none
WHS taking too long to respond

    Question

  • Hello, I'm new to this forum. My name is Haris from Greece, nice to meet you!

    I have recently built a new pc running whs with all the updates. When I work on this pc sometimes it's taking too long to respond, for example when I press the start button or open windows explorer (mouse becomes sandglass). I must wait about 2-3 minutes until the system becomes available. It's like a process running in the background that prevents whs to respond in my commands. This is happening periodically, for example the pc is not responding for 3-4 minutes, after that time everything works as expected until it happens again...

    When this is happening I also tried to connect from my client pc but it gives me the 'cannot connect to home server' message. After a while I connect normally. Same thing with remote access.

    I cannot see anything wrong in Task manager. I guess it's a duplication process that it's taking place but it's happening quite often, that's why I worry.

    Is this behaviour normal?

    Thank you...
    Thursday, February 04, 2010 2:40 PM

All replies

  • Do you see any performance issues when you're accessing the shares, using the Windows Home Server console from a client PC, accessing the Remote Access web site, etc.? In other words, when you're not logged in to the server desktop? If not, don't worry about it, given that use of the server desktop is unsupported.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, February 04, 2010 3:26 PM
  • This behaviour is not normal.

    Are you running any add-ins or other software other than the standard install of Windows Home Server?

    Do you have many hard drives? Check through each controller and drive in device manager and ensure that DMA is enabled and PIO mode is not used. 

    Let us know how you get on.
    --
    Thursday, February 04, 2010 5:29 PM
  • Thank you for your answers.

    @Ken I have no problems accessing the shared folders from the client. But I do have problems when I run the console. Sometimes it opens as expected, sometimes it takes too long and I get the 'cannot connect to home server' message. It's like that my server is busy for about 4-5 minutes, then it becomes available for about 6-7 minutes, until it becomes busy again... But no problems whatsoever accessing the shared folders from client (through windows explorer>network locations).

    @Al I have several programs installed in my WHS pc (like Office, Nero, Winrar, Internet Download Manager, uTorrent: not the add-in, the regular program). I know I shouldn't have installed so many applications but I need the WHS pc to be functional for very simple tasks, like editing a doc file or downloading. As for add-ins, I have only installed Disk Management.

    I have 2 hard drives (2x1.5tb wd green) and in device manager>ide ata/atapi controllers I see two primary and two secondary ide channels. Properties:
    First Primary - Device 0: Ultra DMA Mode 5 / Device 1: Ultra DMA Mode 5
    Second Primary - Device 0: Ultra DMA Mode 5 / Device 1: Not applicable
    First Secondary - Device 0: Ultra DMA Mode 5 / Device 1: Not applicable
    Second Secondary - Device 0: Not applicable / Device 1: Not applicable

    Friday, February 05, 2010 9:43 AM
  • I think there are two problems.  One that you are using 'Green' drives - these tend to spin down after a short time of inactivity, even though they spin at lower speeds than regular drives they still do take sometime to spin up.

    Also I think there may be a problem with your system that is highlighted by Disk Management fetching health data from the drives.  For now try to remove this Add-In and see if that cures the problem.


    --
    Friday, February 05, 2010 10:13 AM
  • Al, I tried your suggestions but no luck. I suspected that it might be a DE migrator issue so I disabled the service and turned off folder duplication on all folders. Still no luck! Something is running in the background that prevents everything else from starting, until it's finished first. Even the mouse cursor stutters or the Start button doesn't open the menu. But I can't find what it is! Task manager doesn't show anything unusual (like extreme cpu or ram use). Event viewer also looks normal...

    No problems whatsoever when accessing the shared folders from the client pc (through windows explorer). That's why I don't think that it's an issue of wd green caviars spin down. Besides, the disks were constantly spinning during these tests...

    Let me give you an example that might help: I tried to extract a 17gb movie (in .rar parts) from the Public shared folder to the Video shared folder, using remote desktop from my client pc. It stopped at 56% saying 'the disk might be full' or 'network folder not found'. I did the same thing without using Remote desktop (meaning no implication of WHS) and the extraction to the shared folders completed as expected.

    If anything else fails, please give me a link on how to reinstall whs without formatting and thus losing my data on the server.

    Thanks again...
    Friday, February 05, 2010 11:39 PM
  • Hi Mnever33,

    It's quite hard to say what the problem is exactly.

    If you decide to do a reinstall of Windows Home Server you get the option to either do a new install or a server recovery - the later should retain your data.  Once drivers have been loaded the next step is to choose the type of installation you want.  This is the critical step, if you select "New Installation" instead of "Server Reinstallation" all your data will be deleted - so make sure you choose "Server Reinstallation"

    You might want to see the following forum post on Green Drives:
    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en/whshardware/thread/ac536590-e1d8-4868-b447-86c774192564

    Good luck,
    Al

    --
    Saturday, February 06, 2010 2:40 AM
  • Hello again.

