How-To Geek

Add an External Hard Drive to Your Windows Home Server

Sometimes you might find it necessary to add additional storage to your Windows Home Server. Today we’ll take a look at how to add an external hard drive to your home server to increase storage space.

Add External Drive

Plug the external hard drive into the server. Then open up the Windows Home Server Console from another computer on the network and go to Server Storage. You should see the external drive in the list, where in this example it’s a Western Digital 1TB My Book. You’ll notice the drive status is Not Added yet.


To add the new drive as storage space, right-click and select Add.


The Add a Hard Drive Wizard kicks off.


In the next step of the wizard we want to select Add this hard drive to your server storage to increase the storage capacity of your home server. If you were adding it as a backup drive for the server you’d select the second option.


A warning screen will come up advising you that the drive will be formatted and all data lost, just click Finish to start the process.


Wait a few moments while the drive is formatted and prepared for the server.


That’s it! Now you have the extra storage space available to store more movies, music, video, and important data files.


Now you’ll see the drive listed with a Healthy status and there is more server storage space in the graphic too.


If you need additional storage space on your Windows Home Server, adding an additional external drive might be a simpler process than cracking open the case and adding an internal one (depending on the machine your running it on). So far while we’ve been testing it, there doesn’t seem to any latency problems while accessing files from the server. In the near future we will show you how to add an internal drive as well, and try to see compare them to see if there is a difference in performance. If you’re interested in trying out Windows Home Server they offer a free 30 day trial and we have an article up on how to set it up which you can read as well.

Setup and Install Windows Home Server

Download Windows Home Server 2011

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 02/2/10

Comments (5)

  1. Darren

    When you cover installing internal drives, could you please address the procedure for replacing a full hard drive with one that has a larger capacity? For instance, if you only have room for two internal drives, and your replacing a 500 GB drive with a 1 TB drive. Or is that possible with existing data on that drive?

    Thanks for your series on WHS. I just ordered a copy the other day, and your timing couldn’t be better!

  2. raphoenix

    Have never heard of Windows Home Server before. Why not just purchase MS Server 2008 ?

  3. Brian

    I’m with Darren and look forward to your internal installation review. Specifically, can you address the fact that I can add an identical sized drive and turn on replication/duplication for some of the directories. But, now when I browse to my server on networked computer, the size of the available room on the server is negative, and I get a RED line color for the available amount on the server when viewing in Windows Explorer/My Computer. Thanks!

  4. 1fastbullet

    WHS is less expensive and seems to be simpler from the reading I’ve done. Newegg is currently running a Valentine’s promotion on WHS for $89 and free shipping.

    Question: also from the reading I’ve done, I’m not entirely certain that WHS can’t be used with OSs other than Windows. Some say only Windows, others led me to believe otherwise. Is WHS usable between OSs. I’d like to create a server wherein I can access both, my XP and Linux machines.
    Am I better served using SAMBA?


  5. Roel

    How can I ‘ add’ an external HD to my WHS (HP EX490), but not increase my total capacity and do not want it as a back-up partition. I want it to be shown in my network as a seperate HD/Shared Folder? Is that possible? If so, which add-in do I need?

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