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Rob Manderson

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Everything posted by Rob Manderson

  1. Where are you located? I have 7 proboxes in total. One contains my backup set, one is for general usage and 5 are unused. Complete including the original box. If you're in the US you can have one for the price of shipping. I moved all my drives out of the Proboxes and into a NetApp DS4246 Disk Shelf but I was lucky, I bought just before Chia and the price was still reasonable. And I didn't think to add this until after posting :-) PM me if you're interested and we'll sort it out.
  2. Very likely totally unrelated, but as I moved to my 7th Mediasonic Probox and 4th asmedia eSata controller I started noticing that I had to stop and restart scanner every few hours - it just got slower and slower. It got so bad I'd just restart scanner after the 11AM system drive backup. Unfortunately I didn't check memory consumption. However, 2 weeks ago I moved all my drives into a NetApp DS4243 disk shelf connected to the server via an LSI SAS2 Falcon 2008 HBA and suddenly I don't see those symptoms. Like I say, probably totally unrelated but you never know. How are you connecting to your drives? As an aside, I'm delighted with the NetApp diskshelf. Bought it on ebay for $224 and $132 shipping. I can understand the shipping - it's built like a tank and weighs almost as much. But it's hotswap (never had that before and didn't know how good it would be), came with 4 power supplies (it can run on one) and holds 24 3.5" drives. I ran 2 drives per Mediasonic Probox to keep drive temperatures down. In the NetApp diskshelf temperatures are about 2C higher than I was able to achieve with the Proboxes (when limited to 2 drives per). More importantly, they hardly vary, whatever the room temperature is. I'm hoping they won't break 40C once we hit the Phoenix summer. Oh, and it's pretty quiet - certainly much quieter than 7 Proboxes. Anyone want to buy some Proboxes? :-)
  3. I tried those too. The first 3 were Hitachi 7,200 RPM drives. Been in the server for about 7 months and so far so good. Zeroed out smart data (not sure if that's a good idea or not) but so far they've passed 7 complete scans with no errors. I replace a drive if it gets even 1 reallocated sector. Can't complain about the price though they do run a little warmer than I'd like (all of 34 C). I've also bought 4 HGST 5,700 RPM drives though I've only had 'em a week. They run about 5 C cooler (as you'd expect with the reduction in speed). All 4 passed their first scanner pass and, significantly, they stayed at 28 C throughout the entire scan. Most drives warm up somewhat during a complete scan but not these. I'm quite happy with the HGST renewed/5 year warranty though time will tell if the warranty is honoured. I have no reason to believe it won't be if one fails within the next 5 years. I'm not overly fussed with the speeds. I can still saturate a 1GB/s connection and the server does media, not database.
  4. And that explains something that's puzzled me for years - why I have short bars, even on new drives, when 'longer bars are better. Most of my drives are seagate and hgst - and an awful lot of them show 39.2% or 78.4%.
  5. I'd be inclined to close out of the warning for now and remeasure the pool first. (Click on the Manage Pool text below the pie chart and select re-measure). If that doesn't resolve it.... hmmm not sure what I'd try next.
  6. I'm pretty sure it's not harmful - I have 4 drives in an enclosure that was originally connected through USB3 and therefore considered external. A few months ago I switched the enclosure to eSata but the drives are still considered external. I assume it's because they were external when added to the pool. Nonetheless, it irks me that they are considered external! :-) But it's not so important that I'd be prepared to remove them one drive at a time and re-add (along with the balancing etc) just to get that internal designation. Anyway, I've seen no problems arising due to the incorrect designation and this is over a period of 3 or 4 months.