    I searched very much trying to find the cause of the problem and I noticed the following symptoms:

    The System pie in Server Storage tab in the console shows incorrect size of 727gb. My sys drive is 20gb and I use only 6,5gb. My shares are 602gb which is shown correctly in the Shared Folders pie. Why is it that System takes so much space? Also Disk Management agrees with Server Storage tab.
    As I said, I have 2x 1.5tb wd green caviar and Server Storage and Disk management show:
    Total Size: 2,73TB
    Free: 1,39TB
    Shared: 602GB
    PC Backups: 240MB
    System: 727GB

    Specifically, Disk Management shows:
    Disk0 (System): 393GB (28%)
    Disk1: 975GB (69%)

    I should say that Disk Management add-in didn't report the temperature for Disk0 ("n/a"). Also SMART add-in doesn't report anything for Disk0 (only for Disk1).

    But the only disk space I use is 6,5GB (whs) + 602GB shares, nothing else (I have disabled folder duplication on all folders, I have also disabled PC backup).

    This symptom is very similar to this thread. The problem there was solved doing a new installation of whs (not server reinstall).

    • Edited by mnever33 Wednesday, February 10, 2010 1:22 PM
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 1:05 PM
  • Then I followed Ken's guide about Check Disk. These are the results:

    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop>checkall.cmd

    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop>net stop pdl

    The Windows Home Server Drive Letter Service service was stopped successfully.


    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop>net stop whsbackup

    The Windows Home Server Computer Backup service was stopped successfully.


    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop>chkdsk D: /x /r
    The type of the file system is NTFS.
    Volume dismounted.  All opened handles to this volume are now invalid.
    Volume label is DATA.

    CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)...
    20000 file records processed.
    File verification completed.
    1 large file records processed.
    0 bad file records processed.
    0 EA records processed.
    9017 reparse records processed.
    CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 5)...
    55312 index entries processed.
    Index verification completed.
    5 unindexed files processed.
    CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 5)...
    20000 security descriptors processed.
    Security descriptor verification completed.
    694 data files processed.
    CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
    28944096 USN bytes processed.
    Usn Journal verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
    19984 files processed.
    File data verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
    360914103 free clusters processed.
    Free space verification is complete.
    Adding 97846497 bad clusters to the Bad Clusters File.
    Correcting errors in the Volume Bitmap.
    Windows has made corrections to the file system.

    1444155142 KB total disk space.
        335380 KB in 9190 files.
          4600 KB in 695 indexes.
     391385988 KB in bad sectors.
        158750 KB in use by the system.
         65536 KB occupied by the log file.
    1052270424 KB available on disk.

          4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
     361038785 total allocation units on disk.
     263067606 allocation units available on disk.

    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop>chkdsk C: /x /r
    The type of the file system is NTFS.
    Cannot lock current drive.

    Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another
    process.  Would you like to schedule this volume to be
    checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)



    I answered Y, then another check disk process started but the DOS window closed (after 2-3 hours) before I could see the results. I restarted the system and the check disk process at start found nothing on C (drive clean).

    I also tried the WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic Tool which didn't find anything wrong. These are the results:
    Test Option: QUICK TEST
    Model Number: WDC WD15EADS-00P8B0
    Unit Serial Number: WD-WMAVU0423289
    Firmware Number: 01.00A01
    Capacity: 1500.30 GB
    SMART Status: PASS
    Test Result: PASS
    Test Time: 18:51:34, February 08, 2010

    Test Option: EXTENDED TEST
    Model Number: WDC WD15EADS-00P8B0
    Unit Serial Number: WD-WMAVU0423289
    Firmware Number: 01.00A01
    Capacity: 1500.30 GB
    SMART Status: PASS
    Test Result: PASS
    Test Time: 02:04:01, February 09, 2010


    Test Option: QUICK TEST
    Model Number: WDC WD15EADS-00P8B0
    Unit Serial Number: WD-WMAVU0407547
    Firmware Number: 01.00A01
    Capacity: 1500.30 GB
    SMART Status: PASS
    Test Result: PASS
    Test Time: 18:51:50, February 08, 2010

    Test Option: EXTENDED TEST
    Model Number: WDC WD15EADS-00P8B0
    Unit Serial Number: WD-WMAVU0407547
    Firmware Number: 01.00A01
    Capacity: 1500.30 GB
    SMART Status: PASS
    Test Result: PASS
    Test Time: 22:18:32, February 08, 2010


    I can't know if any of my two hdds is failing. I'm worried for the 391385988 KB in bad sectors.
    Is this something that I should worry about? Only chkdsk shows bad sectors, why all other hdd tests pass successfully?

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 1:05 PM
  • I would say the drive is pretty poorly, for some reason the volume became corrupt, quite a big corruption - I've never seen checkdisk pick up that many bad clusters before.  To be sure though I would remove that drive from your storage pool and format it in another machine, fill it full of data and then test it again - the slow access seems to be a problem with these drives.

