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Help: Windows 8 Storage Spaces and 3Tb Drives


#1
Hi. Can anyone help me? I am really concerned I may have lost the contents of the Storage Space I have created in Windows 8.:cry:

Having read an article by Woody Leonhard extolling the virtues of Storage Spaces and how it could take over from Windows Home Server,I began the transfer at the end of October. I started with 8 HDDs, most 1.5 or2Tb drives, but there were 2 @ 3Tb drives which I had been using elsewhere and which were already formatted as 2.72Tb. The transfer process was going well and I had got almost ¾ complete, with about 18Tb transferred on to the storage space based on a now grown pool of about 15 HDDs.

The Storage Space – it was on a “parity” basis- was “all green”, although I was often prompted to increase the number of HDDs as the transfer progressed and all new HDDs had been successfully assimilated (Borg like!). The problem arose when I tried to add a new 3Tb Seagate HDD. It was only recognised as 2Tb and so I attached it to my main PC and formatted it via GPT and got 2.72Tb showing. I then put the HDD in the Win8 machine and in “My Computer” it appeared as 2.72Tb. However, when I sought to add it to the Pool, the applet showed the HDD as being only 1.99Tb. Back in “My Computer” it confirmed the HDD was 2.72. I thought it might just be a minor bug in the applet and clicked to add the HDD to the pool, but having done so, the overall size of the Storage Space only increased by 2Tb, not the 2.72 I expected. I immediately hit the’ remove’ button before anything much could be written to the HDD and removed the HDD from the Pool. Storage Space repaired successfully.

I then rebooted the machine, but now Storage Spaces showed a red error and on looking at the info on the disks within the pool, the 2 previously good 3Tb HDDs are each shown as providing 2.72Tb pool capacity, but there is now a yellow warning triangle:”Warning Disconnected; reconnect drive”. Needless to say, there is no physical disconnection. And the Storage Space no longer appears in “My Computer”. When I look in the “Add drives” page, the two HDDs are shown as 2.72 unformatted and available to be added. However, I have not added them as I believe that doing so will wipe all of the data from them.
What should I do?? Advice most welcome. Thanks.:(
 

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Saltgrass

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#2
Sorry you are having problems with this. I was not running a Storage Spaces until you posted and then I decided to try it using 2 640 GB drives. Not many of us have 15 hard drives laying around. :think:

None of us would want to be responsible for you loosing any data, so any suggestions should be vetted thoroughly before you take any action.

Considering the info you have given, I would try to add the last 3 TB drive and see if it can be incorporated, and don't worry about its size just yet. The Storage Spaces utility seems to format the drives, so being pre-formatted may not make a difference to it. Also, there may be some requirement by the utility to balance out the space for consistency. But I would guess right now, your primary goal is to remove the red notification on your space. Would you agree it is probably the result of the 2, 3 TB drives being shown as "disconnected"?

I will hope, that because the drives show as disconnected, the data was maintained on the remaining drives. Is there any way you can tell for sure?

So, some questions. of the 15 drives, how are they connected to your system?

Are you using a UEFI or Legacy install? My drives were configured as GPT by the Utility, but I run UEFI.

Now, my tests:

I had to test using a Mirror setup, since I only have two drives. You need at least 3 for parity. If I can find another drive, I might try that later. :geek:

But I created the pool, shut down the system and removed the drives. A reboot showed no storage spaces in disk management.

I plugged one of the drives back in (hot swappable) and the pool came back with just the one drive. The Spaces utility showed the files there and a yellow triangle with "drives disconnected" type message you seem to show. Of course, my drive was disconnected. I plugged it in and the space rebuilt, and everything green again.

Edit: I found a 3rd hard drive and set up a parity pool. It was strange, that although I was using 2 640 GB and 1 500 GB drive (1.61 TB), the max size was showing as 1.07 GB. I changed that, of course, to 1.07 TB but not sure it was legal to do that, so not sure why it was being listed a GB.
 

