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DNS, slow or stalled backups, DHCP RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have just built a WHS based on a SHUTTLE, Intel dual processsor CPU, 2 meg ram 2* 1Tb discs, 100Mb (onboard Marvell) LAN connection.  Perhaps overspec'ed but seems (?) to work ok.

    I have connected it to my first home PC to check comms, backup and if everything works before connecting other PCs.
    Its an old Mesh PC, AMD dual processor, 1.5mb RAM, 1 * 200Gb disc + 1 * 500GB disc, and Sitecom Wireless Network PCI Card turbo g WL-171
    Vista Home Premium (32 bit) and Kaspersky Antivirus installed on Mesh

    Both connected to a BTHomehub 2.0.
    Mesh PC has static IP address 192.168.1.1#/255.255.255.0
    WHS has static IP address 192.168.1.3#/255.255.255.0
    Installed then updated Connector
    Latest drivers installed.

    First problem ...
    When opening WHS console or the shared folders icon on the PC the system would report could not find (WHS) server.  If I turned off the Kaspersky firewall the server would then be locatable and I could even switch back on the filewall and repeatedly access the consoles / fileshares ok.  But if I left the system for a few minutes the problem would reappear.  Sounded like a DNS type problem, but I couldn't crack it.  Added PC and server names and IP addresses to the hosts file on the PC and problem has gone (note: now updated the hosts file on the server too).  Work-around seems ok and I can now reliably access console and shared folders from PC.  But I would like to properly understand and resolve problem.

    Second problem ...
    Automated backup did not complete overnight so I cancelled and restarted all devices and started a manual backup.  (Both PC discs selected).  Status reported identifying changed clusters, which seemed to go ok, and the system reported 19% complete and sending data to server.  Left through most of day and it never moved off 19% complete and using a utility to track port speed the upload never got above a few Kb/s.

    Aborted the backup and tried again, same result.  Switched off firewall, tried again, same result.  Restarted everything, tried again, same result.

    Disabled wirelesss and enabled Marvel 100MB LAN connection on PC with same static IP address. Used the backup Wizard to select only the 500Mb primary disc on the PC.  From the console on the server I used the repair option and cleared out all the failed backups from the server.

    I restarted the backup, status reported identifying changed clusters, which seemed to go ok, and the system reported 36% complete and sending data to server.  Left through most of evening and then overnight and it never moved off 36% complete and using a utility to track port speed the upload never got above a few Kb/s.  This afternoon, while the backup was still running (?) I tried to copy a folder with +50Gb of files from the PC to the shared folders on the server.  This completed in a little over an hour (the tracking tool reported a upload speed of +10Mb/s).

    I used the Windows Home Server Trouble shooter from the PC - it reported one fault "No DHCP server, or DHCP server is not reachable"

    (The backup is still running (?) in the background and saying 36% complete).

    Welcome your help.  Any ideas?
    Thanks

    Friday, April 10, 2009 2:41 PM

Answers

  • Ken
    Was faster with wired connection - but not enough to make me think I was getting the through put I should.
    It seemed to back up on some machines with Kaspersky, not on others etc etc ...

    I've now got three machines completely backed up - replaced the wireless drivers on the XP machine and now more stable.  And completely removing Kaspersky (and not just disabling it) helped a Vista32 machine.

    I've now taken Kaspersky off everything and installed Avast.  That seems to be stable, works and nice to manage from the centre.

    I'd say - though difficult to be completely systematic & analytic - taking Kaspersky off one machine cured the problem there, upgrading wireless drivers cured the problem on the next.  Not sure what cured the third other than to say its now significantly quicker after the 3rd backup (and updating the hosts file has cured everything else).

    All in all not impressed by the stability of the backups, but maybe I'll grow to love it after my first recovery.

    Thanks to everyone who's responded over the weeks.

    I'm now going to start investigating remote access, installing SqueezeCentre, a TV card, setting up a media centre ...  so perhaps we will talk again ...

    Regards
    • Marked as answer by fatfred00 Saturday, April 25, 2009 3:47 PM
    Saturday, April 25, 2009 3:47 PM

All replies

  • I have just built a WHS based on a SHUTTLE, Intel dual processsor CPU, 2 meg ram 2* 1Tb discs, 100Mb (onboard Marvell) LAN connection.  Perhaps overspec'ed but seems (?) to work ok.