  7. I've been using Mediasonic 4 bay with eSata for about 9 years. I now have six of em and they're rock solid reliable. I use x3 duplication for the entire pool - about 37 TB in total with 26 TB free space (I really love the duplication feature of DP - in 9 years I've had drives fail but never ever lost a file). This is on Windows Server 2019 standard. I did, however, encounter one anomaly. I have 4x 4TB Seagate SMR drives and I had extremely slow transfer times when adding them to the pool and doing a rebalance. At the time I had x2 duplication. I was getting duplication speeds in the 500K/sec range on eSata. It was so slow I gave up and the SMR drives sat unused for over a year. Eventually I put all four SMR drives into their own Mediasonic enclosure, connected to a different computer through USB 3, and ran a robocopy job weekly to duplicate the pool to the SMR's as a backup (using DP on the second computer to make the 4x 4 into a ~16 TB pool). I consistently got 100 MB/sec duplication speeds - even on the initial copy which involved copying 10 TB of data. Well, you know how it is, I had to know why. I still don't but earlier this year (2020) I added the 4x 4 SMR drives to my main pool, in the Mediasonic enclosure via USB3 and to my amazement I saw ~100 MB/sec balancing speeds. It was still x2 duplication at that time. Then I turned on x3 and let it rebalance/reduplicate. I still saw ~100 MB/sec to the SMR drives. So how could eSata be so slow and yet USB3 achieved the transfer rates one would expect? I don't know. CMR drives on eSata perform exactly as expected. I now have all Mediasonic enclosures on eSata - even the one with SMR drives. I add maybe 10 Gigs a week and that doesn't cause any slowdown. I don't do rebalances at all - when you're adding photos in the 10 Meg range the balancing evens things out pretty well and no drive contains more than a gig over what it's size would dictate. When you're talking 3, 4, 5 and 6 TB drives a gig is nothing. Even adding 1 gig video files evens out after a fortnight. DP is awesome! :-) I'm thinking it may be time to ditch the eSata interfaces (a decision aided by the fact that it seems to have dropped out of favour) and stick with USB3. It's fast and in the six or seven months I ran that SMR enclosure on USB3 I never saw a single dropout.
  8. This is just a guess but.... the recycle bin is 'special'. It's not a real folder, it's a virtual folder. Ever noticed that the recycle bin is the one place in Windows where you can have two or more files with the same name in what looks like the same directory? I suspect DP may be getting confused by files having the same name. Or I may just be wrong :-)
  9. Nope - as far as I'm concerned even one bad sector is reason enough to replace the entire drive.
  10. I have the following scenario. I have one pool with x2 duplication turned on for all folders/files. No balancing or file placement rules (stock standard out of the box install with no customisations). Let's call this the Primary Pool. I have another pool which contains a copy of all the files in the first pool but without duplication. Let's call this the Secondary Pool. The file and folder structure exactly matches that of the Primary Pool - in fact it was copied using RoboCopy with the /MIR option. What I'm thinking of doing is creating a new pool and adding the Primary and Secondary pools to it, then turning on x2 duplication between the two sub-pools (i.e., at the top pool level). I'm sure this will work but what worries me is whether DrivePool itself will consider the pools to be equivalent and therefore not attempt to do any balancing between the two immediately following the pool creation. The secondary pool consists of SMR drives.
  11. You can run the 2016 WSEE (Windows Server Essentials Experience) on 2019 - I upgraded my server this very weekend to 2019 and still have client backup, dashboard etc. See here https://www.theofficemaven.com/news/installing-windows-server-essentials-experience-on-windows-server-2019 for the dirty details. It isn't for the faint hearted though. At the very least you'll need to be able to do a clean 2016 install and stop before configuring the WSEE component in order to grab the unmodified files and registry entries. Then you get to do a 2019 install and copy a bazillion files etc before running the configuration. But it definitely does work. I did client backups and server backup last night with no issues. And, being a paranoid kind of bloke, I did a bare metal reinstall of a scratch machine from the client backup and it worked just fine. In a side note - I was immensely impressed at how DrivePool and Scanner handled the move - I just entered my keys, it noticed that it was the same hardware and instant authorisation with no impact (so far as I can see) on the three other Scanner licences and two other DP licenses I have running. I wish other companies were this smart about licensiing. Note to Christopher - I don't know if I've broken site etiquette by posting this - I hope not. But if I have I'll completely understand if you delete this post.
  12. That's exactly how it works. Disconnect, install and activate, reconnect drives, install drivepool and Bob's your uncle. I wish other software were as easy to deal with as DrivePool. You *may* have to reactivate the license - depends on whether it notices a sufficiently significant change in the system. However, the trial license will give more than ample time to work through that issue with CoveCube.
