FlexRAID/Pooling basic setup, minor issues - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-25-2013, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I'm struggling to overcome my frustration regarding disjointed and incomplete documentation from Flexraid, but I have been able to piece together enough information to at least screw up royally eek.gif

I'd like some verification of process, if you don't mind.

I purchased both RAID and disk pooling features. While I don't see a specific need at this time for pooling I figured what the heck.

I changed my volumes to NTFS folders as requested:

c:\mount\Media01 (4TB Seagate drive containing movies (.mkv), personal videos from various cameras and mobile devices, and music collection)
c:\mount\TV02 (2TB WD Red containing TV series and WMC Recorded TV)
c:\mount\Parity10 (4TB Seagate parity drive)

Using Expert mode, Snapshot RAID configuration went well, it appears everything is in working order, Validate shows nothing scary.

I then proceeded with pooling configuration, selecting Expert mode again and the disk pooling only option. For the first pool configuration I selected the two DRU above (specifically selecting the NTFS shared folders in c:\mount) to complete the pool. The pool appears to be created correctly, I can browse to the new drive (M:) in Windows Explorer.

Q: Does it matter that in FlexRAID web client the pool is labeled as "Storage pool (no RAID)"? I'm guessing this is just a differentiation of setup, indicating that I did not use Cruise Control.
Q: Is anyone else having trouble getting the storage pool to start up at system startup or reboot? While configured so, this setting doesn't stick, with each reboot I have to manually start the spool. Still looking for a solution, but if anyone has help they can provide that would be great. (EDIT: Resolved, see below)

Once storage pool was set up I created Windows shares and FlexRAID shares for each of the five folders (from two disks) in the pool. I then reconfigured the media libraries folders in all of the media servers I run. When I attempted to redirect the recording drive in WMC TV Recorder configuration, I was stopped by this message:

"The selected drive is not formatted with the NTFS file system. Due to file size limits, Windows Media Center cannot record TV on this drive."

I haven't seen anyone else post a similar issue, so this is kind of bothersome.

To work around it (until I learn that this may FUBAR everything) I:

  1. Went to Disk Management and added a drive letter for both volumes, each now contains both drive letter and NTFS folder for reference. I believe I read that this is not an issue (my RAID configuration still points to NTFS share)
  2. Re-created the spool using drive letters instead of NTFS folders (this probably doesn't matter either way, the result appears to be the same). Also selected both fixed rather than removable drive and NTFS file system rather than FlexRAIDfs (the default)
  3. Verified in Windows Explorer pooled drive properties that the disk was recognized as NTFS
  4. Tested again in WMC, it still doesn't see the volume as NTFS when I use the disk drive for the pool.
  5. Re-configured recorded folder location in WMC to the physical drive.


Everything tests out in WMC - there are reports of bugs using the pooled drive for live recordings, I cannot reproduce any of them. The developer says this is ok, and everything is working OK. I can write recordings using the physical disk, I can view them using the pooled drive. I can schedule, I can live record, etc.

The question is, will this in any way screw something up. I understand that once the pool is created this is the volume I should point everything to, but can't wrap my head around what difficulties, if any, this may cause in the long term.

Thanks in advance. I've posted this as well to flexraid forums but I'm guessing the better support will come from here.

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post #2 of 6 Old 04-25-2013, 10:59 AM
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For startup, be sure you set a delay for flex raid pool to start up after you load to desktop, mine is set to 10 seconds. Check box to start automatically and be sure to save settings.

I just pulled a 1 TB drive out of the pool for live TV and recordings. If I really want to save the recordings long term, I handbrake them to an MKV and put them in the storage pool. MCEBuddy can do this for you automatically if you like. I have no issues this way but if you've found a work around that works for you, by all means do it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-25-2013, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcdade View Post

For startup, be sure you set a delay for flex raid pool to start up after you load to desktop, mine is set to 10 seconds. Check box to start automatically and be sure to save settings.

I just pulled a 1 TB drive out of the pool for live TV and recordings. If I really want to save the recordings long term, I handbrake them to an MKV and put them in the storage pool. MCEBuddy can do this for you automatically if you like. I have no issues this way but if you've found a work around that works for you, by all means do it.

Thanks. I've considered playing with delay but ruled it out, as each time I reboot the checkmark is removed from startup at boot. I'll adjust delay interval and test again.

For recorded tv, which is likely to be a temporary library, conversion to mkv and file transfer is a bit of overkill, but I appreciate the advice. For now, if any problems pop up I'll just delete the pool altogether.

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post #4 of 6 Old 04-25-2013, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcdade View Post

For startup, be sure you set a delay for flex raid pool to start up after you load to desktop, mine is set to 10 seconds. Check box to start automatically and be sure to save settings.

UI Fail. While there is a checkbox to enable and a field to introduce startup delay, the bubble help for the delay field tells us that if the delay is set at 0 this disables auto start.

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

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post #5 of 6 Old 04-25-2013, 12:45 PM
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Your all set now ?

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post #6 of 6 Old 04-25-2013, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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^^^ Who the heck knows? smile.gif I guess, although I am curious why WMC and FlexRAID differ in their assessment of the file system. I'm inclined to believe MS, thinking the option to change this when setting up the pool to be an empty feature to appease the masses.

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