switching from unraid to whs2011 =flexraid - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 122 Old 05-11-2013, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I am trying to switch my server from unraid to whs 2011+ flexraid. My first question is can i use the same disks with movies on them in unraid and not lose my data when i switch over to WHS2011. When i am trying to assign the disks in whs 2011 those disks are not recognized by the whs 2011. If so then i am doing something wrong. I have been using Assassins server guide along the way. Thanks.

Chad
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post #2 of 122 Old 05-11-2013, 10:25 PM
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post #3 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 07:42 AM
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I tried the exact same thing a while back and it turned out to be a total fiasco. For some strange reason my server would not recognize any discs after a point. I can't explain exactly what happened other than to say it turned into an absolute nightmare. Chances are my situation was an isolated incident, but I don't ever want to go through it again. I ended up going back to unRAID and upgrading to version 5.0-rcX (it's currently up to 5.0-rc12a) and I couldn't be happier. The latest version supports up to 24 drives plus a cache drive. It also supports drives >3TB. Unless you have a need to expand beyond 24 drives, I highly recommend not making the switch and just upgrading to unRAID version 5.0-rc12a. It's extremely stable and works great.
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post #4 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 08:19 AM
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That's why unraid sucks and whs and Flexraid are great.

Data always readable in any system

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post #5 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 08:21 AM
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There is a larger lesson here.. one that I've pointed out on various threads before..

Never make the mistake of complicating a system to such a degree that even you have a hard time recovering in the (inevitable) event that disaster strikes.
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post #6 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 08:45 AM
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Agree ^

Using a file system that's not readable in any system is just a silly idea for a media server.

Why would you do that ? To save a few bucks by using freeware free software instead of a better paid alternative ?

Pain is the result.

Your 100% right. Simplicity and versatility are often overlooked when designing or building a system. Often with regret later.

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post #7 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 08:48 AM
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@OP

Do yourself a favor an buy more storage. Copy from your unraid to these new drives formatted standard for windows or whs.

Then reformat your current unraid drives and install them empty.

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post #8 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 08:50 AM
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Flexraid is super flexible in that you can install or add at anytime empty or full drives.

It's best to just copy your data from unraid rather than risk messing with file systems

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post #9 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 09:03 AM
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post #10 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 09:12 AM
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Moving to Flexraid is no different than moving to windows or apple.

It's not at all issue with Flexraid. It's an issue where unraid uses a file system not readable by popular majority of machines.

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post #11 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 09:52 AM
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If I recall correctly, the developer of FlexRAID is coming out with a new product soon where it will make migrating from unRAID a much simpler task, preventing a huge amount of headache. Correct me if I am wrong.
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post #12 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 10:59 AM
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I think your right. Yes.

But it gets under my skin when people pretend the issue is with flexraid. Moving to flexraid is not the issue. It's not any different than just moving away from unraid to normal windows or anything else. Unraid is the problem.

For me I really need my data drives to be readable in any system, inside or outside my server. That is why I like flexraid.

I can remove any drive from my media server and plug it into a dock, or my desktop and read the contents. That is big feature that should not get overlooked.

It is just silly and unreasonable to think any solution today will last forever. Thinking about how and what happens when your ready to move on should be a consideration. I think unraid users overlook this and make this mistake.

The easiest solution is copy the data over from unraid before retiring it. That's really what I would do.

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post #13 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 07:45 PM
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post #14 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 08:16 PM
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ReiserFS, If I recall, was originally designed (By Hans Reiser, a guy who was convicted of murdering his wife and stuffing her body into the trunk of his car) for use under Linux. Even then, it wasn't considered stable by those who maintain the Linux kernel until very recently. Now, I've used Linux in work environments before, so I'm pretty comfortable with it, but I would have a panic attack if the kernel barfed an error on start up and threw me out to a bash prompt. All of my data would be trapped on a file system and I'd have no idea how to get to it. At least Windows does you the courtesy of tugging on your pant leg to warn you of impending disaster. Linux is not so courteous.

So, unRAID comes along, adopts this (at best) shaky, barely on par with EXT3 file system and people like the website (because it has limes. Everybody likes limes.) and sign on to it?

Lesson learned: Do your homework.
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post #15 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 08:44 PM
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post #16 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PobjoySpecial View Post

You should send the memo to the hundreds of UnRAID users that have kept their servers on for years without a reboot.

