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post #1 of 28 Old 03-07-2013, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there a good piece of software or maybe it is built in to windows 8. But JUST for drive pooling? I have weird wonky problems with XBMC and smb and I am pretty sure its due to flexraid's drive pooling. So if there is a better alternative or one built in to windows I would prefer that. I dont think storage spaces allows just the storage pooling feature.
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post #2 of 28 Old 03-07-2013, 01:04 PM
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I think storage spaces does support the drive pooling but I could be wrong, I was just looking up info on this a week or two ago as I'm getting ready to replace my 4 2TB drives in my WHS 2011 box with 5 3TB drives and was thinking of going RAID 5 or pooling but would need S2012E to accomplish this.

Hopefully I can get some time here @ work to experiment with it next week
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post #3 of 28 Old 03-07-2013, 01:10 PM
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I would highly recommend you DONT use storage spaces. You could live to regret it.

I use StableBit DrivePool in WHS 2011 (it works in Windows 8 as well). It's a great bit of software, and I've not had a problem with it. There's also DriveBender, which does a similar job.
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post #4 of 28 Old 03-07-2013, 01:35 PM
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I use Junction folders on my media server and it works well, plus its free.

 

This is the software I use to create the Junction

http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/hardlinkshellext.html



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post #5 of 28 Old 03-07-2013, 01:39 PM
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Storage Spaces does do simple drive pooling, mirroring, and parity. However, the parity takes a big performance hit. Using pooling with or without mirroring you won't take the performance hit. However, to move to Storage Spaces the drives have to be formatted. Using StableBit Drive Pool, DriveBender, or FlexRAID you can keep the data on your drives during the creation and even after uninstalling the programs.

I use FlexRAID with pooling a parity for my data storage with Win Server 2012 Essentials. I have a 2TB work disc for data that I don't want in my FlexRAID pool (changes often and don't want any media streaming drives to get accessed while writing to it) and had an extra 2TB drive. So in that case I created a Storage Spaces Mirror using the two 2TB drives. I actually pulled one of the Storage Spaces mirrored drives and connected it to a Win8 PC and it read it just like a normal drive. I then added it back into the mirror with no issues (didn't write to the drive or the other mirror). So Storage Spaces works fine as long as you can temporarily move your data and avoid using parity mode.

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post #6 of 28 Old 03-08-2013, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry I forgot to mention I just want storage pooling nothing else. I can use flexraid for parity etc..... There is a bug it seems in flexraid that is causing Filesystemwatcher to not work so folders are not updating live. So I just need one that will pool them into one. If storage spaces can simply do the pooling and nothing else that would work, but i dont think i can just use the pooling feature. I am on win8 pro.
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post #7 of 28 Old 03-08-2013, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

Sorry I forgot to mention I just want storage pooling nothing else. I can use flexraid for parity etc..... There is a bug it seems in flexraid that is causing Filesystemwatcher to not work so folders are not updating live. So I just need one that will pool them into one. If storage spaces can simply do the pooling and nothing else that would work, but i dont think i can just use the pooling feature. I am on win8 pro.

If you just want storage pooling (no parity), then check out what I mentioned before. You do get the option of folder mirroring with these tools if you want some system resiliance.
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post #8 of 28 Old 03-08-2013, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by tman247 View Post

If you just want storage pooling (no parity), then check out what I mentioned before. You do get the option of folder mirroring with these tools if you want some system resiliance.

x2 drivepool is pretty good and i use it with flexraid
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post #9 of 28 Old 03-08-2013, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kemist1117 View Post

x2 drivepool is pretty good and i use it with flexraid
if you dont mind me asking did you run into a problem with flexraid storage pooling as well? is that why you went for a different product?
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post #10 of 28 Old 03-08-2013, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

There is a bug it seems in flexraid that is causing Filesystemwatcher to not work so folders are not updating live

Can you further describe what you are trying to do with Filesystemwatcher?
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post #11 of 28 Old 03-08-2013, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Can you further describe what you are trying to do with Filesystemwatcher?
Oh I am not trying to do anything with it in particular. I think that is what is causing my problem with FlexRaid is all..

