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Drive Balancer App now available RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hi All, I've been working on this tool for a while and here's a cut/paste of the readme.txt file....

    For download, go see http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php?showtopic=6466

    Usage Notes:
    This program was designed to "even out" the data on a drive pool for WHS. The main purpose was when a person adds a drive to the pool, it doesn't necessarily start getting used for a while. While Microsoft has made changes to the usage of the Landing Zone (as in it doesn't exist anymore), some people's systems might still be in a non "evened out" state as wish to correct this. On my own system, I routinely get within 2% of perfect balancing on all pooled drives.

    Usage Notes:
    This program was designed to "even out" the data on a drive pool for WHS. The main purpose was when a person adds a drive to the pool, it doesn't necessarily start getting used for a while. While Microsoft has made changes to the usage of the Landing Zone (as in it doesn't exist anymore), some people's systems might still be in a non "evened out" state as wish to correct this. On my own system, I routinely get within 2% of perfect balancing on all pooled drives.

    For a walk through of the tool running, checkout the walk_through.txt file.
    Testing:
    I have tested this program on my own system which consists of:

    System Disk:
    Areca 1210 RAID5 set consisting of (4) 250GB Seagate Drives = 20GB C: and 698GB D:

    Pooled Disks:
    (2) WD 1TB Green HDs
    (2) Seagate 1.5TB HDs


    IMPORTANT NOTE:
    With some help from user "S_M_E" on SageTV forums, I am able to "restart" the Drive EXtender service which is responsible for doing the actual balancing. The program detects a restart is needed if 15 minutes of no changes in the amount of GB free on any pooled drive has occured. At this point, it restarts the service and marches along. Feel free to restart the service on your own if you are watching the process and see no disk activity (using Disk Management plug-in).

    You WILL see some critical WHS warnings reported all related to storage space. Do not worry, this is expected behavior while the tool is running and will be cleared up at the end of the run.

    If you need to hit Ctrl-C out of the program even though it is automatic and will end on it own. If you feel the program is behaving badly, and you Ctrl-C out of it, You will have to manually delete the following DIRs:

    C:\fs\*\fake\
    D:\fake\

    I have extensively tested this program on my own system with my own data. I have lost nothing and you should realize that this program does not delete any data (It only creates fake files). As such, I can't guarantee that any data on your own system. Don't be afraid, either do a backup first, or jsut trust me and run the tool anyway! :)

    Acknowledgements:
    Theo van Elsberg - author of LZReallocator
    Brent from wegotserved WHS forums
    S_M_E from SageTV forums

    ======================================================================================

    Revision History:
    v1.02
    - Added option to allow D: to be part of balancing.
    - Fixed bug where restarting DE would not occur and forward progress would likely not occur.

    v1.01
    - Fixed bug with option #2 and a drive was large enough to contain an equal amount of data.
    - Added option for entering in your own data
    - Added "quit" option in case all you wanted to do was clear the landing zone

    • Moved by Ken WarrenModerator Monday, February 16, 2009 4:48 PM not really WHS software... (Moved from Windows Home Server Software to Windows Home Server Add-Ins and Developer Information)
    • Edited by Beefcake550 Friday, February 20, 2009 1:28 AM Relased an Update
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 6:39 PM

All replies

  • I did a little testing and it seems to work OK. I haven't tried all of the options but so far so good...


    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Monday, February 16, 2009 11:04 AM
  • While I admire your industry, I can't recommend the use of this tool. The fact that "You WILL see some critical WHS problems reported all related to storage space" is not expected WHS behavior.

    WHS doesn't require that drives be "balanced"; it works perfectly well if 2 drives are 99% full and 2 others are almost completely empty.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, February 16, 2009 7:03 PM
    Moderator
  • Well, it's just that.. a warning. Based on your logic, when the drives fill from normal usage, it's not "expected behavior" for warnings to go off. I guess then you can't recommend people adding drives to the pool to eliminate the warning. Now, all this seems pretty silly, doesn't it? So does you basis for not recommending the use of this tool. If you don't recommend it for some real reason, ok , great, I can respect that. Please post your reason so others can make a judgement call based on their needs and all available data.