Linux is rock solid and stable. No argument there. I don't consider reboots to be a selling point one way or the other. I schedule my WHS 2011 machine for a reboot once a week usually late night Sunday when everyone's sleeping. Never had a virus, never been hacked in any discernible way. I've also never lost anything because I couldn't recover data from my own drives. I have good tools for drive recovery, I have spare drives available and I'm not doing anything so exotic that I end up lost in a world of complexity. Linux has tools to, but I'll be damned if I know how to use them.
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post #17 of 122 Old 05-12-2013, 10:00 PM
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post #18 of 122 Old 05-13-2013, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PobjoySpecial View Post

For fun?
1) Install FTK Imager on Windows
2) Read disk.
3) Done.

UnRAID is dead simple to use. If you run into a problem, it has one of the best user communities I've ever seen. To each their own, but the mud you're slinging doesn't stick.
This. It's pretty clear that FlexRAID has a lot of fanboys here, but that doesn't necessarily make it a better system. I'm not going to argue the pros and cons of each setup because it's already been done to death. Suffice it to say that I've been using unRAID for over six years and it's been rock solid and a pleasure to use. The only issues I've ever had with a server setup is when I tried using FlexRAID. I switched back to unRAID and couldn't be happier. When I initially chose to go with unRAID I wasn't even aware of FlexRAID. To be honest, had I known about FlexRAID at the time, I'd be hard pressed to say which software I would have chosen. The idea of having to install it on top of an OS, use up a SATA port, and add another drive would have probably steered me towards unRAID anyway. It's just less crap to deal with. My idea of a server is a collection of drives that allow me to store and access data from any PC on my network. I just want to set it up and forget about it. Both programs allow me to do this so anything else is just extra, IMHO. Obviously, YMMV.

The issue of having a file system that's readable in Windows is mostly irrelevant for a server. Let's face it, most of us access the data on servers via our networks, not via direct drive access. UnRAID allows you to do this as well as any other server software. The filesystem that unRAID uses is completely transparent to other PCs on the network. What matters is whether you can access your data and transfer data to and from the server. Most of the features available with FlexRAID are also available in unRAID. I have yet to hear an overwhelming argument that places FlexRAID head and shoulders above unRAID. They both do what they're designed to do and they both do it well. The differences are more those of personal preference than performance or features. As media servers, they're both fine choices. The end user will never know the difference.

And WTF does Hans Reiser's personal history have to do with anything here?

FYI - There are other ways to read reiserfs disks in Windows:

http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=2057.msg14950#msg14950
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post #19 of 122 Old 05-13-2013, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

And WTF does Hans Reiser's personal history have to do with anything here?
Very much agreed
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Originally Posted by char View Post

I am trying to switch my server from unraid to whs 2011+ flexraid
Chad, my biggest question here is why? From someone who *did* use whs 11 for a short while, I can tell you I wouldn't touch it again unless I was being paid
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post #20 of 122 Old 05-13-2013, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Chad, my biggest question here is why? From someone who *did* use whs 11 for a short while, I can tell you I wouldn't touch it again unless I was being paid
He's not using WHS as his server app, just as the OS platform on which he can run FlexRAID. WHS seems to be the OS of choice for most FlexRAID users based on the number of posts on the subject. I assume it's because WHS is the least expensive Windows license that can be purchased for use with FlexRAID.
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post #21 of 122 Old 05-13-2013, 12:07 PM
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I think a lot of it goes to what you're comfortable with. I tried Ubuntu once, but didn't really have a need for Linux based system so deleted the partition after a month or so. So when I went looking to build my media server a few years back the options were go with some that I already had a pretty good understanding of (Windows based) or more or less start from scratch (Linux based or other). I actually started with a Linux build (can't remember which one), but after spending a few hours just trying to figure out the basics of using the OS, I said screw it and got WHSv1. I already knew the basics of the OS and had it up and running in a couple hours.
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post #22 of 122 Old 05-13-2013, 12:11 PM
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post #23 of 122 Old 05-13-2013, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I assume it's because WHS is the least expensive Windows license that can be purchased for use with FlexRAID.
I guess. When I purchased W8 pro, it was $30. There were lots of W7 pro licenses available for discount, and even if they aren't here I'd try anything to get a cheap W7/W8 license. I still have a leftover W7 license from the 3 pack I purchased. If you know or can get to know any person at a major university, ask nicely for theirs or even offer them $40 for the $8 license they can buy.

