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Network disconnected during backup RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've been running WHS for about three months and except for the occasional duplication error, it has worked fine. 

     

    My server is passive cooled with 2x 1Tb drives which I bought from a supplier called Tranquil with WHS pre-installed and it has been running more or less continuously since it arrived.  Yesterday it stopped streaming music and last night the backup failed.  Today I tried to perform a manual backup but after a few minutes the WHS was disconnected from the network.  My router, a new netgear device, confirms that the server is no longer connected to the network.  I re-booted the server which re-connected fine, but disconnected again when I started the backup.

     

    I've had no other trouble with the router, so I don't think that is the problem.  I thought maybe the network card was faulty.  My machine has two network cards built in, so I tried the second one but the same thing happened; the server connects on start-up, but disconnects after a few minutes of backup.  I don't think the network card is the problem either.

     

    I've tried changing from DHCP to a fixed IP address, but the problem still occurs.  And it still happens when I change back to DHCP.

     

    Thinking I might try re-installing WHS, I re-booted the server so it reconnected and tried copying my music files and photos to a PC.  Again the machine was disconnected after a few minutes.  So maybe the problem is the volume of data rather than the backup itself.

     

    Does anyone know what might be the problem here?  And how to fix it?

     

    Many thanks

    Ian

    Thursday, April 24, 2008 7:42 PM

Answers

  • A "MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION" blue screen almost always indicates a hardware issue. It says that an error was detected by your processor that it was unable to recover from. The error could be due to thermal issues, bad memory, a flawed motherboard, etc. It's extremely unlikely that you did anything to cause this issue, and it's certainly not due to the file corruption issue.

    You should definitely contact Tranquil for assistance.
    Friday, April 25, 2008 4:05 PM
    Moderator
  • Well, my problem has disappeared this morning.

     

    Mine was definately not a network issue.  When I had trouble copying files yesterday, I was copying from WHS to an external drive attached directly to the WHS machine and controlling the copy using KV&M also directly connected.  Nor is it a problem with Vista; I'm still running XP.

     

    Today I intended re-installing WHS, but found I couldn't because the WHS machine has no CD drive. Ha!  So instead I gave backup one more try and it worked.  Then I copied all my music to the external HDD, across the network and this time, and it worked too.  One strange thing: several times during the copy, the transfer rate slowed right down and this concided with activity on WHS relating to a program called 'demigrator.exe' which I suppose is related to the drive extender functionality (pieces together distributed files, maybe?).  But demigrator.exe ran intermittently throughout the copy process and only occasionally did the copy slow down.

     

    So what has changed since yesterday?  First is that the machine has 'rested' overnight so is a lot cooler.  Second is that when I started the backup, the demigrator.exe process was not active.  (Third is that it's the weekend when everything is better anyway).

     

    I agree with Ken's second mail above; the 'MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION' was the result of overheating.  As to the rest, my uneducated guess is that there's some conflict between file transfer and demigrator that requires a lot of CPU to resolve.  Yesterday when the machine was hot this caused the chip to overheat, today the machine is cooler and so can get past the bottleneck.  As to the cause of such a conflict, I would guess again that when on Wednesday I used Media Player to change a music file while it was playing (idiot!) I messed up drive extender and/or duplication.   I have no idea how to check this, but now I have all my files copied externally, I will buy an external CD drive and re-install WHS then set all the shared folders to read-only, just as it says in KB-946676.

     

    Any comments regarding the likelihood of my guess being correct would be gratefully received.  As would any information about what demigrator.exe does!

     

    As far as I'm concerned, my problem is resolved.  But others are still using this thread to talk about a network/vista issue.  Should I leave the thread open or mark it as answered?

     

    Ian
    Saturday, April 26, 2008 10:19 AM

All replies

  • You might want to contact your vendor. It sounds like there may be a physical issue with your server (possibly the NIC, possibly a disk drive) and they are the best chance you have resolving this.
    Friday, April 25, 2008 4:11 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello Ken

     

    Many thanks for your reply. That this happened so suddenly does suggest a hardware failure. On the other hand, I  noticed a posting from last month (WHS Server disconnect from network after 24 hours or so, Oupsman 24 Mar 2008) which describes a similar symptom.  Like me, he/she has two NICs, both of which are failing.  I've never known a network connection to fail, now I have two at the same time and it seems I'm not alone. I think I will contact the vendor, but I'm trying to make sure it really is a hardware problem; I don't want to go through the pain of returning the box unless I have to!  May I ask you a couple of questions before I go down that route?

