two ways you can do it.

Yeah but the point is I don't want to do a clean install. I want to preserve all my programs, settings, and files.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:04 PM
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Is it IDE drive now ?

You could clone it but its usually pain in long run.

I'd wait till you find the time to clean install.

Otherwise just leave it. In a server it's less noticeable anyways.

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Old 11-12-2012, 04:51 AM
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Ya, I gotta agree here. +1

# 1 Let's not break something that works .

# 2 Comment only .... What is the point in an ssd n a server . Runs 24/7 . How many times do you really use the os , reboot etc. ??
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
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The main thing I was trying to do was move my MySQL database which I use with XBMC and my thumbnails folder (with all my poster, fanart, etc.) to an SSD. I ended up just adding the SSD as a secondary drive and adding them that way. I have seen a noticeable improvement on my XBMC clients now.

Also, occasionally I have to reboot my server after making changes and whatnot, and it takes forever to boot back up, probably 20-25 minutes. It's not really a big deal though because I do it rarely.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

The main thing I was trying to do was move my MySQL database which I use with XBMC and my thumbnails folder (with all my poster, fanart, etc.) to an SSD. I ended up just adding the SSD as a secondary drive and adding them that way. I have seen a noticeable improvement on my XBMC clients now.
Also, occasionally I have to reboot my server after making changes and whatnot, and it takes forever to boot back up, probably 20-25 minutes. It's not really a big deal though because I do it rarely.

Some people think the only difference SSD makes is boot times.


But obviously you know better. There's a mega performance boost everywhere... Even in a server. Your example is a perfect example.

While not necessary in a server.. It's still a benefit to use SSD.

For under 50$ it makes sense to use a cheapo SSD over a slow spinner HDD.

But in your case I understand why your hesitant to clean install and start fresh. Save that project for when you have time or feel the need more.

If it ain't broke don't fix it.. (Till your ready)

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Old 11-12-2012, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Some people think the only difference SSD makes is boot times.

Some people (like myself) might have said that in the past because they knew that previous versions of most programs were RAM dependent.

Mediabrowser cache was loaded to RAM in previous days (way before the 2.6 atlas release), so adding an SSD didn't benefit the menu performance at all. Switching from 2GB of DDR2 800 to 4GB of DDR3 1333 would make a big difference. Way too many people inaccurately credited this to a new build using an SSD when it was really the fact that the new build had faster/more memory

Mediabrowser and most other programs have already left the Mega-ram resource idea and use the hard drive as a resource to free up RAM. I think this is due to SSD installations becoming the norm, and currently it is accurate to say "SSDs provide more performance differences than just faster boot times." A year or more ago, this was largely inaccurate for most applications
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:41 PM
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I've upgraded to SSD on systems previously with HDD and the difference was obvious.

This includes my 4gb ddr2 800mhz on e8500 core2 duo.

I went from velociraptor to vertex 2 sata2 SSD years ago when SSD was new and the difference was extreme.

SSD has always provided a big performance boost but today It's so extreme it's basically unacceptable to make a new build without one.

A server is probably the last leftover holdout for HDDs... And as OP is showing its not going to last much longer.

I think your right though. More modern stuff depends more on SSD versus loading into ram.

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Old 11-12-2012, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I've upgraded to SSD on systems previously with HDD and the difference was obvious. This includes my 4gb ddr2 800mhz on e8500 core2 duo.
If there was a huge difference, it was because you were already running newer applications or already saturating your ram bandwidth (easy to do in core2 days) and the page file became nearly as quick as your RAM [using page file this way was detrimental to most early SSDs]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

SSD has always provided a big performance boost but today It's so extreme it's basically unacceptable to make a new build without one.
I agree but seek only to quantify the old quotes of "only provides performance boost to boot times" were accurate at the time. Also agree that today it's near unacceptable (mostly due to application resource management shift I explained earlier)
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I think your right though. More modern stuff depends more on SSD versus loading into ram.
I agree, so I'd append the following or quantify it . . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I went from velociraptor to vertex 2 sata2 SSD years ago when SSD was new and the difference was extreme.
It could have been extreme, but I'd definitely say that perusing menus and playing games saw very little benefit with the exception of "first launch load times" up until 2011
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:41 PM
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I've successfully cloned a HD to an SSD several times. Modern tools, such as Acronis True Image Home 2012, set the alignment correctly. The difference in performance in Windows 7 when going from HD to SSD is phenomenal. I don't know anything about WHS though.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:19 PM
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I don't know anything about WHS though.

Exactly the case. WHS is a headless server that most of the time sit idle waiting for requests from network. How much a SSD system drive can speed up WHS (which mostly used for backup and serve as NAS) is really questionable. Stop using your Win7 desktop experience here. It simply does not apply.
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