WHS was more pain than gain. Useless media streaming feature, high resource count in unexplainable and unstoppable services, kludgey interface for things, driver annoyance, server folder management rather than just plain old explorer, PC backup feature had limited scheduling and size features as well as overall file granularity
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post #24 of 122 Old 05-13-2013, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PobjoySpecial View Post

I knew nothing about Linux and got UnRAID up and running in a couple of hours as well. Keeping things simple, relying on user-created guides and trying the 3-drive version out risk-free made it possible.

"Pre-clearing" the HDD did take forever and day, though.

I'm pretty leary of user created guides though, especially on anything Linux related (one reason I gave up was it was impossible to get my wifi stick to work, despite numerous guides on how to do it). The problem is that things change between versions, but guides often don't note the version they are using, and nothing ever dies on the internet.
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post #25 of 122 Old 05-13-2013, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post

one reason I gave up was it was impossible to get my wifi stick to work

You were going to (or actually did) setup a server to serve from a wireless dongle?
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post #26 of 122 Old 05-13-2013, 12:44 PM
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No, the wifi was on my desktop. I had made a partition for Ubuntu to check it out just in general (this was probably 2007-2008 when Ubuntu first became popular). A few years later I made my media server.
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post #27 of 122 Old 05-14-2013, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post

I think a lot of it goes to what you're comfortable with. I tried Ubuntu once, but didn't really have a need for Linux based system so deleted the partition after a month or so. So when I went looking to build my media server a few years back the options were go with some that I already had a pretty good understanding of (Windows based) or more or less start from scratch (Linux based or other). I actually started with a Linux build (can't remember which one), but after spending a few hours just trying to figure out the basics of using the OS, I said screw it and got WHSv1. I already knew the basics of the OS and had it up and running in a couple hours.
You don't need to know anything about Linux to use unRAID, except perhaps if you want to use the preclear utility, which is a pretty simple command line program. To install unRAID you make a USB flash drive bootable and copy the files to it. Plug it into your server and set the BIOS to boot from the USB drive. Once it boots, connect via the web GUI and configure it the way you like. You can have unRAID up and running in a fraction of the time it takes to install WHS or any other OS. To upgrade it, just copy over two new files to the flash drive and overwrite the old ones. Reboot and you're good to go with the new version. UnRAID retains your configuration between upgrades so there's nothing more to do. UnRAID is also compatible with a huge selection of hardware so lack of drivers isn't really much of an issue.

The one feature that made me consider switching to FlexRAID was the ability to have more than one parity drive. Other than that, I don't think there are any other significant features in FlexRAID that aren't part of unRAID, at least nothing of interest to me. I've never lost more than one drive at a time (knock on wood) so I've never needed the extra parity drives. I've always been able to recover data from a failed drive. The good thing about having a media server is that even if you lose more than one drive simultaneously you can most likely restore the data from other sources. I always back up media I can't afford to lose on more than one drive anyway as insurance. Otherwise, it's all movies and TV shows that can easily be replaced.
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post #28 of 122 Old 05-14-2013, 08:28 AM
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Why are so many people selling unraid in this thread?

OP just wanted to know how to switch from unraid to flexraid. I'd say just copy the data to a NTFS formatted hard drive. Then reformat your current drives and add them to flexraid storage pool as empty data drives.
It's really not that hard.

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post #29 of 122 Old 05-14-2013, 08:35 AM
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post #30 of 122 Old 05-14-2013, 09:20 AM
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The issue here seems to be more of a Windows / Linux problem than an UnRAID / FlexRAID problem.

If the OP was okay with linux, he could just switch to FlexRAID running under linux (or even better, SnapRAID running under linux) and he would not need to convert filesystems or copy data.

But given that the OP does not seem interested in learning enough linux to run FlexRAID or SnapRAID in linux, then if he wants to switch to Windows he needs to convert the ReiserFS drives to NTFS, as others have said. The easiest way to do that, assuming he has an extra drive larger than all his data drives, is to copy the drives in linux. Yes, he may need to learn a couple linux commands (partitioning and mkfs.ntfs), but that is easy enough. Partition and format a drive with NTFS, copy the files from a ReiserFS drive to the NTFS drive, then take the drive just freed up and partition and format with NTFS, repeat...
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