WHS Hard Drives must be formatted to NTFS the correct way

One of Tranquil PCs customers received an error message when he tried to open a file within a folder in a backup set. As it turns out he had converted his drive to NTFS using Partition Magic 8, which did not convert it properly. So make sure that all drives are converted correctly (if necessary) before connecting them to Windows Home Server.

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  1. David Robinson says:

    One of Traquil PCs customer (me) had a problem. I deleted the existing partitions using the Delete option in Partition Magic 8. I then used PM8 again to create a new partition and chose NTFS from the drop-down list. So obviously PM8 works OK with a new format but seems not to do it correctly when as to do a conversion from FAT32 to NTFS.

  2. MS NTFS Only says:

    Yeah but, WHS doesn’t play fair, as your only allowed to backup your PC to WHS when it is only NTFS! So NO to Linux, NO to Mac, no to everyone else.

    So how FRIENDLY is WHS when this home server is meant only for “WINDOWS” which doesn’t even include Windows 95, Windows 98…

    Anyone using WHS must NOT use any other computer that doesn’t come from Microsoft, that is if you want WHS NOT to corrupt your data!

    Doesn’t this sound like a Microsoft’s strategy for entering product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences to disadvantage its competitors?

    The problem with NTFS is in that it is all Microsoft is ALL proprietary source code (draconian software). So when the next version of Windows or WHS comes out later, it’s yet another time to ditch what you got, throw away your investment to be replaced with an all new “Wow” experience again…

    A home server shouldn’t be locked into just NTFS only, which nobody else is allowed to build upon, because it’s proprietary source code, protected by patents that denies everyone else this right.

  3. Kevin K. says:

    Let’s see, how many WHS customers are going to know which software vendor works on WHS?

    Does anyone think Microsoft will supply a list of software applications that actually functions without risk of data corruption before purchasing?

    Then again, why shouldn’t Microsoft just fix this horrible data corruption issue so home users don’t have to wonder and guess what is going to happen when using WHS?

    Someone else reported, “the issue with WHS data corruption is most likely because of WHS Drive Extender technology, which is unique to WHS and is what allows it to present all data files as a single shared folder even when they are located on different physical disks”.

    Anyone care to explain?

  4. DS Systems says:

    Partion Magic, [orignally made by PowerQuest] has never fully supported NTFS 5.x as was pointed out in its documentation. After being bought by Symantic the only real changes made to it [AFAIK] were to the Branding and the documentation. Theres certainally been no major development done on the product.

    @MS NTFS Only,
    While your points are fairly valid for ‘Technical Users’ they are not the target audience for WHS.

  5. Thanks for your comments guys.

  6. Miles says:

    So how do you properly convert a FAT32 volume to NTFS with a reasonable chance of all data being preserved and WHS liking the result? Or do you have to reformat the volume and reinstall the operating system, your progams, your settings and anything else?

  7. DS Systems says:

    Hi Miles,
    WHS doesn’t support any operating system’s that use FAT32 as default. So this should only apply to storage drives.
    And, Yes. The correct way to format a drive is either from within the operating system, or with the installation CD.

  8. Hi 2Cents,
    NTFS is the way forward for data backup and updates have been quick coming for issues, which any new product will have.

  9. Ryan says:

    Why does Philip think NTFS is the way forward for data backup? Just curious because, If 259 characters plus a null seems like an unusually restrictive path limit for a modern filesystem like NTFS, you’re right. Anything longer results in a “destination path too long” error.

    See: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000729.html

    By the way whatever happen to WinFS (relational database), which was long-awaited with a new and promised file system? Maybe WinFS couldn’t resolve NTFS issues, and therefore could not proceed forward unlike Apple who announced their advanced file system features in its new OS, Tiger?

    WinFS is created when a relational database is layered over the NTFS file system. The database stores additional info about files allowing relationships to be created among files beyond just the directory struxture of the underlying physical file system (NTFS).

    At least PC users have their current file system, which is much better than the one we Mac users have had to use since the original Macintosh (MFS – the Macintosh File System).

    What’s better about NTFS compared to HFS+?

    1) The slower performance?
    2) The lack of actual support for journaling?
    3) The lack of on the fly defrag support?

    Care to elaborate?

  10. Hi Ryan,
    I must admit I’m not all that gemmed up on HFS+ and on reading more I am impressed!

  11. Ron Miller says:

    How do you convert a drive to NTFS so WHS will like it?
    Here’s what did NOT work:
    1 — Micorsoft’s convert.exe. WHS would back up drives converted this way, but the backups were totally corrupted.
    2 — Converting the drives to NTFS with Partition Magic and then restoring them with True Image. True Image somehow copies the changes caused by CONVERT.EXE and then places them back on the drive during restore. You’re back where you started.

    Here’s what DID work for me:
    1 — for a data drive that was previously converted with CONVERT.EXE and therefore produced garbage backups in WHS, I manually copied every single file to another drive. I then reformatted the drive with XP’s Disk Management console and then copied every single file back to the data drive. WHS likes that drive just fine now, and the backups are not corrupt.
    2 — for a C: drive that was previously done with CONVERT.EXE and therefore produced garbage backups in WHS, I ran XP’s Automatic System Restore. That copies every file and the registry to a BKF file on another drive. I then reformatted the C: drive in DOS with Partition Magic 8.05. I then ran the ASR routine, and XP Setup reformatted the drive AGAIN, based on the data on its ASR floppy. WHS likes this drive just fine, now. The backups are no longer corrupted.

    QUESTION: Why in the world couldn’t MS just put this information in their Backup white paper???

  12. Hi Ron Miller,
    Thanks for your input.

  13. Jim Bean says:

    Ryan just to quote you on something you mispoke about..

    Ryan Says:
    January 3, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    By the way whatever happen to WinFS (relational database), which was long-awaited with a new and promised file system? Maybe WinFS couldn’t resolve NTFS issues, and therefore could not proceed forward unlike Apple who announced their advanced file system features in its new OS, Tiger?

    THe “NEW MAC” filesystem is not macs file system. They took it from Linux who in turn took it from Unix..
    And as far as comments made about Microsoft being so draconian.. lol.. omg you Mac fanboys are so ignorant. At least Microsoft doesn’t come out and sue people installing windows on macs or linux boxes! Lets see you install your precious mac (pos) os on a non-apple computer.. OMG.. Tell me it isn’t so.. Apple not allowing people to install their OS on something other than a piece of hardware that is made and sold by apple? Well gee who is draconian now.. (and comments to the effect of well thats to make sure only quality is made are a sure sign of your ignorance of market economics and how to improve performance.)

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