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Time taken to restore client from WHS RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • As of writing, a client pc restore process is running. Kind of. "Please wait while Windows Home Server restores the volumes you have chosen. Estimated time to completion: 24692 days, 0 hours and 13 minutes." Can't help but admire the accuracy. One might think it's restoring the whole Universe, not just 250 GB.
    Sunday, November 2, 2008 10:28 AM

All replies

  • Hello,
    I always loved the time prediction of Windows for its strange results. While 250 full GByte can be a lot, if it comes to network transfer, I have to admit, that this predictions seems to be over the top.
    I wonder, if you have also networking or other hardware problems between the client you wish to restore and the server. What kind of connection is it? How powerfull is the CPU on both ends and how much memory have the involved machines?

    If it really starts taking that long, you might try to detach the disk with the partitions you wish to restore from that PC and attach the disk as secondary drive to another machine, which is also WHS client.
    Then run ClientRestoreWizard.exe from Program Files\Windows Home Server on this second client and try to restore the partition(s) to the harddisk of the second system.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Sunday, November 2, 2008 12:11 PM
    Moderator
  • Like Olaf, I don't have a clue what metric Windows uses for those calculations. I suspect it's something like "bytes written over the last x timer ticks" or something equally strange. In any case, restoring a disk with 250 GB will probably take several hours. It may take overnight, or a day. This is because of the way backups are stored on WHS; the backup/restore engine has to assemble the disk from clusters of data in a database so it takes time. But it should complete, and it should start reporting a more reasonable time.

    If not, Olaf's other suggestion is an excellent one.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, November 2, 2008 5:04 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Olaf and Ken! Fortunately it appeared that WHS choosed to give a slightly overpessimistic prediction. The restore is finished and the system is running happily again.

    Actually WHS is not the only one to blame here. During the restore process WHS went to sleep a couple of time, and so the process obviously got aborted. After restarting WHS I went backwards in the restore wizard in client pc and then ahead again. I was surprised to see that WHS was indeed able to continue from where it got last time instead of beginning from the start. Good work. Where WHS seems to go wrong is checking how long the process has been taking and what the current data transfer speed is.

    The reason WHS went to sleep is that I've got a LightsOut utility installed. I'm very happy to be able to save some electricity with it, but obviously I wouldn't mind if it would keep WHS awake when a restore process is running.

    The restore process took around 2-3 hours by the way, excluding the time the process was paused because of WHS being asleep. Both the server and the client have 2 gigs of ram. They both are low end Intel Core 2 Duo systems, E2140/E2160 I think. Network is a gigabit wired ethernet.




    Sunday, November 2, 2008 7:31 PM
  • Hi,
    It would be worthwhile contacting the LightsOut writer and mentioning your experiences to them. If it's something they can change, I'm sure they would be interested.

    Colin




    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Sunday, November 2, 2008 7:38 PM
    Moderator
  • Colin Hodgson said:
    It would be worthwhile contacting the LightsOut writer and mentioning your experiences to them. If it's something they can change, I'm sure they would be interested.

    notification about this thread done.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Sunday, November 2, 2008 9:39 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for bringing this up. 

    This is a known problem. Background: The notification from WHS, that a restore is running, is reset after a couple of minutes while the restore is still running. LightsOut has no other way to check for a restore. WHS itself reports this wrong.

    I have three possible solutions for this situation: 

    1. Workaround: The user knows about this issue and either disables LightsOut or creates a calendar entry which keeps the server running.

    2. LightsOut disables the default action when a restore is started. This will keep the server running until the user enables LightsOut again. I'm sure, that this will create new complaints...

    3. My prefered solution goes like this (planned for next minor update): When LightsOut detectes a restore it will create a celandar entry itself. Is 2 hour entry enough?

    Regards
    Martin
    Monday, November 3, 2008 8:26 AM
    Moderator
  • I have seen a restore take as long as 4 hours, Martin. That was over gigabit Ethernet, with an HP MediaSmart Server on one end and a modern Core 2 Duo and 5 disk RAID 5 array (PCI-e, with hardware XOR acceleration) on the other. I think it was around 650 GB of data, but it was quite a while ago now...
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, November 3, 2008 4:21 PM
    Moderator
  • Well from a potential user a win win would be 2 Hour default, with user changeable setting .

    My 2 Canadian cents

    PS: I just wanted to have contributed once on this forum, I am sure Martin could come up wih this sugestion ;-)
    Monday, November 3, 2008 10:09 PM
  • Ken, thanks for the info. As long as this was not one huge partition, it should work with the 2 hour delay.
    WHS sends a notification for each partition in progress, so this will retrigger the 2 hour timeout with each partition.

    I decided to add an internal timer to handle this situation for the next minor update.
    This internal timeris now also triggered when you open a backup on a client machine and copy some files with explorer.

    Regards
    Martin
    Thursday, November 6, 2008 7:29 AM
    Moderator