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Everything posted by RogerDodger

  1. I haven't looked closely but how much of a PITA is it to replace a rail? I'm not getting anything to work on one of them and I tried all the bays several times from L to R and vice versa. Good to know the 4TB drives are achieving reliability. Like what WD is doing with migrating enterprise quality to consumer drives. I keep an eye on both Seagate & WD to see how they are doing ... I'm in the STB biz so it does matter. PS - agree about checking firmware. I learned the hard way. How are you using your Norcoserver? For me, as you know it's really about media storage and streaming. I collected a ton of movies & videos over the years and realized I needed that long-term, reliable scalable solution we talked about (GREAT to hear that's CoveCube's aim with DrivePool). I have a separate server for backups (using WHS v1), so I don't need it for that. I believe I shared with you previously that I was using WHS v1 as the OS for the Norco. With Drive Extender, I built a nice folder structure that allowed me to access videos, movies, photos and other stuff the way I wanted. But as you know MS booted DE in subsequent versions. That and it didn't support 3TB drives with ease. So for my situation, I needed a solution that allowed me to retain the folder structure I built ... provided simple folder duplication for redundancy (I didn't need everything duplicated) ... and where the OS was stable/reliable, easy to use, had plenty of support/tools/etc and best of all that I would be familiar with. That's why I was very happy when you helped me determine that StableBit DrivePool + Windows 7 was a viable long-term stable OS/SW solution for an extendable HW platform. Perfect. Altogether, this solution has replaced the previous one. Back in 2008 when I was doing all the homework to figure out what the best strategy would be to play back media to the TV, the options seemed to be HTPC, a media extender of some type, or a STB. I rebuilt my PC to support an extender if needed (it was due for a rebuild anyways), but ultimately I chose a STB. At the time I was ready to get one, the Popcorn Hour C200 was released. I chose that because it had a large support community and more importantly its legendary codec support. It did a good job - most of the time. But I ended up finding that the thing would crap out more than I anticipated. Basically if the encoding job on the video was poor, or the codec wasn't supported (audio, video or the combination), it would render the embedded media player into an unrecoverable state. The only fix was a hard boot. Given how often there are poor encode jobs done on internet videos ... and how many combinations of audio/video codecs there can be, it ended up that the Popcorn Hour was actually a Poopcorn Hour. Nothing like watching a movie ... then suddenly in the middle it freezes and you have to get up off the couch to hard boot the box, go thru the menus again, bring up the movie and find your spot again. It's not a big deal if it only happens 1 in 10-15 times, but not when it's 1 in 4-5 times. Internet videos were worse. Overall, it just became clear I needed a new solution. That's when I realized that I should just stream directly from my PC using VLC as the player. Seems like only 1 in 10,000 videos ever gives VLC a problem, plus it's tools, support and updates are fantastic. So that's what I did. Basically now I have a 20ft HDMI cable going from the Primary PC to my Panasonic Plasma. Using a wireless QWERTY/touchpad remote, I can navigate Windows Explorer on the Primary PC to play movies & videos using VLC flawlessly. No more crapouts. I can also use a browser to access YouTube or anything else, plus I can easily view photos on TV. Basically I have the same setup in my bedroom - HDMI out from Master PC (to a switch) to my plasma. Same remote setup. Works like a charm. But with the Ceton card in my PC, now I have access to all my cable channels as well. Even better, the non-copy protected TV content is accessible over the network via a share in the Master PC. When I bought my house it came with Cat-5e structured-home wiring, so with the Norcoserver housing all the media, now I can access the movies & videos in any room over the home network. Ditto for the TV shows being collected from my cable service in the Master PC. This is nice because now all this content is easy to find, plus if I want I can make it portable for when I travel. The key to it all is the Norcoserver ... which is why I wanted a reliable, scalable, long-term solution.
