Windows 2008 R2, Hyper V vhd, 4k sector hdd dilemma

Firstly please move this if its more appropriate in another forum as it crosses various platforms.

Im running a windows 2008 R2 server 64 from a 120gb SATA-iii ssd. within this i have hyper v running WHS 2011 from a vhd that exists on the same drive. This is a fairly new setup and its working fine except for one major issue i cannot resolve or more accurately figure out.

I need more space as my whs vhd is getting increasingly larger. This is where the headaches begin. My main OS (win 2008) resides on a 120gb sata 3 ssd, this ssd is attached to a sata 3 dual port controller. The vhd is attached to the same disk. The onbvious solution is to move the vhd to another disk. I have 4 3tb hdds which are reserved for whs 2011 iccan not use these. I have an 80gb hdd on the spare controller port , cant use this as its too small. I also have an external 3tb hdd which is in 3 partitions. The latter is where i want to move the vhd to, but i cant!

The external 3tb hdd is 4k sector advanced format which is not supported by hyper v under windows 2008 for vhds! Still with me? So i can not export the vhd to this drive, ive tried. It seems only hyper v under windows server 2012 or win 8 support the 4k hdds. i cant upgrade the server to these so thats out of question.

So now i have a few ideas but cannot work out what is best;

My next solution was to upgrade the 80gb hdd on the secondary port on the sata 3 controller to a larger disk and move the vhd there, problem is the hdd has to be a 2.5 inch disk as it resides in a caddy, every sata 3 2.5 hdd ive looked at seems to be the advanced 4k sector disk which hyper v wont support. Ive had a horrid time trying to find a fast sata 3 disk to makr the most of the 6gbs controller which will support the vhd. I think i may be getting thoroughly confused with the types of disks that will work with a vhd on hyper v under win 2008

Despite the above i dont want to have to run the vhd off an externalcdevice as usb 2 will probably degrade performance of whs 2011. alternatively i could possibly install a usb 3 controller and use that but then id still need an external hdd that supports hyper v vhd

My last solution, which again im unsure of, i have another 120gb ssd exactly the same as the one the current os and vhd resides on, i could therefore replace the 80gb drive with this however 120gb wont be enough and it wont be long before i run into the size issue again, unless i merged the 2 ssds into one as th vhd size would fit better over 240gb versus a single 120gb and could use the space of both drves which i know will be enough.

2 issues i need to query over this.

1) dont ssds use the same advanced disk formatting that hyper v vhds cant use? im guessing its not the same seeing as its working finr under the current ssd.

2) how problematic wpuld it be to switch my single main os drive from non-raid to raid 0 without having to reinstall the os? i know people have reportedly managed to do this but im gurssing specific circumstances could complicate this.

What the hell should I do? bullet in the head is looking a good option ;)

In conclusion I need to move my hyper-v vhd to a larger compatible disk without compromising the hdds performance on both the main os drive and virtual drive.

Thanks for listening
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  1. I would add the second SSD and then extend the volume where the vhd resides to the entire second SSD. You do not need to reinstall the OS to do that:
  2. Thanks ill look into this after work and let you know how i got on
  3. I don't seem to be able to do this. The guide you linked is to extend the volume from free space on the same disk not a separate disk. As the vhd resides on the OS disk the "extend volume" option is grayed out.

    How can I expand the volume using the secondary ssd?
  4. antispam246 said:
    I don't seem to be able to do this. The guide you linked is to extend the volume from free space on the same disk not a separate disk. As the vhd resides on the OS disk the "extend volume" option is grayed out.

    How can I expand the volume using the secondary ssd?
    I've done it with that method, and if you read the note"

    "Note that you can also extend the partition beyond the physical disk it is located on. This is useful when you run out of space on that physical hard disk, and have brought in a new physical hard disk that you wish to use. However, unlike using that new disk as a totally new partition by itself, this disk (or part of it) becomes a part of a partition located on the first disk."

    Just carefully follow the instructions after reading them completely.

    Among other things, you must unallocate the new SSD before you can extend the old SSD volume onto the new one.
  5. I've followed it exactly but still not getting anywhere. Just to clarify, my OS resides on C: which has a small system partition and the OS partition (C:), my secondary SSD is unallocated. Both ssd's are on the same sata III controller. When I attempt to extend the partition, I can't because the option to extend it on C: is greyed out.

    What I can't figure out is do I need to make a separate partition (a 3rd partition) on C:, so shrink it first, then extend the secondary SSD onto that partition. If it is the case does that new partition have to be in a certain format? Does it need to be a logical partition inorder to extend the second ssd onto it?

    It's explaining in detail how to extend a partition of unallocated space from the same hard disk which I know how to do and merely stating that you can do it using a separate hard drive, which is what I want to do, but the same method is not working for me, so there must be something missing from the guide.

    Like I said, I've followed it very carefully but the option to extend it, whether I go through the GUI using the server manager or directly via computer management through admin tools or command line, the option is not there.
  6. Still can't fathom this. I've managed to moved the boot sector to C: and delete the system reserve partition so now Disk 1 is oine single partition containing the OS (yes it still boots). Still can't extend.

    I tried converting Disk 0 (empty disk) to dynamic, but will not be converting Disk 1 to dynamic to open up spanning. Obviously both disks need to be dynamic for this but I'd have to rebuild the OS as it would kill the boot.

    I tried creating a second partition on C: after the disk by shrinking it and seeing if I could extend disk 0 to it but still nothing.

    I've researched so much for how to do this and besides your link and one other thread mentioning that you could extend beyond the physical disk, there is not a single clear cut guide for this or more importantly why you would NOT have the "extend" option.

