Losing connection with Windows Home Server DAILY @Midnight!!! RRS feed

  • Question

  • After months of smooth sailing my HP EX485 is giving me the BLUES!!!!


    Around midnight EVERY NIGHT, ALL of my connected PCs lose their connection to my HP EX485 server (Mixture of Windows XP and Windows 7 machines). The icon for the Windows Home Server Console USUALLY goes grey, (but sometimes shows green) meaning that I am unable to access the server using the Home Server Console nor am I able to open up a RDC connection to the server either..


    Re-booting any of the attached PCs results in the Windows start-up on the PC hanging up for 10-20 minutes before the Windows launch completes itself.. The ONLY way to resolve this is to fully power down the server itself and restarting it.. (BTW - any PCs that have hung up will "magically" finish starting Windows when I shut the server down completely otherwise they will take 10-20 minutes to start Windows) I turned off all the PC backups thinking that this might be the issue (though backups were scheduled for 3am), and that hasn't resolved the issue at all. I have read EVERY SINGLE seemingly related article on this forum (and the net in general) that I can get my hands on and have yet to find THE solution to this issue..


    Yesterday I spent some time troubleshooting the issues surrounding my servers incomplete install of the PP3 update.. I got that resolved using information I found here on this forum hoping that would solve this mysterious midnight "shutdown effect". Though it resolved the incomplete PP3 install, the server still shuts down at midnight like CLOCKWORK! (Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!)


    I've called HPs tech support, and they looked at the server log files, but there is no unusual event happening on the server at midnight.. HPs only solution is to backup my shares and wipe the server clean and in essence start over by setting the server back to factory settings.. I don't REALLY want to do this.. What else should/could I do to resolve this?? When this server is UP it works like a DREAM, but this constantly having to re-start it thing is not cool at all (and probably not good for the health of my stored files either)..



    • Edited by DivaVocals Monday, March 14, 2011 7:18 AM
    Thursday, February 10, 2011 2:38 PM

All replies

  • Very frustrating.

    Possibly this is a Computer Browser issue (Master browser election). There's many possible causes for this type of issue, and often difficult to troubleshoot. One problem could be multihomed computers on the network; two or more different subnets, for example wireless and wired using a different subnet or a virtual adapter on another subnet (VPN). Another problem could be unstable network connection, NETBIOS issue, router settings. Please start with checking server and client event logs for messages with source "browser" around the time the connection is lost. 

    Another thing to try would be set the network adapters of server and client to a fixed speed (for example 100Mbps Full Duplex) instead of Auto negotiate.
    Also other network adapter settings may cause this type of issue. Sometimes it helps to get an updated driver, sometimes you need to change adapter settings, for example disable checksum offload and segmentation offload (if available), sleep settings, Jumbo Frames settings, .....

    Henk Panneman - http://www.homeserverweb.nl
    Friday, February 11, 2011 11:21 AM
  • Well after a LOT more research I think I may have FINALLY found the cause and the solution.. The most likely cause is a failing system disk.


    I installed the add-in called "Home Server SMART" on my server and ran it. (Found this add-in here: http://www.dojonorthsoftware.net/Freebies/HomeServerSMART.aspx) "Home Server SMART" revealed that the system disk had a few serious issues and errors. One of them being difficulty spinning.. Which makes perfect sense because it explains why I was constantly hearing the hard drive  sound. I noticed it when I was copying over large chunks of data to/from the server. However, I thought this was normal as the server was busy, and hence the reason I was hearing the drive spin up.. Turns out this was my clue! (duh!)


    Sadly it is going to require a server recovery operation. Which in the scheme of things is better than having to do a factory reset.. However, I still must do a FULL backup of all my server's files as a precaution. (Makes me wonder why not just do a full factory reset)


    Wanted to post my findings for others.. I really thought I was going NUTS especially since the darn thing shut down at the same time EVERY NIGHT (I monitored the server for over the course of a week to confirm as I found the regularity of the shutdown time odd) Anyway the clues to my issues came from these threads:



    This is the second drive failure I've had related to this server.. When I initially setup this server, I had configured it with an external USB drive. This drive failed several months later. I replaced it with an internal drive, and I realize now that shortly after this event is when the mysterious "shutdown" issues began. After seeing what the issue likely was I am wondering this is a coincidence or truly a related/contributing event.. (Did the external drive's failure cause the system drive to fail or did the system drives failure cause the external drive to fail)


    • Edited by DivaVocals Monday, March 14, 2011 3:28 AM spelling
    Monday, March 14, 2011 12:44 AM
  • Just wanted to report back that in the 2 weeks after accidentally tumbling into the MediaServer.net thread, that replacing the system drive WAS in fact the solution to my issue!!!! My HP EX485 server has been going strong JUST like it did when I first purchased it.. That nasty OEM Seagate drive was been replaced with my favorite go to brand, Western Digital.. No more noises from the server (she's QUIET as a churchmouse now!), and most importantly no more shutting down at midnight and daily hard restarts!


    Wanted to update this post in case anyone else is having the exact same issue.. Seems from subsequent research that this is a fairly common issue with these HP media servers (system drive failure). OEM system drives are a POS'!!

    Saturday, March 26, 2011 4:43 PM