  13. Heh - I have triplication turned on - for the same reason you went duplicated. Started out with ~8TB duplicated and went to triplication - it took 3 days and that was without a single one of those damn SMR drives installed. I've given up on the SMR drives - nothing will make them behave. Yep, other peoples experience may differ - I can only go by what I see and what I see is that anywhere between 20 and 100 GB of continuous writes is all they'll take before they slow to ~500KB/s write speeds. Leave them powered up for 24 hours with no further writes and they're *still* sitting at ~500KB/s. 48 hours? Still ~500KB/s. Patience ran out at that point. I won't be buying another SMR drive any time soon and the 4 I have are sitting there unused on a shelf. I think I'll end up throwing them out. The thing is that the SSD optimizer didn't seem to help. After all, if I add them to a pool the expectation is that I can do some balancing to spread the data around. What if one of my non SMR drives fails and needs to be removed? The SMR drives will be the targets and the same issue arises - it will take weeks (months?) to remove the failing drive because copying to the SMR drives takes so long. For my use case the SMR drives are totally unsuitable. I ended up spending the extra bucks (which wasn't all that much) and installing Toshiba X300 4TB drives.
  14. Hmmm and now I don't have the Stablebit Scanner entry on the start menu at all. Edit: Cancel that - I was looking at the wrong machine! Doh! I do still have tne start menu entry but I can't see it in the Stablebit GUI. I can't remember if it was there in the 1.x version I was running on WHS2011.
  15. Start Menu, Stablebit Scanner - Tools (Well, at least on WSE2016).
  16. Ah, ok. So you recommend that I add (say two) of these drives to the existing array plus an SSD. My normal writes go first to the SSD and in the background it replicates to the SMR drives. Since those are empty they'll receive the writes until they match the other disks and after that writes will start consuming space on the existing drives? I say two drives because I have duplication turned on (one of the best features of DP). Since I have duplication on do I need to have two SSD's?
  17. Follow up. I think I found the reason why duplication was soooo slow. My legendary cheapness caught me out! My array had consisted of a mixture of 2, 3 & 4TB drives. The new 4tb drive mentioned in the first post above was a Seagate ST4000DM004 drive, which is an SMR drive. Apparently these drives are intended for the archive market and have very slow write speeds if you're pumping a lot of data into them in a short time. This is one reason they're cheap (and why I chose them). Such a pity the Amazon product page makes no mention of this. Indeed I only found out by searching on the model number and reading a lot of posts by other users. I replaced it with a Toshiba 4TB model and duplication (and write) speeds returned to normal. (This is a couple of months ago now and I apologise for taking so long to update this post). Given the slow write speeds I'm at a loss to think of a usable scenario for this product. Surely commercial users don't take weeks or months to fill a 4TB drive? My measurements show that from clean (new volume/partition) they manage about 20GB of writing before significant slowdown occurs. After that write speeds can drop to less than a MB/s for large files (> 250MB). For small files (< 1MB) throughput can drop to under 100KB/s. Let the drive sit for a few minutes still powered up while it does it's thing and write speeds return until the next time you overflow their cache. I have four of these things!
  18. Thanks for the reply. I think I'll live with a monthly reboot of the server.
  19. As the title says. I have a 24TB pool (with duplication on) permanently connected to Server 2016 essentials. I have another 16TB pool in an external cabinet which lives elsewhere in case of that fire that's going to happen some day. On a monthly basis I bring that pool in, connect it and use robocopy to sync. Then, when the sync is done it seems necessary to shut the server down to have the pool correctly shut down. If I just remove the pool DrivePool wants to remeasure the next time it's connected. Is there some command I've missed where I can tell DrivePool to do it's thing to mark the pool clean and disconnect it without shutting the server down yet not require a remeasure the next time it's connected? On reflection it seems this probably isn't anything to do with DrivePool as such. The external cabinet is connected via an eSata port and doesn't appear in the list of 'disconnectable' devices the way a USB device would. So it's probably a Windows thing - Windows won't necessarily mark the filesystem clean unless it shuts down cleanly. Rob
  20. Aha! Found a hint to the answer on about page 86 of this forum. I deleted the volume and created a new one and voila - there the new drive is in the non-pooled section. I think volume id's are the culprit!
