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Expired Evaluation Time - Constant Rebooting - Irratic & Corrupt File Copies PP1 is certainly not ready for Prime Time.

    Question

  • Quick synopsis in case you don't want to read all the below:

    I have 55 days left on my evaluation. BTW, I ordered and paid for a copy from New Egg on Friday as I new I was getting close to expiration on the evaluation. The Application log on WHS has entries as late as today (15 June 2008) stating I have 55 days left on my evaluation. The system log states I have expired, and it crashes my system about every two hours or so. I only found out because my AppleTV kept breaking its SMB connection to the WHS, and I was blaming it for being flaky. Then I found out what was really flakey, and its WHS. Thats one problem, documented below.

    The other problem - Power Pack 1 beta rc. I installed it on 10 June 2008. Copying files to the WHS has gone from no problems to really flakey, including data corruption and unexplained behavior.

     

    What will I do: I will do a fresh install of WHS when my paid for full version arrives on Monday. I will not install the Power Pack beta. It is just too buggy. Also, I warn everyone with an Evaluation copy - it will expire before the date stated by Microsoft, and the crashes it causes can damage your hardware and your data. So either pay for it, or get rid of it.

     

    I am sorry I ordered WHS before I realized what was going on. I would be much happier I think if I went with Linux or even an Apple solution.

     

    I installed the update on 10 June 2008.

    Since then I have problems copying files from a client to the shared directories. The dialogs say an inpossible time to copy the file (366 GB avi file in 20 seconds for example), then after a minute or less will ask if I want to replace the same file with the same file. I answer no. The file on the WHS is usally corrupt in some way, either the avi index is missing (minor difference) or the file is really empty (266 GB on disk, actual size 0kb). This of course dosent't happen every time, just 1 out of 20 times. This never happened before the beta powerpack. In fact, I never had a corrupt file before the beta.

    The filesystem acts erractically since the beta, if you change a file name on the WHS it generally does not show up as changed until a refresh, This did not happen before the beta.

     

    The day before installing the Beta this started, I was busy at work trying to debug several Windows Sever 2003 Enterprise installs that just seem to crash randomly, so I really wasn't spending any time at home checking my WHS logs, esp. since these entries are not listed as errors. The information that the evaluation has expired is listed as information and application popup, although it will initiate a system reboot in one hour. HMMMMM.

     

    Then an hour later WHS crashes itself, doing who knows what damage. For the one below, the application warning popup was at 8:10 am. HMMMMM

     

    Event Type: Error
    Event Source: EventLog
    Event Category: None
    Event ID: 6008
    Date:  6/15/2008
    Time:  11:14:51 AM
    User:  N/A
    Computer: GRINGO-SERVER
    Description:
    The previous system shutdown at 8:11:01 AM on 6/15/2008 was unexpected.

    For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
    Data:
    0000: d8 07 06 00 00 00 0f 00   Ø.......
    0008: 08 00 0b 00 01 00 fb 02   ......û.
    0010: d8 07 06 00 00 00 0f 00   Ø.......
    0018: 0f 00 0b 00 01 00 fb 02   ......û.

     

    The logs (and reality) show I have about 55 days left of the evaluation period.

     

    Message in Application log:

     

    Event Type: Warning
    Event Source: Windows Product Activation
    Event Category: None
    Event ID: 1007
    Date:  6/15/2008
    Time:  11:16:11 AM
    User:  N/A
    Computer: GRINGO-SERVER
    Description:
    The evaluation period for this copy of Windows will expire in 55 days.

    For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

     

     

    However, I have the following messages in my application log:

     

     

     

    Event Type: Information
    Event Source: Application Popup
    Event Category: None
    Event ID: 26
    Date:  6/9/2008
    Time:  10:38:55 PM
    User:  N/A
    Computer: GRINGO-SERVER
    Description:
    Application popup: Windows - Windows Evaluation Notification : The evaluation period for this installation of Windows has expired. This system will shutdown in 1 hour. To restore access to this installation of Windows, please upgrade this installation using a licensed distribution of this product.

    For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

     

    Event Type: Information
    Event Source: Application Popup
    Event Category: None
    Event ID: 26
    Date:  6/15/2008
    Time:  10:11:30 AM
    User:  N/A
    Computer: GRINGO-SERVER
    Description:
    Application popup: Windows - Windows Evaluation Notification : The evaluation period for this installation of Windows has expired. This system will shutdown in 1 hour. To restore access to this installation of Windows, please upgrade this installation using a licensed distribution of this product.

