Home Server Upgrade

Apr 07 2020

Recently I awoke to a message from my Home Server indicating that one of the drives was having problems. Just what I needed at this time -- a diversion!

For the last 10 plus years, I have been running Microsoft's Home Server as just that - a home server. Basically, the server performs backups and is a common file store for all the family pictures and other miscellaneous files like commonly used software and the like. I purchased a very modest system back in the day. It's a Celeron E1600 at 2.5GHz, with 2 GB of main memory - it's one of the very last (ie. slowest) Intel processors mentioned on Tom's Hardware's CPU list. The server plods along, but does what we need as the application just works. I don't think about it often, so the message that something was amiss was an attention-getter.

Over the years I have replaced the drives as running them non-stop to over 5 years is just asking for trouble. Recently I have replaced two of the 3 drives with 2GB Western Digitals Blue drives. I would purchase them on special and have been lucky to get what I believe were good deals at the time.

The one drive I have not played with was the system drive. This drive has several partitions - one the actual system partition and the other a data partition. I really didn't want to play with is --- so I have been putting off flipping the current drive out and replacing it with a new one until I got the message. Yup - it was the system drive that was barking so the time was now.

Canada Computers had the Western Digital Blue drive on special for $74, so I ordered it - but of course, it would have to be shipped - so in the end with taxes and shipping the new drive cost about $93. I can live with that give the current times of COVID-19.

The new drive arrived today, so no time better than the present. When I was still working for GM, I had used CloneZilla to copy a hard drive to an SSD. Worked great, so I figured I would use it to clone the old drive onto the new 2GB drive.

The process took about 1 hour from shutdown to startup. However, once Home Server restarted, the little processor started to figure out what I had done -- so for about an hour the system ran at over 50% rebalancing the drives. In the picture below you can see the "WD 1TB" system drive I cloned with the new drive that is unmarked.

In the end -- a happy system.

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