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post #4321 of 4341 Old Yesterday, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post
Verify is a bit for bit verification of every file in the pool. I have 10 data drives with 30 TB on them so I guess 14 hours isn't too bad. I only do those once a month so it's not that inconvenient. An update will check for changes in the pool and will calculate parity just for the files that changed since the last update. That doesn't take very long unless you move a lot of data between updates. I have updates scheduled every night so it's usually pretty fast.

Ahhh ok. I'm trying out snapraid right now and it's pretty dang fast as far as the parity calcs go but the sync command that I run might be the same as the update command that you run. I'm not sure if snapraid has a verify/validate command so I guess we can't really compare them.
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post #4322 of 4341 Old Yesterday, 12:56 AM
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Ahhh ok. I'm trying out snapraid right now and it's pretty dang fast as far as the parity calcs go but the sync command that I run might be the same as the update command that you run. I'm not sure if snapraid has a verify/validate command so I guess we can't really compare them.
Snapraid sync is the same as FlexRAID update. Snapraid scrub -p 100 is the same as FlexRAID verify (both products can also do partial array verifies). Snapraid diff is the same as FlexRAID quick-validate. Snapraid has no analog to FlexRAID validate. Also note that the speed reports are not comparable, you may get a reading of 20MBps in FlexRAID and 500MBps in snapraid, when in reality they are both processing exactly the same data and will finish at the same time. FlexRAID essentially reports the weakest link, while Snapraid sums up the totals across all drives being read/written. The FlexRAID method is a little more "sane" as far as a relevant number goes because it's equally valid no matter how many drives are in the array. The snapraid number is artificially inflated by simply adding new drives, even when the resulting process ends up taking longer than it did with fewer drives.
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post #4323 of 4341 Old Yesterday, 08:48 AM
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Big fat fail on today's validate. With the settings of Processes 8, I/O Buffer 50MB and Threads 8 it ran really smooth during verify yesterday, but during validate today all processor cores were pegged at 100%. Memory use was good during both verify and validate. I noticed the validate beginning to slow down at 54%. About an hour later it was only up to 56%. I hit pause it and let it sit for about a half hour but the processor use remained at 100% and the little spinning icon in the FlexRAID configuration never stopped. I hit abort and waited another half hour and still no change, processor still at 100%. Resource Monitor showed no disk activity whatsoever on any of the pool volumes.

Until I figure this out I'm going to cancel my validate schedule and run verify weekly. Time to go reboot the server.
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post #4324 of 4341 Old Yesterday, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post
Big fat fail on today's validate. With the settings of Processes 8, I/O Buffer 50MB and Threads 8 it ran really smooth during verify yesterday, but during validate today all processor cores were pegged at 100%. Memory use was good during both verify and validate. I noticed the validate beginning to slow down at 54%. About an hour later it was only up to 56%. I hit pause it and let it sit for about a half hour but the processor use remained at 100% and the little spinning icon in the FlexRAID configuration never stopped. I hit abort and waited another half hour and still no change, processor still at 100%. Resource Monitor showed no disk activity whatsoever on any of the pool volumes.
This sounds like what FlexRAID does when it encounters an unreadable file caused by bad sector. It's not graceful at all when this happens and can result in BSODs, freezing, or just never being able to end the process. Check Event Viewer for drive or controller related errors. Are you running StableBit, HDSentinel, or anything like that?
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post #4325 of 4341 Old Yesterday, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Quaraxkad View Post
This sounds like what FlexRAID does when it encounters an unreadable file caused by bad sector. It's not graceful at all when this happens and can result in BSODs, freezing, or just never being able to end the process. Check Event Viewer for drive or controller related errors. Are you running StableBit, HDSentinel, or anything like that?
No, not running StableBit or anything like it. I find it odd that yesterday's verify passed with "all bits match" and today a validate decided to hang.

Checked the Event Viewer and didn't see any drive or controller errors. I did find it spit out a low memory warning at 5:27AM. I was still asleep at that time so I never saw the warning. When I checked Resource Monitor this morning the memory use was below 6GB and the validate appeared to be running OK other than all of the processor cores were at 100%.

5:27:01 - "Windows successfully diagnosed a low virtual memory condition. The following programs consumed the most virtual memory: svchost.exe (736) consumed 3473154048 bytes, ehrecvr.exe (2712) consumed 259993600 bytes, and ehshell.exe (10004) consumed 229203968 bytes."
That svchost.exe PID 736 is the same process that has been giving me memory trouble all along.

5:27:07 - "Application popup: Windows - Out of Virtual Memory : Your system is low on virtual memory. To ensure that Windows runs properly, increase the size of your virtual memory paging file. For more information, see Help."