    For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

    As you may figure out, the first instance of this is on 6/9/2008 (posted above), and the latest is 6/15/2008.

    Seems to be a conflict, heh????

     

    I might add that my server has been rebooting every two hours or so since the 9th of June.  

    Sunday, June 15, 2008 4:46 PM

Answers

  •  Gringott wrote:
    Guess you don't get it. I have been running the 6 month "paid for the disks" evaluation for months. So yes, it was activated 6 months minus 55 days ago.
    Your evaluation period has expired. The evaluation edition you got is a 4 month (120 day) eval copy, not a 6 month (180 day) copy. There is no 6 month eval media for Windows Home Server. The remaining eval period is shown incorrectly in some places, so it's easy to be confused. As for the constant rebooting, that's actually functioning as designed; the evaluation version of the software is designed to interfere pretty severely with normal operation, to encourage people to purchase the software or move on.

    And no, the reboots aren't going to damage your drives. They're not the equivalent of pulling the plug out of the wall, they're the equivalent of tapping the reset button quickly. Corrupt data is a definite possibility, though, and eventually a near certainty.
    Sunday, June 15, 2008 9:17 PM

All replies

  • Had you activated your copy of WHS?

     

    As for your statement "the crashes it causes can damage your hardware" I think that is a little bit of a stretch dont you think? While I agree that crashes could possibly corrupt some data, I dont think WHS rebooting every two hours in your case will damage hardware!


    Andrew

     

    Sunday, June 15, 2008 5:10 PM
  • Sorry to hear about your problems, I know it doesn't help, but they aren't typical - apart from the difference in dates problem. This has arisen a number of times, and it appears it can be down to a multitude of things, usually a time or Bios change; even the server updating it's own time from an time server and changing it's time itself by more than a few minutes can trigger the expiration. This causes the re-boot cycle, but doesn't cause any 'crash', that might well be something else.

    Just maybe your hardware has problems with the Power Pack; this is a Beta, and the documentation stresses that it shouldn't be used on a production server. However, since installing it here, I haven't seen any file transfer problems, in fact, there has been a vast improvement in the file transfer speed, especially for large files.

    Maybe a few hardware details might help; I know that in the past, the Error ID 6008 has been associated with corrupt or incompatible drivers, usually Nvidea drivers.

     

    Colin

     

     

     

    Sunday, June 15, 2008 5:22 PM
  • Guess you don't get it. I have been running the 6 month "paid for the disks" evaluation for months. So yes, it was activated 6 months minus 55 days ago.

     

    Sorry, I don't think that stops to an active server can cause damage to hardware is a strech. As you are listed as a MVP, I would think you have more than a few minutes real experience. What do you think an unexpected stop does to your hard drives, etc? Esp. with a system like Windows that has all kinds of open files, is writing and copying in the background, etc, WHS which is load balancing etc all the time. That I am streaming video from that causes my other system to crash. No, sorry I don't think it's a  "litlle bit of a stretch". If you think it is why don't you just randomly reach over every couple of hours and shut off the power or hard reboot your WHS.

     

    Corrupt data, for sure.

     

    Damage the hard drives? Very possible.  If you don't think so, do it to yours 12 times a day.  Let me know how that works out for you. And it's not just a reboot, each time it is listed in the logs as an unexpected STOP - the warning says reboot, the reality is a hard stop.

     

    I don't consider MS shipping a very good evaluation edition if it shows 55 days left in one log and time expired in another. It's an advertisment that they shipped buggy ***. And I say that as a person who makes his living keeping MS software running.

     

    Patrick

     

     

    Sunday, June 15, 2008 8:04 PM
  • Colin:

      No BIOS changes - although I guess what happened (and what I think happened after further exploration) is that the WHS itself changed itself from EST to Pacific Time at some point - I suspect June 9th when the time expired started. 

     

    What I suspect is that the copy protection / activation  system MS is using is over zealous. WHS changes the time, WHS sees that, WHS thinks the user is changing the time, WHS starts timing out and crashing, at the same time that WHS is writing in the application logs that 55 days are left. After all, most customers are thieves according to MS, so just crash their systems rather than take a chance.

     

    I guess MS dosen't care that I have thousands of dollars in MS software currently running in my home, work with and authorize the purchase of hundreds of thousands of dollars of software at my job. Alienate the customer base, that's the way to build loyalty.  

     

    Based on what you said above, that looks like the most likely reason. The reboot message appears in the logs, then the logs show recovery from a unexpected STOP an hour later, like clockwork.