    If you are flagging people to just not use this tool based on any warning going off, then that's pretty shortsided. If you are not understanding whats going on, then why not ask why the warnings are occuring. If you'd like to know why I said it's expected, perhaps that's the more academic approach.

    Yes, you are right that WHS will work just fine with the scenario you propose. I propose that for some users like myself, this tool will allow WHS to be better. Some of us just don't like that WHS uses the drive with the "least space available". My motivation is explained above and if you don't agree with it, don't use it. I am certainly not pushing my freeware on anyone.

    That said, the people over at wegotserved seem to really like it.

    The warnings occur because the tool creates fake files that fill up disks. It does this in a manner that makes the Drive Extender service move data in a controlled, desirable (if you're running the tool) fashion. Once the tool is all done, the fake files are deleted and your system returns to its previous, non-warning state.

    -Brian

    • Edited by Beefcake550 Monday, February 16, 2009 8:27 PM typo
    Monday, February 16, 2009 8:26 PM
  • I'm not saying not to use the tool because it generates warnings (though I admit it probably looked like it), I'm saying don't use the tool because it's not required for WHS to function correctly, i.e. it doesn't serve any function other than cosmetic.

    I know how the tool works, and why the warnings are generated; but any manipulation of the drives that WHS is using in the storage pool, other than through the console, the shares, or the remote access web site, is unsupported and (at this point) unnecessary. Pushing data around on the drives like this is going to have some sort of impact on the server; at a minimum, it will slow access while it's going on. 

    Also, I can think of scenarios that will leave the unaware user (who will eventually get their hands on this tool) in a bad spot, and I can think of other scenarios that will result in someone who has used this tool having to do much more work to recover from a server problem such as a failed drive than the method of file storage Microsoft uses.

    So yes, I recommend against the use of this tool.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, February 16, 2009 9:20 PM
    Moderator
  • Fair enough. I appreciate your well thought out response. Everything you said is true and precise. Others will hopefully read your concerns and have enough information to make a decision one way or the other.

    Monday, February 16, 2009 9:45 PM
  • Beefcake550 said:

    Yes, you are right that WHS will work just fine with the scenario you propose. I propose that for some users like myself, this tool will allow WHS to be better.

    I fail to see why WHS would be better by "even out" the data on a drive pool. Most certainly this is not the way Drive extender is designed to work. And as Ken point out: it is unnecessary and unsupported.

    So yes,
    I also strongly recommend against the use of this tool.

    Theo.


    No home server like Home Server
    Monday, February 16, 2009 9:57 PM
    Moderator
  • I must say I guess I misunderstood the crowd that visits here. It's fine...to each his/her own.

    as far as reasons, not that I expect to convert anyone....

    Granted, the reasons listed here are for a specific niche....

    I have 3 SageTV extenders, 2 PCs, and a popcorn Hour A-110 device. If all of them try to stream different data from the same disk....forget it, it will never be able to deal with it. You might have a chance if it's all reads, but try throwing in a HD record or two at the same time for a tuner. I personally can guarantee that there will be some unbearable stuttering. Now, in this same situation if you can have ideally 1 disk per client, no problem, it'll work. Obviously, we can't guarantee that case. If all the data in the pool is recordings, music, or other video sources, if you distribute it among N disks, you have a lower chance that both clients want the data that is stored on the same disk.

    Also, we could talk about disk usage. We all know disks are faster at the beginning of the drive, and slow at the end. That could play a role as well.

