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Help...WHS takes a long time to log in + sluggish performance RRS feed

  • Question

  • Been having minor problems with my WHS (self built) server but around yesterday I hit a major problem! I really am not sure what triggered it but all of a sudden my WHS is almost non responsive.

    I have to manually reboot the WHS via the reset button on the server as it was taking ages to connect to it. All this time the HDD light on the server is constantly on. I can't connect using my clients anymore as it will just say network is not accessble. The only thing I can do is log into WHS via the server PC itself. This process takes around 20 minutes to accomplish. The logon is ultra slow and even when logged in everything is slow. Every command takes 1 min or so to actually complete. All this time I can't connect from clients as well. However I can see the WHS computer in my Network list on my clients PC.

    So last night I attempted a "Repair Install". That took forever as well but it completed. After the Install I had to manually install some missing drivers such as ATI driver, SM Bus driver and ATK 0110 driver. The WHS then did some automatic updates and installed it. After rebooting the problem came back! I am really out of ideas what to do now... I really don't want to loose all the data as it is really precious to me.

    I am wondering if anyone else have this problem? Here are some of my PC specs:

     

    MOBO : Asus M4A78 PRO

    CPU : AMD Athlon II X2 240

    HDD : 4 x 1.5 TB WD Green

     

    I have read threads that the WD Green could be an issue but I am using it as an internal drive so I don't think that should be a problem?

     

     

     

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010 1:36 PM

All replies

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    Right, I will update this thread upon any new developments so I hope someone out there could offer some help or maybe my posts could help someone out. I will keep updating this until I noticed the problem fully solved.

    Status Update #1 :


    • I've manually added my main computer using the WHS machine. I seem to be able to browse the server now through Network so now trying to use Discovery.exe to make sure everything works 100%. The client asked me to update my WHS client software to the latest version. Finished installing latest version but seems to freeze at the last stage of configuring the shared folders.

    edit : I have an error saying that I have not got enough priviledge to install WHS Connector service even though I am logged on as admin?

    edit2 : This is strangely fixed after I reboot my W7 machine and used the installation CD instead.

    • Still sluggish performance noted as I am still logged on to the WHS machine. I notice the HDD light almost always on. Seems like they are seeking for something. I did run a simple CHKDSK before and it seems that the HDDs are fine. No bad sectors and SMART concurs as well.
    • I can still see all my old folders before the Reinstall so that's good news. Seem to access them fine at the moment.


    Status Update #2:

     

    • Managed to install WHS connector succesfully on my main PC. Access to folders in shares very sluggish. Takes a while to access.
    edit : Accessing large folders on shares are VERY sluggish! Sometimes it would even time out.
    • I have changed the default work group on WHS machine to match my local PCs and now gave WHS a reboot.
    • I have decided to do some file transfer test later (transferring big folders to and from WHS) to see if it will still hang and freeze up before proceeding with other configurations and add-ins. I noticed the problem seemed to be triggered when I transferred a large folder over (~20GB). Transferring smaller folders before that seems to be ok. Maybe WHS doesn't like high volume continous transfers?I had roughly 3 succesfully tranfers @ around 10MB/s rate each before the problem started yesterday. I was 80% through the transfer of 20GB file @ around 12MB/s then it just froze up.


    Status Update #3

     

    Interesting. I noticed those folders which have problems accessing have Folder Duplication turned on. I've turned off ALL Folder Duplication now and access seems to be good.

     

    I am now proceeding to do some file transfer tests.

    Test observations :


    Test #1 

    Folder Size : 248 MB

    Xfer Speed to WHS : 13.2 - 48/2mb/s

    Time taken : At first it was pretty fast (circa 10 seconds) but froze during the last few megs. Error stating problem accessing network drive. I cancelled and it was successful 2nd attempt.

     

    Test #2

    Folder Size : 161 MB

    Xfer Speed to client : 20.53mb/s

    Time taken : 8 seconds

     

    Test #3

    Folder Size : 161 MB

    Xfer Speed to WHS : 13.1mb/s

    Time taken : 15 seconds

     

    Test #4

    Folder Size : 4.65 GB

    Xfer Speed to WHS : 4.45mb/s

    Time taken : 15 minutes and still counting...

     

    I checked the IDE controllers and all are running Ultra DMA Mode 6.

