Copy Data to your Home Server the Correct Way

When copying data to your Home Server always use \\<server name>\<share name> rather than D:\shares\<share name>. Files copied to the shares via \\<server name>\<share name> are managed through Drive Extender but if you copy files directly they may not be put in the correct location (particularly if you have more than one drive in your WHS) and this can cause problems since you run the risk that you may create real files in the shares, rather than tombstones. If you do, then Drive Extender won’t be able to move those files off of the primary data partition.

Ken Warren MVP on the WHS Forums added:

“There’s a file system filter driver that deals with the initial writing of the files, the creation of tombstones, and the redirection to the actual file location. That should operate against D:\Shares\etc. just as it operates against \\Server\etc. But (as you can see above) some users have found that when they copied files directly to the D:\ partition, they locked up the space those files were occupying permanently. Then they had to jump through hoops to get everything back in sync. So you should only operate against the shares; that’s why there’s a shortcut to \\Server on the Administrator desktop. You don’t need to map a drive to a share, BTW; you should be able to use the UNC path for everything.”

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  1. yakuza says:

    Hi, can I ask for the original source of this info, was it a post on the WHS forums? I ask, because I’ve seen contradictory info from Chris Gray of the WHS team:

  2. Hi yakuza,
    Thanks for your post. Yes Chris Gray’s post is contradictory to all the other info Microsoft has published which states you must only use net share paths.

  3. Andrew Calvin says:

    I think Chris’s post is really about the SDK anyway – all consumer-oriented info is clear that you should always just use UNC.

  4. danb says:

    If you’ve already copied to d:\ how can you be sure you haven’t caused a problem, or if you have, fix it?

  5. Hi Andrew Calvin,
    Thanks for your comment.

  6. Hi danb,
    D:\shares\ is NOT ok
    D:\any other name\ is OK
    If you did copy to D:\shares\ what actual data did you copy and how much?

  7. danb says:

    When bringing data over on a separate HDD, I plugged it into the WHS machine, and then used RD to copy direct from the drive to the d:/ shares appropriate for the content. The content was movies and music I think, but there might have been some pictures too.

  8. Hi danb,
    Since you copied directly to the D:\shares\Sharename folders, you were operating outside of WHS. The risk you run is that you may create real files in the shares, rather than tombstones. In this case Drive Extender won’t be able to move those files off of the primary data partition.

    All files that are located within D:\shares\Sharename should be 4KB tombstones only, no matter how big the real file is. The actual files are located on other drives that WHS accesses through mount points that are in C:\DE\ (in a single drive system the files are stored directly on the D drive).

    To make sure that the files in D:\shares\Sharename are tombstones only, right click on a file, then Properties and look at the Size on disk. If the Size on disk value is more than 4KB then the DE Migrator is not coming along and migrating the actual file to the other drives, and is not creating the tombstone.

    So the only way I can see that you can rectify this is to take the incorrect data out of the shares from D:\shares\Sharename into a temp directory and then move it through to the actual share the proper way.

    I hope this explains it for you.

  9. Bonavox says:

    Could you please explain more on this? For me, using UNC paths is not good enough. For example, Picasa do not accept UNC paths. I also use lot of time editing and moving both media and photos, doing this between shares is time consuming and a very unfamiliar way to work.

    I really do hope this is going to be fixed?

  10. Hi Bonavox,
    Using eg D:\shares\Software would be NO good because that location only includes the 4KB tombstome files only. (right click on a file, then Properties and look at the Size on disk) That’s why it’s important to use UNC paths. For Picasa and other software that requires it, couldn’t you mount the share to a drive letter?

  11. Jon says:

    How do we handle situations where we make Virtual Directories for FTP or if a user ftps in and uploads a file to the VD.

    VD’s can only be made via local drives (ie: d:\shares\photos)

    Does this mean that FTP service should not be run and another question I have is with “uploading” via a website that HP created or WebGuide (which is now Microsoft Software) cannot access these directly either?

    I mean what a HUGGGGGE let down this is.

    Basically what this is telling me is that RDP should never be allowed and that we should only access this server via My Network Places and never form the outside world UNLESS it is read only.

    Come on now.. what kind of OS is that crap?

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