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Christopher (Drashna)

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  1. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from JeffZ in System Drive C: Full on WHS2011   
    Caution is always a good thing. But having a Server Backup setup is even better. You do have one setup, right?
    Also, I hate that Microsoft stuck with 60GB for the system partition. IMO, that is still too small... but it is better than 40GB, I guess.
  2. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from scar45 in RocketRAID 2720SGL PCI-Express 2.0 SATA III (6.0Gb/s)   
    Speed: SAS/SATA 3 (6.0Gb/s) Ports: 2x Internal Mini SAS SFF-8087 Slot: PCI-Express 2.0 x8 Chipset: See Marvell 9485 SAS/SATA Controller Chip Firmware
    Firmware: 1.5AHCI compatible: No (proprietary driver required) Link: http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA_new/CS-PCI-E_2_0_x8_Configuration.html Driver: (03/20/2013)272x_1x.sys Link: http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA_new/CS-PCI-E_2_0_x8_Configuration.html Performance
    SATA III HDDBurst: 360 MB/s Drive: Seagate ST3000DM001 OS Tested: Windows Server 2012 Essentials
  3. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from AMCross in Is this screen shot showing an error ?   
    You are very welcome. And hopefully, we can figure out what is going on and get it sorted out for you soon.
    And if you couldn't tell, I really do enjoy helping people. 
  4. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from AMCross in latest scanner and ports info   
    I'm not sure this is a bug.  It looks like that you may have accidently click on the "Drive Letter" column and caused it to be sorted by drive letter. c/d, e, f, g, h, l.  Instead of by port number, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
    If this is the case (and I suspect that it is), don't feel bad at all. It took me a few minutes and a couple read through's to actually notice that.
  5. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) reacted to SkOrPn in Did I do this correctly? Cut/Paste From/To Pool   
    I'm a huge Asus fan, probably on my 30th Asus mobo. Back between the mid 1990's to about 2010 I was rebuilding the PC two to three times a year and sometimes more. About the time AMD 64 came around I was building a new system every other month practically and very few times did I venture away from Asus. Yeah I had a few Gigabytes, DFI LanParty's, and several others (I even had TWO ABIT BP6's overclocked at one time), but for the most part I am an Asus guy. This mobo I'm on now is my second Rampage III Extreme and its been super rock stable for me. I write my own BIOS's for it just so I can keep it up to date. I only have a i7-930 but it runs happily at 4ghz so even today still see no reason to upgrade. Not until Haswell-E anyway. OH, I just had an idea, I will probably not do anything to my server for now and just use this Asus mobo I have now. It has 9 SATA ports directly on the PCB and a 10th on the rear I/O panel. I cant imagine 8 ports not being enough for this family. Sure speeds will be limited but one day there will be SSD's that are affordable and still work on SATA II. And if not at least I have four PCIe 2.0 x16 slots I can utilize with a LSI card  
  6. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from Shane in Drivepool v2   
    What specific features are you looking at?
    And if you don't like the more advanced features of Server 2012 (R2) Essentials, there is always this:
  7. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from SkOrPn in Is This Correct For New Installation?   
    If they're "cleaned", as in uninitialized (such as running diskpart's clean command), the DrivePool will partition and format them.  If the disks are just unformatted/RAW, I'm honestly not 100% sure. But it sounds like you're talking about "clean" disks. As for initializing them, it depends on the size. 3TB drives it formats as GPT, but less than 2TBs are formatted as MBR, IIRC.  As for the WHS not supporting GPT, that's for client backups. I used SBS2011E for a while, which was near identical to WHS2011, and it used my 3TB drives as GPT with absolutely no issues.
    I haven't used BitTorrent sync, so I'm not sure.  But it shouldn't have any issues with DrivePool, as far as I'm aware. Nope, DrivePool is file based, not sector based, so there should be absolutely no issues with the formatting of the disks. Either or. See above. You can have DrivePool installed without a pool without any issue. 
    This is a misconception. The backup feature of WHS2011 does not support volumes larger than 2TBs. That means it can't back up 3TB drives or larger. This is a known limitation of the Windows Server Backup feature, that the dashboard uses. As I have said above, I used SBS2011E for a while, and had no issues. Well, I only backed up my system disk, and that worked fine. However, you cannot backup the pool directly. You would have to back up the pooled disks.
    I think I've answered everything here. If I haven't, or if you need clarification, don't hesitate to ask.
  8. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) reacted to p3x-749 in Opinions and Advice on a Controller Card and Power   
    By being a "kind of waste", I was referring to their original purpose.
    These cards, being originally a "real" RAID type are only entry level in this domian.