     

    I am sure something on my system has a problem with Power Pack, none of the problems with file copying etc happened before the PP. I understand completely about the BETA system, I for sure don't have anything on there I must keep. 

     

    I don't have any "Nvidea drivers", whatever that is. I have exactly the same hardware and software that worked without issue before the BETA that now is not working correctly or flakey. The TIMES stated on the file transfer dialog box are much faster than displayed before the BETA; however, the actual times seem the same, longer, or in the case of faster, fake (i.e., the file wasn't actually transfered fully).

     

    Again, when my paid for version shows up tomorrow I will install it without the BETA. I never suffered from the problems with corrupt data before the BETA, so I should be fine without it on a fresh install.

     

    Not related to the BETA is the expiration problem, which I for one don't see as a trivial matter. Again, if I knew about this last week, MS would not have my money for the paid version. I will give it a shot, since I already paid.

     

    If I find some more bug ridden behavior like this evaluation time-out, I'll dump it and go Linux or Mac as I stated before.

    I think the WHS concept is a real potential money maker for MS, but not the way they are going about it. I tended to discount the bad press I saw all over the net about WHS, as mine was working great. Now I see what they were posting about.

     

    Thanks for you help. 

    Patrick
    Sunday, June 15, 2008 8:26 PM
  • I do get it actually, but you would be surpised (or maybe not as someone who makes his living keeping MS software running) the number of people who come into the forums, post limited information about their actual problem and then just have a bit of a rant about Microsoft, or the software, or whatever.


    As Colin said in his response, what you are experiencing is NOT normal behavior and the STOP codes do indicate possible driver issues.

     

    Have you tried performing a server reinstallation yet as when others (and not many) have reported rebooting problems a server reinstall has fixed it? Have you had any problems with the system clock or CMOS?

     

    Again, if every single installed copy of WHS had the problems you had I would agree with your about it being "buggy ***" but that isnt the case.

     

    And ok, I do agree that continual reboots are probably not good for the hard drives in the very long term (but over a few days isnt likely to make much of an impact on the life of the drives) but that is not quite the same as your original statement that WHS damages your hardware - which as I said is a little bit of a stretch.

     

    Simple answer if you are not happy with risking your hardware by using WHS, then dont use WHS.

     

    Also, your comment about PP1 not ready for primetime - that is why there is a beta running - so that problems can be identified and fixed before it comes out. And yes, I know that MS software is never bug free, believe me I know, but imagine how much worse it could be if there were no beta participants.

     

    Andrew

    Sunday, June 15, 2008 8:34 PM
  •  Gringott wrote:

     

    Not related to the BETA is the expiration problem, which I for one don't see as a trivial matter. Again, if I knew about this last week, MS would not have my money for the paid version. I will give it a shot, since I already paid.

     

    The expiration issue you are having, and a small number of others have had in the past is ONLY related to the evaluation version. If you were using the full version of WHS you wouldnt have the issue as there are no built in timebombs.


    And the Nvidia drivers Colin mentioned are graphics drivers for either Nvidia graphics cards or motherboards based on Nvidia chipsets.

     

    Andrew

    Sunday, June 15, 2008 8:37 PM
  •  Andrew Edney wrote:

    I do get it actually, but you would be surpised (or maybe not as someone who makes his living keeping MS software running) the number of people who come into the forums, post limited information about their actual problem and then just have a bit of a rant about Microsoft, or the software, or whatever.


    As Colin said in his response, what you are experiencing is NOT normal behavior and the STOP codes do indicate possible driver issues.

     

    Have you tried performing a server reinstallation yet as when others (and not many) have reported rebooting problems a server reinstall has fixed it? Have you had any problems with the system clock or CMOS?

     

    Again, if every single installed copy of WHS had the problems you had I would agree with your about it being "buggy ***" but that isnt the case.

     

    And ok, I do agree that continual reboots are probably not good for the hard drives in the very long term (but over a few days isnt likely to make much of an impact on the life of the drives) but that is not quite the same as your original statement that WHS damages your hardware - which as I said is a little bit of a stretch.

     

    Simple answer if you are not happy with risking your hardware by using WHS, then dont use WHS.

     

    Also, your comment about PP1 not ready for primetime - that is why there is a beta running - so that problems can be identified and fixed before it comes out. And yes, I know that MS software is never bug free, believe me I know, but imagine how much worse it could be if there were no beta participants.

     

    Andrew

    Andrew:

     I am not really ranting about MS - if I spoke the truth about what I think of them as a company and the software overall your ears would be burning. I am trying to be calm and reasonable.

