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WHS console reporting wrong system volume size RRS feed

  • Question

  • I successfully (so far) upgraded my WHS which was running the 120-day evaluation. I performed a "server reinstall" from the WHS PP1 ISOs, and updated the client connectors.

     

    The only problem I have seen so far is that the console is reporting the wrong size for the system volume. After the install, the system volume was reported as 80GB. Logging into the WHS using Remote Desktop, from Windows Explorer, the system volume is 20GB. This morning, after a couple of overnight backups, the WHS console is reporting the system volume size as 82GB.

     

    Before the reinstall to WHS PP1, the WHS console reported about 140GB of free space, it now indicates only 73GB, so the "extra" system volume size seems to have come from the free space total.

     

    Here are some screen captures...

     

    WHS Windows Explorer (showing the actual system volume size):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/24124227@N06/2572458895 

     

    WHS console (showing the incorrect system volume size):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/24124227@N06/2572458955

     

     

    Is there some configuration problem here or is this a PP1 bug?

     

    Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:10 PM

Answers

  • If you read the release documentation and sticky posts here, you will see that the calculation used to determine space used by the system has changed. It now includes system space consumed on other drives, in addition to the C: partition.In other words, it is likely correct now, where it was wrong before.
    Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:33 PM
    Moderator
  • The pie chart does not display the size of the System Volume, it displays the space used by the Windows Home Server operating system for 'system' files.  From page 4 of the Release Documentation:

     

    ·         A new and improved storage size algorithm has been implemented for listing Server Storage usage:

    1.       Free space is now more accurately measured from the hard drives connected to your home server.

    2.       Prior to Power Pack 1, the ‘System’ size was computed based on the size of the C: partition (20GB) and the size of D:\folders\.  With Power Pack 1, the’ System’ size is now calculated as total size minus the sum of Shared Folders, Duplicated folders, and Home Computer Backups.

    3.       Once Power Pack 1 is installed, users may experience an increase in the ‘System’ size due to the new algorithm. The extra size accounts for volume shadow copies, the Recycle Bin, as well as any files which are stored on a home server outside of shared folders or application folders.

    4.       To reclaim the space, try the following steps:

    §  Empty Recycle Bin (if you used the home server as a desktop, the Recycle Bin may have some files in it).

    §  Check this folder, D:\folders\{1618D36B-F4E7-4360-B070-A32070519DC9}\ to view and delete any orphan shadow files.

     

    Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:44 PM
  • Shadow copies have never been enabled, in the sense that Windows Server 2003 takes snapshots on a set schedule. Instead, some component of the WHS storage architecture triggers a shadow copy on a regular basis. Shadow copies on WHS are buggy, though, and should not be relied upon if you have more than one disk in your server.
    Thursday, June 12, 2008 9:05 PM
    Moderator
  • No, KB946676 is a different issue. See my post a couple of months ago in the FAQ section for more details on shadow copies on your server.

    To turn shadow copies off you will need to edit the registry on your server. Navigate to:
    Code Snippet

    HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Storage Manager\Volumes


    and set the key SnapPeriod to 0 (zero) for each volume listed. This should be perfectly safe, and I've done it on my production server because shadow copies are unreliable on WHS, but if WHS eats your data afterward, standard disclaimers apply. Smile
    Friday, June 13, 2008 7:59 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • If you read the release documentation and sticky posts here, you will see that the calculation used to determine space used by the system has changed. It now includes system space consumed on other drives, in addition to the C: partition.In other words, it is likely correct now, where it was wrong before.
    Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:33 PM
    Moderator
  • The pie chart does not display the size of the System Volume, it displays the space used by the Windows Home Server operating system for 'system' files.  From page 4 of the Release Documentation:

     

    ·         A new and improved storage size algorithm has been implemented for listing Server Storage usage:

    1.       Free space is now more accurately measured from the hard drives connected to your home server.

    2.       Prior to Power Pack 1, the ‘System’ size was computed based on the size of the C: partition (20GB) and the size of D:\folders\.  With Power Pack 1, the’ System’ size is now calculated as total size minus the sum of Shared Folders, Duplicated folders, and Home Computer Backups.

    3.       Once Power Pack 1 is installed, users may experience an increase in the ‘System’ size due to the new algorithm. The extra size accounts for volume shadow copies, the Recycle Bin, as well as any files which are stored on a home server outside of shared folders or application folders.