    And using the RAID driver in JBOD mode with DrivePool or in software raid *is* a waste and a risk, too.
    Well...cheap times are long over.
    Especially the M1015 was shipped as the standard card with all IBM X-Servers...but all enterprise customers did rip them out, replaced them in their servers and sold the parts as crap in the bay.
    I remember buying a pair of two, brand new in their boxes, for 70USD...good old times.
    Since the word is out that these can be cross-flashed to a HBA, they became the best known secret and prices went through the roof.
    Same is now for the Dell models...the Fujitsu is the youngest secret as of today...maybe there are some deals waiting ahead.
  9. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) reacted to Mick Mickle in Accessing server files from Mobile device   
    Here's my 2 cents, for what it's worth:  My number one choice is TeamViewer.  I've been using it on my Android devices for over a year now, and it works great to get to PC desktops. (And it's free for personal use. TeamViewer also has versions for iPhones and Windows 8 phones.)  Basically, it's like RDP to the PC of your choice (after you install it on the PC as well).  And it has a file transfer mode.  If you set up a free optional account with TeamViewer, then you can pick and choose which computers you want to connect to at any time.  For some reason -- limited access, I guess -- I haven't installed TeamViewer directly on my server.  Instead, I RDP into the server from the client computer that I connect to with TeamViewer.
    One other nice thing about TeamViewer is that, in some ways, it can subjectively outperform RDP across the Internet when calling home with your laptop.
    The second thing I've been using is AiCloud, which is embedded in current Asus Routers (RT-N66U/R is the one I have).  With AiCloud, you can play music and video files directly from the server to your device, and you can wake any of the computers on the router. There's an iOS version in addition to Android, but I'm not sure about Win8RT.
    I've also used ES File Explorer around the house to get files from the server to my Samsung Galaxy SIII and Motorola Xoom on the LAN, but not so much anymore after discovering TeamViewer.
  10. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) reacted to dbailey75 in Accessing server files from Mobile device   
    The phone's are going to be used by my kids to watch movies, listen to their music, and I hope I can find a game or two to download..  You really can't beat the deal for a media player,  oh, and it has a camera for movies and pictures, I paid about the same for a Vtech camera some years ago, and aside from the fact that the Vtech was practically indestructible, it was a really crap camera, guess I need to get a really nice case for these phones.   I'll let you know what I think about windows phone 8. 
    Oh, and black Friday shopping was a breeze, no one was knifed or tazed in my area,  but you would think everyone would have a crappy LCD TV buy now, but nope, they were lined up at the Target to buy those POS Westinghouse TVs,  40"  for something like $200, they had a 50" element for $229,  I bet the Picture Quality is amazing on those units.
  11. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from champs777 in Cloud Backup/Restore Preperation Help   
    If you've disabled immediately balancing, the it normally takes place at 2AM.
    As for Ordered File Placement, it shouldn't really matter. But you'd probably want to have CrashPlan's priority to be the same as Ordered File Placement's priority.
  12. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) reacted to Shane in Duplicate over all disks   
    Q: Hi, Is it possible to set DrivePool to duplicate a folder to all disks available in the pool regardless of their number?
    A: You would have to set that folder's duplication level so that it was equal to the number of disks in the pool. For example, if your pool consisted of ten disks, you would set that folder's duplication level (number of copies) to 10.
    Q: And another question - is it possible to set DrivePool that way, that it keeps one copy of a folder on one specific disk? For example I have 3 disks and I want one folder to be duplicated twice and one copy I need on one specific disk and the other can be on any of that two remaining disks.
    A: Not yet. It's a planned feature. http://community.covecube.com/index.php?/topic/208-stablebit-drivepool-controlling-folder-placement/
  13. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) reacted to p3x-749 in Opinions and Advice on a Controller Card and Power   
    For a FileServer with many spinning drives, always go for a single 12V-Rail PSU.
    One single disk drive will eat up 2+ Amps on the 12V rail when performing a cold start.
    ATX standard actually requires a PSU to be dual rail, but for this purpose a single rail is recommended...no need for doing any maths...just connect an go.
    You will find the no. of rails in the specs of the PSU.
    If this information is not listed, you can determine it from the Output-Amps given on the spec plate.
    Like a non-single-Rail PSU will advertise the output per Rail, like "12V1-22A, 12V2-18A" for a dual-rail....a single Rail PSU will not have the 12V rail-output numbered, like stating "12V-40A" as in this example.
  14. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from gringott in Adding SSD to pool for Cache   