     

    I understand it is not normal behavior. I have not attempted a reinstall for these two reasons:

     

    I just found out about the every two hour crash today.

    I have a new full not evaluation copy due here tomorrow.

     

    WHS rebooting every two hours because it created a situation where it thinks I am a software pirate at the same time as it thinks I am not a pirate is not behaviour of the BETA - it is the behavior of the software that MS gave me to EVALUATE. Can it cause actual damage to my hardware?

     

    OF COURSE IT CAN.

     

    If it resets the time itself, and sees that as an attempt to pirate it, THAT IS NOT A GOOD SALES TECHNIQUE.

     

    I understand that PP1 is a BETA. Working WORSE than the problems it is out there to fix? I wouldn't call that a release candiate 4.

     

    My point is, I cannot participate in the BETA any longer as it is non-functional on my setup. I will go back to the "bad" WHS that worked fine for me (other than the over-zealous anti-pirate thing).

     

    Thanks

    Patrick

    Sunday, June 15, 2008 8:46 PM
  •  Gringott wrote:
    Guess you don't get it. I have been running the 6 month "paid for the disks" evaluation for months. So yes, it was activated 6 months minus 55 days ago.
    Your evaluation period has expired. The evaluation edition you got is a 4 month (120 day) eval copy, not a 6 month (180 day) copy. There is no 6 month eval media for Windows Home Server. The remaining eval period is shown incorrectly in some places, so it's easy to be confused. As for the constant rebooting, that's actually functioning as designed; the evaluation version of the software is designed to interfere pretty severely with normal operation, to encourage people to purchase the software or move on.

    And no, the reboots aren't going to damage your drives. They're not the equivalent of pulling the plug out of the wall, they're the equivalent of tapping the reset button quickly. Corrupt data is a definite possibility, though, and eventually a near certainty.
    Sunday, June 15, 2008 9:17 PM
  •  

    I am not going to dispute what you are saying about the evaluation. I was going by the posting in the logs, and what I thought I saw when I ordered it. I am at work, so I don't have the disks or packaging to check, but I will assume you are correct. I do know that the current web page shows just what you say, a 120 day evaluation. I could very well have been misled by the logs or whatever.  If so, I stand corrected.

     

    BTW, I did some research today on technet, and the 6008 unexpected shutdown is often related to software evaluations timing out with other evaluations that MS has used; like Server 2K etc. So I will assume that is what that error is about.

     

    I don't know how long you, Ken, have been around computers and hardware, so I have no way to judge your actual experience. Personally, I started with computers back in the early 1980s, and have used hard disks since they came out. In fact, I even had a C=64 with a 20 megabyte SCSI hard drive attached. And I will disagree with you about unexpected reboots, esp. with MS OSes. I think they can and do cause hardware (disk) failures and hard errors. So I will just agree to disagree with you. I have nothing to gain either way. Since you appear to already know everything, I can see there is no way to convince you.

     

    Thanks for the "help".

     

    Patrick 

    Monday, June 16, 2008 2:40 PM
  •  Gringott wrote:

    I don't know how long you, Ken, have been around computers and hardware, so I have no way to judge your actual experience. Personally, I started with computers back in the early 1980s, and have used hard disks since they came out. In fact, I even had a C=64 with a 20 megabyte SCSI hard drive attached. And I will disagree with you about unexpected reboots, esp. with MS OSes. I think they can and do cause hardware (disk) failures and hard errors. So I will just agree to disagree with you. I have nothing to gain either way. Since you appear to already know everything, I can see there is no way to convince you.

     

    Thanks for the "help".

     

    Patrick 

     

    Patrick,

     

    As a long time lurker with a few posts I must say that Ken is one of the most helpful individuals this forum has.  Also, from my experience in this forum Ken is not closed minded and does not think he knows everything.  Wow...

     

    I was 2 years old when you started playing with computers.  Once I got to be around 7 I started playing with computers.  I have built many countless machines etc...  In my humble opinion much has changed since "back in the day" when it comes to hard drives.  I would be shocked if removing power, or rebooting a computer repeatedly could cause physical damage to a hard drive.  I would like to see real scientific evidence of this happening.  File corruption I can see.  Physical damage I cannot.  How do all of these fancy hot swappable SCSI / SATA drives handle it?  There are no contacting components in a hard drive.  Spindles are turned on and off to save power all the time.  Most drives are able to self park in case of power failure...  So in my completely anecdotal experience I think hardware damage is very far-fetched.  I would love to be convinced otherwise by some non-anecdotal evidence.

     

    Chad

     

    Monday, June 16, 2008 7:58 PM