My page file is manually set for 24072 MB (1.5x 16GB RAM) on a HDD not included in the pool. Should I let the system manage it? I'm afraid if I do that it will just keep expanding the page file until the disk fills up.

Between 10:42 and 10:52 last night I got 5 of these errors:
"The server was unable to allocate from the system nonpaged pool because the server reached the configured limit for nonpaged pool allocations."
FlexRAID wasn't even doing anything at that time.
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post #4326 of 4341 Old Yesterday, 01:42 PM
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I would temporarily Disable all non-essential services that are running under that svchost process. Shown in your screenshot here: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/attach...5&d=1425084056. Most of those are optional and you'll never need them so they can't be permanently disabled anyway. You also have a *ton* of processes running that could likely be disabled on startup, I highly doubt you need half of what's running.
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post #4327 of 4341 Old Yesterday, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I feel for you Ken. This is about the point where I format the drive clean and start over. Thinking it will fix, then wait to see what I install that brings it back.

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post #4328 of 4341 Old Yesterday, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Quaraxkad View Post
I would temporarily Disable all non-essential services that are running under that svchost process. Shown in your screenshot here: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/attach...5&d=1425084056. Most of those are optional and you'll never need them so they can't be permanently disabled anyway. You also have a *ton* of processes running that could likely be disabled on startup, I highly doubt you need half of what's running.
Thank you for taking the time to look over all of the information and I appreciate the advice. The system is 100% rock-solid stable with plenty of resources to spare until FlexRAID starts running an operation. Do you really think FlexRAID running through 40GB of memory is caused by some extra services running in the background? Maybe it could make a difference but I just don't suspect that being the root of the problem.
BTW, the svchost.exe 736 doesn't even show up in Process Explorer when FlexRAID is idle.

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I feel for you Ken. This is about the point where I format the drive clean and start over. Thinking it will fix, then wait to see what I install that brings it back.
No, I'm not going to format it and start over. But If I did, I know exactly which program to install that will bring the problem back. FlexRAID.

Thanks again to everyone for your help. I'm getting frustrated so I'm going to put this on the back burner for a while. I have update and verify running without any drama so I don't even need to run validate.

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post #4329 of 4341 Old Yesterday, 05:53 PM
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Out of the 2 setups below, which is advisable -

1. Flexraid with snapshot Raid-F
2. DrivePool, Scanner, snapraid + elucidiate gui

From what I read both are roughly equivalent, Flexraid is an all in one solution and does everything, with #2 you have to manage things yourself, but each of the them is very well regarded on its own. I don't like reading the various issues with Flexraid here esp since it will be running on older hardware (5 year old AMD).
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post #4330 of 4341 Old Yesterday, 06:20 PM
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I don't like reading the various issues with Flexraid here esp since it will be running on older hardware (5 year old AMD).
Don't let my issues scare you away from trying FlexRAID. The problem that I'm having isn't typical.

You can try FlexRAID for 21 days for free. It won't do anything that changes a single bit of your data unless you tell it to.
http://www.flexraid.com/download-try-buy-raid-f/
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post #4331 of 4341 Old Yesterday, 07:30 PM
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Good luck Ken!

I had a verify fail just recently due to bad blocks on one of the DRUs. I forced failed the DRU in question and did a rebuild, using the "restore in place" option. Took 20 hours, but completed without any additional errors.

I will say it has been a mixed experience moving from hardware RAID6 on Areca controllers to software raid on LSI SAS controllers using tRAID, but overall I will say I sleep better at night than I did with my hardware Raid, especially when I was down one drive, let alone two! I have had RAID6 restores drop a 3rd disk doing rebuilds and only by some miracle was I able to bring back one of the first 2 failed disk members each time, to get a array back on line.

Some issues I have with tRAID that never occurred using hardware Raid:

  • Sometimes I have to click on a mapped drive several times before it becomes accessible (this would be from from a client machine trying to access the shared drive over the network)
  • Saving torrents directly onto a tRAID pool drive is not consistently reliable
  • Write speed is very poor compared to RAID6. The use of a landing disk has mostly remedied this issue, but if I copy more than the 128GB size of my SSD landing disk, things slow to a crawl
  • Boot time have increased a lot and Windows Disk Manager is barely able to deal with 50 physical drives, let alone another 48 virtual drives and the 2 pool drives I got. Hardware RAID isolated the OS from having to deal with all these individual drives

Those issues aside, I still prefer tRAID over hardware raid since I can mix and match DRU drive sizes and I can drop the array and still mount each DRU and access the data directly from the OS. Also, I never have issues with Media Browser clients being able to access my media and I got about a dozen scattered around the house.
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post #4332 of 4341 Old Yesterday, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
Out of the 2 setups below, which is advisable -

1. Flexraid with snapshot Raid-F
2. DrivePool, Scanner, snapraid + elucidiate gui

From what I read both are roughly equivalent, Flexraid is an all in one solution and does everything, with #2 you have to manage things yourself, but each of the them is very well regarded on its own. I don't like reading the various issues with Flexraid here esp since it will be running on older hardware (5 year old AMD).
I let all the bad posts about flexraids validate/verify problems scare me into option 2. The cli really isn't bad. I started out doing elucidate but by the end of the week I prefered to just write my own bat files.