    Finally, because I'm getting tired of typing :), think about failure rates. Chances are the disk in your system already is older than the new one that you just put in to expand your pool. Would you rather have all of your data on the older disk, or just some? On this same newer/older thread, I'd bet that brand new hard drive is faster than your older one. Personally, I'd like to eek out every ounce of performance if possible. Not in the corner cases, but in the average case.

    Anyhow, these reasons among the ones in the readme explain it all. This tool is no more dangerous than LZReallocator that Theo wrote. It's actually based on the same exact principles.

    -Brian

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 1:12 AM
  • Beefcake,  personally I think this sounds like a fantastic tool.  I found this thread just today as I was looking for a way to do just what you've implemented.  After reading into the methodology it sounds "sound" to me and addresses a weakness in the current design of WHS.  

    That said I'm a bit surprised as well at the attitudes of Ken and "Theo" regarding your addon.

    Ken, you first post saying you'd not recommend the addon, then imply you didn't mean that, then proceed to further criticize citing "scenarios" that will leave a user in a bad spot.  Care to elaborate?  Frankly this tool sounds like an important add-on and to me, and others, addresses a problem with WHS today.   I think I can cite many examples of how a tool like this would KEEP users out of a bad spot, such as degraded performance due to WHS filling up drives to the brim which essentially kills any future attempts at optimization.   Or increasing drive lifespan by spreading workload more evenly across drives.

    Theo, I'm not sure where your position on this comes from other than parroting Ken, care to elaborate?

    Beefcake keep up the good work.  Maybe those that criticize the addon will try it and provide actual feedback on why they can't recommend it, other than that it wasn't created by Microsoft or the assumption that MS actually implemented better data management in WHS, which from what I can see in my use of it so far is certainly not the case. 

    Sorry for my first post being somewhat confrontational but it seems to me that a member has provided a quite possibly valuable addon only to have the community mod and another slam it down without any valid reasons why. 
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:47 AM
  • SantiagoDraco said:

      That said I'm a bit surprised as well at the attitudes of Ken and "Theo" regarding your addon.


    I'm only half surprised, Ken seems to think "unsupported" means bad. Since Theo wrote a similar "unsupported" tool a while back, that is surprising. While "balancing" may not be "needed" it is often "desired" and this tool provides the desired result without breaking WHS. I'll probably use it more to clear off D than to balance regularly I think his tool is useful.

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 9:32 AM
  • Theo van Elsberg said:

    Beefcake550 said:

    Yes, you are right that WHS will work just fine with the scenario you propose. I propose that for some users like myself, this tool will allow WHS to be better.

    I fail to see why WHS would be better by "even out" the data on a drive pool. Most certainly this is not the way Drive extender is designed to work. And as Ken point out: it is unnecessary and unsupported.

    Because some people want the data evened out and while unsupported, this tool makes WHS "better" for people that want the desired effect. Unsupported doesn't mean much to me...


    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 9:35 AM
  • SantiagoDraco said:

    Ken, you first post saying you'd not recommend the addon, then imply you didn't mean that, then proceed to further criticize citing "scenarios" that will leave a user in a bad spot.

    For all that (as I said previously) I admire the OP's industry in creating this tool, I said (more than once) that I strongly recommend against the use of this program. (It's not a Windows Home Server "add-in", because it doesn't install and create tabs in the WHS console via an msi file. It's installed and used entirely outside the console.) And no, I haven't tried it, and won't.

    My reasons are generally as follows (I am not posting them so they can be debated, just so they're clearly stated):
    1. The condition that's being corrected is purely cosmetic at this point, and has no effect on the operation of Windows Home Server.
    2. The only way to learn that the (cosmetic) condition exists in the first place is through access methods that are unsupported. (Basically Remote Desktop/Disk Management.)
    3. The way the tool works is by directly manipulating the file system on the secondary drives, accessing them through the mount points on the system partition. This is unsupported, and Microsoft has warned that direct access and manipulation of secondary storage pool drives (of any sort) is risky.
    I'm not going to go into a list of hypothetical situations that might turn out badly for a user. Suffice to say that I can think of several.

