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Removing external drives from a pool


Zelatrix
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I have just bought an 8TB WD Elements, and I have yet to shuck it. I though I would just test it by adding it to my DrivePool, and adding it seemed fine; it added and showed the updated pool capacity in Windows. But when I tried to remove it, my PC blue-screened with an APC_INDEX_MISMATCH error or something like that. I first removed it (accidentally) whilst it was syncing, as I hadn't noticed it was on auto-balance.

Then, once I had got over the shock of my speaker freaking out and scaring the crap out of me, I went back to work. Later, I tried removing the disk in DrivePool after ensuring that the auto-balance was disabled. Same result, only my speaker didn't freak out. Is there a special way to remove external drives from a DrivePool? I plan on shucking the disk eventually, but before I get the chance to put it in my system, it will be attached to an external enclosure, and I'd still like to have it in my pool before I can actually connect it internally.

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DrivePool will complain if a disk goes unexpectedly missing from a pool (as opposed to you clicking on the disk's Remove option in the DrivePool GUI) but it should do so via a normal error notification, not via a blue-screen. When you say you accidentally removed the disk, do you mean via the Remove option or via physical removal?

If via physical removal, does the PC still blue-screen if you disconnect the drive when it is NOT part of any pool?

.... actually, you mentioned your speaker freaking out. Was it like a screech, buzz and/or thump rather than a beep or continuous tone? If any of the former, you might also want to check that your equipment is all properly earthed.

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All my DrivePool drives are external USB HDD's. If I click the remove button on the DrivePool GUI, it takes a long time to "remove" the files on the drive if it contains lots of data. Once the remove routine is finished, I just unplug the USB drive normally and nothing bad ever happened.

I have not tried to unplug and remove a USB HDD while in the middle of file transfers. I would expect DrivePool would complain about the missing drive, but I don't understand why you got a BSOD and sirens waking up the neighbors. 

I do have a couple 4 bay MediaSonic ProBox units, and in those cases, I have to completely shut down the computer and the ProBox before I add or remove any drives in the enclosure. I learned the hard way that those bays were not hot swappable. But, even in that situation, I crashed the HDD but the computer just complained and keep on working otherwise. An external USB HDD in enclosure is made to be hot swappable. I have never seen a BSOD just from disconnecting a USB drive.

Are you able to connect/disconnect other USB HDDs from the computer without getting the BSOD? 

If don't have other USB drives, maybe you could shut down the DrivePool service in Task Manager, and then disconnect the USB HDD. If you get the BSOD again, at least you know the problem was not related to using DrivePool because it is not running.

On the other hand, If the computer does not BSOD when you remove the USB HDD and DrivePool is not running, then your issue may indeed be something related to the DrivePool software. I just have not seen anything like a BSOD at all with DrivePool, so I am suspecting something else might be going on.

Good luck on your troubleshooting.

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8 hours ago, Shane said:

DrivePool will complain if a disk goes unexpectedly missing from a pool (as opposed to you clicking on the disk's Remove option in the DrivePool GUI) but it should do so via a normal error notification, not via a blue-screen. When you say you accidentally removed the disk, do you mean via the Remove option or via physical removal?

If via physical removal, does the PC still blue-screen if you disconnect the drive when it is NOT part of any pool?

.... actually, you mentioned your speaker freaking out. Was it like a screech, buzz and/or thump rather than a beep or continuous tone? If any of the former, you might also want to check that your equipment is all properly earthed.

The first time, I removed the drive by clicking remove in DrivePool, and not stopping the sync. It blue-screened. The second time, I stopped the sync, and removed it in DrivePool. It blue-screened again. I think perhaps the reason my speaker freaked out was because at the time I received the blue screen, I was playing media, and I believe that removing a speaker whilst media is playing makes an awful noise. 

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6 hours ago, gtaus said:

Are you able to connect/disconnect other USB HDDs from the computer without getting the BSOD? 

@Zelatrix do try this if you can, except also "from the pool" instead of just "from the computer". It's good to try to narrow the problem down as much as possible.

6 hours ago, gtaus said:

If don't have other USB drives, maybe you could shut down the DrivePool service in Task Manager, and then disconnect the USB HDD. If you get the BSOD again, at least you know the problem was not related to using DrivePool because it is not running.

This is not accurate. DrivePool will still be running at the file system level; the Stablebit DrivePool Service provides additional features (e.g. balancing) and enables the DrivePool GUI to interact with the DrivePool file system.

@Zelatrix I would recommend contacting Stablebit via their contact form to report the BSOD, as simply clicking Remove shouldn't be crashing Windows. Though the actual culprit might still turn out to be something else on your machine (e.g. another program that hasn't or isn't cleaning up after itself, leaving a problem that DrivePool is colliding with).

If you need to remove the Elements drive from the pool without crashing your computer, shut down the computer first and then unplug the drive and keep it unplugged; when you restart the computer, the drive will be listed as "missing" in the DrivePool GUI, and you should be able to Remove it from the pool while it is unplugged without causing a BSOD - if your pool has duplication turned on then it should proceed to reduplicate any files that had been balanced onto the Elements drive.

If your pool didn't have duplication turned on (for the whole drive / for all folders) then some files may have ended up "trapped" on the Elements drive and you will have to manually recover them. Please feel free to message me if you need help with that.

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50 minutes ago, Shane said:

If you need to remove the Elements drive from the pool without crashing your computer, shut down the computer first and then unplug the drive and keep it unplugged; when you restart the computer, the drive will be listed as "missing" in the DrivePool GUI, and you should be able to Remove it from the pool while it is unplugged without causing a BSOD - if your pool has duplication turned on then it should proceed to reduplicate any files that had been balanced onto the Elements drive.

Surely if I need to do that, it's exactly the same outcome, as either way, the computer needs to be restarted, when that shouldn't be the case?

Quote

If your pool didn't have duplication turned on (for the whole drive / for all folders) then some files may have ended up "trapped" on the Elements drive and you will have to manually recover them. Please feel free to message me if you need help with that.

I had x2 duplication turned on for the pool. I have now shucked the disk, and I am attempting to connect it to the system via an external dock (although I am aware that I need to tape the 3rd pin to make it show up, which I need to buy some tape to do).  

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8 hours ago, Zelatrix said:

Surely if I need to do that, it's exactly the same outcome, as either way, the computer needs to be restarted, when that shouldn't be the case?

The idea was that it would allow you to complete the Remove of the drive from the pool without being interrupted by a BSOD. Sorry, it was not being suggested as a permanent fix.

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13 hours ago, Shane said:

This [shut down the DrivePool service in Task Manager] is not accurate. DrivePool will still be running at the file system level; the Stablebit DrivePool Service provides additional features (e.g. balancing) and enables the DrivePool GUI to interact with the DrivePool file system.

Good to know. Is there a way to completely shut down DrivePool on the system without shutting off the computer? That info might be helpful in a future troubleshooting scenario. 

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