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Good luck Ken!

I had a verify fail just recently due to bad blocks on one of the DRUs. I forced failed the DRU in question and did a rebuild, using the "restore in place" option. Took 20 hours, but completed without any additional errors.

I will say it has been a mixed experience moving from hardware RAID6 on Areca controllers to software raid on LSI SAS controllers using tRAID, but overall I will say I sleep better at night than I did with my hardware Raid, especially when I was down one drive, let alone two! I have had RAID6 restores drop a 3rd disk doing rebuilds and only by some miracle was I able to bring back one of the first 2 failed disk members each time, to get a array back on line.

Some issues I have with tRAID that never occurred using hardware Raid:

  • Sometimes I have to click on a mapped drive several times before it becomes accessible (this would be from from a client machine trying to access the shared drive over the network)
  • Saving torrents directly onto a tRAID pool drive is not consistently reliable
  • Write speed is very poor compared to RAID6. The use of a landing disk has mostly remedied this issue, but if I copy more than the 128GB size of my SSD landing disk, things slow to a crawl
  • Boot time have increased a lot and Windows Disk Manager is barely able to deal with 50 physical drives, let alone another 48 virtual drives and the 2 pool drives I got. Hardware RAID isolated the OS from having to deal with all these individual drives

Those issues aside, I still prefer tRAID over hardware raid since I can mix and match DRU drive sizes and I can drop the array and still mount each DRU and access the data directly from the OS. Also, I never have issues with Media Browser clients being able to access my media and I got about a dozen scattered around the house.
The only reason I left hardware for my media is because software allowed me to have more than two parity drives, otherwise I'd stick to the simplicity of hardware any day. Hardware raid always just worked for me. Never had any controller issues.

Are you running flexraid-f realtime mode or are you running transparent raid? I tried both last week and I prefer the latter as I couldn't figure out how to have more than one parity drive with the former.
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post #4333 of 4341 Old Today, 02:25 AM
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The only reason I left hardware for my media is because software allowed me to have more than two parity drives, otherwise I'd stick to the simplicity of hardware any day. Hardware raid always just worked for me. Never had any controller issues.
Agreed. I had 2 RAID6 arrays, each consisting of 24 drives. One array all 1TB drives and the 2nd all 2TB drives. I ran this way for 6 years, but as mentioned in my previous post, I got real close to loosing the data on a couple of occasions, which is what drove me to software raid.

Quote:
Are you running flexraid-f realtime mode or are you running transparent raid? I tried both last week and I prefer the latter as I couldn't figure out how to have more than one parity drive with the former.
I'm running transparent raid. Both have a total of 24 members as before, each with 2 4TB PPUs and a mix of 1, 2 and 4TB DRUs.
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post #4334 of 4341 Old Today, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post
Thank you for taking the time to look over all of the information and I appreciate the advice. The system is 100% rock-solid stable with plenty of resources to spare until FlexRAID starts running an operation. Do you really think FlexRAID running through 40GB of memory is caused by some extra services running in the background? Maybe it could make a difference but I just don't suspect that being the root of the problem.
BTW, the svchost.exe 736 doesn't even show up in Process Explorer when FlexRAID is idle.
The PID changes every time a process launches. What you're looking for are the services that that instance is handling. The stability and available resources of the machine at idle doesn't concern me, that's not your issue, but it's obvious that something is causing an issue while FlexRAID runs and it's not the flexraid process itself. It's very possibly one of those services. The Prefetch service seemed like a likely candidate, but you said that wasn't it. And even if you've got tons of available resources, disabling all of those useless services and unnecessary startup processes is never a bad thing. You have over 100 processes running, that's kind of insane!

In Process Explorer, press Ctrl+T. It will re-organize the list into a tree and make it much more readable.