    Absolutely. In fact, we have a Balancer Plugin that is actually designed to facilitate that too!
    It's called the "Archive Optimizer" Balancer.
  15. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from gringott in Change DrivePool Name?   
    Yes, you absolutely can change the names. And through the "normal" method to do so:
    Open "Computer", right click on the DrivePool drive, and select "Properties".  Then type the name you want, and hit "OK". It will most likely come up with a UAC prompt.
    But aside from that, it's just that simple.
  16. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) reacted to dbailey75 in Accessing server files from Mobile device   
    Looks like I'm going to get a chance to demo the windows phone 8 after all,  so what's the cheapest feature filled MP3 player that you can get these days, and I'm not talking about a $220 ipod touch, a no contract smart phone.  Bingo,  purchased a couple of nokia 520's for my kids, $60 on amazon.  I was up at midnight trying to buy them from the MS store for $50, but the site was hammered hard, couldn't even check out, and that's if I got lucky, gave up after about two hours. 
    We'll wish me luck, I'm about to go brave some black Friday Shopping.   
  17. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from grimpr in Software I use and recommend   
    In part because it's a way to generate more interaction on the forum here, and because it's come up a few times...
    A couple of pieces of software I highly recommend (well, aside from DrivePool and Scanner, that is):
    It's media streaming software. It has a "standalone" version and "WAR" version that you can install on your server (or desktop) so you can stream your music and video to the web. Or even to your mobile device. It works great with DrivePool, as well. It does require a yearly subscription for the video, and the app support, but it's dirt cheap.
    Personally, I use a fork of it called "Madsonic", as it's much more actively developed (more than one update a year).  ESET:
    I use this on all of my computers. I've been a long time supporter of the company and love their product. In fact, I have it installed  on my server (Server 2012 Essentials), though I am using the "ESET File Server" edition. It's cheap, and has all the features that you'd want for a file server. Otherwise, NOD32 works great on all desktop Windows versions, as well as Windows Home Server. 
    Their licensing is also "version independent", so you can look for a cheap copy of an older version, and update to the newest version out. It is a good, cheap way to get multiple PCs protected. And it also uses Windows PE to create an offline scanner. Raxco Perfect DIsk:
    While it may be debatable if defragmentation is needed... I've seen it greatly improve performance. Especially on WHSv1.  It's even SSD aware, and has it's own method for optimizing SSDs.  And personally, I find that the "Performance Aggressive" SMART Placement option does seem to help with performance.
  18. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from daveyboy37 in StableBit DrivePool - Controlling Folder Placement   
    Yes it is.
    Right now, Alex is busy trying to add Reparse Point support before adding this.
  19. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from champs777 in Bad Hard Drive - Restore missing files   
    @dbailey: yeah, Comcast... well, they have their own term for horribleness: "Comcastic". 
    But in their defense, it's easier to charge more for bandwidth than it is to spend millions to actually upgrade the infrastructure. Just saying.
    My ISP is only slightly better than them. And they have a worst name, one that they seem to try to live up to: Cox.
    If you intend on using the Cloud a lot, or host a website on your connection, it may be worth looking into the business accounts. They tend to not have the bandwidth caps, don't block *any* ports (80 or 25 for example, which are HTTP and SMTP respectively)
    Though, for the future, you could get away with dumping the output of a dir command to a text file, and do so on a schedule.
  20. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) reacted to Alex in StableBit DrivePool - Reparse Points   
    Ok, so reparse points have definitely been driving me nuts lately. I was planning on releasing the StableBit DrivePool 2.1 BETA about a week after the 2.0 final with reparse point support, but it's still not out and it's because of reparse points. I've been trying different architectures over the past few weeks and none of them panned out as expected.
    But today, I believe that I've finally got something that will work. It will support all of the various kinds of reparse points, it will be super fast and stable.
    So what are these "reparse points" you may be asking?
    Well, reparse points are the underlying file system technology that enable a whole suite of functionality. Mainly they are used for creating symbolic links, junctions and mount points.
    Essentially it's a way to redirect access from one file or folder to another. You may be wondering if I'm talking about a Shortcut? No, confusingly a shortcut is not a reparse point.
    So how many ways does Windows have to redirect files / folders?
    A lot. That's the problem!
    Here they are off the top of my head:
    A shortcut - A special file that is parsed by the Explorer shell that really links to another file somewhere else (as in a Start menu shortcut).