    Regarding the poster who said that I think unsupported = bad... No. Unsupported = potentially dangerous, if you don't know exactly what you're doing. Since the primary target audience of WHS is technically unsophisticated end users, I generally don't recommend the use of unsupported tools or techniques except as a very last resort. The tools are unsupported and (in some cases) highly deprecated by the WHS team because they offer a possibility for damaging server functionality past the point of reasonably easy recovery. If you have good technical skills, though, go ahead and do as you please. I have. :) Just don't recommend that others without those skills do likewise.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:46 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken, while I have respect for your decision, I'd like to point out that it is NOT just a cosmetic reason. I know you aren't looking for a debate, but I feel like I should at least explain that your point #1 is incorrect. In a previous post, I mentioned having multiple clients streaming different data. By distributing the data more evenly across all pooled drives, it is more likely that multiple clients will hit multiple drives which will improve every clients' usability.

    I think of it this way....if I have N drives, that means I have N SATA connections that can be used at the same time. Using the default WHS method of writing data, until the Nth disk is being used to store data, I'm never utilizing my full potential.

    Now granted, there are certainly cases where my tool will do nothing for the end user, at which point it IS cosmetic. However, I would argue that in the average case, it is improving (by paralleling) each client's usability.

    Just to be clear to everyone, I do value what Ken has to say. Hearing the negatives is just as important as the positives.
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 6:14 PM
  • Nonsense, there a number of people here that throw around the word "unsupported" in an effort to dissuade users, as if unsupported means something bad or to be avoided. Virtually all of my tutorials are unsupported but they don't break WHS and neither does beefcake's tool...nor did theo's tool break anything.

    1) beefcake pointed out that it's not just cosmetic, although it might be cosmetic for your usage. There *are* reasons people might want data spread around and, to me, want is a good enough reason by itself.

    2) Disk Management is also a WHS add-in, how is that not supported and what difference does unsupported make when talking about how the data is gleaned? Are you suggesting that remote desktop is breaking WHS? Of course not. Even if they did get the info via remote desktop and looking at the built in Disk Management utility that's not going to break anything.

    3) Again, "unsupported," as if that means something in of itself. Theo's LZR did basically the same thing but it broke nothing. I have two tutorials that "manipulate" the file system but haven't broken anything.

    While WHS might be aimed at the non-technical user, plenty of us ARE technical and those users that are not technical probably aren't going to be running this tool in a remote session, most of them won't even know that their systems may not be balanced nor even care. This tool is aimed at the more technical and even if the non-technical users get ahold of it; it's not going to break anything just because MS didn't think to spread the data around differently and they use it.

    I'm all for warning people that things are unsupported but lets not pretend that it means more than it does. Lets not pretend that everyting unsupported should be avoided just because MS doesn't approve or is only catering to the computer illiterate. There are cases when unsupported means something but often it's just used as an excuse, imo.

    Nobody is saying that anyone HAS to use this tool nor are they saying that everyone should use it but there's nothing wrong with people using it if they want.


    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 8:19 PM
  • Also, if MS doesn't want users to use a tool like this they should give us more options on how the data is stored. :D

    If we had more options most of my tutorials wouldn't be needed... ;)

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 8:31 PM
  • Beefcake550 said:

    ...] Anyhow, these reasons among the ones in the readme explain it all. This tool is no more dangerous than LZReallocator that Theo wrote. It's actually based on the same exact principles.



    Hello Brian,

    First let me say that I think highly of people like you who try to make Windows Home Server better, nicer or more useful.  Also I do not want to discourage your work. However, we all know that any non-supported addition to WHS  bears some risk in somehow damaging its functionality or making the system inoperable. As long as this risk means re-installing WHS (leaving data unharmed)  I think just a warning will suffice. Correct me if I am wrong, but as far as I can judge your tool (I have not tried nor will do so) interferes with the workings of the WHS file system. This implies that any problem with using the tool may result in loosing valuable data. And with WHS it is all about making your data save.

