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HD dropped from Storage Pool and is in "Not Added" Status RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello all,
    My first post, I should have known using an MS product it was only a matter of time before I would find my way here.
    Background on my setup: 
    * I have an Acer Aspire Easystore that came with a 1TB system drive preloaded with WHS.
    * I added to it a 1.5tb Seagate drive almost immediately after its arrival. Didn't have any issues for the first few months I owned it (granted I wasn't using it much with my ReadyNAS).
    * I added to it 1.5 weeks ago a Samsung Spinpoint 2tb drive, seemingly with no hitch.

    So here's the issue I have and I hope someone has some insight because this is frustrating to say the least:

    About 1.5 weeks ago, as I said above, I installed a new 2TB Samsung Spinpoint drive into my Acer Aspire Easystore POS. The install went fine, no issues that I am aware of. I added the drive from the Server Storage tab and the WHS just did its thing. The Server Storage Total Size increased by the amount of the newly installed drive. So far so good.
     
    I hadn't noticed any issues with the server until I got back in to town last night from a week long business trip. I logged into the connector console and noticed that most of the shares under the Shared Folders tab were in an "Unhealthy" state. So as any trained MS monkey does, I rebooted the Acer. This seemed to fix this issue, the shares all reported healthy after the restart. So....so far so good even though that was strange.

    Now here is the heart of the issue - after the restart I checked the Server Storage tab and the 1.5tb Seagate drive is now showing in a "Not Added" status. It has never been in this status before. The drive has worked fine since day one of installing it a few months back. The 2tb Samsung Spinpoint drive is showing as "Healthy" status. The Server Storage Total Size (which used to report fine every time I ever used the Connector) is now a constantly moving green bar with no updated total and no pie chart.

    I started doing some reading and checking a few things to see if I could find the problem. Here are some of the oddities I have found:
    * As of now, none of the three drives installed give me the "repair" option.
    * If I try to "Remove" the 1.5tb Seagate drive within the Server Storage tab I am told "Cannot Remove Hard Drive" because of not enough free remaining space. Now I know this is bogus information because I have approximately 1tb of data on the entire box. The 2tb Samsung drive should accomodate all of this no problem, not to mention the additional 900gb of space on the system drive that is not being used.
    * The "Nework Health" message list does list the following message: 
    Volume with name DE Secondary Volume has failed. Please check hard drives and try to run Repair to fix errors for disk ST315003 41AS V91SVYE9 (which IS the Seagate drive).
    * When I checked under Disk Management I found all 3 drives listed and formatted and healthy as reported by the OS. The 2tb Samsung however had no drive letter assigned unlike the other 2 drives. It did have C:\fs\W assigned to it though uder "Paths" and I also manually assigned "F" to it. The system drive has a 20GB "C" partition and a 911.5GB "D" partition. The "D" partition, under "Paths", has no reference at all to the C:\fs folder. The 1.5 tb Seagate has "E" assigned (as well as C:\fs\P).
    * Lastly when I go under My Computer within Remote Desktop here is the reported "Total Size" and "Free Space" for each drive assignment:
    Drive     Total Size     Free Space
    C:          20GB           12GB
    D:          911GB          3.19TB
    E:           1.36TB         593 GB
    F:           1.81TB         1.79TB


    To sum it up. I have a drive that has been working fine for a few months that has somehow changed its status to "Not Added". The only thing that has changed recently is adding the 3rd drive (2tb Samsung). I am not able to remove the Seagate drive from the system because the system is somehow messed up into believing there isn't enough free space. The "D" partition seems to not have any data assigned to it at all, almost like its not being used (no reference to it that I know of under the C:\fs folder). Lastly, the system is reporting erroneous figures under Free Space when looking at My Computer.
    I can see the information on the 1.5tb drive and I can access it through my shares.

    Any advice on where to go from here would be appreciated.

    Thanks much!
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 1:22 AM

All replies

  • The 2tb Samsung however had no drive letter assigned unlike the other 2 drives. It did have C:\fs\W assigned to it though uder "Paths" and I also manually assigned "F" to it. The system drive has a 20GB "C" partition and a 911.5GB "D" partition. The "D" partition, under "Paths", has no reference at all to the C:\fs folder. The 1.5 tb Seagate has "E" assigned (as well as C:\fs\P).

    Why would you assign "F" to the drive?  I checked under my Disk Management, the only thing I see is a "C" and "D" and five other drives labeled as DATA.  I'm under the impression with WHS that Disk Management should not be used to do anything with your drives.
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 2:14 AM
  • working1 is correct that you should not make changes using the Disk Management MMC snap-in from the server desktop. That said, you've given me an idea...
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 2:50 AM
    Moderator
  • The 2tb Samsung however had no drive letter assigned unlike the other 2 drives. It did have C:\fs\W assigned to it though uder "Paths" and I also manually assigned "F" to it. The system drive has a 20GB "C" partition and a 911.5GB "D" partition. The "D" partition, under "Paths", has no reference at all to the C:\fs folder. The 1.5 tb Seagate has "E" assigned (as well as C:\fs\P).

