Exclude System Disk from Server Storage in Windows Home Server (WHS) V2 Vail

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Windows Home Server v2 Vail How to Exclude System Disk from Server Storage
Windows Home Server v2 Vail How to Exclude System Disk from Server Storage
Many Windows Home Server machines utilize a smaller OS disk (oftentimes in Raid 1 for redundancy) and then large SATA 3.5″ disks for storage. Common 2.5″ disks are laptop drives as well as SSDs. Another factor influencing their popularity in home-built WHS boxes is the fact that the Norco RPC-4220 (a popular home server 4U rackmount enclosure) has the ability to house two 2.5″ hard drives in addition to 20 SAS or SATA drives. Smaller form factor drives tend to be of lower capacity than larger 3.5″ counterparts, so some users may be wondering with the new requirement of a 160GB Operating System (OS) disk in Windows Home Server (WHS) V2 Vail if it is possible to lower the OS disk space requirement.

Windows Home Server v2 Vail How to Exclude System Disk from Server Storage
Windows Home Server v2 Vail How to Exclude System Disk from Server Storage

That’s all there is to it. My conjecture is that excluding the system disk from server storage will help lower the overall space required by the system disk which is currently 160GB.

I’m testing to figure out if this would allow one to install WHS V2 on a smaller hard drive such as a SSD. While neither necessary, nor cost effective, it may free up another 3.5″ bay in WHS systems if a smaller SSD could be used and mounted elsewhere within an enclosure.

Another thing I am looking at is whether the smaller drive can be 80GB (Intel X25-M size) or if it needs to be 100GB (OCZ Agility 2 100GB sized)/ 120GB (OCZ Vertex 120GB sized). From the looks of it, a default installation takes over 80GB. The initial results look bad (see below) but I think this is easy to get around.

Vail fails installation check with a 120gb drive which is less than the 160GB requirement
Vail fails installation check with a 120gb drive which is less than the 160GB requirement

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