     

    Status Update #4:

     

    Did the chkdsk as recommended by Ken Warren here : http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whsfaq/thread/b5372407-1f24-4eff-9092-069c4b4f0cee

    The process froze up at 70 percent. Now system is sluggish again. Seems that WHS just doesn't like constant file access? According to what the chkdsk so far I have no bad sectors. It froze around the checkin USN sectors if I remembered correctly.

     

    I just don't get it. What seems to be the problem? Couldn't be driver issues since I did a server reinstall and it should wipe out the previous drivers. So I guess it seems to be my HDDs? It just takes ages to boot up.

    To me it doesn't seem that the HDD themselves are corrupted. Maybe the system is spending resources trying to run/access a file or process.

    Is there any way I can find out what is causing the slowdown? Is there some software that can log this? ie show how long a process takes to run during boot up?

     

     

    Status Update #5

     

    Bought a Realtek RTL8169 based gigabit ethernet controller and nothing changed. If any I noticed the speeds actually decreased! My on board etherbet is Atheros AR8121/AR8113/AR8114 PCI-E Ethernet Controller.

     

    I noticed the problem is more apparent if I am transferring a single large file. For example, if I transfer a folder containing photos at around 10 GB total size but each individual photo is around 4-5 mbs it seems ok. But if I transfer one movie file (example.avi) it will stall and freeze up or the transfer speed drops to around 1-3mb/s.

     

    How come I've read people are getting around 100-200Mb/s on average :( I never seem to hit that! Highest so far was 72Mb/s.

     

     

    Status Update #6

    Gave the WHS a reboot and same thing happens everytime after rebooting. It takes ages to become responsive. Here's what happens :

    1. Just before rebooting everything seems to be working fine. I can connect via WHS connector on client and can transfer files reasonbly ok-ish.
    2. I select reboot.
    3. WHS reboots and on the machine everything seemed normal. I can see the logon screen after few minutes
    4. On client : WHS icon greyed out. Can't connect using client WHS console. Can't connect to shared folders.
    5. After a few minutes more : I can connect to shared folders but very sluggish and slo. Still can't connect using client WHS Console.
    6. Try to log in on the server : Login process takes 10-15 minutes to complete. After that all operations seems to resume back to normal. Although I can hear the HDDs spinning as though there are some massive file transfer activity.

     

    Why is this? This means I can't put my pc to hibernation or even risk rebooting my PC? Just seems a bit odd to me. Again, my question is :

     

    Is there a script/method to check what process is causing the boot to take so long?

    I also noticed constant HDD activity although I am not doing anything at all. Using Task Manager also shows low CPU utilisation but I don't know how to see HDD utilisation.

     

    Status Update #7

     

    It seems now EVERYTIME I reboot it will take ages until resuming "normal" operations. By normal I mean I can actually log on WHS and see the shared folders...

     

    edit : Found out from event log that somehow the Driver Extender Service doesn't want to start. The delay is because the system is waiting for the service to start. A bit of digging shows this can be replicated each time after an update. Looks like I would have to ensure the long reboots as I am trying to update WHS to the latest updates available. Let's hope the updates somewhat fixes these annoying bugs. Not really good for a commercial product to have such problems.

     

    Status Update #8

     

    As expected everything was ultra sluggish after the most recent update (which bought me to PP3). Takes ages for everything to function (around 30 min). I managed to open the Services menu and it seems the Drive Extender service is already started. However I got an error saying a service failed to start when logging in but I suspect that's to do with ATI graphics drivers (ati2mtag).

     

    The system suddenly forced reboot. Will wait to see what happens next :)


    Status Update #9

     

    The sage continues ;) WHS logged in reasonanly fast this time so I was initially filled with hope!

    However, around 10 secs after logging in the "lag" started again. I can see the server from clients but no access. I am trying to open Services.msc and Event Viewer but right now all I am seeing is the hourglass. It's been 5 minutes so far so I will wait further. I suspect (and hope) it's the DE problem. If that IS the problem (timing out trying to start service) I will restart it and give WHS a reboot to see if this solves it.

     

    One general observation so far is that I have low CPU and network utilisation but the HDD light is always on plus I can hear it spinning.

     

    Right, finally got some response from the PC and I see the yellow ! sign in the taskbar saying that it's downloading more updates (omg...). It finished relatively fast and when I tried to double click to install it guess what happens?