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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
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    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home Grown
    CPU
    i7 3770K
    Motherboard
    ASUS P8Z77 -v Pro, Z87-Expert
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    16 G
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GTX 680 Classified (2)
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    Kingston SSD 240 GB
#3
Hi. Thanks for the reply. Yes, I agree that the storage pool is inaccessible due to the two 3Tb HDDs being shown as disconnected. I am not sure, though would hope, that the data is still on the HDDs. I am playing with "TestDisk" to try to find out more. The HDDs are connected , 6 via motherboard SATA (Asus P5), 8 via Supermicro SATA Controller (JBOD) and another 4 can connect via Silicon Image 4 port SATA controller. The 3 3Tb HDDS were originally formatted GPT, the other HDDs were originally just MBR, though, like you, I think Storage Spaces does the formatting again upon entry to the pool.

Another has suggested using TestDisk to find out more and screenshots are attached. You will see that the 3Tb HDDs have info missing in the routemap section of the HDD, unlike the smaller HDD shown. I am now rather concerned that the data may be lost and that the storage space is totally inaccessible.:(
 

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    Samsung SSD 256Gb
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Saltgrass

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#4
Is there anything in common with the connections of the 3 3TB drives? Does the first drive, which is showing only .04% used while the others are showing 75% used related to the 3 TB drives?

Do you know why it is showing such a small amount used? Any chance it could be bad? It is also the only one that seems to be saying it is attached via RAID. Is that the JBOD with 7 or 8 drives in a RAID configuration? Even if that were the case, .04% doesn't make sense to me.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
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    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home Grown
    CPU
    i7 3770K
    Motherboard
    ASUS P8Z77 -v Pro, Z87-Expert
    Memory
    16 G
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GTX 680 Classified (2)
    Hard Drives
    Kingston SSD 240 GB
#5
Only the 3Tb drives were shown as disconnected. The first drive is showing only 0.4% use as it was only added a few minutes before I tried to add the third 3Tb drive which caused all of the problems. The screenshot only shows 6 of the 15 or so HDDs; others are connected JBOD on the other controllers.

The main point is that the storage space volume is no longer shown in My Computer (as Drive D:) and the Microsoft storage space is not shown in Disks in Computer Device properties. However, in Computer Management/ Disk Storage, only the C: drive and the [email protected] 2 Tb HDDs are shown, the latter 2 as unallocated space (?RAW)!

I am worried that TestDisk shows that the 3Tb HDDs do not have any reference to Storage Pool as all the other HDDs do. I will continue to see what Testdisk finds.:(
 

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FSeal

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#6
Definitely keep your data backed up.

Drive spaces is STILL quite buggy, even though the tech is years old now.

This article gives some warnings on what to watch out for.

Storage Spaces explained: a great feature, when it works | Ars Technica

I would also do a LOT of web research on it if you want to use it for real. It seems far too dangerous and pothole ridden for my taste :( At least the way it's claimed to work by being able to use drives of varying sizes. It seems to work much better if every drive is the same size...
 

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Saltgrass

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#7
The first drive is showing only 0.4% use as it was only added a few minutes before I tried to add the third 3Tb drive which caused all of the problems.
Hmmm.. It is my experience the data starts being shared as soon as a drive is connected, so not sure I agree with your conclusion about the 3 TB drive causing the problem. Are you sure the RAID drive is not the problem? If it is only using .04%, which is probably just the configuration usage, how about disconnecting it?

Which entry in your screenshot represents the JBOD?

If you are getting an error because the one drive is disconnected, are you willing to "Remove" it? If the drive is showing as disconnected, the system is not able to control it for some reason. Maybe the controller or the system is overwhelmed with that number of drives. Did you install any special drivers for the additional SATA ports?

If you can't get it worked out, you might try adding one of the 3 TB drives that do show as connected. Possibility of loosing data...maybe...

Hopefully you still have the original data somewhere...
 