  2. Drasha, Thanks for your insight and of course all your support. I did add the SAS cards ... about a year ago I bought two Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8's. Only needed one but figured it would be easier if I kept consistent HW. Later I found that I may have a defective rail as well. Not sure if the mini-SAS connector pins lifted from the board or what, but one rail isn't working. Right now I have 3 HDD banks filled and the pool is 25TB. I'm only using about 55-60% of the space but that will change as I start implementing folder duplication. I can add at least another bank of HDDs, then after that unless I can get the bad rail working I'll probably just build another server. If so, I'll likely split my pools so certain data (movies, etc) is in one while other data (everything else) is in the other. Question - how much do you trust 4TB HDDs? I read this and it looked promising http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-3132_7-57586341-98/wd-ships-low-cost-high-grade-4tb-hard-drive/ PS - if you don't already know this and you'll be using AOC-SASLP-MV8 expansion cards for your server, you need an updated driver to support 3TB+ drives. They can be found here under Marvel 64xx RAID SAS Drivers http://www.hdsentinel.com/driverzone.php Trying to give back.
  3. Drashna - it's Roger, you helped me out with how to transfer my data from WHS V1 to DrivePool + Win 7 on the WeGotServed site. After receiving your guidance (thanks again), things came up and the project went to the sidelines for a while. Then once I picked it back up and got the system running, I started getting errors. Turns out they were all related to a bad OS HDD. My luck has always been good when it comes to drives, but that ended. First, I had a brand new WD 10,000rpm 2.5 enterprise/server-grade HDD that turned out to have bad sectors and thousands of bad blocks. Then, the subsequent one I purchased from a second source (Newegg vs Amazon) ended up being DOA. So I did a fresh install on a new 5400rpm Toshiba I happened to have on hand. Won't offer the performance & possibly the long term reliability of the WD, but good enough for now. A few notes to share for you and Shane (who I also helped me before elsewhere): - I used Windows Easy Transfer after the fresh install. I should have known it wouldn't work on StableBit DrivePool given the registry entries and what not. Anyways, the key is that programs carried over from Easy Transfer do not load in Windows "Add/Remove Programs" feature in the control panel. Surely other people knew this but I did not. Anyways, I ended up just downloading & installing DrivePool right over what was on my system. It worked fine. But it took quite some effort to set up WHS Connector, which I ended up having to roll back to an earlier OS (Vista SP2) in repair via Add/Remove Programs for it to be "compatible" with my OS. Just another great example of MS interoperability. - Changing the drive letter for the DrivePool was easy using Disk Management. Just change, reboot, done. - Sharing and permissions is another example of arcane, confusing, aggravating implementation by Microsoft. It took a while, but now all shared folders in the DrivePool are easily accessible over my home network. - Now that I loaded the newest version of DrivePool, I see that folder duplication is offered. This is terrific as it's a critical feature for me. All in all, I will continue to monitor how DrivePool works on Windows 7 Ultimate. It's only been a day since everything has been installed & configured, but so far it looks stable. For me, this could prove to be a nice, easy to manage long term solution. My platform is the Norco 4220 with 20 hot-swappable drive bays. I wanted a scalable long-term solution where I could just drop in HDDs as needed. With DrivePool giving me a shared HDD pool, and an OS like Win 7 with all it's tools and support, it seemed like the stable, scalable solution I was envisioning. Thanks for all your help.
  4. Question for Resident Guru or anyone reading ... when I do the clean install of Win 7, should I disconnect the Data drives first? Also, should I delete the Poolpart folders in each Data drive? As of now, all the Poolpart folders are intact and the Data drives are attached. As part of the clean install, I will be sure to do all the updates, and also update .NET to 4.0 (when I re-installed Win 7 yesterday I was on .NET 3.5). Once the pool is set up I will share the folders, then add permissions to all the user accounts as I did before. Then I'll use Windows Transfer for settings, appdata etc.
