Drive Corruption and Balance Question RRS feed

  • Question

  • I recently purchased the HP MediaSmart EX495. I've had it up and running for about three weeks now and everything seemed to be working correctly. Yesterday, I tried to access the shared folders and I found that I could not connect to the server and it was nowhere on the network. After trying different networking cables and power cycling everything involved (including the server itself), I tried popping out the drive in bay two. The server booted and I was able to connect to it. This disk was part of server storage so my music files should have been balance across both drives. However, when I tried to play an MP3 stored on the server, I got an error saying that the file could not be found. With the server still on, I popped the second drive back in it was added back to storage. I could then access my MP3s.

    My first question is isn't balancing supposed to prevent this from happening? Meaning if a drive goes bad, I don't lose anything? The fact that I couldn't access my MP3 collection without the secondary drive in makes me nervous that a full balance hadn't occurred. I tried removing the drive from server storage, but I couldn't do that because when it was trying to copy files to the system drive, it complained about missing files. Shouldn't the missing files already be on the system drive? Isn't that was balancing is supposed to accomplish?

    I ran the Windows Home Server Conflict Resolver and found about 40 files that were listed as corrupt could not be repaired even though it seemed like they were indeed on the secondary drive. I'm really sort of stuck because I'm afraid that I'll have to delete them to remove the secondary drive but I'm confused as to why they aren't on the other drive already. I think my secondary drive my be bad, but how can I confirm?

    I should mention that I'm using the shared music folder and I have iTunes pointing to it. I only have one computer pointing to the file so it isn't being constantly updated and accessed by many computers. So far that's all that is on the server. I don't trust it enough yet because of this balancing issue to put anything else on there.

    I'm really stuck and frustrated with my WHS experience so far. The whole reason I got the thing was for drive redundancy and so far it has caused more harm and no good. Can anyone help me out with this or give me some pointers?

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 2:42 PM

All replies

  • Adam:

    Duplication, not balancing, is what prevents loss of data when a single drive fails. Do you have duplication enabled on the folders that you want to protect?

    A discussion of how balancing works is in this thread: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whssoftware/thread/41e42581-f051-4f0c-a12e-46c2d370fcd9

    In the first reply, the link to the document describing how Drive Extender works is broken. The document is here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=40c6c9cc-b85f-45fe-8c5c-f103c894a5e2&DisplayLang=en

    Hopefully, these references will help explain how WHS handles redundancy and load balancing.


    Saturday, April 23, 2011 12:39 PM
  • Yes I have duplication enabled on the music folder. It was the first thing I did and why I purchased a secondary drive as soon as I got the server.

    I was finally able to remove the offending drive from server storage and from the server today. I plan on sending it back for replacement. I still lost about 8 MP3s in the process. While 8 MP3s isn't too bad, what if those 8 files were tax or financial information; that's pretty serious.

    My only thought is that the server never completely and correctly duplicated the folder because the drive was defective out of the box. It's possible that when it was trying to balance, it caused a hiccup working with a defective drive. I can't think of any other reason that I would lose those 8 files... I had more than enough space to house them all when I removed the defective drive from server storage, so I'm confident that was not the issue. It just occurred to me, after reading the technical paper, that I did indeed remove a hard drive without first removing if from storage, that could have possibly caused the lost data as well. I guess what I'm really looking for at this point since my immediate issue has been solved is an answer as to what went wrong or what I did wrong that caused me to lose those 8 or so files.

    In the future, if I have a drive that goes bad, I shouldn't lose any of my data as long as the folder is setup to be duplicated correct?

    Saturday, April 23, 2011 9:33 PM
  • Adam:

    Correct; that's how it's supposed to work.

    Sunday, April 24, 2011 2:13 AM