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System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
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    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home Grown
    CPU
    i7 3770K
    Motherboard
    ASUS P8Z77 -v Pro, Z87-Expert
    Memory
    16 G
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    EVGA GTX 680 Classified (2)
    Hard Drives
    Kingston SSD 240 GB
#8
Hi. Thanks for continuing interest.
I am confident that the 0.04% HDD is irrelevant. It had been assimilated, but I had not written anything to the Storage Space afterwards. There are other HDDs connected to the "RAID" controller, although no RAID is used anywhere. See screenshot of lower part of listing of HDDs. The second disconnected 3Tb HDD is shown. Drivers for the m/b SATA controller, the Supermicro controller and the SII controller were all successfully installed automatically by Win 8. I sense no overloading of controllers. The issue surrounds the 2 3Tb HDDs. Unfortunately, if I try to add one to the Pool, I understand that it will be erased.
If I cannot get the 2 HDDs reconnected, so that the Storage Space is recognised again as a Volume, then I will definitely lose at least one third of my data, as I was doing a transfer from WHS.:(

I have now posted on the MS site and am hoping that one of their experts might throw some more light on this. I remain hopeful, though not optimistic.
 

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#9
I thought I had read in some info from MS that Storage Spaces could still be "read", provided a majority of the HDDs were accessible. This is clearly the case here, as 13 of the 15 are shown as in the pool. Nevertheless the Space is inaccessible. Very puzzling.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    win 8.1 Pro x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home Brew
    CPU
    Intel i7 4700K
    Motherboard
    Asus Z87
    Memory
    16
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon HD 7770
    Sound Card
    Creative Audigy
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell 27" U2713
    Screen Resolution
    2560 *1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 256Gb
    Samsung SATA HDD 2Tb
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reb00tas

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#10
Is there anything in common with the connections of the 3 3TB drives? Does the first drive, which is showing only .04% used while the others are showing 75% used related to the 3 TB drives?

Do you know why it is showing such a small amount used? Any chance it could be bad? It is also the only one that seems to be saying it is attached via RAID. Is that the JBOD with 7 or 8 drives in a RAID configuration? Even if that were the case, .04% doesn't make sense to me.
Its cause the drives does not "rebalance" after adding a new drive to the pool. if you got 3 x 500 GB drives and fill them with 450 gb data. and add a other 500 GB, the last 500 GB controller will split data out to all 4 from the point you added the last drive. So you got 50 GB left on the first 4 drives. And then it will disconnect your drive cause the first 3 disks is full.

You can rebalance after adding a drive, by copying (dont know if moving works) from your drive to another folder on your drive. Then it read the data that you added on the 3 disks and copy it to the drive and now you got 4 disks so it will write it to all 4 disks



I run out of space on a test storage (parity) with 3 drives and i added 4'th drive and could not add more data cause the 3 first was full... Then i took backup of 200 GB and deleted it and copied it back after then i got the 200 GB splitted out on all 4 drives. But the 300 GB i not did it with is still only on the 3 first drives till.
 

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reb00tas

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#11
I tried with 3 x 500 GB and added a 2 TB drive, the same happens it works fine.. But on can only put the data % drive that os left on the drive with lowest space left, on the 4'th
Cause there is no kind of rebalancing the drives after adding more drives

Only way as i said is to copy data from the drive to the drive after you have added a new hdd. To rebalance your data in % out on your drives. Please confirm if moving works to if anyone try it
 

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  • OS
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#12
Yes, Rebootas is correct. The balancing in SS is not great.

In the end, I could not recover the Storage Spaces, but Elena at Reclaime.com used her firm's software to enable me to get access to the files in SS and solve my problem. However, I am staying away from SS, as I do not believe it is ready yet for ordinary consumers.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    win 8.1 Pro x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home Brew
    CPU
    Intel i7 4700K
    Motherboard
    Asus Z87
    Memory
    16
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon HD 7770
    Sound Card
    Creative Audigy
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell 27" U2713
    Screen Resolution
    2560 *1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 256Gb
    Samsung SATA HDD 2Tb
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    Antec 650w modular
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    Hiper Osiris
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    stock
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    MS Digital Pro
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