    I can see that some of you have reasons to interfere with the way Drive Extender was designed to work. That's fine and being a professional developer myself I certainly do not want to debate that. But for several reasons (most of them very clearly explained by Ken Warren) I would never use myself nor advise others to use any tool that is in conflict with WHS design and/or is 'unsupported' unless it is on a test-server.

    Why? Because it means that one is driving Windows Home Server outside its design specifications, where unsupported also means 'untested' and possible conflicting with future functionality. Mind that MS is spending lots and lost of energy in testing WHS to keep you data as save as possible. But this testing will target the designed specifications only.  And how do you know that the next automatic update will not mean desaster for your storare pool?
     
    • If the safety of your data has priority, I would strongly advise against using this type of tools.
    • If you are certain you know the implications of such a tool and are willing to take a risk (or have a good backup of your data) feel free to use it and have fun!


    Theo van Elsberg.


    PS - About LZReallocator, awaiting an official fix from Microsoft, LZReallocator was created for the sole purpose of presenting a one-time work around for a problem with the PP1 Drive Extender that under certain circumstances could arise - thus severely limiting the functionality of Windows Home Server. With the Windows Home Server November update (KB957825) the use of LZReallocator is no longer needed and I strongly advise against using it.

    FYI: LZReallocator did not interfere with Drive Extender. It just fooled it into migrating files off the 'landing zone' (which btw
    ceased to exist with KB957825) by temporarily allocating storage outside the storage pool. But as the readme stated: the use of
    it also was unsupported and at your own risk.


    No home server like Home Server
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 9:11 PM
    Moderator
  • Theo van Elsberg said:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but as far as I can judge your tool (I have not tried nor will do so) interferes with the workings of the WHS file system. This implies that any problem with using the tool may result in loosing valuable data. And with WHS it is all about making your data save.

    Consider yourself corrected. Nothing his tool does would harm existing data, it uses DE to actually move the data, it just fools DE into thinking it needs to do so. It works just like LZR did, except with more logic and it doesn't just clear D.


    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 9:52 PM

  • S_M_E said:

    Consider yourself corrected. Nothing his tool does would harm existing data, it uses DE to actually move the data, it just foold DE into thinking it needs to do so. It works just like LZR did, except with more logic and it doesn't just clear D.

     


    OK, I stand corrected!
    Even though this does not really change my general opinion on this subject as stated earlier?

    @Brian: I promise - during the comming weeks I'll  (carefully ;-)  install your tool on my testserver for a while just to to see how it is doing.
    Have fun,
    Theo.





    No home server like Home Server
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:12 PM
    Moderator
  • "I would never use myself nor advise others to use any tool that is in conflict with WHS design and/or is 'unsupported' unless it is on a test-server."
    Unless it's the tool you released? People used it, right? Or did you release it and tell people not to use it? "Here's the tool I wrote; don't use it." Too funny...

    I just find it odd that somebody who wrote and released an "unsupported" tool that does almost the exact same thing (just to a lesser degree) has the nerve to use "unsupported" as a reason people shouldn't use this one, especially after being wrong about it putting data at risk and the way it works in general. It's like a PETA member lecturing about not eating meat while eating a cheeseburger. :D


    "Even though this does not really change my general opinion on this subject as stated earlier?"

    It should, because your general opinion was based on a number of false assumptions. ;)

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 11:01 PM
  • Gentlemen, it's time to drop this line of conversation. If you want to talk about the tool that Brian has written, that's fine. If you want to talk about why one might want, or not want, to use it, that's fine. But the purpose of these forums is to assist people who are having problems with, or who have questions about, Windows Home Server. This thread is suddenly moving significantly off topic. And not in a good direction.

