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    • Christopher (Drashna)

      Login issues   11/07/17

      If you have issues with logging in, make sure you use your display name and not the "username" or email.  Or head here for more info.   http://community.covecube.com/index.php?/topic/3252-login-issues/  
    • Christopher (Drashna)

      Getting Help   11/07/17

      If you're experiencing problems with the software, the best way to get ahold of us is to head to https://stablebit.com/Contact, especially if this is a licensing issue.    Issues submitted there are checked first, and handled more aggressively. So, especially if the problem is urgent, please head over there first. 
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hansolo77

Building new server from scratch!

Question

Hey all!  I've been working on learning how to setup and install WSE 2012 R2 and I think I'm finally there.  However, I'm feeling very limited in my capacities as my case is overflowing with drives.  So I'm going to be building a new server from the ground up and would like some advice and suggestions as to what I should get.  I'm only a part-time worker and don't really make a lot of money.  So the purchasing time line is going to be really long.  So far, I know for certain that I'm going to but the Norco 4224 case.  I've read reviews and it has been recommended time and time again.  The only issue with this case appears to be the fans, and the potential for the backplanes to be DOA.  But at the price, it's a steal compared to other similar cases.  Plus, I'm going to get it through NewEgg, as they're the cheapest place around, and they offer really quick RMA's for exchanges if there's something wrong with.
 
Now I'm at the point of internals.  The first order of business is the motherboard.  Form factor isn't really an issue as the Norco case fully supports a whole range.  Individual features are where I'm struggling.  I know that I want to have room for expansion.  So I'm kinda staying away from those Mini ITX boards, since they, for the most part, all seem to have only 1 expansion slot.  I already have 1 SAS controller, and plan on getting an expander.  So that would be 2 slots.  As for the processor, I'm not sure what I need.  My usage scenario is a simple home file server for client backups and media streaming.  So I suppose I don't need anything major.  The same goes for RAM. 
 
As it is right now, I'm thinking about getting one of these:

SUPERMICRO MBD-X9SCL-F-O LGA 1155 Intel C202 Micro ATX Intel Xeon E3 Server Motherboard
or
SUPERMICRO MBD-A1SAM-2550F-O uATX Server Motherboard FCBGA 1283 DDR3 1600/1333
 
The first board is nice, in that it has plenty of expansion slots, Support for Xeon processors, and is cheap.  However, it only supports ECC memory of max 32gb, SATA 3.0GB/s, and is cheap.  The second board is nice, in that it has just enough expansion slots for my needs (controller and expander), already comes with a processor, supports (but not require) ECC memory of max 64gb, and has 2xSATA 6.0Gb/s, but is a little more expensive.
 
So which board should I get?  Integrated CPU and more RAM, or more slots, less RAM, and mandatory ECC?  Or should I look at something else?  What are your suggestions?

EDIT ->  I just looked at and am now also adding this contender:
SUPERMICRO MBD-A1SAM-2550F-O uATX Server Motherboard FCBGA 1283 DDR3 1600/1333

 

It's got more everything.  More SATA 6.0Gb/s, TONS more RAM, support for faster CPU, and more expensive.  To put it in perspective, this new board would probably take a month to save up for.

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Try here - all the beta downloads for DP

 

http://dl.covecube.com/DrivePoolWindows/beta/download/

 

Ah!  Thanks!

I'll install that latest and see if it fixes anything.  I really still think its the drive and not the software.  If I set the computer to just always be on, I never have any issues.  And rebooting from a complete power off always seems to make it work.  It's only if I try to resume from standby, or if the power was cut (we have a LOT of momentary split second power outages around here (that's why I still need to buy a UPS)) that I have this problem of the drive not working.

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I was all set and ready to buy a UPS when I posted about it a month or so ago but never did.  I've been in a massive depression with my home life as of late and have dedicated a lot of time to working and saving money for a car so I can move out.  Then all of a sudden my Essentials Dashboard has been throwing up glaring CRITICAL warnings about services (like Active Directory Certification Service) not running or being able to start.  Databases are corrupted, and the computer just can't boot off the OS drive in a warm reset but rather only from a cold start.  It's almost like my build is against me.  Bad backplanes, a SAS Expander dies (probably related to the poor power conditions), various drive failures.  LOL maybe I should just give up.  But naw, this is too much fun, albeit expensive.

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It's almost like my build is against me.  

 

ROFLMAO!

 

I laugh, because I don't want to cry. :P

 

Seriously, totally been there. Not the same issues.... but ...still.   

 

 

Unforutnately, I suspect that a LOT of your issues would be solved with a UPS. But that's a good chunk of money (new or used), 

 

 

 

And I totally understand about the depression stuff.

