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Announcement: LightsOut 0.7.7 available (Updated) RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hello all,

    you may think, yet another runtime management Add-In.

    Yes, but this one is different!

    LightsOut - The name says it all.
    This Add-In is used to put a Windows Home Server into suspended mode or hibernation and resume on user defined events.

    Description

    To go to sleep, you can choose from several methods:
    • On demand, if no more clients are active
    • Based on a calendar, as a single action or repeated each weekday
    • Or as a combination of both methods

    You can define times, where the server has to be up and running:
    • Using the calendar
    • Based on the defined backup time

    Wake up
    A suspended or hibernated server can be resumed using a calendar event.
    You can also install a small application on your client machines to wake up your server when needed.

    Additional functionality
    The Add-In visualizes the uptime of your client machines, your server and the backup time. So you can easily identify the
    machine which puts the server into sleep.

    Data integrity
    To reduce the risk of data loss, the server is never put into sleep during an active backup operation or a backup cleanup.
    You can define services, which are stopped on suspend and restarted after resume. The DriveExtenderMigrator always
    belongs to this list of services. Additional services like a mail server can be added.

    Ok, I want it
    More information, English documentation and download is here:
    http://www.home-server-blog.de/add-ins/lightsout/


    Update 0.7.7
    A minor update for LightsOut is available here.
    This update adds these new features:

    • Remote access detection. During remote access LightsOut keeps the server running. After Logoff LightsOut waits 3 additional minutes and then resumes normal behaviour
    • Improved Wake On Lan on client side. Please update all clients which should wake up your server.
    • Fixed a random bug with wrong day captions in calendar


    Note: Windows Home Server has a 20 minutes default time out for an inactive remote access.
    You can change this time with the Microsoft Toolkit for Windows Home Server.

    Installation: please uninstall the previous version first, then remove the msi file from \\Server\Software\Add-Ins.
    Next download the new version, copy to \\Server\Software\Add-Ins and start the WHS Console again to install version 0.7.7.
    To update the clients, run the installer directly from the share \\Server\Software\LightsOut.


    Update 0.7.6 - April 28, 2008

    An update for LightsOut is available.

    This update fixes a problem which blocked the creation of runtime data on new installations.

     

    Update 0.7.5 - April 24, 2008

    An update for LightsOut is available.
    This update contains changes, improvements and bug fixes.

    The most obvious change is the new calendar control and the option to display 2-14 days in the uptime chart.

    Many changes have been done "under the hood":

    New items:

    • Calendar entries are sorted by start time
    • Check for duplicate client entries
    • Check for process sbscrexe

    Changed items:
    • Calendar control replaced by self-developed control
    • Restart of services now happens on PowerStatusChange event
    • Information for client monitoring  is no longer based on WHSInfoClass()
    • History range can now be set to any number of days between 2-14
    • Online help and documentation updated and enhanced

    Fixed:
    • CodeSigning problems
    • Crash after creating two identical tasks in calendar
    • Day change in calendar (today tag not moved)
    • Calendar creates 100% CPU load
    • Action erroneously started on midnight
    • Wrong backup time displayed after change
    • Wrong index in English online help

    LightsOut Client service:
    • Client service creates less entries in event log
    • Client service is increasing the time between WoL packets/pings if server is unavailable.
    • Client service depends on TcpIp

    Installation/update hints
    Please log into your server using remote desktop. Start WHS console and remove the previous version.
    Restart WHS console and install the new version.

    Restart WHS console again and go to LightsOut. Now 3 new tests are running:
    - is LoService running? (is doing most of the work)
    - is SBCore (sbscrexe) still running?
    - are there duplicate client machines (names)?

    If any problem is detected, a message box is displayed with some information and if necessary
    the online help will display additional information.

    If everything is well, it's time to update the clients using the LightsOutClientInstaller.

    Have fun!

    Martin
    Friday, March 28, 2008 3:25 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hello Martin,

     

    Thanks for giving us a this wonderful add-in. Go Green...

    I have been using LightsOut for last couple of weeks and I love it.

     

    I have a small glitch to report to...

     

    In Uptime chart and legend, with old version it was showing 8 clients (5 real + 3 phantoms), thanks for correction this bug in the new version.

     

    Legend now only shows 5 correct clients, but I think that actual chart is still using up space for 8 clients.