    If you don't quite understand why I am posting this, please read the Forum Policy post in the Announcements forum.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 11:19 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken Warren said:

    If you want to talk about the tool that Brian has written, that's fine. If you want to talk about why one might want, or not want, to use it, that's fine.



    That IS what we're talking about, I even explained how the tool works and how it doesn't put data at risk. We were also debating whether "unsupported" is a reason enough to not use this tool. Some say yes, I disagree.



    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 11:52 PM
  • I think we all understand each other at this point.

    @Theo - I would greatly anticipate to hear if you like the tool or not. S_M_E is right in that it works exactly like LZreallocator with two main updates:
    1) It can restart DE on it's own.
    2) It has a bunch of logic around how many "fake files" to create on each disk and when to create them. It does, however create them with the exact same code (since I lifted it from you :) ) that LZreallocator uses.

    Lastly, I'll be releasing an update that will allow users with only 2 drives in the system to balance between D: and the pooled drive. I had a request to implement such a change and it seemed pretty straight forward.



    Wednesday, February 18, 2009 2:17 AM
  • Got an update released....check it out..

    WeGotServed Forum

    v1.02
    - Added option to allow D: to be part of balancing.
    - Fixed bug where restarting DE would not occur and forward progress would likely not occur.

    -Brian
    Friday, February 20, 2009 1:31 AM
  • In case anyone cares, I have updated the code at wegotserved.co.uk

    v1.03
    - Handled bug where WHS returns free space of D: as (C: + D:)
    - Fine tuned "crunching" algorithm so balancing should be better on different sized HDDs
    - Added exception handling around creation of fake directories and fake files

    Tuesday, February 24, 2009 1:54 AM
  • Got an update released....check it out..

    WeGotServed Forum

    v1.04
    - Fixed bug where D: was not always cleaned up
    - Modified restarting of DE service to monitor disk activity. This will restart DE within
      seconds instead of 15 minutes. Should improve run time on systems with large files.


    Monday, March 9, 2009 11:17 AM
  •  

    I would like to make a comment on this tool. I have used it and it did not break a thing. My reason for using the tool was for function. We all know how WHS uses the HDDs in the pool which is fine and dandy. But when I went to do a disk defragment to my system I couldn’t because the one disk that needed it the most, with 40% fragmentation, was over 90% full and had no space to do work. Once this tool was run I could do the disk defragment I needed to do. So in this instance this tool was handy and provided a function I could not do with any function that WHS had built in.

     

    Now that I have my data stable I shouldn’t need to run disk defragment nearly as often I hope. But during first building and storing of my data I did a lot of moving around stuff which probably caused most of the fragmentation to begin with. Plus the fact I have added more drive space and with this tool I should never run into this problem again.

     

    No I do not plan using this tool just for “cosmetic” reason. I plan to use it to get me out of bind if I need it. That is what tools are developed for, solving problems. I had a problem and using this tool help me solve that problem.

     

    Since I built my own WHS I am the support. So MS isn’t going to help me anyway so “unsupported” means little to me. I evaluate my risk (read have BACKUPS) and make the call accordingly. This tool did what it said it would do and allowed me to do what I needed to do.

     

    I thank you for your useful tool.

     

    fasthair     

    Tuesday, March 10, 2009 7:31 PM
  • How does this app take into account folder duplication? I know WHS puts folders marked for duplication on other drives to prevent against loss from drive failure. Does this app take this into account? Will this create any issues regarding this? I can see how this would be handy as the author suggests, for performance reasons. I am a new WHS user, and right now I use it mainly for file backup, so really don't care much if it's balanced or not. But I can definitely see the advantage to using it for streaming video and audio.

    Thanks.
    Friday, July 31, 2009 3:34 AM
  • This app exists to correct a cosmetic issue. It doesn't know about (or care about) duplication per se. It just forces Drive Extender to move files from one drive to another by completely filling up the drive that the user feels "is too full".

