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WHS drops link whilst streaming hi bitrate media... RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a home-built WHS machine which is based on an AMD Athlon X2 400 CPU, 2Gb RAM, an ASUS M2N32WS motherboard, a 250Gb SATA Seagate drive (for the OS) plus 10 x Western Digital WD10EACS 1Tb drives and 2 x Samsung F1 1Tb drives for data.

    I store my DVD, Blu-Ray and Music collection on the server - DVD's as ISO images, Blu-Ray movies as folder structures and Music as full bitrate WAVs.

    The Music is accessed via a Naim Audio HDX ( http://www.naim-audio.com/products/hdx.html ) and DVD ISOs are accessed using either a Popcorn Hour A110 (for use on my main AV system) or are mapped as a virtual drive on one of my PCs and played back using either Windows Media Player or Arcsoft Total Media Theater (referred to later in this posting as ATMT).

    Music and DVD playback works perfectly - no problem at all there - but where I do have problems is with Hi-Def streaming.

    When I try to play Hi-Def content using ATMT from the WHS machine it usually starts to play fine but after a few minutes the playback stops - ATMT locks up and the movie cannot be restarted without closing ATMT and reloading it. If I copy the same Hi-Def movie to the local drive on the PC it plays back perfectly using ATMT so I'm pretty sure it isn't an issue with the playback software.

    I am running a Gigabit network and get good bandwidth between machines - I seem to be able to get a good 50-60Mbytes/sec between my desktop machine and the WHS machine of big file copies.

    I also find that if I'm doing a lot of copies of data between various machines and hence forcing the WHS machine to do lots of seeking (when I say "lots" - probably two or three copy operations running at the same time) then the WHS machine will also get its ____ in a twist and drop the data connection resulting in the machine running the copy operation reporting "Network Error : There is a problem accessing file <filename>. Please ensure you are connected to the network and try again."

    Any suggestions as to what might be causing the issue (and better still, how to get round it) would be greatly appreciated as it's a bit of a problem... :-(

    Cheers

    Phil

     
    Monday, April 20, 2009 10:42 PM

Answers

  • You may want to try a Intel PCI NIC card, that does seem to help with this problem. Just to check further, have you also tried MyIHome instead of ATMT. You may want to try that first to see what results you achieve.


    Ben
    Ben Ogilvie
    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 8:30 PM

All replies

  • Hi Phil,
    very often less than perfect drivers or hardware issues may cause such behavior.
    So I can only recommend to check for up to date mass storage controller and network drivers, if using a separate controller check also it's firmware for an update.
    Also consumer grade hardware is often not capable to fullfill the requirements of a server, if the usage is at a high level.
    If you have a virus scanner installed on your server, you could disable it's watching component temporary to check, if this is involved.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 3:04 PM
    Moderator
  • The popcornhour box is notorious for streaming probs over http, you get tranfer rate using smb share or nfs. There are plenty of articles on the popcornhour forums.
    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 7:00 PM
  • You may want to try a Intel PCI NIC card, that does seem to help with this problem. Just to check further, have you also tried MyIHome instead of ATMT. You may want to try that first to see what results you achieve.


    Ben
    Ben Ogilvie
    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 8:30 PM
  • The popcornhour box is notorious for streaming probs over http, you get tranfer rate using smb share or nfs. There are plenty of articles on the popcornhour forums.

    Unfortunately it's not down to the PCH Tom ... this is definitely a WHS issue as I can get the server to drop out just doing data transfers to/from my main desktop PC. Only this week I was creating ISO images of Blu-Ray folder structures with the data being sourced from and written to the WHS box and the thing would reliably drop off the network when being asked to transfer large amounts of data...

    :-(

    Phil
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 12:19 AM
  • Hi Phil,
    very often less than perfect drivers or hardware issues may cause such behavior.
    So I can only recommend to check for up to date mass storage controller and network drivers, if using a separate controller check also it's firmware for an update.
    Also consumer grade hardware is often not capable to fullfill the requirements of a server, if the usage is at a high level.
    If you have a virus scanner installed on your server, you could disable it's watching component temporary to check, if this is involved.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf


    Hi Olaf,

    I generally try to use "mainstream" hardware for exactly that reason so this is an ASUS motherboard which is pretty mainstream being run with the default Windows drivers (as previously suggested on here) - I can't believe that I'm hitting my server *THAT* hard!

    One thing I have been able to work out is that my streaming glitching is being caused by WHS running "demigrator.exe" every now and again - when demigrator.exe does whatever it does to the drive that I'm streaming hi-def video from then the whole system gets I/O bound and that's where my glitching comes in. When playing a folder structure using Arcsoft Total Media Theater then this glitching causes the software to lock up. I've converted all those folder structures to ISO images and ATMT still glitches when Demigrator.exe kicks in but no longer crashes. It is however *DEFINITELY* Demigrator.exe accessing the drive that I'm streaming from that is causing the grief - God knows what it's trying to do but I wish there was some way of stopping it because it completely screws up being able to rely on it as a streaming media source! :-(

    Oh - and there's no virus scanner on the server.

    Cheers

    Phil 

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 12:30 AM
  • You may want to try a Intel PCI NIC card, that does seem to help with this problem. Just to check further, have you also tried MyIHome instead of ATMT. You may want to try that first to see what results you achieve.


    Ben
    Ben Ogilvie

    Hi Ben,

    I'll see if I can get hold of an Intel card to give that a try - thanks.

    I think you may have misunderstood the whole "Arcsoft Total Media Theater" / MyIHome thing though ... MyIHome is a streaming media server whereas I use ATMT to replay movies on my desktop PC so I don't really see that I can try "MyIHome" instead of ATMT as they do completely different things...

    Cheers

    Phil
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 12:34 AM
  • Hi Phil,
    to which location did you put the data you are streaming? Did you use the shared folders via UNC name or did you try to copy locally to the servers D:\shares folder (which well could mess up WHS)?
    Is duplication on for that shared folder you are streaming from?
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 1:02 PM
    Moderator