     

    Once again thank you for this wonderful add-in.

     

    My Best,

    DevRag

    Friday, March 28, 2008 7:33 PM
  •  

    Thanks for the info, I will look into this.

     

    Unfortunately I noticed now, that the ClientInstaller installs a damaged version. I have already fixed this in build 67.

    Please download again and remove build 66.

     

    Sorry

    Martin

     

    Friday, March 28, 2008 9:03 PM
    Moderator
  • DevRag, Update 0.7.1 is now available which fixes the chart calculation issue:

    http://www.home-server-blog.de/add-ins/lightsout/

     

    Regards

    Martin

     

    Tuesday, April 1, 2008 9:16 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Martin,

     

    I will download later on and report back.

     

    My Best,

     

    Tuesday, April 1, 2008 2:25 PM
  • Hi Martin,

     

    Thanks for fixing the problem with chart and phantom clients.

     

    Though, since version 0.7.0 (March 28, 2008) my WHS has developed a very strange problem.

     

    Everytime I switch client PC on, it prefectly wakes up WHS from suspend mode as expected.

    But connector does NOT connect to WHS and I have no access to WHS. I tried "WHS Discover" utility with no luck.

     

    I checked my router and WHS is not there under "attached devices", I checked WHS and it reports that "a network cable is unplugged". I checked cable and I try with other 2 cables as well. But WHS constantly reports "cable is unplugged".

     

    What I don't understand is how it manages to wake WHS up and then reports "cable is unplugged".

     

    I have Abit AB9 QuadGT motherboard with on board Realtek RTL8110 LAN adapter.

     

    Any help from you is greatly appriciated.

     

    My Best,

    DevRag

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 10:52 PM
  • Hi DevRag,
    this looks more like a NIC driver problem on the WHS.
    Have you enabled autonegotiation or are you using a fixed speed/duplex setting?

    Please try these steps:
    - Update NIC driver, try Windows Update and the Realtek web site.
    - If the problem persists, try autonegotiation first
    - If the problem persists, try a fixed speed/duplex setting on the NIC
    - If the problem persists, check if suspend and hibernation behave the same. Put your WHS manually into standby, Start->Shut down.

    Regards
    Martin
    Thursday, April 3, 2008 8:36 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Martin,

     

    Thanks for your reply.

     

    I have tried everything without any luck.

     

    - I have latest Driver for NIC dated 05/03/2008.

    - I have lates BIOS for my motherboard as well.

    - It was on auto negotiation.

    - I have tried with Half/Full duplex and with fix 10/100mb as well.

    - Checked BIOS setting again as well, all looks normal.

    - Changes cable and ports or router as well.

     

    Strange thing is that I have not change anything on my WHS and/or on router and everything was working fine until version 0.7.0.

     

    I was using version 0.6.0 without any problem, it is very odd that since version 0.7.0 client wakes up WHS over LAN successfully and then reports "cable unplugged". with version 0.7.0 after rebooting server and I managed to get connection twice. But with version 0.7.1. no luck at all.

     

    I am out of ideas, any more suggestion is greatly appriciated.

     

    I love LightsOut and I do not want to remove it from my WHS if there is any way to fix this problem.

     

    My Best,

    DevRag

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 1:31 PM
  • On which machine do you see the "cable unplugged" message? On the server or on the client?

    Have you configured your NIC as described in the documentation/online help?

    Does the same happen if you press the power button to bring your server out of standby?

    And please attach the client log file which was used to wake up the server.
    The log file is saved in the folder c:\documents and settings\all users\application data\lightsout

    Regards
    Martin
    Thursday, April 3, 2008 1:43 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Martin,

     

    Problem is with the server. Server reports "cable unplugged". All 5 clients are fine (2 wireless, 3 wired). All 5 manages to wake server up from suspend mode as intended, but no connection to WHS/Shares and connector icon remains grey. I plugged in keyboard and monitor to server to find out what was going on and server is reporting "cable unplugged".

     

    Yes, I have configures NIC as described in the documentation. As I said in my earlier post, everthing was working perfectly with LightsOut version 0.6.0 as intended. I started having problem since version 0.7.0.

     

    With version 0.7.0 - pressing power button, I did manage to get connection to server on two occassions. with version 0.7.1 - pressing power button or rebooting server still reports "cable unplugged".