  21. I was seeing extremely long duplication times in my new server (much much longer than in the older machine that died - we're talking a week to duplicate about 500 MB). So I bought 4 new 4TB drives and a new enclosure (this was the perfect excuse). Copied the entire contents of the old pool to a new pool. The intention was to reformat the older drives, create a new pool using them and copy the data back, then add the new drives to the recreated pool and end up with a much larger pool. So I took the new pool offline to reduce mistakes. Stopped the DrivePool service, uninstalled drive pool and rebooted. Then I did an NTFS quick format of each of the original drives. Reinstalled DrivePool, brought the newer pool back online and sure enough, DrivePool sees the newer pool and all it's data. But it does not see the older drives. StableBit scanner can see them but they do not appear in the non-pooled list. Nor does the old pool appear in the list of pools visible to DrivePool in the UI. The drives appear in Disk Manager and are Basic volumes. Is there some metadata hanging around from the earlier install before I reformatted the drives that DrivePool is using to exclude the volumes from the non-pooled list? Help!
  22. My motherboard recently died and it became time to move from DP on WHS2011 to DP on Server 2016 Essentials. So I did the install, added appropriate drivers for my eSata cards etc, installed DP and up it comes. Everything working fine. The entire array is set to duplication. At which point I decided to add a 4TB drive to DP and withdraw, one at a time, a pair of 2TB drives so I could assign them as a separate pool for use as a backup target folder. So I added the 4TB drive, no problem. And then I think I shot myself in the foot! I've replaced bad drives a number of times over the years, and I've always done the immediate removal followed by automatic duplication and it's always worked. So, even though the drive wasn't bad, I did the same. It now reports (for a total pool size of 25.5 TB) the following when measure runs. Free space 10.1TB Unduplicated 1.31 TB Duplicated 14.1 TB Other 6.53 GB The numbers look about right. However, after the measure, it goes into checking and at about the 25% point it starts trying to duplicate. And then it sits there for what feels like forever. If I hover over the bouncing bar at the bottom of the GUI I can see it's working on a particular folder in the Video area. When I switch to that folder there's a file named (random guid).copytemp where random guid really is just a random guid. I can see, by comparing reported file sizes, that it's a copy of a particular file in the same folder. The file is about 250 MB in size. After about 15 minutes it finishes with that folder and moves on to another, and I see a new file in that folder with random guid etc. Go back to the first folder and sure enough the copytemp file is gone. The problem isn't any particular folder, it seems to be that as it's catching up with duplication it really is duplicating, just frustratingly slow. If it's taking about 15 minutes to duplicate a 250 MB file and I have 1.31 TB to duplicate I'm wondering if it'll finish in time for me to see it (I'm in my mid 60's! :-) ). Specific data. I'm using beta on Windows Server 2016 Essentials x64 . I had initially installed with the same behaviour. My storage is 3 Mediasonic Probox enclosures with 9 sata drives of varying sizes (a mix of 2TB, 3TB and 4TB drives). I'm using Mediasonic ProBox HP1-SS3 2 Port External SATA III PCI Express Cards (asm1061x drivers). These are the same enclosures and cards I've been using successfully with WH2011 for about 5 years. I doubt any of the drives is that old though (I seem to replace one or two per year but they're cheap and the great thing about DP is you don't much care given how painless a replacement is). I have realtime duplication turned off. The asm 1061x drivers are actually the same drivers I used on WHS2011, i.e., for server 2008 but, apart from duplication, my system is having no problems. No instability, no BSODs, throughput in the 50 MB/s range. Serviio (a DLNA media server running on the same machine) finds and serves up videos just fine. I doubt it's a hardware issue. I had been using the WHS2011 version of DP (somewhere in the 1.3.5.xxx range) on the old machine and that's what I'm comparing current behaviour against. Regarding that throughput figure above - that was measured copying a 2GB file from the pool to a non pooled drive across the network while the duplication is in progress. I don't think throughput is the issue here! I should add that when I'm using files on DP (i.e., something other than DP is working on the pool) I see disk activity on the drive enclosures. When DP is the only thing touching the pool I see no activity for minutes on end, followed by a brief flurry of activity and then a long lull again. Pressing the 'increase priority' chevron in the DP GUI doesn't seem to change that at all. Any ideas on what the problem might be? Edit: I left it running ov ernight - I now have 1.28TB unduplicated and 14.2 TB duplicated. So it seems it *is* duplicating - just taking a very long time over it.
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