  5. Thanks for your help & ideas. Turns out after I ran SFC & CHKDSK that I found a few bad clusters. Worse yet, there were some corrupt system files that I could not recover with SFC or Win 7 Repair. This included something to do with Windows Update and .NET Framework which basically disallowed me from doing updates and worse yet running DrivePool. The good news here for CoveCube and other DrivePool users is that the Win 7 64bit product itself isn't unstable. Instead it was my HDD (which is a brand new server-grade 10K disk). After all was said & done, I ended up doing a Win 7 re-install. But instead of doing a fresh install, I did an "upgrade" which allowed me to keep all my settings, configurations, apps, etc in place while just overlaying the sys files. But now I am unable to uninstall DrivePool, which I need to do in order to re-install and re-create the DrivePool. Working with CoveCube on this. Just may turn out that I have to do a fresh install ... but hoping not because it's a PITA. I already spent 18 hours in the past 3 days trying to get this solved which is time I don't have. So I'm hoping to snuff out any last traces of DP and just re-install. That will save me time & effort. But if need be I may have do the fresh installation of Win 7 64bit ...
  6. Thanks for the troubleshooting ideas. Both PCs are Win 7 Ultimate, with the server being a fresh install on a new 10,000rpm server OS drive and the other being a recent build on a combo SSD/10K rpm HDD. The server doesn't have any apps other than uTorrent which basically I am not using (I use another PC on the network for this instead). CPU and memory utilization are low. For my PC, I have an Intel 3770S i7 & 16GB of 1333mhz RAM. CPU load is usually very low and I keep memory utilization 50% or less. Sometimes it goes higher thanks to many things I have open on my desktop (and from memory leaking stuff like Yahoo mail), but I always have Task Manager / processes open on my desktop to keep an eye on things. By network drivers do you mean the drivers for my NIC? If so I could try removing & re-installing. Right now I am going to run CHKDSK to check files, sectors, etc on the server OS drive ... though it's basically brand new I want to make sure there are no issues. I've always had good luck with drives but I've heard many times how other people haven't.
  7. No worries, I don't expect 24/7 support. Just expressing frustration at what is becoming a fairly bad experience. Right now access to the Drivepool over the network is intermittent. Before I explain what's going on, first let me share that I am having several tabs of Windows Explorer open on my desktop. Each tab is pointing to the drivepool. I leave these tabs open 24/7. Basically this allows me to access files and folders in the drivepool as I desire. Here's what happens when the issues occur: - When I click on one of the files in a drivepool folder that is already open on my desktop, I get an error message that says the "Directory Name is Invalid". Any file I click on gets the same error message. At this point, basically I have lost connection to the Drivepool ... meaning no matter which tab of Windows Explorer I switch to, none of them are able to access any file or folder in the Drivepool anymore. - If I refresh any folder, I get the following error message "(foldername) is Not Accessible ... You May Not Have Permissions to Use This Network Resource ... Not Enough Server Storage is Available to Process This Command". A this point the folders, files and drivepool disappear and I can no longer see them over the network. - However, if I RDP into the server that houses the drivepool, I can use Windows Explorer to see and access the folders & files locally. I tested this by checking at a time when I was getting the errors and had become disconnected from the drivepool. All I did was remote into the server, then used Explorer to access the folders and files - including playing back a movie. So something is causing a conflict between my Win 7 Ultimate PC and the Win 7 Ultimate server whereby I cannot maintain 24/7 accessibility to the drivepool. I don't believe it's related permissions as I have granted full permissions to every imaginable user (Administrator, Guest, Everyone, Myself, HomeGroup User, etc). Not sure if there's some kind of heartbeat or timeout thing between my Windows Explorer sessions and Drivepool ... or if it's Firewall related ... or what.
  8. I am getting very frustrated ... as of now I cannot access my data due to this unreliable/unstable product. It's bad enough the GUI doesn't work and it creates a black desktop when access my server via RDP, but this problem with the Drivepool having such problems with Windows sharing & permissions is ridiculous. It's very unstable, either working temporarily or not at all. I know this is a Beta, but I expected something more reliable and stable. Instead I am constantly wondering whether it will work, reboot my computers and messing with settings. I've emailed Covecube support today several updates with detailed information ... plus I've posted here in hopes of receiving some guidance. Still waiting on both. Meantime I am sitting here without my data while spending a lot of time on it. Just weak sauce overall.