     

    Please let me know which log files you need, if it is from clients than all clients are working fine.

     

    If you need log file from whs then please let me know.

     

    My Best,

    DevRag

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 2:28 PM
  • Hi DevRag,

    I have no other report like yours. Maybe the WoL paket sent from the client confuses the NIC driver. To narrow this down, please try this:

    - Shut down all clients except one. Keep this one running (should not suspend during test)
    - Delete all log files on client and whs (same path, see my last posting)
    - Reboot WHS to get a clean and working state

    - Manually put your server into standby (Start->Shutdown, Suspend)
    - Manually wake your server up (pressing the power button)
    - Test 1: Check if client can connect, if ok proceed

    - Manually put your server into standby (Start->Shutdown, Suspend)
    - Reboot client to wake up server
    - Test 2: Check if client can connect, if ok proceed

    - Create a scheduled event in calendar to suspend server in 1 or 2 minutes, wait until server suspend
    - Reboot client to wake up server
    - Test 3: Check if client can connect

    Please tell me which test failed and then send me the log file from the client used for testing together with the log file from the server.

    Regards
    Martin
    Thursday, April 3, 2008 2:41 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Martin,

     

    Good news...It's all up and running again.

     

    I think you were right about NIC Driver, but steps you suggested did not work. This is what I had to do...

     

    - Disable WOL in BIOS

    - Uninstall NIC driver

    - Reinstall NIC driver

    - Reboot server

    - Activate WOL in BIOS, including wake on PCI and PCI-E

    - Configure NIC WOL properties as described in LightsOut documents

    - Reboot server

     

    I belive that driver got corrupted somehow and above steps have now fix the problem.

     

    Once again thanks for all your help, greatly appriciated and thanks for giving us this wonderful add-in.

     

    My Best,

    DevRag

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 6:36 PM
  • Great that you figured it out. Thanks for the info.

     

    Regards

    Martin

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 7:14 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello Martin,

     

    It's me again.

     

    I have just notice something very strange.

     

    Uptime shows today's chart as 7 April, but strangely calendar shows Thursday, 3 April as highlighted "Today".

     

    I have checked server time and date and it is correct.

     

    Any ideas?

     

    My Best,

    DevRag

     

     

    Monday, April 7, 2008 5:48 PM
  • This may be a bug in the calendar control. Please try these steps:
    - change to March (left upper round button)
    - go back to April (right upper round button)
    Does it still show the wrong date?

    If yes, please close console and open again.
    Does it still show the wrong date?

    Regards
    Martin
    Tuesday, April 8, 2008 5:55 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Martin,

     

    I just installed lights out with no problems and I will give you feedback in this thread.

     

    I am lost when it comes to writing an application to start the server from a client. I know a packet is sent and I know how to set up the WOL but I do not know how to write an application for a Vista OS. Can you post an example ? 

     

    I would like the server to start when a client is turned on and either have the option to start the server automatically or manually, I am not sure yet which will work best. For automatic startup I can simply put the application in the client startup folder.

     

    Thanks for the great Add-in. With a larger servers it sure does help the enviroment and the utilitiy bill.

     

    Phil
    Thursday, April 24, 2008 9:50 AM
  • Please have a look at the documentation. This application already exist. You will find a LightsOutClientInstaller in the share \\server\software\lightsout.

    Install this package on all your clients. This installs a windows service, whcih will watch your client. If the client boots or wakes up from standby, this service will send a WOL paket to your server. This is done fully automatically, you don't need to configure anything here.

    If you don't like this happen automatically in the background, use a WOL program of your choice, create a batch file with the parameters needed for your server (typically you need the MAC address) and run this when needed.

    Regards
    Martin
    Thursday, April 24, 2008 10:16 AM
    Moderator
  • Perfect, Thanks

    I will keep you posted

    Phil

    Thursday, April 24, 2008 10:57 AM
  • Installed version 7.5 and upgraded to version 7.6.  SBCORE has been disabled.  Lightsout constantly restarts hibernation every 10 minutes and 15 seconds after all clients are off.   I did not load the client software.  Lightsout service is setup to hibernate 10 minutes after clients are off-liine.  The srever is home built with ECS740 MOBO/

     

    Thanks

    Steve

     

    Tuesday, April 29, 2008 1:39 AM
  • Steve,
    please verify that you have set up your WHS as required (NIC and power settings).
    See manual here: http://www.axonet.de/whs/LightsOutEn.pdf

    Then verify that hibernation works if you run Start->Log off and then select hibernation.