    It's likely that repeated use of this tool will result in increased fragmentation in the storage pool, so it could have a negative impact on streaming performance. "Increased fragementation" is on a file by file basis, of course, as Windows Home Server doesn't put pieces of a file on multiple drives. It puts a complete copy of the file on exactly two drives if duplication is turned on.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, July 31, 2009 5:03 PM
    Moderator
  • Ok - knowing full well the warnings by Ken and Theo I tried this program.  I have 4x 1.5Tb, 1x 2Tb, 750Mb and 1x 1Tb system disk - after I install the 2Tb drive everything "looked" way out of wack abd the drives were not balanced.  So I tried the app and not everything looks great (except the system drive is 97% full).  Only problem is when I go into the console and try to view backups I can't, and when I go to settings and click on the backup tab it says Repair Backup Database.

    so before it do that I will retry the Drive Balancer prog 1st then try a re-install.  If all else fails then it's the repair database button...

    Ouch.

    Chuck G
    Sunday, March 14, 2010 7:21 PM
  • There is no need to balance the drives.  Windows Home Server handles where data should be put and basically it's not a 'good idea' to fight against it.


    --
    Sunday, March 14, 2010 8:10 PM
  • There is no need to balance the drives.  Windows Home Server handles where data should be put and basically it's not a 'good idea' to fight against it.


    --

    Yup - understood...  But how do I get my system drive below 98% I thought it would do it by itself over a 24 hr period but it's still the same.  I tried the "repair Database and a sever reinstall" so now at least I can see the files in my backup - but I can't re-add my backed up computers to the server...

    Help
    Monday, March 15, 2010 3:03 PM
  • Actually there ARE reasons some people might want to balance their drives. Clearing out the D drive is one of them.

    Despite the unwarranted "unsupported" paranoia, I've used this tool dozens of times with no ill-effect nor do I know of anyone that's had any serious issues. Sometimes this tool can forget to delete temp files but that's easy to fix afterward and it's also documented.


    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 4:03 AM
  • And why would one want to clear out the D Drive?  I mean where else is the data in the storage pool going to go other than D?
    --
    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 10:12 AM
  • It could go to other drives in the pool, as the OP pointed out. My pooled drives have larger cluster sizes than default but that's another thread. This app STILL lets DE "handle" where the data goes, the app just fools it into thinking it should go where we want it to go, without a fight. :D

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 3:21 PM
  • Actually there ARE reasons some people might want to balance their drives. Clearing out the D drive is one of them.
    So far I've not heard any real reasons why.  I think that is because there are no reasons.  This app is pure placebo and a waste of discussion.
    --
    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 3:41 PM
  • Gentlemen, please give this a rest. And maybe give ChucklesG some useful advice? 

    Mine would be to figure out what's using space on the D: partition, then proceed from there. Perhaps files need to be moved off the server and then back on? Perhaps an additional disk is called for? Perhaps the recently added 2 TB disk is revealing a hardware incompatibility issue? There are lots of possibilities...

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 5:01 PM
    Moderator
  • Gentlemen, please give this a rest. And maybe give ChucklesG some useful advice? 

    Mine would be to figure out what's using space on the D: partition, then proceed from there. Perhaps files need to be moved off the server and then back on? Perhaps an additional disk is called for? Perhaps the recently added 2 TB disk is revealing a hardware incompatibility issue? There are lots of possibilities...

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    My advice would be to either delete shadows (if shadows are filling the system drive) or delete the "fake" folders (if they exist) as outlined in the documentation. You are right though; figuring out what, exactly, is filling that drive would help. 

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    • Edited by Ken WarrenModerator Wednesday, March 17, 2010 2:31 AM There will be no "last words" on either side. Drop it.
    Wednesday, March 17, 2010 2:23 AM
  • Gentlemen, please give this a rest. And maybe give ChucklesG some useful advice? 