    I have connected it to my first home PC to check comms, backup and if everything works before connecting other PCs.
    Its an old Mesh PC, AMD dual processor, 1.5mb RAM, 1 * 200Gb disc + 1 * 500GB disc, and Sitecom Wireless Network PCI Card turbo g WL-171
    Vista Home Premium (32 bit) and Kaspersky Antivirus installed on Mesh

    Both connected to a BTHomehub 2.0.
    Mesh PC has static IP address 192.168.1.1#/255.255.255.0
    WHS has static IP address 192.168.1.3#/255.255.255.0
    Installed then updated Connector
    Latest drivers installed.

    First problem ...
    When opening WHS console or the shared folders icon on the PC the system would report could not find (WHS) server.  If I turned off the Kaspersky firewall the server would then be locatable and I could even switch back on the filewall and repeatedly access the consoles / fileshares ok.  But if I left the system for a few minutes the problem would reappear.  Sounded like a DNS type problem, but I couldn't crack it.  Added PC and server names and IP addresses to the hosts file on the PC and problem has gone (note: now updated the hosts file on the server too).  Work-around seems ok and I can now reliably access console and shared folders from PC.  But I would like to properly understand and resolve problem.

    Second problem ...
    Automated backup did not complete overnight so I cancelled and restarted all devices and started a manual backup.  (Both PC discs selected).  Status reported identifying changed clusters, which seemed to go ok, and the system reported 19% complete and sending data to server.  Left through most of day and it never moved off 19% complete and using a utility to track port speed the upload never got above a few Kb/s.

    Aborted the backup and tried again, same result.  Switched off firewall, tried again, same result.  Restarted everything, tried again, same result.

    Disabled wirelesss and enabled Marvel 100MB LAN connection on PC with same static IP address. Used the backup Wizard to select only the 500Mb primary disc on the PC.  From the console on the server I used the repair option and cleared out all the failed backups from the server.

    I restarted the backup, status reported identifying changed clusters, which seemed to go ok, and the system reported 36% complete and sending data to server.  Left through most of evening and then overnight and it never moved off 36% complete and using a utility to track port speed the upload never got above a few Kb/s.  This afternoon, while the backup was still running (?) I tried to copy a folder with +50Gb of files from the PC to the shared folders on the server.  This completed in a little over an hour (the tracking tool reported a upload speed of +10Mb/s).

    I used the Windows Home Server Trouble shooter from the PC - it reported one fault "No DHCP server, or DHCP server is not reachable"

    (The backup is still running (?) in the background and saying 36% complete).

    Welcome your help.  Any ideas?
    Thanks

    Have you tried running chkdsk /r on the hard drives?  Also, can you run ipconfig /all on your client and server, then post the results here?
    Saturday, April 11, 2009 5:23 AM
    Moderator

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    Last night - and before reading your post - I did two things. I chkdsk'd both drives on the whs and I connected another PC to it and started a backup and went to bed. Actually I started a backup on both PCs, but the status report on the first PC says that "Backup is waiting on ...." .

    When I checked this morning the backup status said 37% and I thought " .... I've been here before ..." . I went and read your post, had a cup of tea, and then went to recheck the status and lo and behold the second PC then reported 41%. So it appears to be running slowly (circa 2% per hour). So I don't know whether the chkdsk or the fact that it is another PC that has introduced the change. (But before I'm finished I will test without Kaspersky - to see how it impacts on the DNS issue!)

    Anyway, I've just to see the impact I've disenabled Kaspersky on the 2nd PC and the upload speed seems to have increased. I'll keep an eye on it and advise any change on the backup status.

    Client ...
    Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0.6001]
    Copyright (c) 2006 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.
    C:\Windows\system32>ipconfig /all
    Windows IP Configuration
       Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : R2D2-PC
       Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
       Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
       IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
       WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
    Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
       Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
       Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Marvell Yukon 88E8001/8003/8010 PCI Gigab
    it Ethernet Controller
       Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-11-2F-7E-DD-DD
       DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
       Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
       IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.12(Preferred)
       Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
       Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.254
       DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.254
       NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled

    Server ...
    Microsoft Windows [Version 5.2.3790]
    (C) Copyright 1985-2003 Microsoft Corp.
    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ipconfig /all
    Windows IP Configuration
       Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : OBI-WAN-SERVER
       Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
       Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
       IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
       WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
    Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
       Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
       Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Generic Marvell Yukon 88E8056 based Ether
    net Controller
       Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-30-1B-BD-0F-3D
       DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
       IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.31
       Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
       Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.254
       DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.254
    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>

    Thanks - appreciate the help. 
    Regards
    Saturday, April 11, 2009 9:55 AM

  • Here I am a couple of days later and on my - not too full - two disc machine I have a back up that now says 75% complete (one disc done and no idea of when the other one will be). Some evidence that things are getting slower and slower. I watch the upload speed it goes up to 2mb+ it goes down to 2kb it goes up to 2mb+ ... like watching the ticking of the second hand on a watch (or paint dry).