 

Though... I've become a recluse/hermit/whatever.  

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I totally get that.  Depression is my angst.  It's all good though.  Projects like this keep me on the level.  I got the drive cloned to a new SSD, so far no issues.  A UPS will be next on my list before another drive.  Maybe I can find a good deal on Amazon with free Prime shipping.

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I'd recommend something like the CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD.  I have one of these, and it's been fantastic. And it's Active PFC (True Sinewave).  matters if your power supply is as well. 

 

Otherwise, UPS's are expensive across the board. Even on EBay and the like.

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Hey guys!

 

I'm finally getting into some money from my job.  I've been there long enough at full time to get the top out pay!  My server is becoming quite large now, at 56tb.  I know, that's not a lot comparatively among some of you guys.  But still, I'm sitting now at 22 out of 24 drives in my case.  I got all my backplane issues sorted out too.  I'm looking to upgrade.  The CPU is just a Celeron, the lowest chip I could get at the time that was compatible to make the system work.  It's served it's purpose, but the system is very slow.  I have the OS installed on an SDD too.  I have plenty of RAM (16gb ECC).  I'm thinking a CPU upgrade is in order.  I have the server set to go into standby after 10 minutes of inactivity, and can wake it via WOL.  HOWEVER, the CPU doesn't support S3 or Hibernation (not sure which one it was).  So when it resumes, it takes almost 5 minutes to be fully back up and running.  A fresh reboot takes less time.  So I'd like to get a CPU that supports that, as well as buff up the cores and speeds.  I looked, and can afford a chip that's around $450 or so.  The best chips on the mobo's CPU charts is still around $899.  I'm not spending that on a file server.  But since I do a lot of media streaming with it, and transcoding, and TV Recording, I think a better CPU is just the ticket.

 

For reminders, here's the mobo with it's CPU support list:

http://www.asrockrack.com/general/productdetail.asp?Model=E3C224-4L#CPU

 

I'm looking at the Intel Xeon E3-1276 v3.  Should I pull the trigger on this or would I be ahead to get one of the other chips further down the list, like a Core i7?  I've not bought any computer hardware in YEARS other than the hard drives.  I thought Xeon was supposed to be the top of the "best-of-the-best" lists, but the more I look around, everybody is using these "Core i-?" processors.  I don't want to buy the wrong thing, because a CPU purchase at this price range is a big investment.  I realize the socket (1150) is outdated, and somebody may suggest I replace the whole mobo.  But I need this particular one (or one like it) because it supports PCI slots for my TV Tuner cards.

 

Anyway, whenever it's all said and done, I had another question..  Do I need to do anything special to my server as far as the Stablebit software?  Like, will it still recognize everything, or do I have to re-register the license with the new CPU?  If I need to do anything, is there documentation on the process?  I don't want to go and do this and end up screwing up the whole system.  Also, has Server 2016 dropped yet?  I'm still using Server 2012 R2 Essentials.

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glad to hear it!  And it's nice to have money to spend! 

 

As for the hardware:

 

Xeon's are server grade CPUs.  They're designed for ... well, servers.   The Core i stuff is all consumer oriented. 

 

The biggest problem you're going to face here is that you're using ECC memory.   Most Core i series CPUs don't support ECC.  One of the big differences here...

 

 

My recommendation would be a Core i3 CPU.  These are nice CPUs. Dual core with hyperthreading (so 4 virtual cores), and most importantly, they support ECC memory.  (and no, the Core i7 CPUs don't support ECC)

 

The alternative is to go with a Xeon processor.  The low end (suchas the E3-1220v3) is a quad core without hyperthreading, but does support ECC.

 

So, this really depends on what you want.  

 

Personally, I use a E3-1245v3 (alternatively the E3-1246v3 is a "refresh" version) and these CPUs are very close to the Core i7-4770 CPUs) 

 

 

As for our software, no.  Swapping the CPU is not a problem. But if you do update the BIOS for the new CPU, then you may see the "Transfer" wizard. In which case, just click through it, and you're fine. 

 

 

As for Server 2016, Essentials is $400, so not really. 

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Good (and troubling) News..
 
I got my new CPU in today.  I went with that Xeon E3-1276 V3.  I just got done installing it.  It works great.  Windows gave me no crap about it, and detected the proper details automatically.  4 Cores with all the Hyperthreading stuff so it appears like I have 8.  The server is a lot faster now.  The troubling thing is, it still won't do a proper simple S3 Standby.  If I go into the BIOS, all of the C states are enabled (it actually has more than I knew of, including S6, etc).  However, when I check my powercfg inside Windows, it shows this:

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.3.9600]
(c) 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\system32>powercfg /a
The following sleep states are available on this system:
    Hibernate
    Fast Startup

The following sleep states are not available on this system:
    Standby (S1)
        The system firmware does not support this standby state.

