Windows Home Server 2011 RC – Installing StableBit DrivePool Beta Build 569

In my previous post I installed Windows Home Server (WHS) 2011 RC in a VMware virtual machine on ESXi (4.1).

The StableBit DrivePool Add-In is a Drive Extender (DE) replacement for WHS 2011 with the following features:

  • Combine hard drives into a storage pool (with the exception of the system (OS) drive).
  • Add and remove drives from the pool.
  • Create duplicated folders on the storage drive pool that are protected against single drive failure. If a drive fails on which a duplicated file was stored, the contents of that file will remain readable even without the drive.
  • All your data is stored in standard NTFS files. You can always access your files even if the Windows Home Server completely crashes or this add-in can’t be used.

StableBit DrivePool is in early Beta and has the potential for bugs. Because of the nature of this add-in there is potential for data loss. Only serious testers should consider downloading and installing the current Beta builds.

Installation of the DrivePool Add-In is straight-forward. First download the Add-In from the StableBit site. Next create a User on WHS 2011 (or use your WHS Administrator credentials) and copy the Add-In to the server. It does not matter which WHS share you copy the Add-In to.

On WHS browse to the location that you copied the Add-In to and double-click on it to install. Once installed you will see it under Add-Ins on the WHS 2011 Dashboard:

Once installed I added a new virtual hard drive and formatted it – the logged off and logged on again. Here you can see the DrivePool button in the dashboard now:

In the Hard Dive Pooling tab you can see that I now have two drives that can be used to create a storage pool:

It just took a couple of clicks each to add these drives to the storage pool (none of my default WHS 2011 shares were part of the storage pool though):

Clicking on the Add a folder button gives us the option to use pooled or-non-pooled storage (this only works under the StableBit DrivePool section of the dashboard. Adding a folder under Server Folders and Hard Drives will not give you the option to use pooled storage):

Here you can see my first pooled share:

It may seem that DrivePool is not quite as intuitive as the original DE implementation. WHS 2011 can set aside storage to backup the whole server onto another set of disks and so DrivePool needs to be able to designate pooled and non-pooled storage (and not just add all drives to the pool as per the original DE).

I hope that the default share will be able to be added to the pool in a future release (unless there is something obvious that I am missing).

I’ll play around with adding data and removing pooled drives at a later date.


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