    If your WHS wakes up immediately, maybe a service/program is refusing standby.
    Check the event log for suspicious entries in that time span.

    If it's a service, then add the service name to the list of services which are managed by LightsOut (after DriveExtenderMigrator).

    Regards
    Martin
    Tuesday, April 29, 2008 6:08 AM
    Moderator
  • Martin,

      Thanks for you reply. I do not believe my mobo supports hibernation but it supports suspend.  When Lightsout is set to suspend after a certain amount of time (no client) Lightsout displays

    LightsOutService starts suspend

    on the same interval, such as, if the interval is 15 minutes than the lightsout app will  start every 15 minutes.  If I use the calendar for control I do not see Lightsout constantly starting.

    No other services are running during either setup.

    Is this the behavior I should see?

    Steve

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008 1:42 AM
  •  sccole1 wrote:

    I do not believe my mobo supports hibernation but it supports suspend.  When Lightsout is set to suspend after a certain amount of time (no client) Lightsout displays


    When your mobo supports suspend it should also support hibernation. Have you enabled hibernation on the Power Options Properties? (Start->Control Panel->Power Options)?
     sccole1 wrote:

    LightsOutService starts suspend

    This line in the log file means: LightsOut has initiated a suspend operation.

    If your server doesn't suspend or  wakes up immediately try to find the application which blocks the suspend. Look into your event log. For example the rras services will block a suspend operation. In this case, add the name of the service to the list of services after DriveExtenderMigrator.

    I recommend that you first verify that suspend or hibernation is working (without LightsOut). Log into your server using Remote Desktop and click on Start->Shut down, then select Suspend. When this works you can use LightsOut.

    Regards
    Martin
    Wednesday, April 30, 2008 6:12 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Martin,

       I found one of my problems, I had a legacy VGA driver installed which stopped hibernation.  I reinstalled the video driver and now the server wil suspend and hibernate.  Lightsout powers down and powers up the server but you cannot access the server without rebooting it.  I donot see anything in the logs that indicates a problem, any ideas.

     

    Thanks

    Steve

     

    Also when installing the client software I get an error for not enough permissions.  I'm logged in as admin during the install.

    Thursday, May 1, 2008 1:20 AM
  • Martin,

      Found and corrected problem. The MOBO LAN did not support WOL, I installed a new LAN card and all is working.  The app is working as described and I would recommend it to all WHS users.

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008 2:38 PM
  • dear Martin,

    any news on when you will introduce ip-monitoring. Right now only my computers rinning windows can "awaken" the WHS.

    But it would be very nice if my XBOX (old version) or my NMT (media network player) with static ip would be able to awaken the WHS.

    any news?
    kikkegek
    Saturday, December 6, 2008 7:05 PM
  • I had planned to release a version with IP monitoring end of 2008. Due to some unexpected delays (more about that in a few weeks) I plan to have a beta version in February.
    Should you be interested in beta testing please send an email to support [at] axonet dot de and I will put you on the list.

    Regards
    Martin

    LightsOut - Power Management for Windows Home Server http://www.home-server-blog.de/add-ins/lightsout/#en
    Friday, January 2, 2009 10:52 PM
    Moderator
  • Martin-

    I recently upgraded one of my monitored clients from Vista to Windows 7 without changing the machine name. This works just fine in WHS as it keeps the old Vista backups and creates a new computer entry for the new Windows 7 backups. This is great because I didn't have to jump through any hoops to keep my old files available.

    Unfortunately, this breaks LightsOut. I can no longer use it because it is complaining about duplicate clients.

    I can understand why you might want to warn the user that there may be duplicate clients, but I can't imagine why that would be anything more than a nuisance (the WHS stays awake longer than intended). As it is, it renders LightsOut unusable. Additionally, once the "Error: Duplicate clients" message is displayed, the WHS Console locks up and the session needs to be reset.

    Is it possible to have LightsOut ignore these stale entries at the least, or better yet, allow this requirement to be bypassed altogether via an option in the settings? In the former situation, perhaps you could ignore entries in the list for which backups are disabled?

    Thanks for your consideration.

    Brad
    Tuesday, November 3, 2009 4:27 PM