Spring Clean - Summer Archive

I’ve been doing a lot of spring cleaning recently and came across quite a few old computers that I’d stashed away at the back of a wardrobe.  Not exactly noteworthy, but I thought I’d share a couple of things I’ve done to clear the space and retain my archives.

First of all I removed the hard drives from the laptops and the desktop computers and then took the carcasses to the local recycling depot.  I then looked at my Windows Home Server storage and realised that whilst I might have space for the content of several old hard drives, this was going to leave rather little space for the content I’ll be creating over the coming months.

Time for an upgrade…

My home server is a first generation HP Media Smart server and with three drive bays loaded this left me one additional slot to expand into.  I ordered a 2 TB 7200 rpm hard drive and so I just needed a way to get the data from the old drives onto the server.  For this I ordered a piece of kit by Iomax that allows me to connect IDE (large & small) and SATA drives up to a USB port.  I found a good deal for both online with free delivery and waited for them to arrive.

It took a few days (as one might expect with free delivery), but it was simplicity itself to get the hard drive up and running.  Unlock the drive caddy, pop in the new hard drive, slot it into the server and then add it to the drive pool in the WHS console.  At this point it was rather obvious that the two original 500 MB drives in the server were at saturation point (both 98% full) and the additional 1TB drive I added in last year was just mostly full.  Adding the new drive in doesn’t magically attend to balancing out the drives, but there is something to help with this.

When I’d originally added the 1 TB drive I’d made use of a balancing utility that re-spread the data across the drives.  Thoughtfully I’d left a link to the utility on the desktop of my home server so I was able to use it once again.  If you would like to make use of it, visit the Drive Balancer page at We Got Served.

It took an overnight run to clear the landing space which was the first step in using the utility and then a little under two days to balance the data out across the drives.  Patience paid off and now the data was balanced out with a roughly equal percentage of each drive being taken up.

With the new storage in place, it has just been a simple matter of plugging in the old drives to my dektop PC via the Iomax kit, accepting some warnings about moving data and setting permissions (as you might expect from copying old profile based data on a Windows 7 PC), and having it move the data onto a server share.

Now I just need to wait for cloud storage costs to really drop to make my backups more robust.  So far just my critical and most mobile data syncs to Dropbox so there’s definitely room for improvement here!

Author: Stephen Millard
Tags: | whs |

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