I have been looking at Windows Server 2012's storage pools and it looks like an ideal solution for my home media center. One thing I couldn't find information on is adding a preexisting pool to a fresh server install.

I ask this given the following situation:

  1. You install Windows Server 2012 and setup your storage pools
  2. You add disks over time to your pool
  3. A year later your drive with the operating system fails
  4. You replace the bad drive and reinstall server 2012.

Now how do you add this preexisting storage pool full of data to your fresh install?


You don't need to do anything special, the server will recognize all existing pools in the attached hard drives.

In case your drives don't attach automatically, or you get into any other issues that you can't fix from the GUI, you can use the power shell CmdLets to manage all aspects of the storage spaces. (This is the issue I described in Troubleshooting Windows Server 2012 storage spaces)

For the reference, all storage cmdlets can be found here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh848705.aspx

Edit: I should add that you can even attach pool hard drives to a Windows 8 or another Windows Server 2012 installation, and it will see the virtual drives. I have personally tried this with Windows 8 before starting to use it, as I was concerned with the new tech.

This even works with USB drives. Suppose you have two USB drives in a single pool, and set the virtual drives to be redundant. If you unplug them and plug each one to a different machine, you will have two working copies of your original data. (of course you should put them back together or add another drive to each pool and rebuild, before having a healthy pool again)

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