  9. Update - rebooted again, used RDP to remote into server, clicked on the Stablebit Drivepool link in the startup menu ... STILL DOES NOT WORK. It's the same as before, on Task Manager I see Drivepool.UI.exe appear momentarily, then disappear. The UI never starts. To be sure, I also went to C:/Programs/Stablebit/Drivepool and clicked Drivepool.UI.exe. Same thing. This is quite lame and I am getting frustrated that this product is so unstable and unreliable.
  10. PS - I just deleted everything in the C:\ProgramData\StableBitDrivePool folder and rebooted. Now I have two "DrivePool" links pinned to the start menu. What's more, neither of them will start Drivepool. To be sure, I opened Task Manager and watched as I clicked on the Drivepool link. I can see Drivepool.UI.exe appear suddenly, then it's gone. Meanwhile, the Windows timer continues for a few seconds, then stops. Same thing happens if I go to "All Programs"->Stablebit Drivepool and click on the Stablebit Drivepool link. So as of now I have no access to the Drivepool UI. Meanwhile, the errors for "Directory is Invalid" and "(foldername) is Not Accessible. You May Not Have Permissions to Use This Network Resource ... Not Enough Server Storage is Available to Process This Command" have disappeared - for now.
  11. I installed the new Beta version of Stablebit Drivepool ( on a Windows 7 64bit server. Before installing Drivepool, I added a new OS hard drive (server grade 10,000rpm) and did a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate on the following platform: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E8200 @ 2.66GHz / Supermicro X7SBL-LN2 motherboard / 4GB RAM. The CPU & MB are both approved for Win7 64 bit. I had converted this platform from WHS v1, which does not easily support 3+TB HDDs and thanks to MS which Drive Extender has basically been end-of-lifed. I chose Windows 7 Ultimate because of it's stability, tools, support ... and because I do not need backup (I have a separate WHS V1 server dedicated for that). This server is just for media storage and streaming, not really much else. The server is in the Norco 4220 chassis with 20 hot swappable bays and mini SAS backplane. I built that as a scalable solution so I could simply add HDDs as needed over time. Currently there is nothing running on this server except Windows 7 Ultimate, uTorrent and VideoLAN. I installed SB Drivepool on 5/26 and have since had ongoing stability issues. Currently I am having the following problems: - Every now and then the Drivepool UI doesn't work. I know I just delete everything in the C:\ProgramData\StableBitDrivePool folder and then reboot. After rebooting today the problem has appeared yet again. It's annoying that I have to keep deleting this folder for the UI to work. - The desktop has a black screen for a background. I don't really care, but clearly there is some kind of conflict. When I set the desktop to a picture or theme, it does not last. - Most importantly, when I use Windows Explorer to access folders in the Drivepool over the network, I am getting intermittent errors that say "Directory is Invalid" for any file I try to access ... and for any folder I try accessing, I get "(foldername) is Not Accessible. You May Not Have Permissions to Use This Network Resource ... Not Enough Server Storage is Available to Process This Command." These two errors are interrelated and appear whenever the same root issue is at cause. Moreover, they disappear on their own ... then reappear seemingly without reason. It happened last night, then after I rebooted they went away. Today, they appeared suddenly, then went away, then re-appeared, then went away. Now an hour later they are back and won't go away. Note that I have several folders set up in the Drivepool including Movies, Videos, Recorded TV, Music, etc. I enabled "folder sharing" for each of these folders by going to properties/sharing tab. What's more, I ensured proper permissions for every conceivable user account on the network by going to the security tab in properties and giving permissions to administrator, guest, remote desktop user, everyone, me, my wife, etc etc. Idea was to eliminate any possible sharing/permission conflict. As of now I do not have reliable access to my data.
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