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Alex

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Posts posted by Alex

  1. Thanks for the explanation, Alex. It's a shame that shell extensions are so inefficient; if I have to choose between "works well" and "looks slick" I'll pick the former every time.

     

    Well, your computer will not come to a screeching halt if you install a shell extension.

     

    I'm speaking from my personal experience of doing computing on Windows for the past few decades, and for every version of Windows that I've had installed there comes a time where you simply have too many shell extensions, and right clicking becomes noticeably slower.

     

    There's nothing preventing DrivePool from adding shell extensions as an option in the future, we have the code for that, But I wanted the primary interface to be built without them (contrary to my first instinct).

  2. SIIG SC-SA0M11-S1 PCI-Express 2.0 Low Profile Ready SATA III (6.0Gb/s) 2-Port Controller Card

     

    (my personal favorite inexpensive PCI-Express eSATA card)

     

    card.jpg

     

    Specifications:

    • Speed: SATA 3 (6.0Gbit/s)
    • Ports: 2 x eSATA
    • Slot: PCI-Express x1 2.0 (~4 Gbit/s x 2)
    • Chipset: ASM1061

      chip.jpg

    Overall
    • Supports Identify: Yes
    • Supports SMART: Yes

    AHCI Driver

    • Firmware: 0.95 AHCI Mode
      • AHCI compatible: Yes (works out of the box with the default Windows AHCI driver) *
    • Driver: 6.2.9200.16548 (6/21/2006)
      • storahci.sys
    * Port multiplier support requires Asmedia driver.

     

    StableBit Scanner - Direct I/O

    • Methods: AtaPassThrough

       

    • Identify: Yes
    • SDD: Yes

       

    • SMART Status: Yes
    • SMART Attributes: Yes
    • SMART Thresholds: Yes
    • SMART Error Log: Yes

       

    • Power Mode: Yes
    StableBit Scanner - WMI
    • SMART Status: Yes
    • SMART Attributes: Yes
    • SMART Thresholds: Yes
    • SMART Error Log: No
    Tested on Windows 8 64-bit.


    Asmedia Driver

    * Port multiplier support requires Asmedia driver.

     

    StableBit Scanner - Direct I/O

    • Methods: AtaPassThrough

       

    • Identify: Yes
    • SDD: Yes

       

    • SMART Status: Yes
    • SMART Attributes: Yes
    • SMART Thresholds: Yes
    • SMART Error Log: Yes

       

    • Power Mode: Yes
    StableBit Scanner - WMI
    • SMART Status: Yes
    • SMART Attributes: Yes
    • SMART Thresholds: Yes
    • SMART Error Log: No
    Tested on Windows 8 64-bit.
  3. Overall

    • Supports Identify: No
    • Supports SMART: No

    RAID Firmware

    StableBit Scanner - Direct I/O
    • Methods: None

       

    • Identify: No
    • SDD: Yes

       

    • SMART Status: No
    • SMART Attributes: No
    • SMART Thresholds: No
    • SMART Error Log: No

       

    • Power Mode: No
    StableBit Scanner - WMI
    • SMART Status: No
    • SMART Attributes: No
    • SMART Thresholds: No
    • SMART Error Log: No

       

    • Power Mode: No
    Performance
    • Burst: 74.2 MB/s

       

      burst2.png

    Tested on Windows 8 64-bit


    BASE Firmware

    StableBit Scanner - Direct I/O
    • Methods: None

       

    • Identify: No
    • SDD: Yes

       

    • SMART Status: No
    • SMART Attributes: No
    • SMART Thresholds: No
    • SMART Error Log: No

       

    • Power Mode: No
    StableBit Scanner - WMI
    • SMART Status: No
    • SMART Attributes: No
    • SMART Thresholds: No
    • SMART Error Log: No
    Performance
    • Burst: 78.8 MB/s

       

      burst.png

    Tested on Windows 8 64-bit
  4. It seems like just about every application today is going to the cloud.

     

    What do you guys think of us adding tighter integration with the cloud (so to speak)?

     

    For instance:

    • How about saving your StableBit Scanner disk scan history online?

      This will mean that if you plug in the same hard drive into a different computer it will instantly know when that disk was last scanned.
       
    • Perhaps we can keep track of your disk's temperature history as well, and synchronize that with the cloud?

      You would be able to query for temperature history for any disk, from any point in time.

      We can do the same with disk performance, disk uptime (when it goes to sleep or when it's running),
       
    • For DrivePool, we can augment remote control peer discovery with a centralized server. So DrivePool will automatically know about every machine running DrivePool with the same Activation ID.
       
    • Whenever you add or remove a disk, DrivePool would save that event to the cloud. You would be able to see pool participation history and disk space usage utilization over time.
       
    • We can build some mobile apps around this data to let you query and access it.

