locked
How do I kill PP2? Every last trace, dead-dead-dead? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Two weeks ago today, my WHS started having issues.  First "file conflicts", then "lost data", then a spate of other issues.

    I have replaced drives, rebuilt my media library, almost-kinda-sorta started to believe I might someday be able to trust WHS with my stuff again, and this morning I got a message that my SYS drive has gone "unhealthy".  The WHS console suggests I do a "repair", but notes that I may lose data.

    What I can't help observing is that my WHS ran completely without hiccups for months and months, and the exact day that PP2 came out, I started having problems.  And, I am having a *really* hard time believing that two non-identical drives would have failures less than two weeks apart.

    Rather, I am cognizant that a significant variable (PP2) entered the equation exactly when the problems started occurring, and can't help thinking that the introduction of PP2 is in some way causal.  I also can't help noticing that a spike in drive-related, data-loss and other "WHS failure" posts has occurred here on the forums, starting on that same date.

    So, my question is, how do I go about *completely* removing PP2 from my WHS?  I'd like to eliminate every last trace of it, in order to complete remove it as a potential cause.  Where that road will lead, I'm not sure, I may in fact have bad drives, but... at least I'd like to be able to remove one of the "question marks".

    Edited to add:  my current Version Information is:
    Windows Home Server Console: 6.0.2030.0
    Windows Home Server Backup & Restore: 6.0.2030.0
    Windows Home Server Drive Extender: 6.0.2030.0
    Windows Home Server Remote Access: 6.0.2030.0
    Windows Home Server Storage Manager: 6.0.2030.0

    Bruce
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 3:30 PM

Answers

  • Hi Bruce,
    to uninstall Power Pack 2 you will have to logon on the servers desktop.
    In Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs Click Show Updates and Select Windows Home Server Power Pack 2.

    Although this might fix the appearances, the background may be the improved error checking methods, which allow now to discover problems, which have been hidden formerly.
    So uninstalling Power Pack 2 as a solution would be the same as standing in front of a coming train and closing the eyes instead of moving.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 3:53 PM
    Moderator
  • Please understand that I want to see you find a solution for the problems you're currently having, but I honestly don't believe that Power Pack 2 is the source of your problem. If it were, given that you have an HP MediaSmart Server I would expect a lot more people (me!) to be having problems. At most I expect that Power Pack 2 is revealing a pre-existing, and hopefully minor, problem with your server.

    So please
    file a bug on Connect. If there's a problem with Power Pack 2, that's the best way to make sure it gets addressed, as it's impossible to supply the information the WHS team needs to solve most issues in the forums. Once you've done so please post the id # for the issue back here.

    If there's a hardware problem with your server, or a software/OS issue unrelated to Windows Home Server per se (the "random cosmic ray" theory of computer problems), filing a bug on Connect is probably also the fastest way to find out what, specifically, is going on there.

    As for previous posts you have made, the regrettable (my wife would certainly say so) truth is that I read just about everything that's posted in these forums. If I responded to you two weeks ago, that's great, but I won't remember the specifics of an issue posted about days or weeks ago, unless I'm directly reminded of it. So linkage, please? :)

    And disregard the printer errors. They occur because of your remote desktop connection; by default the remote desktop client in Windows wants to share your local printers, and Windows Home Server doens't have drivers for those printers. They shouldn't be errors at all, IMO, but that's Microsoft for you...



    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 7:25 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Bruce,
    to uninstall Power Pack 2 you will have to logon on the servers desktop.
    In Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs Click Show Updates and Select Windows Home Server Power Pack 2.

    Although this might fix the appearances, the background may be the improved error checking methods, which allow now to discover problems, which have been hidden formerly.
    So uninstalling Power Pack 2 as a solution would be the same as standing in front of a coming train and closing the eyes instead of moving.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 3:53 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks, Olaf.

    From my perspective, that train has been running on time for quite a while, and now seems to have a very hard time staying on the tracks.  I'm having a hard time believing that the train is the problem.... "something else" changed, and whatever it is seems to be "creating" problems, rather than simply discovering them.

    Bruce
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 4:12 PM
  • Just as a data-point, here's a small-but-representative sample of the "I'm having drive problems" threads that have popped up since March 25.  And this isn't even counting all the "desktop connector" and "remote access" failures that popped up at the same time.

    I'm [apparently] not the only one whose previously-reliable train is all-of-a-sudden coming off the tracks.  But I'm apparently the only one seeing a "pattern".

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whshardware/thread/3e153ebe-d4db-4192-9020-e5f3c8f664c5

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whshardware/thread/ebc93b25-0fbb-4188-9f38-bfa22b847f6c

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whshardware/thread/e7734df1-ddfc-47e6-97b8-c7aabcddb75b

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whssoftware/thread/2a33b91e-59d2-4807-a9ed-39f9295b484a

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whssoftware/thread/73776884-e824-47ff-b81e-2ad5a7fd369d

    Thursday, April 9, 2009 4:36 PM
  • Bruce, for your specific problem, have you A) run chkdsk on all the drives in your server, and/or B) submitted a bug report on Connect? Also, what do you have installed on your server? Add-ins? Other software installed through Remote Desktop or physical console? Any tweaks applied other than through the Windows Home Server console application?

    As for the rest: most of those links (3 of 5, with another possible) represent actual hardware issues. That they occurred since March 25 is coincidence; people have been having hardware issues right along and it would be unusual to see a 3 week period with none. The fifth issue appears not to be directly related to Windows Home Server, but to another patch or update that Microsoft has released that caused a problem on a single user's server. Or are you suggesting something else, perhaps that Power Pack 2 is causing physical damage to servers?

