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Dave Hobson

Reinstall WTF!!

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Hey Drashna.

OK. First off although I have been using DrivePool since WHS days when it was first discussed on WGS I have to admit I don't really follow the forums much. That's usually a good sign as well, it obviously just works. It's been so long in fact I have zero idea of my original username on here so please bear with me. 

So now to the crux. Does Drivepool yet have an option yet to backup configs for cases like OS reinstalls? If it does then I'm to blame and please accept my apologies for what I'm about to say.(User fail!!)

If it doesn't then are you ever going to take seriously the issue that I personally at least twice have stated (over several years) , as have others that enabling any balancing by default on a fresh install is just about the most stupid thing I have ever seen. 

What is there? 5 or 6 balancers all enabled by default. So before the blink of an eye Drivepool is completely wrecking my painstakingly set up placement rules. Killing my carefully defragmented drives.(Awesome on 8x8TB drives and other drives too.)  All this happens before any human can react to a single pool, let alone 5 and certainly well before I can install the only balancer I'm interested in (SSD Optimizer.)

If the config backup exists then like I said it's my fault and I really need to visit the forums more. If it doesn't exist and its felt that allowing "anything" to happen by default on the Pools is a great Idea then that' fine too. Time to check out the alternatives. Sorry for my tone I'm pretty angry. Angrier still because I know from personal experience It's been brought up several times over several years. I can't believe that its easier to have 5 or 6 balancer active by default than it is to have all options dormant by default. 

As it happens so far I haven't turned on my external 8 bay case with another 3 pools so I'm not totally shafted. Before I do can I expect Drivepool to start throwing all those files around too then second I turn it on? That will just not be happening. At least if I do turn it on I will have first removed Drivepool  and looked at DriveBender or something else. Yes I can probably get around this by... 

1. Stopping the service

2. Moving all files on all drives outside the Poolpart folder.

3. Setting balancers & Plugins to MY needs. 

4. Moving the files back to the poolpart folders.

5. Starting the service. 

 

Sorry but I should only need to do step 3. I prefer common sense to hacks. If the current way is regarded even remotely as common sense or it even needs considering (rather than immediately actioning) then It's definitely time to uninstall. Anything that ever removes, changes or moves a file on my system without my expressed permission I would class as malware. 

Bottom line is I'm mid reinstall so do I take those 5 steps on a total of 16 drives or see if the alternative will leave my files alone until I ask it to do otherwise. I'm really hoping I haven't spent several years backing the wrong horse.

 

 

 

 

 

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umfriend is correct.  As soon as the software is resintalled, it should detect the pooled drives and rebuild the pool automatically, with the available disks. 

 

That said, you should try resetting the settings, if you haven't already.
http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool_Q2299585B

 

And if that doesn't work, this should:
http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool_F1655

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Yes, the pools are re-created as soon as pooled drives are detected.

But OP is asking about the settings (mainly the balancing configuration). Are those settings also applied from detected pools ?

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As I said, afaik the settings are stored and applied at connect time. OP has not reacted but if there is a thread or experience that refutes that then I would be very interested.

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Sorry real life took over for a while.

So you're saying that on, for example an OS reinstall,  all balancing rules, file placement rules, including anything that's pertinent to the SSD optimizer plug in are stored on the pool , even though the service loads straight away after a reinstall AND therefore even before given the chance to actually reinstall the SSD optimizer plug-in.?

If thats the case something is clearly going wrong for me. Even taking aside the SSD optimizer being installed or not, every single default balancer is enabled and the pool immediately reacts to those balancers and rules.

I can assure you that prior to the reinstall every single balancer is disabled (excluding SSD Optimizer) on each and every pool  and yet here is what i see on a fresh reinstall even after installing the SSD plugin.

 

 

 

Capture.PNG

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Hmm, I had not thought about plug-ins that are not installed by default. I can't be sure but in the screenprint, is that right after re-install and prior to the installation of the SSD Optimzer plug-in? If so, then I notice that the plug-in is in fact listed so DP did pick up something at least. Perhaps the unavailability caused default balancing setting then.

Did you also use File Placement Rules and, if so, were they intact or not?

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26 minutes ago, Umfriend said:

Hmm, I had not thought about plug-ins that are not installed by default. I can't be sure but in the screenprint, is that right after re-install and prior to the installation of the SSD Optimzer plug-in? If so, then I notice that the plug-in is in fact listed so DP did pick up something at least. Perhaps the unavailability caused default balancing setting then.

Did you also use File Placement Rules and, if so, were they intact or not?

Well i did say on my initial post that I only ever use SSD optimizer.