    Would you guys find this service valuable and would you be willing to pay a small yearly fee for a service like this (say, $4.99 / yr)?

  5. Hi Alex, thanks a lot for the feedback. Installing 2.0.0.265 right now and testing.

    You should definitely submit your conclusions to Microsoft so that they can address this problem.

    Honestly they are not very serious, having such a bug on a Server OS that is supposed to be able to serve large amount of files...

     

    As far as I can see, this bug does not affect NTFS as it doesn't exercise the same code in srv2.sys. Our file system exercises code in srv2.sys that NTFS never uses.

  6. Explorer integration,

     

    This looks like some of the very early prototypes of DrivePool 2.X.

     

    DrivePool actually does have some explorer integration code (that is disabled).

     

    I've tested this, and it does not work.

     

    Here's why:

    • Ask yourself this, when do you really need to "add a disk to the pool", or "change the duplication level of a folder" ?

      These are very rare events, and yet, if we integrate this into the explorer shell, this information will be queried every time that you right click anywhere. This really slows down your computer.

      It's really not practical. It will slow down the Windows Explorer shell for no good reason. I personally hate shell extensions that slow down my OS. I've tested this internally and it does not work.

      For this reason DrivePool has scrapped all explorer shell integration in favor of the DrivePool UI.
       
    • Here's another reason:

      No remote control.

      DrivePool 2.X has full remote control capability.

      Shell extensions cannot be remote controlled.

    Of course the real question is how much money do they have to promote this? Perhaps unfortunately, that is the only thing that matters.

  7. I do like the new text for the pool options menu. Much more obvious.

     

    A couple other things I noticed while showing DrivePool 2 and Scanner to someone whose computers I was fixing (she bought both!):

     

    * DP 2's GUI doesn't yet have maximise/minimise/restore buttons, and can't be set to open maximised via shortcut properties.

     

    * DP 2's GUI doesn't remember the state (open/closed) of the Performance section between sessions.

     

    (obviously we're still in beta, so bugfixes come before polish; this is just FYI for when there's time)

     

    There is no Maximize because I feel that there is no need for it.

     

    As far as not remembering the state of the performance UI, well this is intentional. I've actually removed this functionality from later builds in favor of optimizing performance.

     

    Right after the Performance UI was released, there was some criticism of it being a bit "bloated", so I've done some optimizations in this area which led to the performance UI being disabled by default.

  8. I will test that specifically.

    I haven't had a chance to do this yet, but I will test strong name signing specifically.

    I don't "expect" to find any issues, but you are on the "todo list".

    If there is an issue that is reproducible, it will be fixed (this is why we do extensive public BETAs).

  9. Just to follow up on this,

     

    I've examined this crash in detail, and I will reiterate, this crash has only happened because you have verifier enabled. Everyone else who has upgraded (without verifier) is not experiencing this crash.

     

    The problem is that covefs_disk.sys is leaking a few kilobytes of memory every time it's upgraded (and only when it's upgraded). It really is nothing to write home about. Of course it will be fixed in the next build.

     

    More importantly, it has nothing to do with the srv2 crash, which should be fixed in the latest build (that is out now).

     

    I like to be very precise in my BSOD analysis and don't like to speculate, and I don't like it when completely separate issues are grouped into one. It makes troubleshooting more difficult, I'm sure that you can understand.

     

    I am always happy to provide more information on anything that I've said, or if you have any further issues please let me know.

  10. I've started putting up disk and controller test data in this forum, as it relates to the StableBit Scanner's ability to gather SMART and Identify data using various disk controllers.

     

    Direct I/O Test

     

    "Direct I/O" is a set of technologies that the StableBit Scanner uses to read data directly from the disk. I collect my test results using an internal Direct I/O testing tool.

     

    directio.png

     

    You can get the latest version here: Download

     

    The tool will probe your disk and controller for various forms of data that the StableBit Scanner uses and will display either a green check mark or a red X to indicate whether the probe was successful. At the bottom, it will list the probing "methods" that were successfully used to probe the controller / disk.

     

    If you're interested in contributing your test data to this forum, then just run the tool and select a disk that is connected to the controller that you want to probe.

     

    Make sure that your computer is not doing anything else while probing. There is a small chance that the probing process will crash your system.