    4.       To reclaim the space, try the following steps:

    §  Empty Recycle Bin (if you used the home server as a desktop, the Recycle Bin may have some files in it).

    §  Check this folder, D:\folders\{1618D36B-F4E7-4360-B070-A32070519DC9}\ to view and delete any orphan shadow files.

     

    Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:44 PM
  • Thanks Ken, T.,

     

    Thanks for the quick response. I know I read that :-), but it must not have registered, especially since there is such a difference in size (from 20GB to over 80GB).

     

    I reviewed the documentation on this, and the recycle bin and D:\folders\{1618... are both empty, so it would seem that the 60+GB is from the volume shadow copies. Via remote desktop, I checked the shadow copies, and it would appear that they are indeed consuming about 60GB on WHS.

     

    Here is a screen capture:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/24124227@N06/2572623771

     

    The next question I have is: Why are shadow copies disabled? This appears to have been done during the WHS PP1 installation. Are shadow copies supposed to be disabled in WHS PP1?

     

    Thursday, June 12, 2008 4:29 PM
  •  

    Shadow copies may be disabled to prevent regular Windows applications from using it. Rather, WHS itself uses the shadow copies features to maintain its own internal system and not for Server 2003 to change them.
    Thursday, June 12, 2008 7:49 PM
  • Shadow copies have never been enabled, in the sense that Windows Server 2003 takes snapshots on a set schedule. Instead, some component of the WHS storage architecture triggers a shadow copy on a regular basis. Shadow copies on WHS are buggy, though, and should not be relied upon if you have more than one disk in your server.
    Thursday, June 12, 2008 9:05 PM
    Moderator
  • By "buggy" shadow copies, are you referring to the data corruption bug? Isn't that supposed to be fixed in PP1?

     

    That aside, it is great that PP1 provides a more accurate indication of system disk usage. However, I suspect that there will need to be some way of managing system disk usage from within the WHS console. Otherwise, users will see the WHS System consuming more and more space (currently at 6% in my case) which can't be managed in any way.

     

    In my case, PP1 started with the System at 80GB. It then went to 82GB and is now at 93GB. I have added no new data to the WHS server, although I noticed that the PC Backups size has increased.

     

    The PP1 documentation provides 3 methods for "reclaiming" system space. In my case, both the Recycle Bin and the D:\folders\{1618... are empty.

     

    The 3rd step is to disable shadow copies. However, since shadow copies are not enabled in the first place, they can't be disabled! Interestingly, even though shadow copies are disabled, they are still being generated (once a day, sometimes twice a day). In my case, shadow copies have gone from about 63GB to about 74GB in the last 2 days. At this rate, my WHS will be out of space (consumed by the system) within a week!!

     

    What can be done to manage the System size?

    Friday, June 13, 2008 6:36 PM
  • No, KB946676 is a different issue. See my post a couple of months ago in the FAQ section for more details on shadow copies on your server.

    To turn shadow copies off you will need to edit the registry on your server. Navigate to:
    Code Snippet

    HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Storage Manager\Volumes


    and set the key SnapPeriod to 0 (zero) for each volume listed. This should be perfectly safe, and I've done it on my production server because shadow copies are unreliable on WHS, but if WHS eats your data afterward, standard disclaimers apply. Smile
    Friday, June 13, 2008 7:59 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the reply Ken.

     

    From your referenced FAQ post, this raises a troubling issue, regarding what Microsoft's official response is to this "leak".

     

    It would seem that creation of shadow copies on WHS is a waste of both time and hard disk space (currently over 75GB in my case), since it would appear that WHS itself can't even use the shadow copies it is creating. Shadow copies are disabled, but WHS is still creating them for some unknown reason.

     

    Given this problem with shadow copies in WHS, why is WHS still creating them?

     

    One would have expected that PP1 would have turned off creating shadow copies all together until this problem has been resolved. Right now, it would seem that this is no better than a memory leak, although, the hard disk space can't be reclaimed by simply rebooting. Even with the registry hack you provided to prevent WHS from creating additional shadow copies, one would still have to go in and manually delete what has already been created to reclaim the hard disk space consumed (75GB in my case).

     

    What is the "normal" WHS owner going to do about this? They will see their WHS server storage slowly disappear while the System slowly grows over time, with no way to reclaim that storage space consumed by System!