    As far as patterns are concerned, humans are hard-wired to detect patterns. We're so good at it that we see patterns where none actually exist (cloud "animals" for example). In this case, I'm sure some people are seeing warnings since they installed Power Pack 2, and we are seeing more reports because people are paying more attention. I don't think this represents a pattern, though.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 5:16 PM
    Moderator
  • Bruce, for your specific problem, have you A) run chkdsk on all the drives in your server, and/or B) submitted a bug report on Connect? Also, what do you have installed on your server? Add-ins? Other software installed through Remote Desktop or physical console? Any tweaks applied other than through the Windows Home Server console application?

    I am running an absolutely vanilla EX475.  Configuration (on the 26th) was the two OEM 500-GB drives in the bottom two bays, and two Seagate 1-Tb drives in the upper bays.  I have never installed add-ins.  I have no other software installed on the machine.  I have no "tweaks" of any kind - I simply pulled the WHS out of the box, plugged in drives, connected it to router and have been happily using it (largely as a "mapped drive" for my media library), for months and months.  Notably, I don't use MCE or Media Extenders to stream anything, so I don't have that flavor of [apparently] PP2-related problems.  I simply use it as a really large (and, theoretically, safe) pool of disk for my iTunes library.

    You may recall that around 3/27 I started getting "file conflict" errors.  The wisdom here insisted that it was a hardware problem.  Per your posts last week to my "hardware" thread, I ran your chkdsk script(s) on all the drives; they all came back clean. 

    Since that time I have pulled all the drives out of my machine and grabbed the data off them (it came off "intact" - despite all the "file conflict" and "lost data" balloons, the data was all there on the bare drives.)

    Over the last couple of days, I have reconfigured my server: I replaced one 1-Tb drive that seemed to be sketchy (although, note, it came back "clean" in the chkdsk), and added a 1.5-Tb drive as a backup, so the current configuration is one OEM 500-Gb drive (SYS) in the bottom bay, two 1-Tb drives as pool storage, then a 1.5-Tb backup drive in the top bay.  Since doing that, the system was running completely fine *until* this morning, when it started throwing ballons saying "volume called SYS is failing.  Data loss may occur". 

    So, arguably, two "drive-related" issues in two weeks, despite the fact that all drives pass their chkdsk scans.  But being a skeptic, I'm having a really hard time with that.

    IMHO, all of the "drive" conversation is a red herring.  In looking at the event logs, my server was perfectly happy and healthy until 12:00:08am on 3/27/09, when KB956587 (PP2) was loaded.  From that *exact* moment on, my WHS has been flaky, throwing multiple patterns of *new* warnings and errors into the event logs.  From the console, what I've been seeing is drive errors (against - ostensibly - healthy drives), but under the covers the event logs show patterns of [new] services that failed to start, attempts to find print drivers for printers which are in no way associated with the server, write-behind failures, and a number of othter types of errors.  At this moment, the SYS volume is shown as "unhealthy" in the WHS console, but there are no errors or warnings in the event logs that indicate that WS03 has any problems with that drive.

    It is a really clear inflection point, IMO - before PP2, no problems.     Beginning the *instant* PP2 appeared, nothing but problems.

    I have not yet filed a bug.  To be perfectly frank, I am trying to keep "variables" to a controllable minimum, and installing/running the toolkit to produce the CAB files introduces a variable which may have unintended effects.  It may well be the right thing to do, but it makes my WHS "non-vanilla" at a time when I am trying to figure out why the vanilla install is failing.

    I don't mean to be impolite, but the constant "it is a drive problem, replace the drive and/or reinstall the server software" theme has lost credibility with me.  I frankly do NOT believe it is a hardware issue. 

    Rather, I'll recap
    -- perfectly healthy, happy server for months
    -- PP2 appears in the picture at 12:00:0x AM 3/27/09
    -- UNhealthy WHS with multiple patterns of "new" errors in the event logs since that moment.

    So, no, I am not suggesting that PP2 is doing physical damage to hardware - the system event logs show *no* evidence of hardware problems, all of my hardware seems to check out just fine, and I was able to get all my data off the drives.  But for whatever reason, since PP2 appeared, WHS seems to be barfing all over itself.

    Am open to any ideas *other* than "run chkdsk", "replace the drive", or "reinstall the server software".  I may be overly-wired to detect a pattern here, but someone has *got* to start looking at this as other than a hardware problem.

    Bruce
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 6:48 PM
  • Please understand that I want to see you find a solution for the problems you're currently having, but I honestly don't believe that Power Pack 2 is the source of your problem. If it were, given that you have an HP MediaSmart Server I would expect a lot more people (me!) to be having problems. At most I expect that Power Pack 2 is revealing a pre-existing, and hopefully minor, problem with your server.

    So please
    file a bug on Connect. If there's a problem with Power Pack 2, that's the best way to make sure it gets addressed, as it's impossible to supply the information the WHS team needs to solve most issues in the forums. Once you've done so please post the id # for the issue back here.

    If there's a hardware problem with your server, or a software/OS issue unrelated to Windows Home Server per se (the "random cosmic ray" theory of computer problems), filing a bug on Connect is probably also the fastest way to find out what, specifically, is going on there.

    As for previous posts you have made, the regrettable (my wife would certainly say so) truth is that I read just about everything that's posted in these forums. If I responded to you two weeks ago, that's great, but I won't remember the specifics of an issue posted about days or weeks ago, unless I'm directly reminded of it. So linkage, please? :)

    And disregard the printer errors. They occur because of your remote desktop connection; by default the remote desktop client in Windows wants to share your local printers, and Windows Home Server doens't have drivers for those printers. They shouldn't be errors at all, IMO, but that's Microsoft for you...



    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 7:25 PM
    Moderator