     

    I've read up a bit on NICs.  I mentioned that my machine has two network cards and can see that this is not necessarily the same as saying that it has two NICs.  But it definately has two network ports and each has a different MAC address.  I think this means they are two separate devices (NICs?) and it is very unlikely that both would fail at the same time.  It could be the disk drives, but they are just four months old.  And last night I ran the backup cleanup utility which completed without error, although again the network was disconnected,

     

    I noticed that each NIC uses an old microsoft driver :

    1. SiS 900-Based PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter - 1st Oct. 2002 ver. 1.15.0.0

    2. Realtek RTL8169 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter - 1st Oct. 2002 ver. 5.100.702.2002

     

    Is this maybe a driver problem; are these too old for WHS? 

     

    Do you think it's worth re-installing WHS in case the software is in some random state that causes it to disconnect?

     

    Best regards

    Ian

    Friday, April 25, 2008 8:32 AM
  • You know, the SAME this is happening to me.  It's been working great for over a month - but connectivity stopped working yesterday.  Here's what I think the problem might be.  I have 2 computers - 1 stays connected, the other is having intermittent connectivity problems and won't stay connected.  It started happening after I downloaded about 5 Vista updates via WindowsUpdate....I didn't notice at the time, but being an IT guy and going thru my normal troubleshooting, I remember that it started happening right after this.

     

    So why I "think" I have the culprit, I don't have an answer.  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. (and if I find an answer, I'll update this post - I have a few free paid incidents with Microsoft that I may burn on this problem).

     

    Matt

    Friday, April 25, 2008 10:38 AM
  • Thanks Matt!

     

    I use two computers as well; a desktop permanently connected and a laptop that I connect when necessary and generally use for streaming music and video.  But the laptop has been switched off for two days and still I have the problem with connectivity.

     

    However, I've plugged KV&M into the WHS machine so I can copy my files to an external HDD. With this I can see the lost connection is a symptom, not a cause; when I start copying files (or presumably any intensive process such as backup), the machine runs for a few minutes then freezes.  Once I got a screen reporting a serious error (MACHINE_CHECK_ERROR) which stayed while a dump was written, then the machine re-booted.  Other times the machine just hangs until I switch it off.

     

    Being liquid cooled, it's possible the machine is overheating and I've written to the manufacturer to see what they say.  But it's worked fine until now and anyway it seems there are others out there with similar problems using (presumably)  traditionally cooled machines.

     

    Until today I have not changed the software in any way, so I cannot explain this behaviour in terms of a software problem. Today I downloaded the latest updates from Microsoft, but that made no difference. On Wdnesday (just before the problem started) I copied some more music to the server then stupidly updated the album info via Media Player directly on the server while playing the files (I knew I'd done the wrong thing as soon as I hit the button), so perhaps this is an example of the data corruption issue.

     

    I'm going to try re-installing the WHS system and see if that fixes things.

     

    Ian

    Friday, April 25, 2008 2:09 PM
  • One more thing - I've also noticed this has started to happen when I'm copying large files (1 - 2 GB) from my desktop PC to the WHS - something I havent' done since I got this thing a month ago (I should add I'm on the pre-installed HP EX475 Media Server).  I also found a post from someone else (http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1750426&SiteID=50) that described my problem, but it's almost a year old, is on beta WHS software, and on different hardware.

     

    Please let me know if you make any progress - like I said, I'm an IT professional and I've got a contact inside of Microsoft support who gave me some free application incidents ($245 value per incident) that I intend to use on this problem.  They are supposed to be good for the entire issue - until it's completed - so I'm confident I'll get to the bottom of this.

     

    Matt

    Friday, April 25, 2008 3:17 PM
  • A "MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION" blue screen almost always indicates a hardware issue. It says that an error was detected by your processor that it was unable to recover from. The error could be due to thermal issues, bad memory, a flawed motherboard, etc. It's extremely unlikely that you did anything to cause this issue, and it's certainly not due to the file corruption issue.

    You should definitely contact Tranquil for assistance.
    Friday, April 25, 2008 4:05 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Ken. 

     

    I've mailed Tranquil and will wait to hear what they say. 

     

    I'm interested in the old issue that Matt linked to his last posting.  The symptoms are the same as mine and it does sound like the cause is the drive extender / data corruption issue (only occurs when there is more than one disk).  I understand that "MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION" cannot be caused directly by the DE problems, but I saw it only once out of about ten times that the machine froze during file copy or backup today. I also noted that the temperature started to rise after the machine froze (if that's not too contradictory).  Is it possible that the data corruption error causes the file copy to hang, and that causes the machine to overheat if I leave it long enough?

     

    If I re-install WHS and the machine works again, my assumption would be that this is a software fault and probably an example of the data corruption issue.  But if it continues to fail it's a hardware problem and the machine goes back to the manufacturer.  Does that sound fair?