     

    Saturday, June 14, 2008 12:57 AM
  •  RiskyBiz wrote:
    Thanks for the reply Ken.

     

    From your referenced FAQ post, this raises a troubling issue, regarding what Microsoft's official response is to this "leak".

     

    It would seem that creation of shadow copies on WHS is a waste of both time and hard disk space (currently over 75GB in my case), since it would appear that WHS itself can't even use the shadow copies it is creating. Shadow copies are disabled, but WHS is still creating them for some unknown reason.

     

    It's not a complete waste.  They still work on an OEM installation up until a reboot of the server (which, under normal operations, is only once or twice a month for critical updates).  I changed my WHS to manually notify me of critical updates so it won't reboot itself.  I go and install the updates manually, reboot the server, then flush all Shadows.  Yes, Shadows is not 100% reliable, but this solution works for me.  I'd rather have Shadows some of the time than none of the time.

     

     RiskyBiz wrote:
    Given this problem with shadow copies in WHS, why is WHS still creating them?

     

    One would have expected that PP1 would have turned off creating shadow copies all together until this problem has been resolved. Right now, it would seem that this is no better than a memory leak, although, the hard disk space can't be reclaimed by simply rebooting. Even with the registry hack you provided to prevent WHS from creating additional shadow copies, one would still have to go in and manually delete what has already been created to reclaim the hard disk space consumed (75GB in my case).

     

    What is the "normal" WHS owner going to do about this? They will see their WHS server storage slowly disappear while the System slowly grows over time, with no way to reclaim that storage space consumed by System!

     

    I thought I read somewhere that there was a way to delete Shadows from the Console in PP1, but I can't seem to find that now...

    Saturday, June 14, 2008 1:29 AM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    No, KB946676 is a different issue. See my post a couple of months ago in the FAQ section for more details on shadow copies on your server.

    To turn shadow copies off you will need to edit the registry on your server. Navigate to:
    Code Snippet

    HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Storage Manager\Volumes


    and set the key SnapPeriod to 0 (zero) for each volume listed. This should be perfectly safe, and I've done it on my production server because shadow copies are unreliable on WHS, but if WHS eats your data afterward, standard disclaimers apply.

     

    FYI, if you install from the WHS PP1 beta integrated DVD, the SnapPeriod is already set to 0 for each volume.  (Sounds like MS didn't push that registry modification to the upgrade files.)

    Sunday, June 15, 2008 2:08 AM
    Moderator
  •  kariya21 wrote:

    FYI, if you install from the WHS PP1 beta integrated DVD, the SnapPeriod is already set to 0 for each volume.  (Sounds like MS didn't push that registry modification to the upgrade files.)

     

    Nope, I installed from the WHS PP1 DVD (created from the downlaoded ISO), did a "server reinstall", and not all volumes are set at 0. I made NO changes to the WHS settings.

     

    I checked the registry entry for the 3 WHS volumes:

    C:\  - Snap Period = 0

    c:\fs\H  - Snap Period = 0

    D:\   - Snap Period = 0x02932e00 (43200000)

     

    It would appear that the Snap Period has no impact on creation of shadow copies, as there are shadow copies being created for both c:\fs\H and D:\, even though c:\fs\H has Snap Period of 0.

     

    Something else interesting...

    When I checked the WHS console this afternoon (Sunday), the System was down to 21GB (from 93GB) and the free space was up to 129GB (from 55GB).

     

    Via Remote Console, I checked the shadow copies for each volume and all shadow copies but one for today have been deleted!!  There is one shadow copy for c:\fs\H (6/15/2008 12:00pm   300MB) and one for D:\ (6/15/2008 12:00pm   300MB).

     

    I found the following error in the WHS System event log:

    Date: 6/15/2008

    Source: VolSnap

    Date: 12:04:29 AM

    Category: None

    Type: Error

    Event ID: 25

    Description:

    The shadow copies of volume D: were deleted because the shadow copy storage could not grow in time. Consider reducing the IO load on the system or choose a shadow copy storage volume that is not being shadow copied.

     

     

    What does this mean? Also, there is no event error that would explain why the shadow copies for c:\fs\H were also deleted. So, it would seem that something on WHS has deleted all the shadow copies (except for today's), freeing up 72GB of WHS storage. I guess this is good (I got storage space back), and bad (what is causing the "leak" in the first place).