To be clear prior to the SSD optimizer install the screenshot is identical with the obvious exception that SSD optimizer is missing so no it didnt pick anything up.Each pool has it's own carefully thought out balancing. I use ordered file placement built into SSD optimizer, to cascade fill my my drives,.Capture.thumb.PNG.fccaef01c632f1b15a125c03698067de.PNG

This is what it looks like for this one particular pool with the settings I chose.

After a reinstall it activates all native balancers (as in the earlier screeshot). I get that and have no issue with it. What I have an issue with is that the actual balancing process is on by default.

Maybe Im missing something but how exactly (with DP's defualt behaviour) on a new install do i get to the stage of this second screenshot without DP having already started throwing files around.

If this is specific to the fact that I'm using SSD optimizer and that with the standard plugins EVERYTHING is remembered and would be exactly as it was prior to the OS reinstall then that's cool.

But I'm not sure how that helps me while Balance immediately shown here is actually the default option. (I have changed it)

Capture.PNG.8d5dcdbd2789b3c59c13b32a5a2d45fc.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, you did state that. I just had not taken into account that that plug-in might not be available at some point.

However, it seems to me that if you physically disconnect the Pool prior to re-install, then do the re-install, install DP AND install the plug-in and _then_ attach the Pool, it should work fine. Can't be sure but that is what I would think.

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11 hours ago, Umfriend said:

However, it seems to me that if you physically disconnect the Pool prior to re-install,

Well disconnecting 16 drives (yes they're all internal) sata cables isn't exactly optimal but thinking about it I guess I could (memory permitting) move all the data outside of the PoolPart folders.

Anyway I'm sensing it's seen as a non-issue so It's time to move on.

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Sure. That is one of the reasons I have my data drives connect to a SAS-HBA card, just two cables, in my case, to disconnect from the SAS card ;). But yeah, I can see how it would be nice to be able to complete the full installation prior to DP starting to do its magic. I guess once DP starts to run, it will first remeasure and you can stop that through the GUI but it would have to be attended, you'd have to be quick about it and be aware of this.

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Well this has recently happened for the last time.

I will never understand why anyone would consider having 5 unwanted balancers and balancing itself all enabled by default anything other than a really stupid idea.

Even less how physically disconnecting 16 hard drives OR stopping balancing on five pools whilst "being quick about it" is a viable work around. With one pool there's a very slim chance of catching it on time. With five there is zero chance. 

So it would seem that for the last 7 or 8 years I have been "backing the wrong horse."

Drive Bender "Cascade Mode" is everything I have ever looked for in DrivePool. added to that  Drive Bender strangely/sensibly also has a default start-up strategy of doing absolutely nothing until explicitly set.  A real shame it's never caught on here. 

Anyway over the years I have had my moneys worth, but it's time to call it a day. :(

 

 

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On 7/12/2019 at 9:43 PM, DaveHobson said:

I will never understand why anyone would consider having 5 unwanted balancers and balancing itself all enabled by default anything other than a really stupid idea.

Then I think you misunderstood the idea/intent behind these balancers.  They don't get called very often, and are mostly meant to prevent edge cases. 

The manual has a description of the tasks/purpose for each of the 5 default balancers: 
https://stablebit.com/Support/DrivePool/2.X/Manual?Section=Balancing Plug-ins#Default Plug-ins

 

On 7/12/2019 at 9:43 PM, DaveHobson said:

Drive Bender strangely/sensibly also has a default start-up strategy of doing absolutely nothing until explicitly set.  A real shame it's never caught on here.

Actually, that's exactly what happens in StableBit DrivePool.  Files are placed on the drive with the most available free space, and then left alone, for the most part. 

Yes, not entirely.  Specifically: 

  • StableBit Scanner
    If a drive is going bad, the balancer will try to clear the drive out, as much as possible before it fails. 
  • Volume Equalization
    If multiple volumes/partitions on the same drive are in the pool, it will equalize the usage between those volumes, so that one doesn't get filled up faster than the other. 
  • Drive Usage Limiter
    By default, this one doesn't actually do anything.  However, you can use it to only place duplicated, or unduplicated data on a drive in question. 

  • Prevent Drive Overfill
    This prevents a drive from getting too full, and will move data off of the drive to make room.  This is to make sure that the drive doesn't completely fill up, and cause free space errors. 

  • Duplication Space Optimizer
    This will shuffle around data, if you have any "unusable for duplication" space, so that you can get the maximum space available on the pool to use for duplication. 

 

However, as I said above, these are all edge cases, and for the most part, probably will never cause your data to be moved around. 

Additionally, we do have balancer plugins, that proved different behavior:
https://stablebit.com/DrivePool/Plugins

And actually, these plugins have been around for a very long time, at this point (5+ years). So, they've always been an option. 

 

 

However, Drive Bender is a pretty good solution as well. And if you're happy with it, awesome! 

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