  11. SYBA SD-PEX40035 PCI-Express 2.0 SATA III (6.0Gb/s) Controller Card

     

    card.jpg

     

    Specifications:

    • Speed: SATA 3 (6.0Gb/s)
    • Ports: 2 x SATA, 1 x PATA
    • Slot: PCI-Express x1 2.0 (~3.9Gb/s x 2)

       

    • Chipset: Marvell 88SE9128

      chip.jpg

    Overall
    • Supports Identify: Yes
    • Supports SMART: Yes

    Firmware

    StableBit Scanner - Direct I/O
    • Methods: SmartIoCtl, ScsiPassthrough, ScsiPassthrough48, ScsiMiniportPortDriver

       

    • Identify: Yes
    • SDD: Yes

       

    • SMART Status: No
    • SMART Attributes: Yes
    • SMART Thresholds: Yes
    • SMART Error Log: No

       

    • Power Mode: No
    StableBit Scanner - WMI
    • SMART Status: Yes
    • SMART Attributes: Yes
    • SMART Thresholds: Yes
    • SMART Error Log: No
    Tested on Windows 8

    Tested SATA ports only.

  12. Overall

    • Supports Identify: Yes *
    • Supports SMART: Yes **

    * When using the RAID firmware and driver, but only on the first port.
    ** When using the RAID firmware and driver, on all ports.
     



    RAID Firmware

    StableBit Scanner - Direct I/O

    • Methods: SmartIoCtl
       
    • Identify: Yes *
    • SDD: Yes
       
    • SMART Status: Yes *
    • SMART Attributes: Yes *
    • SMART Thresholds: Yes *
    • SMART Error Log: No
       
    • Power Mode: No

    * Data is only valid on the first port of the controller (bug in controller driver). Workaround implemented in StableBit Scanner 2.4.0.2914+.
     
    StableBit Scanner - WMI

    • SMART Status: Yes
    • SMART Attributes: Yes
    • SMART Thresholds: Yes
    • SMART Error Log: No
       
    • Power Mode: No

    Performance

    • Burst: 109 MB/s

      burst.png

    Tested on Windows 8



    BASE Firmware

    StableBit Scanner - Direct I/O

    • Methods: None
       
    • Identify: No
    • SDD: Yes
       
    • SMART Status: No
    • SMART Attributes: No
    • SMART Thresholds: No
    • SMART Error Log: No
       
    • Power Mode: No

     
    StableBit Scanner - WMI

    • SMART Status: Yes
    • SMART Attributes: Yes
    • SMART Thresholds: Yes
    • SMART Error Log: No

    Performance

    • Burst: 110 MB/s

      burst.png

    Tested on Windows 8

  13. DrParis,

     

    I've split this post out of the previous topic. It has absolutely nothing to do with the srv2 crash.

     

    This is a covefs_disk crash, and it only occurred because you had verified enabled (which most people do not).

     

    I've instructed you to enable verified previously to troubleshoot the srv2 issue.

     

    It is the job of verifier to perform extensive analysis on kernel driver code and crash your system at the first sign of trouble. This is what happened here. I will of course be examining this crash to determine if it was due to a bug in DrivePool or some other more general system instability.

  14. DrParis and others,

     

    I am fairly certain now that the crashes experienced in Windows 8 / 2012 (by some of you) are a result of a bug in srv2.sys.

     

    There is, what we call, a race condition, where the same memory address gets freed twice. In other words, it's a bug.

     

    I've implemented a workaround in the latest build that should overcome this problem.

     

    As for why this doesn't happen with NTFS? That is because Windows 8 doesn't do Fast I/O Reads on NTFS. I suspect that this is hard coded somewhere.

  15. I'll check out these scenarios to see if I could reproduce them.

     

    I think compiling DrivePool on the pool would be interesting :)

     

    The second issue sounds especially odd. We don't do anything special with the NTFS ACLs. They're not processed by DrivePool in any way,  they're simply passed through to / from NTFS on a set and get. But I'll try what you suggest and will see what happens.

     

    One of the test servers here is running VirtualBox + XAMPP 24/7 from the pool (with MySQL), but I'll try to get MSSQL into testing as well.

  16. Ok, here are new builds that have Fast I/O reads disabled on the Windows 8 kernel:

    This should prevent this crash from occurring while I keep investigating.

     

    Thanks everyone for helping out and being patient with this issue.

     

    Changes

    2.0.0.263
    ---------
    * [D] Disabled Fast I/O network reads on Windows 8 / 2012 as a workaround for a system crash.
    * Added "Pool options" text to the pool options button.
    * [D] When moving a directory with an explicit per-folder duplication (or that has sub-directories with explicit 
          per-folder duplication counts set) to a new folder on the same pool, make sure to correctly re-propagate 
          the M/I flags.
    * [D] Deleting a directory that had per-folder duplication enabled, and then recreating a new directory 
          with the same name would incorrectly mark the new folder as duplicated as well (usually until a reboot).
    * [D] Fixed setting per-folder duplication on read-only folder (or folders whose parents may be read-only).
    
  17. I've received 3 more dumps and will review them to see if they correlate with everything that I've seen so far.

     

    I'll try to get a new build out today that, at the very least, will turn off Fast I/O cached reads on the Win 8 kernel (which are causing srv2.sys to run the code that is crashing the system).

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