    Most people are probably familiar with this because it's readily available in the Explorer UI.
      Symbolic file link - A file that points to some other file somewhere else. Confusingly, Windows Explorer also calls these "shortcuts" in the file properties dialog.

    A symbolic link can be created by the mklink utility with no options.
      Symbolic directory link - These are relatively new, as they were introduced in Windows Vista. This is essentially a directory that points to another directory somewhere else.

    These can be created by using mklink /D.
      Directory junction point - These are very similar to "symbolic directory links", but they were available prior to Windows Vista. Again, it is essentially a directory that points to another directory somewhere else. Some people make the mistake that a junction is only capable of pointing to another directory on the same volume, and that's not the case.

    These can be created by using mklink /J.
      Mount point - Mount points allow you to designate a directory that will point to another volume. These are typically used to "mount" a number of drives as directories under some other drive letter, thus saving drive letters.

    These can be created from Disk Management.
      File hard link - Yet another way to make a file point to another file. However, this method can only be used to point a file to some other file on the same volume.

    These are created using mklink /H.  
    Yes, that's a lot of ways that you can redirect files / folders in Windows. Try Googling these and you can see the confusion that ensues as to what the differences are between each.
    So what is the difference between all of these?
    Well, instead of pointing out the pros and cons, I'll tell you how each one of them works under the hood and you can decide for yourself:
    A shortcut - This is the most "user friendly" way of creating a file that points to another one. Even the name makes sense, "shortcut", imagine that. It's readily available from the Windows Explorer menus and works entirely in user mode. A special .lnk file is created that the user mode shell knows how to parse. In Windows Explorer, an icon with a little arrow is shown to you to let you know that this is really a shortcut.

    However, as far as the kernel and file system are concerned, there is nothing special about the .lnk file, it's just a regular file.
      Symbolic file link - Sometimes called a "symlink" or "soft link", this is a system that redirects one file to another, purely in the kernel. It involves some special metadata that is stored with the "source link" file that points to the "target destination file" and requires coordination between the file system and the Windows I/O Manager.

    This system uses what are called "reparse points".
      Symbolic directory link - This is exactly the same thing as a symbolic file link, but it works on directories. The reason why I separated the two is because symbolic directory links were not available prior to Windows Vista and they must be created differently.

    However, the underlying technology that enables this is exactly the same. This too uses "reparse points".
      Directory junction point - This is similar to a Symbolic directory link except that it is available prior to Windows Vista and uses an older technique. Technically speaking, the main difference between this and symbolic directory links is that directory junction points always point to an absolute path, while symbolic directory links can point to relative or absolute paths.

    Surprisingly, this too uses "reparse points", but not all reparse points are the same. I'll get to that soon.
      Mount point - These are implemented in the exact same way as directory junction points, except that they point to the root of some other volume instead of some other directory.

    These are implemented with the exact same "reparse points" as directory junctions.
      File hard link - This is purely a file system construct. Because of the way directory indexes work in NTFS, it is possible to add a file entry to a directory index of a file that already exists under some other directory. Essentially, you can think of the file as being in 2 (or more) places at once. While this is not quantum physics, it is NTFS. Each file has a "reference count" and that count is incremented whenever a hard link is created to it. When the count reaches 0, the file is deleted.