     

    So, shadow copies seemed to have been growing inexplicably, then they all get deleted due to some odd error.

     

    I am left wondering what is going to happen next. Will shadow copies again grow over time to consume some 70+GB of storage, only to be deleted due to some error? What will happen when I have more free storage space on WHS? Will shadow copies grow uncontrollably to consume all available storage space (possibly 100s of GB) before being deleted due to an error like this?

    Sunday, June 15, 2008 10:49 PM
  • @RiskyBiz - Please file a bug!!

     

    Instructions are here:  http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=3488626&SiteID=50

     

    thx in advance.

    Monday, June 16, 2008 4:59 PM
  •  RiskyBiz wrote:
    Nope, I installed from the WHS PP1 DVD (created from the downlaoded ISO), did a "server reinstall", and not all volumes are set at 0. I made NO changes to the WHS settings.

     

    That's because you did a reinstall (in which Shadows already existed on secondary drives).  If you do a clean install with it (as I did), Shadows do not run at all.

     

     RiskyBiz wrote:
    I checked the registry entry for the 3 WHS volumes:

    C:\  - Snap Period = 0

    c:\fs\H  - Snap Period = 0

    D:\   - Snap Period = 0x02932e00 (43200000)

     

    It would appear that the Snap Period has no impact on creation of shadow copies, as there are shadow copies being created for both c:\fs\H and D:\, even though c:\fs\H has Snap Period of 0.

     

    Correct.  That's how WHS RTM is set up.

     

     RiskyBiz wrote:
    Something else interesting...

    When I checked the WHS console this afternoon (Sunday), the System was down to 21GB (from 93GB) and the free space was up to 129GB (from 55GB).

     

    Via Remote Console, I checked the shadow copies for each volume and all shadow copies but one for today have been deleted!!  There is one shadow copy for c:\fs\H (6/15/2008 12:00pm   300MB) and one for D:\ (6/15/2008 12:00pm   300MB).

     

    I found the following error in the WHS System event log:

    Date: 6/15/2008

    Source: VolSnap

    Date: 12:04:29 AM

    Category: None

    Type: Error

    Event ID: 25

    Description:

    The shadow copies of volume D: were deleted because the shadow copy storage could not grow in time. Consider reducing the IO load on the system or choose a shadow copy storage volume that is not being shadow copied.

     

     

    What does this mean? Also, there is no event error that would explain why the shadow copies for c:\fs\H were also deleted. So, it would seem that something on WHS has deleted all the shadow copies (except for today's), freeing up 72GB of WHS storage. I guess this is good (I got storage space back), and bad (what is causing the "leak" in the first place).



    It's a hard drive write error.  It couldn't keep with the IO of the Shadows (could be from creating new shadows, deleting old shadows, or other reads/writes on that drive all happening at the same time).  It usually happens to me if I'm copying files to the server at noon or midnight (shadow run times).  This is actually fairly common for Windows (and precisely why on a normal Server 2003 install it is strongly recommended by MS to store the Shadows on a different volume other than the one being shadowed).

     

     RiskyBiz wrote:
    So, shadow copies seemed to have been growing inexplicably, then they all get deleted due to some odd error.

     

    I am left wondering what is going to happen next. Will shadow copies again grow over time to consume some 70+GB of storage, only to be deleted due to some error?

     

    It's possible.

     

     RiskyBiz wrote:
    What will happen when I have more free storage space on WHS? Will shadow copies grow uncontrollably to consume all available storage space (possibly 100s of GB) before being deleted due to an error like this?

     

    No, Shadows on WHS will take a maximum of 10% per drive.

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 1:30 AM
    Moderator
  •  T. Headrick wrote:

    4.       To reclaim the space, try the following steps:

    §  Empty Recycle Bin (if you used the home server as a desktop, the Recycle Bin may have some files in it).

    §  Check this folder, D:\folders\{1618D36B-F4E7-4360-B070-A32070519DC9}\ to view and delete any orphan shadow files.

     

     

    Thanks... figured the answer was someplace on this forum....

     

    After deleting the files in D:\folders\{1618D36B-F4E7-4360-B070-A32070519DC9}\ , my "c:" went back to normal (20 gb).  I figured something was wrong after PP1 was installed and it showed "c:" at 117 gb. 

    Friday, June 20, 2008 4:59 AM