     

    Tomorrow's Saturday, I'll re-install then and post my findings.

     

    Matt,

    If your machine is quite new, you may not have come across KB946676, in which case you should take a look at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946676  .  If this is the cause, I wouldn't waste your incident vouchers as Microsoft are already working flat out to solve it!  (I'm an IT professional too, but not PCs and I have no contacts in MS!).

     

    Ian

    Friday, April 25, 2008 4:50 PM
  • Yea, I've seen that article - my gig-normous files are MS Access files - but I do have most of the other file formats also referenced in this article.  I researched this thing for several weeks before making the purchase - met the product manager at a Microsoft conference last month who convinced me it was working great and there was no need to wait for SP1 (I should have known better, although I am generally very supportive of all Microsoft apps).  Again, everything was working fine until my Vista Windows Update 2 nights ago.

     

    I'm convinced this has something to do with a recent update - I've got a ton of these free support thingys (like that technical term?) as I do a lot of work with Microsoft Great Plains ERP software, so I just need to get into the right que and brush up on my intrepretive skills (hopefully I'll get North American support).

     

    Also looked for a solution here on the www.wegotserved.co.uk site - nuthin.  Something else that's odd - I downloaded the WHS Toolkit for my Vista machine - it crashes and will not complete its tests.  Hmmmm.

     

    Ian / Ken, will let you know if I figure out something - please to the same.

    Friday, April 25, 2008 5:30 PM
  • By the way, what's Tranquil?

     

    Friday, April 25, 2008 5:33 PM
  • Thanks Matt,

    I'd be very interested if you would post any answers you get and will certainly do the same.

    Tranquil is the company I bought my WHS machine from.  It's a UK company specializing in quiet low-energy fanless machines.  I have an XP machine from them which works fine, as did my WHS machine until a couple of days ago.

     

    Friday, April 25, 2008 5:45 PM
  • I had that exact same problem with WHS.   Funny I could copy 50 gigs of video between machines, including the server on drives outside of the storage pool with no problems but WHS Backups would cause the server to loose connection.  It was only on the machine connect to the router through a switch.

    At first I rebooted WHS but then realized that I just had to reboot the switch and not WHS.  You might try rebooting your router next time and then see if you can ping though to the WHS .

     In my case I replaced the 100mps switch I had with a Gigabite switch and this problem went away.  Again only WHS had a problem with the switch and I had 4 computers(including WHS) running throught this switch transferring all kinds of very large video files with no problems, running 90% network utilization(100mps network).  And even Tranferring large Videos files to WHS disk (again typically at 90% network utilization) outside the the storage pool had no problems.  Just the backups.

    So it could be WHS and the switch within your router aren't playing nice together.
    Friday, April 25, 2008 7:32 PM
  • Good thoughts - in my config, I've got all workstations and the WHS running into a gigE switch.  The switch goes to my Linksys router - which is only connected to the switch and my cable modem.  Strange thing - it's been working fine for me with this config for over a month.  No hardware changes in my network at all - only a Vista update on Tuesday evening...

     

    Still pluggin' away at this...

     

    Friday, April 25, 2008 7:43 PM
  • I too have been having disconnect problems since Vista SP1

    I have a new computer and am slowly transferring some old multi-gigabyte .avi files from the backup on WHS for the old computer.

    Files of up to several hundred MB transfer without problems, but almost every file over 2GB fails with the message that the connection to the server has been lost.

    No problems with backup or any other instances of lost connection.

    Curiouser and Curiouser!

     

    Saturday, April 26, 2008 3:18 AM
  • Well, my problem has disappeared this morning.

     

    Mine was definately not a network issue.  When I had trouble copying files yesterday, I was copying from WHS to an external drive attached directly to the WHS machine and controlling the copy using KV&M also directly connected.  Nor is it a problem with Vista; I'm still running XP.

     

    Today I intended re-installing WHS, but found I couldn't because the WHS machine has no CD drive. Ha!  So instead I gave backup one more try and it worked.  Then I copied all my music to the external HDD, across the network and this time, and it worked too.  One strange thing: several times during the copy, the transfer rate slowed right down and this concided with activity on WHS relating to a program called 'demigrator.exe' which I suppose is related to the drive extender functionality (pieces together distributed files, maybe?).  But demigrator.exe ran intermittently throughout the copy process and only occasionally did the copy slow down.

     

    So what has changed since yesterday?  First is that the machine has 'rested' overnight so is a lot cooler.  Second is that when I started the backup, the demigrator.exe process was not active.  (Third is that it's the weekend when everything is better anyway).