Basically XBMC will not update my movies library at all. I have to manually do it. I have watchdog setup as well and it doesnt auto-update new files. So it makes me thing from doing some searching that Filesystemwatcher is causing the problem. As my XBMC is pointing off to the storage pool of flexraid. Looking at logs of XBMC or FlexRaid provide nothing to show any problems in either.
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post #12 of 28 Old 03-08-2013, 04:43 PM
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+1 for Stablebit DrivePool. It's the same price as DriveBender. However, while DriveBender's management utilities are more detailed, I've had a bad experience with it after losing a couple hard drives due to the complexity of the repair process.

DrivePool, while not having as many management features, is much simpler to operate. The only downside with these options is that I don't believe mounted volumes (which DriveBender and DrivePool are) can be use through NFS. Depending how your sources in XBMC are setup, this could cause issues with your library.

Good luck with your library issues. I am also having problems with my XBMC Library, but mine is non-existant, though the sources and MySQL DB are fine, there is nothing in the Library view.

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post #13 of 28 Old 03-08-2013, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

if you dont mind me asking did you run into a problem with flexraid storage pooling as well? is that why you went for a different product?

Actually i had drivepool before flexraid and since it was working, easy to use, and supposed to work with flexraid i just stuck with it.
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post #14 of 28 Old 03-09-2013, 12:08 AM
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Oh I am not trying to do anything with it in particular. I think that is what is causing my problem with FlexRaid is all..

Basically XBMC will not update my movies library at all. I have to manually do it. I have watchdog setup as well and it doesnt auto-update new files. So it makes me thing from doing some searching that Filesystemwatcher is causing the problem. As my XBMC is pointing off to the storage pool of flexraid. Looking at logs of XBMC or FlexRaid provide nothing to show any problems in either.

Is watchdog running on the machine with the storage? I don't believe it works over network shares

Is flexraid mounted as removable or not? FlexraidFS or NTFS? Proabably needs to be non-removable and NTFS for watchdog. If you had to add SMB sources instead of local sources for a MySQL library, I'm not sure that watchdog will work in it's current form
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post #15 of 28 Old 03-11-2013, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Is watchdog running on the machine with the storage? I don't believe it works over network shares

Is flexraid mounted as removable or not? FlexraidFS or NTFS? Proabably needs to be non-removable and NTFS for watchdog. If you had to add SMB sources instead of local sources for a MySQL library, I'm not sure that watchdog will work in it's current form

Its non removable and NTFS. It was crashing win8 when it was not setup that way.
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post #16 of 28 Old 03-11-2013, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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+1 for Stablebit DrivePool. It's the same price as DriveBender. However, while DriveBender's management utilities are more detailed, I've had a bad experience with it after losing a couple hard drives due to the complexity of the repair process.

DrivePool, while not having as many management features, is much simpler to operate. The only downside with these options is that I don't believe mounted volumes (which DriveBender and DrivePool are) can be use through NFS. Depending how your sources in XBMC are setup, this could cause issues with your library.

Good luck with your library issues. I am also having problems with my XBMC Library, but mine is non-existant, though the sources and MySQL DB are fine, there is nothing in the Library view.

I think mysql doesnt work with NFS. Everything I have read says XBMC with mysql should use smb shares. I have my movies setup as playlist. I wanted to splited stand-up and other specials from my main movies.
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post #17 of 28 Old 03-11-2013, 09:21 AM
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Storage Spaces in Windows 8 will do it. Just add your drives to the pool and set up a Simple space (no mirroring or parity). It's essentially software RAID 0, but you can use different sized disks of any number, and add more space in the future without reformatting.
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post #18 of 28 Old 03-11-2013, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

Its non removable and NTFS. It was crashing win8 when it was not setup that way.

