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I am sure this must sound weird for most of the people around here. I have an HPZ600 server class machine which runs Windows Server 2008 R2. Is it safe to plugin an additional hard disk while it's on

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Do you mean an external USB hard drive or an internal SATA/IDE hard drive? – ChrisF Jul 11 '12 at 10:26
Windows don't care if storage is hotplugged or not (certain apps inside windows may throw a sulk if you configure something as available to them then remove it, of course). A better question is what will your hardware support - and as Chopper says, the answer to that appears to be "no". – RobM Jul 11 '12 at 10:46
The biggest issue with implementing hot-swap on any hardware is actually really dull and to do with having to electrically buffer the various power and signal lines as disks (or PCI cards, CPUs, memory etc.) are add/removed. As we add a device it doesn't just connect/disconnect in one go, in the same way when you press a key on a keyboard it actually makes contact hundreds of times - you have to implement 'anti-bounce' circuitry to deal with the wildly oscillating bus and signal levels. This isn't free so manufacturers tend to only add it where it's likely to be an issue - i.e. servers. – Chopper3 Jul 11 '12 at 11:37
@ChrisF it's an Internal HDD. :) – sarat Jul 12 '12 at 4:59
up vote 7 down vote accepted

While W2K8R2 certainly does support hot-swap/add disk functionality that ability is not listed as a feature of the Z600, nor does it figure in any of the specs for the various supported disks for that system.

By the way the Z600 is NOT a server class machine, not in the least - it doesn't even allow for dual power supplies. This is one reason why they never bothered to put hot-swap features in it - in fact the Z600 is very specifically called a "Z600 Workstation".

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Thank you for your your answer. – sarat Jul 12 '12 at 4:57

In my (somewhat jaded) opinion, I wouldn't recommend it. But, hotplugging is an actual thing that we do regardless of what the warranty on the box says (at least, for some of us).

Anyway- if I recall correctly, when you hotplug a disk into a live Windows system you'll need to wait for it to be recognized and then run diskmgmt.msc to see if it's actually there. It's been a while since I've last hotplugged anything into a windows box so things might have changed.

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Is this the same story with Linux Servers? – sarat Jul 12 '12 at 4:57

To disconnect a Serial ATA hard drive from the computer when the computer is running, you must first use the Safely Remove Hardware icon on the system tray to dismount the drive from the Operating System. If the Serial ATA hard drive is not listed under the Safely Remove Hardware function, the motherboard or Serial ATA controller does not support hot plugging and the computer should be shut down and powered off before disconnecting the hard drive.

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