    Bingo! Nothing happens! I guess I must wait more to let the cycle catch up to see what's the update about. My guess is that the DE and qsm is going crazy over all this updates. Note I've disabled Folder Duplication at this point.

    Right...the update mysteriously dissapears and suddenly the Windows Console sprang open. I am still getting the lags. A lot of HDD activity although almost no CPU activity.

     

     

    Status Update #10

     

    Interesting development! The PC had to restart after installing another update and guess what? This time everything boot up fine...really fast! Even after logon things appear to be normal.

    However, when I tried to start Windows Console, I got the error that it can't be started because demigrator.exe is not started. I went into services and somehoe DriveExtenderManager service was set to Stop lol. Well guess what, hey ho after setting it to Automatic and trying to restart WHS Console the lag started again !!!

    So I am almost sure that DriveExtenderManager/demigrator.exe has a BIIIIG part to play in this. Now to find out how to sort this problem out....

     

    Seems that this is a common issue : http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php?/topic/8335-demigratorexe-again/page__st__20

     

    Anyone know how could I get around this? It's just getting annoying with the system slowing down like this and I can't disable it completely!

     

     

     

     


     

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010 1:54 PM
  •  

    Right, I went into Device Manager and looked under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers and saw this :

     

    Primary IDE Channel > Properties > Advanced settings >

                                       Device 0 >Transfer Mode : DMA if available              Current Transfer Mode : Ultra DMA Mode 6   

                                       Device 1 >Transfer Mode : DMA if available              Current Transfer Mode : Ultra DMA Mode 6   

     

    Primary IDE Channel (second one)> Properties > Advanced settings >

                                       Device 0 >Transfer Mode : DMA if available              Current Transfer Mode : Not applicable

                                       Device 1 >Transfer Mode : DMA if available              Current Transfer Mode : Not applicable 

     

    Secondary IDE Channel > Properties > Advanced settings >

                                       Device 0 >Transfer Mode : DMA if available              Current Transfer Mode : Ultra DMA Mode 6   

                                       Device 1 >Transfer Mode : DMA if available              Current Transfer Mode : Ultra DMA Mode 6   

     

     

    Secondary IDE Channel (second one)> Properties > Advanced settings >

                                       Device 0 >Transfer Mode : DMA if available              Current Transfer Mode : Ultra DMA Mode 2 (I use this for the DVD drive)

                                       Device 1 >Transfer Mode : DMA if available              Current Transfer Mode : Not applicable 

     

    x2 of Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010 5:04 PM
  • Performed an update and the whole thing went south again while installing IE8 (on PP2). Why is IE included in WHS updates anyway? Not like we use IE in WHS :P

     

    Also I quite like to talk to myself :P

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010 8:17 PM
  • Interesting post here about the Windows Storage Manager (QSM and Demigrator) Seems that its not so efficient in sorting big capacity HDDs... pretty dissapointing if true.

     

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whssoftware/thread/2bdb6894-5b2f-4eec-a3fd-0c79679c7638

     

    Some even talks about temporarily disabling the Demigrator service if you are streaming movies. This happened to me too. I can't stream movies it will just freeze up halfway...

     

    http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php?/topic/8335-demigratorexe-again/page__st__60

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010 8:31 PM
  • The problem this guy had is exactly what I had (but I didn't rebuild my system like him - just tried a fresh reinstall and now a server reinstall)

    From here : http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php?/topic/8335-demigratorexe-again/page__st__120 post #134

    <q>

    Another story....

    For the past 3 weeks performance of my WHS has been getting worse to the point where it was almost unusable when I needed it. Stuttering during streaming was the first symptom but this was closely followed by lost connections to shares, failed file copies, console taking an age to load on clients and locally, local logons taking an age - system became unusable in my eyes.

    I figured the system drive was going as this was an older 80GB SATA drive with a few errors (plus 3 500GB drives in the pool and a 1 TB external backup drive). I decide to take the plunge and back the data up (which took a day in itself), replace the drives with larger ones and rebuild. I was sure this would solve the problem - oh how wrong I was.

    Completely rebuilt the system with samsung HD103UJ 1TB drives (firmware flashed to address the known issue before anyone asks) and started restoring the 1.3TB of data I'd backed up. I waited.....and waited....and waited some more. When I had no hair left and had only restored 700GB of data in 6 hours I stopped the restore and started to look into the problem. In true Hong Kong Fooey style I asked myself.....