I had it setup that way as well and yes it does give you a BSOD every time a network user tries to access the shares. It doesn't mind the logged in user accessing the storage pool though, just network requests

Further, I can tell you the problem is not with Flexraid, but a limitation of Library Watchdog. It can only watch local drives, not SMB paths. Unfortunately if you are going to sync your library with MySQL, you have to add the sources as SMB shares and watchdog will not be able to monitor them unless they improve it's functionality in a future upgrade.

A good workaround is to let MCM process those titles, and use all the applicable checkboxes in the MCM settings tab for XBMC. You're XBMC settings need to "Allow other programs to control XBMC" and you'll need to enter the right credentials into MCM settings for XBMC. Afterwards, anything MCM completes will kick off an XBMC library update through it's builtin XBMC api. Works fine over the network
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post #19 of 28 Old 03-11-2013, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Storage Spaces in Windows 8 will do it. Just add your drives to the pool and set up a Simple space (no mirroring or parity). It's essentially software RAID 0, but you can use different sized disks of any number, and add more space in the future without reformatting.

You sure about that? It will work ONLY as a pooling nothing else? I was under the impression from what I have read that storage spaces is all or nothing. All my disk have info so I cant afford to lose anything.

I would prefer to use flexraid for the parity and such.
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post #20 of 28 Old 03-11-2013, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I had it setup that way as well and yes it does give you a BSOD every time a network user tries to access the shares. It doesn't mind the logged in user accessing the storage pool though, just network requests

Further, I can tell you the problem is not with Flexraid, but a limitation of Library Watchdog. It can only watch local drives, not SMB paths. Unfortunately if you are going to sync your library with MySQL, you have to add the sources as SMB shares and watchdog will not be able to monitor them unless they improve it's functionality in a future upgrade.

A good workaround is to let MCM process those titles, and use all the applicable checkboxes in the MCM settings tab for XBMC. You're XBMC settings need to "Allow other programs to control XBMC" and you'll need to enter the right credentials into MCM settings for XBMC. Afterwards, anything MCM completes will kick off an XBMC library update through it's builtin XBMC api. Works fine over the network

You sure on watchdog? It worked fine for TV shows which were accessing the same share, Some movies groups of movies would work some would not. it was an intermittent issue.. what is MCM?
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post #21 of 28 Old 03-11-2013, 12:06 PM
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You sure about that? It will work ONLY as a pooling nothing else? I was under the impression from what I have read that storage spaces is all or nothing. All my disk have info so I cant afford to lose anything.

I would prefer to use flexraid for the parity and such.

The drives need to be empty first, but from then on you're fine. Also, you can't use a space as your system drive.

I just set this up on my desktop at home during a rebuild:

I have an 80GB drive, and three 500GB drives. I installed Windows 8 on the 80GB drive and I added the 500GBs to a storage pool and made four spaces in the pool.
- 1TB "Media", parity
- 100GB "Documents", 2-way mirror
- 500GB "RecordedTV", simple
- 1TB "Backups", simple

Parity does have a big hit to write speeds (haven't benchmarked, but from what I read it tops out around 35MB/s), but since I won't be doing writes to it very often, I chose it for the extra space (RAID 5). I write to Documents a lot, so I chose mirror (RAID 1). The others, I don't care if I lose, so I left them at Simple (RAID 0). If one drive dies, my simple spaces will simply lose some files while my others will continue running. Once I add another drive back in, the parity and mirroring will automatically rebuild in the background.

You'll also notice that my drive sizes add up to larger than what I have. This is fine because of "thin provisioning". Windows reports the drive sizes as I specify, and will give me a warning when I'm running out of physical space. When I need space, I can simply add more drives to the pool and Windows will automatically start using them in the spaces.
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post #22 of 28 Old 03-11-2013, 12:21 PM
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You sure on watchdog? It worked fine for TV shows which were accessing the same share, Some movies groups of movies would work some would not. it was an intermittent issue.. what is MCM?