    I'm not geting the upload speed through the backup that I get in a simple file transfer (all I'm getting is an extended excercise in patience and simile).
    Sunday, April 12, 2009 9:55 AM

  • Here I am a couple of days later and on my - not too full - two disc machine I have a back up that now says 75% complete (one disc done and no idea of when the other one will be). Some evidence that things are getting slower and slower. I watch the upload speed it goes up to 2mb+ it goes down to 2kb it goes up to 2mb+ ... like watching the ticking of the second hand on a watch (or paint dry).

    I'm not geting the upload speed through the backup that I get in a simple file transfer (all I'm getting is an extended excercise in patience and simile).

    Have you tried running chkdsk /r on the client you are trying to backup?  How about swapping out your NIC/network cabling/router/switch?
    Sunday, April 12, 2009 6:40 PM
    Moderator
  • At 88% - and still waiting for backup  on second PC.
    Have chkdsk'd client (and server).
    Tried both wireless connection and new cat5 cable.
    Integrated 100mb port - so can' swap that.
    Router works for everything else - can-t believe its that.

    Regards
    Tuesday, April 14, 2009 6:42 AM
  • It took 4 days and 5 hours in total
    Wednesday, April 15, 2009 9:14 PM
  • For the DNS problem, do you have an internal DNS server on your network?  If not, your system may use NetBIOS to find the computer on the network.  The Firewall maybe blocking the NetBIOS port (135) which would cause the problem you are seeing.  This is done for security reasons.  Try unblocking this port in your firewall to see if this resolves it.  If you want to keep it blocked in the firewall, than use the solution you already found with modifying the hosts file.
    • Proposed as answer by ihayesjr Thursday, April 16, 2009 3:01 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Ken WarrenModerator Saturday, April 25, 2009 6:54 PM
    Thursday, April 16, 2009 2:19 AM
  • I think that my BTHomeHub functions as the DNS server.
    I just checked Kaspersky and I believe - from its over complicated interface - that NetBIOS (and all the local services (TCP?)) were blocked and I have enabled them.  I will update the Hosts file & test.
    It all seems to add up - so thanks.
    But I'm going to try to resolve the original backup problem first - its still ongoing

    Regards

    Saturday, April 18, 2009 9:32 AM
  • So if I've understood everything you've written, during a backup you're seeing transfer speeds ranging from 2 megabytes per second down to 2 kilobytes per second? With 100 megabit wired connections on your server and your BTHomeHub, and wireless-G on your client PC, it sounds like you're not getting horrible throughput. It could be better, and probably would be (significantly) if you could connect that client to a wired connection instead of the wireless one.

    You should find that only the initial backup of a PC takes an extremely long time; after that your home computers should probably back up in no more than a half hour or so each.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, April 18, 2009 1:07 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken
    Was faster with wired connection - but not enough to make me think I was getting the through put I should.
    It seemed to back up on some machines with Kaspersky, not on others etc etc ...

    I've now got three machines completely backed up - replaced the wireless drivers on the XP machine and now more stable.  And completely removing Kaspersky (and not just disabling it) helped a Vista32 machine.

    I've now taken Kaspersky off everything and installed Avast.  That seems to be stable, works and nice to manage from the centre.

    I'd say - though difficult to be completely systematic & analytic - taking Kaspersky off one machine cured the problem there, upgrading wireless drivers cured the problem on the next.  Not sure what cured the third other than to say its now significantly quicker after the 3rd backup (and updating the hosts file has cured everything else).

    All in all not impressed by the stability of the backups, but maybe I'll grow to love it after my first recovery.

    Thanks to everyone who's responded over the weeks.

    I'm now going to start investigating remote access, installing SqueezeCentre, a TV card, setting up a media centre ...  so perhaps we will talk again ...

    Regards
    • Marked as answer by fatfred00 Saturday, April 25, 2009 3:47 PM
    Saturday, April 25, 2009 3:47 PM