    Mine would be to figure out what's using space on the D: partition, then proceed from there. Perhaps files need to be moved off the server and then back on? Perhaps an additional disk is called for? Perhaps the recently added 2 TB disk is revealing a hardware incompatibility issue? There are lots of possibilities...

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    My advice would be to either delete shadows (if shadows are filling the system drive) or delete the "fake" folders (if they exist) as outlined in the documentation. You are right though; figuring out what, exactly, is filling that drive would help. 

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine

    Ok no fake in the C:\fs\  but did delete the D:\Fake dir and still could not access the back-uped drives.  Ran Drive balancer again but still unable to view backuped computers.  Ran the restore database yet again and rebooted again...  OM gosh I could see the files in the computer backups!  and this time I could see the repair and cleanup option under the setting/backups tab ( couldn't see that before just repair index).  So I ran repair and cleanup - rebooted - looked good - ran Chkdsk on next reboot. was able to not only see backups but could backup 1 computer! Yea - but then when I tried to BU the computer that had 10+ Bluray backups it stalled after 18 hrs at 66%.  Dang I thought I was good - so restore/repair/chkdsk again...  Now backing up all other computer but will hold off doing a backup of the Bluray computer until I hear back from you folks to find out if there are issues with backing up files >40GBs.

    BTW System disk is now the normal 2% and no problems with the 2TB drive.  2 of the 1.5 TB drives are connected to a 2x SATA PCI card are there any issues using non mobo sata ports with WHS?

    Cheers,
    Chuck G.
    Wednesday, March 17, 2010 6:03 AM
  • No, there are no issues with backing up a large file. If you have 10+ ripped Blu-ray discs, probably that means something like 350-450 GB, which is likely to take at least several hours...
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, March 17, 2010 3:49 PM
    Moderator
  • My advice would be to either delete shadows (if shadows are filling the system drive) or delete the "fake" folders (if they exist) as outlined in the documentation. You are right though; figuring out what, exactly, is filling that drive would help. 

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine

    Ok no fake in the C:\fs\  but did delete the D:\Fake dir and still could not access the back-uped drives.
    I suspected that the 98% full problem was "fake" files on the D partition of the system drive but, as you found out, that has nothing to do with backups, etc. I'd also suggest putting the Bluray files on the WHS rather than backing up another computer with those files daily.

    Glad you got it fixed now...


    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -- Thomas Paine
    Thursday, March 18, 2010 4:54 AM
  • I have to say it seemed a long way round to get the drives balanced BUT and this was a great one it did according to a few benchmarks, speed up the overall system just a tad.

    I would like to see it made a little simpler for those with less knowledge. After all lots of companies make defrag and other windows manipulation tools. Not least of all NORTON and I am sure that if Ken started to lambast NORTON and some of the other major players there would be an outcry. I understand Kens reticence but his "post a lot" sig is just that LOL

    I loved it and it did just what it said. In short it works and it is useful.

    Just because MS didnt come up with it and it is a more advanced utility does not make it a big no-no. Most of the people that get this far in the ms forums have enough knowledge to make informed decisions. I made mine based on wanting to see a more even distribution of data (sort of a defrag if you will) Bonus was the speed increase even if it is not a major one.

     


    Do unto others before they get chance to screw you !
    Monday, September 20, 2010 4:13 AM
  • Have to agree, which is why it is incomprehensible that MS is dropping DE.  As a 'non-techie' user of WHS since beta I have twice had disc crashes which caused initial sytem failure but on both occasions I was able to replace the faulty disc (with a larger one) and, Hey Presto, all my files were intact and the system restored.  Isn't that what WHS is for?  What good will it be without DE.  We don't want to spend yet more money on Drobo or RAID systems when DE worked so simply and effectively.  Surely WHS was supposed to be for your average HOME user not server managers. I urge MS to reconsider or the product will no longer be a HOME SERVER.
    Saturday, December 18, 2010 3:48 PM