    Why would you assign "F" to the drive?  I checked under my Disk Management, the only thing I see is a "C" and "D" and five other drives labeled as DATA.  I'm under the impression with WHS that Disk Management should not be used to do anything with your drives.

    I did it because the 1.5TB Seagate had an assignment of E to it, which I certainly did not give it. So I figured I would give it an F and see if that made a difference, which of course it did not.
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 12:30 PM
  • I just found that the "D" partition of the system disk (it's a 911gb partition) does actually contain files on it, contradicting what I previously posted. If I go into the "D" partition through "My Computer" I see the hidden "DE" folder that does have a "folders" and "shares" folder within. There is about 60gb of data on the partition so it is being used which would eliminate one of the problems I though I had where this partition just wasnt being used.

    What is the significance of the C:\fs folder? I read something on it as though it was a pointer folder to an actual drive or partition. I do see a "P" and "W" folder under the c:\fs folder that are linked to the 1.5tb and 2tb drives. But as I stated the "D" partition has no link inside this folder. I have a feeling this has something to do with the incorrect size reports from WHS on all my drives/partitions...
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 1:17 PM
  • Where are the incorrect reports on all your drives/partitions? If you are talking about the incorrect free space reported then that's just the way Windows Home Server does it - it's a bit quirky but other than being an annoyance it really has no impact on anything.

    Also can we get a screen shot of your "Server Storage" tab  (ALT-PRINTSCREEN on the keyboard, paste into paint and then save it as PNG and upload it to a file sharing site such as http://tinypic.com/

    Just for the first drive E: to have been assigned you must have added it as a backup drive but you say you cannot remove it from the pool.


    --
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 1:56 PM
  • The incorrect reports as far as size are concerned are in two spots. First, when I remote desktop to the WHS server and go to "My Computer" I see the proper "Total Size" of the drive but the "Free Space" is clearly not correct. If this is normal then I can live with it. However I see it also from a client pc when I map a drive to a share. The drive mapping will always say I have more space free then the size of the drive. ie Drive "H" (on the client pc) has 1.6tb free of 911gb.
     
    Here is the pic of "My Computer" from the WHS server:

    http://i46.tinypic.com/zvs96x.png

    As far as the "E" drive (the seagate 1.5tb), I definitely added it to the storage pool, not as a backup drive. As I said, I never really paid attention to the fact that there was even a drive letter assigned to it from the WHS server until 2 days ago when I went into the Disk Management Console and found that it had 2 paths. One to "C:\fs\P" and one to "E".
    Here is the pic of the server storage screen from the connector console:

    http://i45.tinypic.com/iyk51u.png
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 2:11 PM
  • Incorrect size reports are "normal", in that Windows Home Server reports the free space in the entire storage pool as the space available, but it apparently can't report the total storage pool size as the size of the disk. (Different APIs, possibly you can't hook the ones involved at the right point, etc. Bottom line is that "it is what it is.")

    As to your problem... Start by taking a look at this FAQ, because there's a possibility that this will come down to a factory reset of your server and you'll need a backup in that case. Once you've backed up your data off your server, please try a server recovery (the instructions should be in your manuals, and you shouldn't lose any data). That should recover the storage pool. If not, you can try cleaning off the system disk entirely to simulate a system disk failure/replacement scenario, then do another server recovery. If that doesn't work, you're probably left with a factory reset, which is also in your manuals, and which will wipe all internal drives.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 3:21 PM
    Moderator
  • This isn't exactly what I wanted to hear. So if I follow through with this suggestion and potentially a factory reset, what is to say this won't just happen again at some point in the near/distant future? The problem I have with this whole scenario is that the problem just all-of-a-sudden happened - on it's own. My experience in computers is significant enough to know that problems like these don't tend to "just happen". There usually is a reason - ie. user screwed something up or a hardware failure. The hardware hasn't failed (a chkdsk corraborates this not to mention still being able to access data). I hadn't touched the thing in about 12 days after installing the 2tb drive - a procedure followed to a T in the acer server manual. The problem happened somewhere in those 12 days - on it's own.

    The question then becomes this: is this type of server behavior typical for these whs appliance devices? Do they tend to just develop issues that can and sometimes do require reloads? If so, I need to just get rid of this device because I have spent countless hours in the past reinstalling Windows and troubleshooting Windows problems to have to do the same with an "appliance" device. I'm not talking about loading on software that is in conflict with the OS nor am I talking about hardware issues (this can happen with any device). I can buy another readynas if this is the case...
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 1:22 PM
  • Is this behavior typical? Not for the HP MediaSmart line. I've had my 47 series for nearly 2.5 years now, with no problems. I can't speak to the Acer servers, since I don't have one.