    Could it be because both disk are on a separate SATA controller?
  7. "Could it be because both disk are on a separate SATA controller? "

    That could be the problem, and why I would not have thought that an issue initially, you have tried everything so it does seem more likely now. Can you arrange your drives so that both are on the same controller?
  8. Sorry I meant, both the ssds are on the same controller, it's just a separate pcie controller, the ssds are not directly attached to mobo
  9. antispam246 said:
    Sorry I meant, both the ssds are on the same controller, it's just a separate pcie controller, the ssds are not directly attached to mobo
    That really should not matter. I think that you are going to need a third party program to accomplish this, or take a totally new approach. Unfortunately all the good third party programs that I know of cost a fair bit for use with 2008, where with Win 7 they would be freeware.

    Why is your WHS expanding so fast, is it a data accumulation issue and what is your expected need in 6-12 months?
  10. Ok perhaps I can temporarily work around this on that point you've brought up.

    - C: (whs server 2008 OS) is on SSD disk 1 total of 111GB and 6GB free
    - The WHS 2011 vhd is 8x GB in size and also resides on C:

    Within WHS 2011 the vhd is partitioned into C: and D:
    C: is 28GB free from 45GB total
    D: is 70GB free from 70GB total

    so the WHS 2011 OS is installed on the virtual C: and I'm guessing D: is the first pool drive?

    I've recently migrated from WHS to WHS 2011 and forgetful of the general WHS setup.

    So, D: is a pool drive for WHS where it will start storing backups once clients are attached? The only thing in D: is a folder "ServerFolders" so I guess this is the case.

    When I add my 3TB drives to the pool I'm guessing they will be the same as D:?

    If this is the case can I either
    1) shrink virtual D: within WHS 2011 then add the 3TB pool drives. As all the hard disk space is shared it wouldn't matter is D: is 1mb because it's merely going to use the other 3TB drives?
    2) Add the 3TB drives to the WHS 2011 pool and then simply delete virtual volume D:?

    One I do either of these I can then shrink the vhd back on win server 2008 from it's initial 8xGB to enough space for the WHS 2011 install so roughly 28GB + whatever room I may need for add-ons / extensions. I can then fix the vhd size

    Will any of this work?

    I'd love to actually figure out the original issue but time is getting precious and I'd like to start backing up clients. I've already begun looking into replacing the secondary 120gb ssd with a 480gb ssd.

    Thanks for your help by the way, you seem to be my one and only outlet atm
  11. Happy to help think it through, although I use VMWare for VMs but do have a couple clients using 2008 but have not had this sort of issue.

    If you do get a larger SSD, it is simple to clone the old SSD to the new one using Ghost 15 (my favorite), True Image, or EaseUS Todo backup.

    For another temporary space solution, if you haven't already done so, move your paging file to a different drive. It is changed under advanced system settings with the advanced tab and then hit the performance and settings button -- just use no paging file on the SSD and create a static file the size of your memory on another drive. You can move it to any other drive, including a HDD. Also, there may be a large hyberfil.sys file that you can delete. It used to be as simple as powercfg.exe /hibernate off in the command prompt but I have not done it since before R2.
  12. Yeh, I had originally cloned the OS from another HDD to the SSD so I'll have no issues there, that went very smoothly.

    I considered the page file option when getting the SSD, being a common "fix". The thing is, I can't really move it anywhere. All the drives are for the WHS pool except the SSDs. The external 3TB drive won't be an (wise) option because
    1) It's usb 2.0
    2) It's a 4k native drive which has given me all sorts of headaches so I'd hate to think how it'll react with the page file on it.

    I'm getting more experimental now whilst I look for a solution or workaround. I've tried working with what I mentioned prior re: the WHS disks and partitions. So here's where I'm upto

    - Nuked the system reserve partition on physical C:
    - Extended the C: volume using a partition manager so it's a single volume
    - Formatted D: (second physical SSD) to bring it back online
    - Moved the ServerFolders on virtual D: to virtual C: (were empty so was easy)
    - Resized the virtual disk C: and D: within WHS 2011. This worked and I shrunk the virtual C: to 65GB.
    - Deleted virtual D: volume (unallocated)

    Aim at this point was to resize the vhd within windows server 2008. Shut down the virtual client

    - Tried to compact the vhd within Hyper-V, this failed.
    - Tried to convert to a fixed disk within Hyper-V, this failed. (not enough space)
    - Tried mounting the vhd in disk management and resizing. (no go)
    - Exported the vhd to the second SSD (X:)
    - Imported the cloned vhd into Hyper-V
    - Tried to compact the cloned vhd, this failed.
    - Tried to convert the cloned vhd to a fixed disk. (not enough space on ssd X: either)
    - Tried to convert the cloned vhd to a fixed disk on a physical partition I created on the external 3TB usb drive.... this is, as we speak, working.

    So, what the hell. It's about 60% through, no errors, going slow as it's usb. I'm really confused now. I tried so many times to get the vhd on one of the 3TB partitions on the external 3TB drive and it wouldn't have it, I/O errors due to the 4k native sectors. Now I convert it to a fixed vhd and it seems to be happily working.

    I'm not holding my breath or anything. If it converts successfully, it'll be a miracle if Hyper-V let's it boot from that partiton.

    Ultimately it's not really solving anything. I still want the vhd to boot off the SSD. So as it seems the initial issue of spanning/extending them is a no go, i'll have to increase the physical ssd size... with a new ssd.

    Thing is, if the vhd converts successfully to the external drive. I originally made this partition so I could permanently keeps a clone of the vhd on there, but it wouldn't work. So, it may give me another approach for keeping a vhd clone where I want it.

    God damn tech.
  13. Should have known it was teasing me. Looked like it was complete, then failed. I/O error, heh
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