    According to this thread there seems to be a problem with WD Green drives - I don't know how widespread it is but you might want to drop WD support a support request:
    http://community.wdc.com/t5/Desktop/WD15EADS-00P8B0-Really-slow-Or-am-I-just-crazy/td-p/1547

    Also here:
    http://rosssully.atspace.com/wd15eads.html


    --
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 1:35 PM
  • Then I followed Ken's guide about Check Disk.

    Didn't you miss this line:
     for /d %%1 in (C:\fs\*) do start chkdsk /x /r %%1
    --
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 1:45 PM
  • Hello again.

    I searched very much trying to find the cause of the problem and I noticed the following symptoms:

    The System pie in Server Storage tab in the console shows incorrect size of 727gb. My sys drive is 20gb and I use only 6,5gb. My shares are 602gb which is shown correctly in the Shared Folders pie. Why is it that System takes so much space? Also Disk Management agrees with Server Storage tab.
    As I said, I have 2x 1.5tb wd green caviar and Server Storage and Disk management show:
    Total Size: 2,73TB
    Free: 1,39TB
    Shared: 602GB
    PC Backups: 240MB
    System: 727GB

    Specifically, Disk Management shows:
    Disk0 (System): 393GB (28%)
    Disk1: 975GB (69%)

    I should say that Disk Management add-in didn't report the temperature for Disk0 ("n/a"). Also SMART add-in doesn't report anything for Disk0 (only for Disk1).

    But the only disk space I use is 6,5GB (whs) + 602GB shares, nothing else (I have disabled folder duplication on all folders).

    This symptom is very similar to this thread. The problem there was solved doing a new installation of whs (not server reinstall).

    How have you copied your data to d:\shares   -  System should read 20GB - this means you have 707GB of Data stored outside of you drive extender pool. 

    --
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 1:51 PM
  • The drive that's showing the problems is your system drive. Assuming the drive actually is failing, you shouldn't consider for even a moment reinstalling on a failing drive; you should replace the drive and then reinstall.

    Before you proceed with reinstallation, though, please check with your motherboard and/or disk HBA manufacturer and with your disk drive manufacturer, to make absolutely certain that there is no incompatibility between your drives, your hardware, and the BIOS on your motherboard. Any such incompatibility can manifest with large numbers of "bad sectors".

    Assuming you need to proceed, you'll find a post here that walks through server recovery/reinstallation. In your case, you should set aside your current system drive, rather than throwing it away, because you said (somewhere) that you don't have duplication turned on. Unfortunately this means that your data is at risk. After reinstallation has completed, read this FAQ to learn how to recover what you can from the failing system drive.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 3:40 PM
  • After backing up all my important files I followed Al's advice and I formatted the drive in my home pc (running win7) as NTFS.
    Then I added around 100gb of data and restarted the pc. Pressing F8 at startup I entered Windows Repair mode > Command Prompt and I used chkdsk /x /r to check the drive. This time the results showed 0 KB Bad Sectors. 

    I removed the drive from home pc and connected it back to my server.
    I did a New Installation of WHS and afterwards I noticed that the Server Storage tab showed correctly 20gb as System.
    Then I did chkdsk /x /r again, following Ken's post here, and after 4-5 hours checkdisk showed the same results I posted above (391385988 KB in bad sectors).
    I checked the Server Storage tab again and the System pie changed to 393 GBs!!! It seems that CheckDisk somehow marks these 391385988 KBs (= 373 GBs) as System and the console adds them to the System pie (373+20=393 GBs)! Why is this happening?

    As I understand, it turns out that my two green caviars are OK:
    Both drives checked in another pc with Scandisk (Win7) and chkdsk /x /r (Win7>Windows Repair>Command Prompt). No problems found (0 KB bad sectors).
    I also tried SeaTools for Windows, SeaTools for DOS (with bootable cd), WD Data LifeGuard Diagnostic. Both drives passed ALL the tests successfully!

    I get problems only with the 'check all the drives in your server for errors' process which reports incorrectly that both drives have bad sectors (373GB for each hdd).
    I find hard to believe that both hdds fail simultaneously with the exact same amount of bad sectors (391385988 KBs for each hdd).
    Something must be wrong when running chkdsk /x /r (Ken's checkall.cmd) from WHS.
    I have found a similar problem here.


    Sorry for the delayed reply but running all these tests in 2x 1,5 TB hdds is painfully slow!

    Sunday, February 14, 2010 2:09 PM
  • The issue you're describing is why I suggested you check for incompatibilities between disk drives, system BIOS, disk controller, drivers, etc. A "1.5 TB drive" will typically have about 1396 GB of disk space as shown in Windows, and your 373 GB of bad sectors is rather close to the difference between 1 TB and the actual disk size. That most recent thread you've linked is probably the same thing, and appears to lay blame on the Intel chipset/storage drivers.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, February 14, 2010 4:41 PM