     

    I agree with Ken's second mail above; the 'MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION' was the result of overheating.  As to the rest, my uneducated guess is that there's some conflict between file transfer and demigrator that requires a lot of CPU to resolve.  Yesterday when the machine was hot this caused the chip to overheat, today the machine is cooler and so can get past the bottleneck.  As to the cause of such a conflict, I would guess again that when on Wednesday I used Media Player to change a music file while it was playing (idiot!) I messed up drive extender and/or duplication.   I have no idea how to check this, but now I have all my files copied externally, I will buy an external CD drive and re-install WHS then set all the shared folders to read-only, just as it says in KB-946676.

     

    Any comments regarding the likelihood of my guess being correct would be gratefully received.  As would any information about what demigrator.exe does!

     

    As far as I'm concerned, my problem is resolved.  But others are still using this thread to talk about a network/vista issue.  Should I leave the thread open or mark it as answered?

     

    Ian
    Saturday, April 26, 2008 10:19 AM
  •  

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SOLVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

    Hopefully some of you (Ian) can benefit from this - I've found the answer (at least in my unique set of circumstances - can't say it'll work for everyone).  I was having a conversation with another IT professional this afternoon who told me that just last week, some of his XP machines were intermittently dropping off his Windows domain.  While WHS was not part of his network (although he has it at home), the symptoms were similar to mine.

     

    So I started digging - to make a long story short, I found an obscure Microsoft KB article about IPv6.  So I went to the network properties of my problem workstation's NIC card and unchecked IPv6 (IPv6 needs to remain).  From what I can tell, IPv6 is needed for some advanced switches and hardware - none of which I have at home.  Turned this off and connected to my WHS console.  Just finished copying 25GB of data (some files 2GB in size) - just like I did when I originally contributed to Ian's post.  SUCCESS!

     

    Hope this helps someone.

    Sunday, April 27, 2008 2:09 AM
  • Opps....I meant IPv4 needs to remain.

     

    Sunday, April 27, 2008 2:11 AM
  • My WHS has worked for three days now so I'm going to mark this issue as solved.  Maybe the balancing routine has moved data around so the problem no longer exists, or maybe the CPU stops when the temperature gets to high (though the manufacturer doubts this), or maybe it's a combination of the two.  Whatever the case, something has changed and the problem no longer exists.

     

    Thanks for you input! 

     

    (HGPilot, this really was not a network problem; it occurred when data was transferred without using the network.  But I note your info regarding IPv7 for the future!)

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008 9:38 AM
  • Hi team
    I read with interest this particular thread as I am having major problems with WHS regarding connectivity.
    My backups are working fine, I have transferred large amounts of data to the Server no hassles but when I try to restore from the backups my server drops out from the network. I then have to power down the server and do a cold boot to get it back on line.

    Also if I try to move files within the server into folders on the server I also lose connectivity.

    I have changed my router from a Linksys WAG325N to a Billion 7300G without luck the problem would therefore appear not to be with my modem router.


    I recently added a 1TB driver but I was having these hassles with the single 320Gig driver before this.

    The problems appears to be fairly wide spread but I have yet to see an answer that works.

    Just thought I would let you know about using the different modem routers.

    Cliff
    Saturday, May 24, 2008 2:55 AM
  • This post is old and maybe no one is monitoring it anymore, but, I am now in the same boat.  I have WHS, PP2 and I  just added a 1 TB internal drive.  I was able to copy a set of large files to the server from a workstation no problem, but I am not able to copy it back again.  The copy runs for a few minutes then the server hangs. 

    It has nothing to do with IP V6 as the other system is a 2003 server.  Neither have IPV6.  Any help is much appriciated.

    Saturday, October 10, 2009 6:05 AM
  • This post is old and maybe no one is monitoring it anymore, but, I am now in the same boat.  I have WHS, PP2 and I  just added a 1 TB internal drive.  I was able to copy a set of large files to the server from a workstation no problem, but I am not able to copy it back again.  The copy runs for a few minutes then the server hangs. 

    It has nothing to do with IP V6 as the other system is a 2003 server.  Neither have IPV6.  Any help is much appriciated.

    Since apparently everything was fine before you added the hard drive, I would suspect there is a problem with that drive.  For starters, you could try removing that drive through the Console, then once that process is complete, disconnect the drive, then try the same scenario again.  If it works, it's the drive (or the data cable or the port it's plugged into).  Also, in the future, if you have a problem, you should start your own thread (instead of adding to one that's marked as answered and been inactive for over a year).
    Saturday, October 10, 2009 1:09 PM
    Moderator
  • Well said thankyou.  I will start a new post.  FYI, the copy to the WHS went fine with the new drive in play.  I will give that  try but I am nervouse because 233 gig may be too much for the remaining drives to handle.

    Saturday, October 10, 2009 7:40 PM