Reconfiguring Remote Storage Services for new media types

Remote Storage Services, Microsoft's hierarchical storage management facility, lets you automatically move files to tape or other removable storage media as they age or meet other user-defined criteria.

Remote Storage Services does this as long as you keep using the same media type. The media type for secondary storage is determined when you install Remote Storage Services, but the Removable Storage Manager (the component that manages RSS) has no option for changing the media type. This can be a problem if you're upgrading your secondary storage to, say, a higher-capacity tape format. A secondary problem in changing media is that the Remote Storage Services will not be able to read data from the old tapes since the Remote Storage feature only supports a single kind of tape at a time.

The solution to the first problem is to uninstall Remote Storage and then reinstall it after you have installed and configured the new tape devices. To do this, you must stop managing all volumes and uninstall Remote Storage. When you reinstall Remote Storage, the installation wizard will prompt you for the media type.

To use the files recorded on the old media, you will have to recall the copied files from remote storage and copy them to the new media. Since the purpose of Remote Storage is to conserve disk space by moving files to tape, you probably have more files being managed by Remote Storage than your disks can hold. Microsoft suggests recalling

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files in groups, say, by folders, and using a normal backup program to back them up. Then delete the data from the disk and move on to the next group of files.

Microsoft discusses this in a Knowledge Base article, "Changing Remote Storage Media Type."

Fast Guide: Remote Storage Service

 Remote Storage Services troubleshooting tips
 Reconfiguring Remote Storage Services for new media types
 Ensure data is available for Remote Storage Services
 Make the most of Remote Storage Service in Windows 2003
 Restore Remote Storage Service database in WinServer 2003
 Restoring the Remote Storage Service database


Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80 K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last 20 years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.

This was first published in January 2006

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