    I can't tell you what the specific problem with your server is; I know of a couple of things that can cause issues that look like yours, but it doesn't sound like you've taken those actions. At the end of the day, all I can tell you is that Windows and Windows Home Server are out of sync as regards disk identity. There's no documented way to get them back in sync, and as far as I can recall nobody has even done the research to figure out an undocumented, unsupported method.

    I know it's not what you want to hear, but I'm not in favor of sugar-coating. :)

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 3:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the reply Ken.

    I should share some additional troubleshooting information I have found for other users who may stumble across this thread in the future.

    First - As I said I have an Acer Aspire Easystore H340 WHS server. There is an LED lit "i" on the front that normally is off or blue, can't recall which is normal. Anyway, mine is red. Red indicates there is some sort of fault ranging from fan fault to hard drive fault and several other possibilities in between. I will note that all my LED's for the hard drives them selves have remained blue which is normal. After taking the 2nd and 3rd drives out the "i" remains lit red after a reboot.

    Second - the Event Viewer logs upon further inspection have errors that started on Feb 15th. The Sytem log started reporting errors in "iastore". The specific message was "\Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period" There were several of these. In conjunction with this message was some other errors in the HomeServer log. About 20 minutes after the iastor error in the System log was this message in the HomeServer log: "Unexpected error 0x45 from readfile D:\folders\........ 1. C VolumeCluster.4096.dat: The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error. 
        This is interesting to me because the D partition tends to indicate an issue with the 1TB system drive itself not the 1.5tb drive in
        question.

    My resolution to this whole mess is the following:

    1. Backup all data to an external drive. I had thought of unchecking folder duplication so I didnt have to wade through potentially copying over extra data but I am not sure this is wise with the 1.5tb still in a "Not Added" state. So I will probably just manually do this.
    2. I will then take the 2tb drive and make it the actual system drive going forward. It will help to eventually allow a greater amount of space on the server by increasing the system partition by 1TB. Also, the 2TB drive seems to be the only drive that isn't in question here and that I know works for a fact. Third, it will accomodate on its own, all the data I currently have on my system.

    3. Server restore, install all updates, user accounts, programs, plugins, etc.

    4. Restore data to the single 2TB drive from my external backup.

    5. Run a Seagate Tool check on each of the other 2 drives in a secondary PC to determine if there is actual hardware issues with them and, if not, format them and return them to the server. If so, then I can RMA them while still running on my single 2TB drive for now.

    6. Once either or both of the secondary drives are in, enable folder duplication where needed.

    This will obviously be a lot of work. Hopefully going forward these issues will never come back.
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 6:28 PM
  • The specific message you mention sounds like either an issue with the Intel AHCI driver (iastor.sys) or with the Intel SATA controller hardware on your server's motherboard. The "unexpected error" you mention later can be generated even if the actual problem is with a different drive; because of the way Drive Extender works, it may in some cases result in an error for D:. All of which smells, to me, like a potential issue with your motherboard. The server recovery (or factory reset) is certainly the way to go right now; if the problem is software related it's likely to be a driver problem, and hopefully recovery./reset will correct the issue. If it's hardware related, it will probably come back in a few weeks and you can deal with Acer customer support then.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 7:00 PM
    Moderator
  • I think you may be right with regard to the motherboard or the backplane being the issue. We'll see.

    Can you, or anyone else, answer this question for me though:

    In the reload process it dawned on me that I will lose all my backups of all connected PC's. Its not the incrementals I care about so much. It is the actual first imaged backup of all the PC's that I would like to save somehow. Each of my 4 PC's were fresh loads with Windows and then the 1st imaged backup was run on the WHS server. If I ever wanted to restore a PC via image, it would be to the freshly loaded OS state, not 6 months down the line. So, can this be done and if I can extract these images can I incorporate them into the newly loaded WHS server (once I accomplish that)??

    Scott
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 10:40 PM
  • I think you may be right with regard to the motherboard or the backplane being the issue. We'll see.

    Can you, or anyone else, answer this question for me though:

    In the reload process it dawned on me that I will lose all my backups of all connected PC's. Its not the incrementals I care about so much. It is the actual first imaged backup of all the PC's that I would like to save somehow. Each of my 4 PC's were fresh loads with Windows and then the 1st imaged backup was run on the WHS server. If I ever wanted to restore a PC via image, it would be to the freshly loaded OS state, not 6 months down the line. So, can this be done and if I can extract these images can I incorporate them into the newly loaded WHS server (once I accomplish that)??

    Scott
    There is no way to backup only part of the backup database.  However, you can backup the entire backup database by following the Home Computer Backup and Restore Technical Brief.
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 11:02 PM
    Moderator
  • There's no practical way to extract a single backup from your backup database to reload later. You can copy/restore the entire database, but in your case you've seen errors affecting files that are part of the backup database itself, and there's a chance that you have already lost some/all backups (effectively you just don't know it yet). If you want to try, see the Home Computer Backup and Restore technical brief for information on how to do this.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 11:04 PM
    Moderator