Windows Media Center Receiver Service Eating Up Disk Space - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-29-2012, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I am running WMC on Win 8 and I just noticed that the Windows Media Center Extender Service, which I assume is responsible for sending video to my Xbox MCE is using up 1.8 Megabytes per second of disk usage at all times that I am watching a channel. I recently ran a program for my hard disk which tracks SSD usage over the life of the drive, and it said that there was about 1TB of writes on the drive even though there is only around 150GB full on a new 256GB Samsung 830 SSD. Is media center set to continually write to disk every moment that you are watching TV as some sort of buffer for extenders? If so, this is a concern for people with SSD drives. I already set my recording drive to be a separate disk-based drive. Is there anything extra I can do to make sure my SSD is not being continually being written to, shortening its life, or is this just a fact of life for Media Center PC's serving extenders?
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-30-2012, 10:14 AM
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I'm also curious about this as I'm in the middle of setting up a Win8 WMC system with an SSD boot drive and have 2 extenders.
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post #3 of 15 Old 12-30-2012, 10:25 AM
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all live tvs, extender or local, are cached to disk first.It is called Live TV buffer, If you have a ssd, you need to move the cache location to non-ssd to avoid the wearing on your SSD.
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-30-2012, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

[...]If you have a ssd, you need to move the cache location to non-ssd to avoid the wearing on your SSD.

What's your source for this? I've been running SSDs on my HTPCs with Live TV for a couple of years now without my SSDs wearing out.

 

 

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post #5 of 15 Old 12-30-2012, 12:05 PM
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Then you don't know much about SSD at all.

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post #6 of 15 Old 12-30-2012, 06:22 PM
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Then you don't know much about SSD at all.

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Awesome response. Thanks for educating me in the ways of SSDs. I guess I am just another troll for even asking, right?

 

 

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post #7 of 15 Old 12-30-2012, 06:35 PM
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Don't blame the messenger. Go google yourself. Sometimes, maybe something you don't know won't bother you so much smile.gif

I won't waste my time answer your questions becuase you will ask me for source links for everything I said. Why bother.

If you think you can keep writing to your SSD forever, think again. Each cell of the SSD has a finite number of times it can be erased and rewritten. When that number is up, that cell is dead. Luckily your SSD controller will map it out. So, you have no idea how many cells are already dead.
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-30-2012, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

Don't blame the messenger. Go google yourself. Sometimes, maybe something you don't know won't bother you so much smile.gif
I won't waste my time answer your questions becuase you will ask me for source links for everything I said. Why bother.

So, I did Google it and I didn't find whatever you're referencing so yeah a link would be helpful. I find reading technical articles, tests, reviews, stuff like that pretty useful for learning.

 

 

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post #9 of 15 Old 12-30-2012, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

So, I did Google it and I didn't find whatever you're referencing so yeah a link would be helpful. I find reading technical articles, tests, reviews, stuff like that pretty useful for learning.

A solid state drive has a limited number of write cycles. By repeatedly writing (and then deleting) the temporary TV files to the SSD, you're using sometimes 10GB per hour. That'll add up over time.

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post #10 of 15 Old 12-30-2012, 06:48 PM
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Read my short answer above. It is quite a concern for OP. That's why he started this thread. But if you are happy with what you have, stop worrying. You probably need a new PC before your SSD die on you anyway.
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post #11 of 15 Old 12-30-2012, 06:50 PM
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This looks like an interesting solution: http://experts.windows.com/w/experts_wiki/using-a-ram-drive-for-the-live-tv-buffer.aspx if this is a real concern. I might look into this myself. You know, when I am not trolling asking for links to stuff so I can read for myself.

I am pretty aware of how an SSD works and that it has limited write cycles. However, for most SSDs, even within that limitation it would take quite a bit of time of non-stop buffering to wear out that SSD, especially a large one. My 128GB SSDs have shown no issues in the past year of serving this duty. We press stop before turning off the TV to free up the tuners for future use (recordings, etc.) so it's not buffering at all times which should prolong the life of the SSD. I don't think it's such a concern it requires adding a mechnical hard drive to a SSD-only system for the sole purpose of live TV buffering unless I see something more definitive that a wiki article on expert.windows.com from early 2011 that says it's bad without any data to back it up.

 

 

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post #12 of 15 Old 12-30-2012, 08:07 PM
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Previous SSD TV buffer post.

I think that one covered it pretty well. If you've got a smaller drive (64GB) and older technology NAND and you leave live TV streaming 24/7 then yes, it will wear out in a couple of years or so. With a 128GB or larger drive with newer NAND it will be quite a while before you wear it out. If you stop live TV when you're not watching it, it will be decades.
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post #13 of 15 Old 12-30-2012, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBragg View Post

Previous SSD TV buffer post.
I think that one covered it pretty well. If you've got a smaller drive (64GB) and older technology NAND and you leave live TV streaming 24/7 then yes, it will wear out in a couple of years or so. With a 128GB or larger drive with newer NAND it will be quite a while before you wear it out. If you stop live TV when you're not watching it, it will be decades.

It is the opposite, the older MLC NAND is built on a 50nm node process has a P/E endurance of 10,000.

The newer 20nm devices have P/E numbers of between 1000 and 1500. The short term fix is to not let the drive fill up, the worst case is being the free space that is just sufficient to accomplish the write, everytime the data is erased and rewritten it will hit the same set of cells again and again.

In the 10Gb example that was discussed, if the 10Gb block is repeatedly written/erased on a drive that has just 10Gb free, it will will wear out the NAND very quickly.

If the live TV buffer has a 500Gb drive all to itself, writing/erasing 10Gb at a time, then each individual NAND cell is only written at 1/50th the rate and the life of the drive is significantly enhanced.

If SSD is an absolute requirement then I suggest the OP consider the use of SLC drive, these have a P/E ratio of 100,000 cycles. If you can find a couple of Intel X-25Es in new or near new condition ( < 1Tb total writes), then 2 or 3 or them in a Raid-0 is quite viable as a live TV buffer.
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post #14 of 15 Old 12-31-2012, 10:56 AM
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Thanks. It sounds like they gave up some endurance for some increased density. It also looks like it has a lot to do with how much static data versus free space you have on your drive as to how long it will live with supporting that rolling buffer of WMC. Thankfully I have a not very full 840 Pro with MLC instead of the newer (denser) TLC in it. I see what you mean with the X25E Intel SLC drives though. Expensive, but more of an enterprise level endurance factor.
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post #15 of 15 Old 02-15-2013, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah they definitely gave up endurance for higher density+lower cost. But as many say, the "loss of endurance" may be a moot point since it may not come into play in practice. I am running a 256gb 830 right now- luckily I was able to pick up one of the last ones they ever made. The 840 Pro is definitely faster but the regular 840 does add some questions about its long term reliability with its TLC architecture. As an update on my original issue (yeah, I know it's been a month and a half), my SSD usage seems to have calmed down since my last post. I'm at 1.6 TB written since my last post 45 days ago which completely seems to be in line with apps I have installed, uninstalled etc, internet browser caches and so forth. I made sure that both the path for recordings and the live TV cache went to my external hard disk and I have not seen any problems lately.
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