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Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
Out of the 2 setups below, which is advisable -

1. Flexraid with snapshot Raid-F
2. DrivePool, Scanner, snapraid + elucidiate gui

From what I read both are roughly equivalent, Flexraid is an all in one solution and does everything, with #2 you have to manage things yourself, but each of the them is very well regarded on its own. I don't like reading the various issues with Flexraid here esp since it will be running on older hardware (5 year old AMD).
Scanner is advisable in either setup, FlexRAID does nothing to check drive health. Each of them have their own pros and cons. As suggested, try out both of them. But I wouldn't recommend Elucidate, it's old and I don't think it was ever fully completed.
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post #4335 of 4341 Old Today, 01:38 PM
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The PID changes every time a process launches. What you're looking for are the services that that instance is handling. The stability and available resources of the machine at idle doesn't concern me, that's not your issue, but it's obvious that something is causing an issue while FlexRAID runs and it's not the flexraid process itself. It's very possibly one of those services. The Prefetch service seemed like a likely candidate, but you said that wasn't it. And even if you've got tons of available resources, disabling all of those useless services and unnecessary startup processes is never a bad thing. You have over 100 processes running, that's kind of insane!
I opened services.msc and went through all of the entries. I found a smartcard reader service running that I'll never use so I disabled it. Next I did msconfig and checked the services and startup tabs and didn't find anything there to disable. I ran sysinternals autoruns and found a few items like some ASRock driver entries that were missing the target file but that's about it. When the system isn't busy I'll have to run a validate again with superfetch disabled and see if that svchost is high again.
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post #4336 of 4341 Old Today, 01:57 PM
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Is that SmartCard service the only one you disabled? If so, you're passing over a lot of useless services. All of the services listed in your screenshot under that instance of svchost are optional. Disable them. Even Network Connections is optional, the network will still operate without it. If you want to re-enable some or all of them later after you solve the problem, that's fine... I also find it hard to believe that you didn't find anything unnecessary in Autoruns, but that's beside the point. I can almost guarantee your issue is with one of those services that you don't seem to be willing to disable even temporarily for testing...
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post #4337 of 4341 Old Today, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Quaraxkad View Post
Is that SmartCard service the only one you disabled? If so, you're passing over a lot of useless services. All of the services listed in your screenshot under that instance of svchost are optional. Disable them. Even Network Connections is optional, the network will still operate without it. If you want to re-enable some or all of them later after you solve the problem, that's fine... I also find it hard to believe that you didn't find anything unnecessary in Autoruns, but that's beside the point. I can almost guarantee your issue is with one of those services that you don't seem to be willing to disable even temporarily for testing...
I'll dump FlexRAID before I disable anything else. I'm finished troubleshooting. Thank you for your help.
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post #4338 of 4341 Old Today, 03:21 PM
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Found these helper scripts - http://snapraidhelperwin.codeplex.com
Is anyone using these? There's also a new GUI being written by someone on their forums but its not finished. I'm going to give them both a shot and keep whatever seems simpler.

Another qn - will a ssd make any difference as an OS drive? OS will be Server 2012 Essentials R2. I now the ssd is more reliable and can be used as a landing drive, but does it make a difference in UI response, speed etc?

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post #4339 of 4341 Old Today, 04:57 PM
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Another qn - will a ssd make any difference as an OS drive? OS will be Server 2012 Essentials R2. I now the ssd is more reliable and can be used as a landing drive, but does it make a difference in UI response, speed etc?
An SSD can make a significant improvement in performance but it's going to depend on your usage. My server is running purely as a headless file server. (WHS2011) There really isn't anything for an SSD to improve performance-wise, but, that's not necessarily going to apply to you.

If you reboot the server frequently an SSD will improve boot times. If you log in often (either remotely or locally) then an SSD can improve the responsiveness of the system. Basically the more you do on your server the more an SSD is likely to help you (and vice versa)

I have MediaBrowser 2.6.2 installed on my HTPC (with an SSD) but I'm reasonably sure that if you had MediaBrowser 3 installed on your server that having the cache on an SSD would improve UI responsiveness. I'd venture a guess that the same would apply for Plex.

I'm not sure if SnapRAID has the functionality for a landing disk, but I don't think it has any realtime parity capabilities so the need for one isn't very significant either.

I think the safe bet is for an SSD as your OS drive.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #4340 of 4341 Old Today, 05:54 PM
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SSD it is then. The official requirements - https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/.../dn383626.aspx - say I need 160GB, but I've seen other threads where people recommend a 120GB SSD. Will it install on that?

I'll just get the larger one if the price difference isnt much, but just want to know.
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post #4341 of 4341 Old Today, 07:37 PM
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SSD it is then. The official requirements - https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/.../dn383626.aspx - say I need 160GB, but I've seen other threads where people recommend a 120GB SSD. Will it install on that?

I'll just get the larger one if the price difference isnt much, but just want to know.
I have Server 2012 R2 Essentials installed on a 80 GB with 47 GB free. User files(doc, pics and music) and client backups are on a separate drive.

I have it running on ESXi and I don't remember if I had to jump though any hoops to get it to install on a small drive.

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