    Is it memory related? Could be, nope.
    Is it AHCI related? Could be, nope.
    Is it Driver related? Could be, nope.
    Is It Demigrator related. ____ yes!

    Try almost anything when Demigrator is running and it either fails or takes an age (8 minutes to launch the console onthe local machine!!!). Stop Demigrator, which is only using 4% CPU, and whatever process is dead imediately bounces into action until such time as Demigrator kicks in again (obviously almost instant after a new build).

    I could regale you with evrything I tried to get to the route of the problem but I won't, suffice to say I've worked as a Senior Technichal Infrastructure Developer on MS sytems for 12 years, I don't know it all, but I know enough and I can read and use Google (unlike so many it seems these days - anyway I digress)

    My conclusion is that in my case (and quite obviously others as well) Demigrator is processor efficient but, depending on <insert your chosen diety or profanity here> knows what criteria is quite capable of completley trashing WHS performance for huge chunks of time by completely hijacking disk I/O . My proof? If I turn it off the problems all stop, every last one of them.

    Quite what I'm going to do about it I'm not sure (yes I logged the issue with MS) but I like WHS and would like to stick with it so it will probably involve (1) trying to investigate further and (2) coming up with some short term frig to disable demigrator during the time when my system is most used (evenings) and hoping it doesn't knacker anything.

    Here endeth my surmon (for now)

    </q>

     

    Just to add I read through the thread and it seems they have submitted the bug in detail through the proper Microsoft channels. The reply they have got is that Microsoft won't fix the bug ;)

     

    More problems concerning DE :

     

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whssuggestions/thread/a9e66412-ee9c-4ad9-9650-8811acda0110

     

    Yet no answers from Microsoft :)

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010 8:49 PM
  • Jonathan,

    Concidering what you describe, my first guess would be that one of the drives is having problems reading or writing. To find out which drive is possibly causing problems I would go about as follows:

    1. Shut down the server, disconnect all data drive (leaving the system/boot drive connected only)
    2. Start the server
    3. Then Log-in to the server desktop to see how the system is behaving....

      If OK here, goto step 4.
      If not OK, system drive / most recent drive added may be your problem: check the disks health  (see below)...
    4. Shutdown the server, reconnect one data disk at the time, restart the server, goto step 3

    For checking the disks health I would suggest connecting it an alternater desktop/PC and run chkdsk or (prefered) WD drive diagnostics.

    - Theo.


    No home server like Home Server
    Wednesday, July 14, 2010 9:16 PM
    Moderator
  • Hmm looked at even logs and the latest reboot has an error saying the system timed out waiting for the Drive Extender Migrator Service to start.

     

    Any ideas?

     

    edit: Known bug...already reported it seems (I've been updating so I guess that's why I am having the DEMS problem)

     

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en/whssoftware/thread/15def433-7316-4583-abc4-8914efb90268

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010 9:16 PM
  • Jonathan,

    Concidering what you describe, my first guess would be that one of the drives is having problems reading or writing. To find out which drive is possibly causing problems I would go about as follows:

    1. Shut down the server, disconnect all data drive (leaving the system/boot drive connected only)
    2. Start the server
    3. Then Log-in to the server desktop to see how the system is behaving....

      If OK here, goto step 4.
      If not OK, system drive / most recent drive added may be your problem: check the disks health  (see below)...
    4. Shutdown the server, reconnect one data disk at the time, restart the server, goto step 3

    For checking the disks health I would suggest connecting it an alternater desktop/PC and run chkdsk or (prefered) WD drive diagnostics.

    - Theo.


    No home server like Home Server

    Hi Theo,

     

    Thanks for your reply. I will try that. The problem is that I have 4 identical drives so how do I determine which one is the main drive?

    Thursday, July 15, 2010 2:10 PM
  • Disconnect all of them until you find the one that boots :)
    Thursday, July 15, 2010 8:57 PM
  • Disconnect all of them until you find the one that boots :)
    Haha was wondering if there's a smarter/simpler way :P I am running the chkdsk batch file at the moment as per my other thread so I will leave that to see what the results are.
    Thursday, July 15, 2010 10:13 PM