    Standby (S2)
        The system firmware does not support this standby state.

    Standby (S3)
        The system firmware does not support this standby state.

    Standby (Connected)
        The system firmware does not support this standby state.

    Hybrid Sleep
        Standby (S3) is not available.


C:\Windows\system32>

I'm not sure what gives here.  This is the same readout I got with my Celeron processor.  That's one of the biggest reasons I upgraded.  It says the system firmware doesn't support it.  But the BIOS clearly shows it does.  Any ideas what I could do?

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IIRC, the ASRock RACK stuff isn't great about supporting sleep modes.  It's "by design".

 

However, IIRC, you should contact them directly, and ask about it. They do have firmware that does support sleep modes, but they were experimental, last time I asked (a couple of years ago, when haswell was still pretty new).

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I send them a support request email after posting here.  And believe it or not, they replied 1 minute before you just did!  :)  They confirmed that it's an industry standard on server boards to not include S3 compatibility due to stability issues.  Kinda bummed about that.  I spent $400 on a new CPU thinking it would solve the problem.  Oh well.  I guess I should have researched it more before "pulling the trigger". 

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Yeah, S3 and sleep isn't 100% stable.  I've had weird issues on my desktop with it (odd network issues after resume, sometimes, for instance). 

 

That said, they may still offer a firmware that supports S3 sleep mode.  It may be worth asking.

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Yeah I sent them a follow-up reply to see if there was anything they could do or recommend.  I'm not using this in a business scenario, just a home file server.  They said because of the way S3 works, it causes issues with the chips on their server boards.  So it's not something I can do, it's a fundamental protection built into the server board itself.  This has been very educational for me.  When I built my first "server", it was just an old desktop computer, 4 drives, and Windows Home Server software.  Again, using it just for file serving, it worked fine going into S3 and then waking up when I needed to access it.  Now that I'm going for a more professional build (for stability, security, and expandability) I'm using server-grade boards, memory, and now processor.  So the feature I was expecting isn't available in true server builds.  That's cool.  I was upset at first because I spent the money thinking it was a limitation of the single-core Celeron processor I had.  I'm happy to know it's not because of something I was doing wrong or had misconfigured.  It's just a fundamental safety built into the board.  I'm glad it's there.

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Well, I'm sure if you push hard enough....

But yeah, I've gotten an S3 compatible firmware from them in the past.  It wasn't entirely stable.  And it's more of a chipset issue. It's not designed with S3 mode in mind. 

 

There are other methods to reduce power consumption, also. Such as underclocking the CPU.  It will reduce processing power, and power consumption (IIRC).  Also, turning off features in the BIOS/Firmware that you don't need. And enabling throttling for SMART queries in StableBit Scanner, and turning off the bitlocker detection in DrivePool. 

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Aside from underclocking, you can also try to undervolt (assuming MB supports this). For the i7-6700HQ in my lappy, it makes a *huge* difference (-140mV CPU and -110mV iGPU saves 15-20W when under full CPU load).

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Thanks guys.  Honestly, I'm not really concerned about the energy (at least not yet).  It's more about the heat.  As of right now, because I live with my parents still, the server is located in my bedroom closet to dampen the noise as much as possible.  I leave the door open about an inch to help exhaust the heat.  However, there have been quite a few days I come home from work and find my room exceedingly hot (as in 100+ degrees F).  It's not necessarily the computer.  In most cases, it's because Dad turned off the air conditioner and didn't open my windows.  My bedroom faces East, and I have 2 HUGE 8 foot windows on that wall and it catches all of the morning sun.  To make matters worse, the return-air vent doesn't go anywhere.  After the fire, they rebuilt this building, and forgot to attach anything to the vent cover.  A huge oversight that nobody knew about until I took the cover off to see why I never feel any air coming through it (or going into it, whatever).  There's no duct work, just 2 studs on either side, and horizontal stud about 6 inches below the cover.  Anyway, with the heat coming in from the windows, and then having nowhere else to go, my room is essentially a green house.  I have really bad allergies too, so I keep my bedroom door shut to keep the cats and dog out.  The server is warm, but not hot.  And I've been monitoring the temps and they're averaging 40 degrees C all the time (occasionally it will peak a drive around 47c but that's the most).  However, having the server on all the time certainly doesn't help.  I will have a check though on my next day off and see if I can lower some of the settings stably to see if it helps a little.  If anything, it should help increase the longevity of the components.

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