16
Mar
12

Installing Windows Home Server 2011 on an SSD

While I personally see absolutelly no reason to have WHS around, there seems to be a lot of people who do. One of those, a relative, called me the other day because his box was so slow that was almost unresponsive.

I tracked down the problem to a faulty HDD, so I told him to go buy a new one and we would set up the machine from the beginning. Although my instructions were clear, instead of buying a SATA disk, he went ahead and bought a 120 GB SSD, because and I quote “They are faster”.

At this point I have a confession to make. I never intended to make a fresh install. I was hoping I could clone the old disk (it was not completely bust) onto the new one and save me from a lot of work. I have used this tactic before, but only from smaller to larger disks. I knew there were ways to clone on a smaller disk, so I thought to give it a go.

After I had successfully cloned the old disk on the SSD, I put it back on the server, and – as you might have expected – it refused to boot. The message I was seeing was something about a device that was not found and it prompted me to repair the installation from the Windows CD. I was never able to do that mind you. The reason?

For some reason, Microsoft has decided that you need at least 160GB in order to installl WHS.

That’s right. For a 10-12 GB installation, your HDD needs to be at least 160 GB. Well done Microsoft! As you probably guessed, there are a lot of people with the same problem and thankfully there is a solution.

Windows Home Server (as other versions of Windows) can be installed unattended with the use of a special text file called answer file. Sean Daniel has written an excellent post on how to do that and I can testify that following his post, I was able to install WHS on a smaller disk.

Although Sean is talking about a specific piece of hardware, I assure you this method works perfectly. Make sure that the drive you want to install to is formatted!

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4 Responses to “Installing Windows Home Server 2011 on an SSD”


  1. September 5, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Someone newcessarily lend a hand to make seriously posts I would state.
    This is the very first time I frequented your website page and
    so far? I amazed with the researech you made to create
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  2. 2 Mick
    February 2, 2014 at 2:15 am

    “For some reason, Microsoft has decided that you need at least 160GB in order to installl WHS.

    That’s right. For a 10-12 GB installation, your HDD needs to be at least 160 GB. Well done Microsoft! As you probably guessed, there are a lot of people with the same problem and thankfully there is a solution.”

    :-/

    It’s 160Gb because initially WHS 2011 defaults the server folders onto the primary disk, so users don’t have to worry about moving folders about if they want a “set up and forget” server. It is sold as a Home server package to allow home computer users to easily set up a media sharing central server. However if you know how to shift stuff around then It can be installed on a 60 GB using a config file off a USB stick, details of which are found here —> http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php/topic/15815-ssds-with-vail/#entry106494

    So you spouted off about Microsoft without realising what it is for. “Well done Rosenred!”

    • February 2, 2014 at 11:47 am

      Yes, I realize that. My question (and the reason I got so upset with Microsoft) is why couldn’t there be an option to change the default options during normal instalation and you need to use config files and usb stcks and what not. And most importantly, in order to do so, you have to search in forums and blog posts and there is not a single mention of that in the manual of a product you paid money to get.

  3. July 2, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    What’s up mates, its enormous post about teachingand completely explained, keep it up
    all the time.


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