I was sure until I checked and saw that they updated it to work with Network Shares in Frodo by default

As long as your not using path substitutions or modifying the addon it should work with network shares. Not really sure how you have your network shares setup, but mine are shared without any homegroup or password requirements. MCM - Mediacentermaster updates my library for me, so I discontinued my use of Library Watchdog

You may have a watchdog/mysql conflict, but I'm still not convinced it's a xbmc/flexraid conflict. I don't have a mcm/xbmc/flexraid conflict. Here's a link where Ned Scott also appears to have been mistaken about watchdog http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=156272&pid=1337868#pid1337868

At least I'm not the only one smile.gif
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post #23 of 28 Old 03-11-2013, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I was sure until I checked and saw that they updated it to work with Network Shares in Frodo by default

As long as your not using path substitutions or modifying the addon it should work with network shares. Not really sure how you have your network shares setup, but mine are shared without any homegroup or password requirements. MCM - Mediacentermaster updates my library for me, so I discontinued my use of Library Watchdog

You may have a watchdog/mysql conflict, but I'm still not convinced it's a xbmc/flexraid conflict. I don't have a mcm/xbmc/flexraid conflict. Here's a link where Ned Scott also appears to have been mistaken about watchdog http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=156272&pid=1337868#pid1337868

At least I'm not the only one smile.gif

Are you on win8? My shares do need authentication but All I did was select the folder and hit share and permission to read only. Not sure why it even asking for permissions. Win7 I don’t think you needed to be authenticated.
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post #24 of 28 Old 03-11-2013, 01:06 PM
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Are you on win8? My shares do need authentication but All I did was select the folder and hit share and permission to read only. Not sure why it even asking for permissions. Win7 I don’t think you needed to be authenticated.

Using W7, W8, OpenELEC, and others. None need authentication if accessing from local subnet ip range. Windows Advanced Sharing settings only need to have network discovery and File and Printer sharing "on" then use "Share With" -> "Advanced Sharing Settings to share with everyone. Your router firewall blocks inbound connections to the local disks
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post #25 of 28 Old 03-11-2013, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Using W7, W8, OpenELEC, and others. None need authentication if accessing from local subnet ip range. Windows Advanced Sharing settings only need to have network discovery and File and Printer sharing "on" then use "Share With" -> "Advanced Sharing Settings to share with everyone. Your router firewall blocks inbound connections to the local disks
Yeah thats where I went was advanced to do the sharing. Its set to everyone. but it somehow "thinks" everyone with an account on that local machine. my roomates computers I had to input my credentials for the shares for it to work. I might have to double check, but when i set it up im pretty sure thats how I did it.
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post #26 of 28 Old 03-12-2013, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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@Dark_Slayer as an FYI I found my problem. I just had to go line by line on a XBMC debug of two seperate runs I did to find the problem. Turns out it was a FlexRaid problem. I fixed it, although it seems the fix isint 100% as the next flexraid release will have the official fix. But basically my "movies" folder wasent updating date modified when new files were placed in it. FlexRaid has a option that I had to set to true in order to fix it. Although I guess its slightly buggy and will be fixed in the next release.
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post #27 of 28 Old 03-12-2013, 10:46 AM
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@Dark_Slayer as an FYI I found my problem. I just had to go line by line on a XBMC debug of two seperate runs I did to find the problem. Turns out it was a FlexRaid problem. I fixed it, although it seems the fix isint 100% as the next flexraid release will have the official fix. But basically my "movies" folder wasent updating date modified when new files were placed in it. FlexRaid has a option that I had to set to true in order to fix it. Although I guess its slightly buggy and will be fixed in the next release.

These are the settings I use and their (defaults)

Removable - False (True)
File System - NTFS (FlexraidFS)
Enable Recycle Bin - True (False)
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post #28 of 28 Old 03-12-2013, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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These are the settings I use and their (defaults)

Removable - False (True)
File System - NTFS (FlexraidFS)
Enable Recycle Bin - True (False)

Its the one option I think you left out. Unless you are on an earlier release. Its something about Directory changed date fix. Sorry cant recall off the top of my head. I didnt even understand the recycle bin option.
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