    No other kernel subsystem is involved and no "reparse points" exists. This is the cleanest and purest way of making a file appear in 2 places at once (IMO). Wow, and all this works together reliably?
    Yes, and that's what StableBit DrivePool is trying to preserve. You see, right now the only thing that we support on the pool from the above list are shortcuts. Everything else is not supported.
    Some people have been requesting the support of file / directory symbolic links and junctions. Those 2 can be used by software in order to create complex directory structures, in order to organize your data better.
    4 out of the 5 unsupported technologies use "reparse points", so it makes sense for StableBit DrivePool to implement support for them.
    Ok, so what's a "reparse point"?
    A reparse point is a Microsoft defined data structure that gets associated with a file or a directory. When that file or directory has a reparse point associated with it, then it becomes a kind of link to "somewhere else".
    Essentially, when a file system encounters a reparse point, it tells the I/O Manager "these aren't the droids you're looking for, go look here". The I/O Manager is responsible for opening files, so it happily obliges.
    That doesn't sound too complicated
    Well, it isn't, except that there are different types of "reparse points" and each reparse point has a different meaning of where to go next.
    For example:
    File / directory symbolic links use a "symlink" reparse point. Directory junction points / mount points use a "mount point" reparse point. Any 3rd party developers can develop their own type of reparse points and their own logic as to how they work. Remember drive extender from WHS v1? Yep, those tombstones were yet another kind of reparse points. Ok, so this is complicated. But will StableBit DrivePool support reparse points?
    I'm working hard towards that goal, and the reason why I'm writing this is because I believe that I've finally cracked the architecture that we need to support all Microsoft and 3rd party reparse points on the pool.
    The architecture has these positive aspects to it:
    It supports file / directory symbolic links, directory junction points, mount points, and 3rd party reparse points on the pool.
      It is a 100% native kernel implementation, with no dependence on the user mode service.
      It follows the 0 local metadata approach of storing everything needed on the pool itself and does not rely on something like the registry. This means that your reparse points will work when moving pools between machines (provided that you didn't link to something off of the pool that no longer exists on the new machine). Some of my previous attempts had these limitations:
    Requires the user mode service to run additional periodic maintenance tasks on the pool.
      No support for directory reparse points, only file ones.
      Adding a drive to the pool would require a somewhat lengthy reparse point pass. The new architecture that I came up with has none of these limitations. All it requires is NTFS and Windows.
    When will it be ready?
    I'd hate to predict, but I think that it should be deployed in BETA form in a few weeks.
  21. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from JazJon in XP Support?   
    The main thing that keeps DrivePool from running on XP is the driver we use for the pool.
    And as for what keeps us from writing an XP driver for DrivePool is that XP has exited mainstream support in 2009, and it's hitting End of Life in almost six months:
    (April 2014)
    By the time we have a fully stable version, the OS will cease getting even critical security updates.
  22. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) got a reaction from JazJon in 1x Zotac ZBOX ID 83 Mini-PC, x3 Mediasonic USB 3.0 Enclosures, x12 WD Red 3TB Drives, x1 Anker USB 3.0 Hub   
    It's nice to see your setup. 
    Very small, and likely fairly power efficent (especially compared to mine).
    And I'm glad that you're using a POWERED USB hub. 
  23. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) reacted to Lakmus85 in Overlay Icons   
    Hi all.
    First of all, thanks to developers for such a simple yet great tool! I've been using it only for two days, but liked it very much.
    I have some propositions for the further product improvements, and will describe them in the forum
    First of them, that could make life easier, is displaying some kind of overlay icons on the folders in the windows files explorer, like in the duplication tree, that will show that folder is x2 or x1+ level of duplication. (it's not always useful to open duplication option dialog to find the "safe" folders.
    Of course x1 is useless overlay except the case it's not inherit. Well, I bet you know what to do better than me
  24. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) reacted to Alex in The Roadmap   
    I've been thinking about how I can better communicate what is in store for each of our products, there are 3 now and another one in the works. Starting today I'll be setting up topics in each forum that I'll be updating on a regular basis. Each post will maintain what the future holds for each product.
    I try to keep a lot of the development driven by user feedback, but most of that feedback doesn't happen in the public forum (but usually in tech support tickets). I'd just like to take this opportunity to highlight the direction that each product is heading in, a kind of roadmap.
    I'll be setting up those posts today so look for them popping up soon in each respective forum.
  25. Like
    Christopher (Drashna) reacted to dbailey75 in Software I use and recommend   
    I've certainly forgot. 
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