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Losing connection to server during data transfers. RRS feed

  • Question

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    My home server works great for storing all of my media content.  But where it goes bad is when I transfer a large amount of data to.  For example, last time I was moving the rest of my music into one of the shares.  It was about 60gb worth of music.  At about the 60-70% mark, my computer lost communication to the server.  So I restarted the server and it started transfering again.  This seems to happen each time I move a lot of information over to it.  Why is this occuring?
    Thursday, January 31, 2008 3:24 PM

All replies

  • My guess would be you have a network issue, perhaps old drivers or a bad cable or switch. Is it actuall nessary to restart the server? Is your server headless? Have you tried switching the port the server is plugged into on the switch/router?

     

    Thursday, January 31, 2008 3:43 PM
  • No need to go trying all the test...this is an issue around for since it was released and I have the same issue.  Just posted a response to same issue under software.  Hopefully I cut this link OK.

     

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1309168&SiteID=50

     

    This is a real pain...I'm trying to transfer several GB from a NAS to the new WHS....It is quicker though if you turn off duplication and media sharing while doing the transfers.  You can turn them back on when done.  My speeds were700k-1mb/s....then went to almost 3mb/s.  I have a gigabit switch so I would expect faster rates.

    Thursday, January 31, 2008 5:11 PM
  • This is getting nuts.  I have had to restart the server 4 time just to move 3gb worth of music.  I only use WHS for file sharing.  Should I just switch to XP pro and set up file sharing?

     

     

    If I did use XP pro for the file server, I know that my Vista Home Premium would be able to see the shares but could I manage the xp pro machine remotely?

    Friday, February 1, 2008 11:27 PM
  • Well, it isn't an inherent problem with WHS necessarily. I've now got two severs running and I've never come across this problem on either one of them.

    One of my customers had a similar glitch, but updating the drivers for their motherboard/NIC cured it.

     

    Colin

     

     

    Saturday, February 2, 2008 6:05 PM
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    I haven't given up on WHS yet.  But if I did go to XP Pro, what happens to the data on my 4 hard drives?  Can I move the data to 3 of them and install xp on the fourth?  I guess I what to know if I can unpool the hard drives?
    Sunday, February 3, 2008 6:04 AM
  • The data on your drives is just files in the file system. All the files in your shares are stored on one (or two if you have shares flagged for duplication) of your drives, in a hidden folder: <driveletter>:\DE\Shares\etc.
    Sunday, February 3, 2008 2:45 PM
    Moderator
  • on the WHS, under my computer, all I see is C (system) and D (data). The total capacity of these two drives are equal to my first hard drive.  It doesn't show the other 3 hard drives.  If I go into the shares folder on the D drive, it seems like all of my media is located here but that is impossible because it is a 300 gb hard drive but I have about 400-500 gb worth of media on it.

     

    Sunday, February 3, 2008 10:43 PM
  • So??? Does anyone have any concrete advise on this?  I have the same issue and it seems we are not alone.  I use an 8 port Linksys router and any large amounts of data transfer including a backup will cause outages.
    Tuesday, February 5, 2008 10:53 AM
  • All I can really tell you is that it's not WHS itself that's the problem. If it were, it's a problem that many more people would be having. It could be the NIC in the server, drivers, cabling somewhere on your network, a flaky switch or router, etc.
    Tuesday, February 5, 2008 1:27 PM
    Moderator
  • dmbpettit, the files are on your drives. Only the system drive is assigned a drive letter; the other drives are mounted to the file system on C:. But if you were to shut down your server and pull one of those drives out, you would be able to connect it to another PC and see your files. You should read the Drive Extender technical brief for more details.
    Tuesday, February 5, 2008 1:30 PM
    Moderator
  • I tend to agree with Ken.  This is most likely a NIC driver issue, followed by a problem with the switch itself.  Try finding updated drivers for the motherboard chipset if you are using a built-in NIC.
    Tuesday, February 5, 2008 3:45 PM
  • Hmmm:

    Second router, same problem, no updates for the NIC card, new cable......other issues: delayed write failed, of course that has to be the hard drives right?  120 day evaluation turned out to be a 12 hrs and it saying I have 0 days left, must be the clock on the computer is no good....not WHS...beg to differ there.  See an awful lot of people having large data transfer problems, guess we all need new hardware. 

     

    Tuesday, February 5, 2008 9:45 PM

  • This sometimes occurs if the MTU is substantially different across NICs.  You may make sure that jumbo frames are off and the MTU is set around ~1500 for all of the NICs in your network.
    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 1:28 AM
  • Actually I have seen this in my setup.  The funny thing is I only saw the problem when I was transfering between Gig connections.  My older computers with 10/100 could always transfer Gigs worth of data but not have any problems. My newer computers with a gig pipe could kill the network connection with just a 2 gig file transfer.  It would eventually come back if I waited long enough, but the copy would fail. 

     

    I'm partially blaming the Marvel NIC drivers.  I updated them straight from their site and I don't get completely locked out of the networking anymore.    The funny thing is even though I don't get locked out anymore transfers TO WHS are still not that smooth.  It spikes 60-80% of a gig link,  then drops to 0 sits there a while, and spikes back up to 60-80%, and does this until the large file is transfered   Before I updated the driver my connection to the WHS console would completely be dropped.  Now at least its maintained with the new driver.

     

    This is to a non-duplicated share so I have no idea what its doing.   My WHS hardware is powered by a Xeon 3220, with 2 1TB drives. The CPU isn't being worked at all when this happens, only thing is balancing gets kicked off so maybe that is causing some bottlenecks.

     

    Transfers FROM WHS are pretty constant none of the drastic peaks and valleys in the network graphs even with the old driver.  It is always TO that causes my grief.  

     

     

    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 9:20 AM
  • I think we should look at your NIC settings.  Also your drivers on both ends.  I've seen bad storage drivers cause issues and even crashes when attempting large file transfers. (My Nvidia motherboard on my pc had a bad set tha cleaned up when they updated the drivers).
    I just did a 11GB transfer to my WHS last night.  It worked fine, so let's dig a bit deeper into the problem.

    Home made network cables or store bought?
    Is it just with tranfsers or do you sometimes have problems with downloading from the internet?  Have you tried to download a larger file from the internet on the WHS?
    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 4:19 PM
  • The actual cables are cat 6 store bought.  The run is less than 14 feet.   I checked the driver counters for CRC errors, and other errors and didn't see anything.    I need to check my switch when I get home to see if it is dropping any frames, or seeing any errors.  My NIC is Marvel, and the Storage is off of the intel ICH7R running standard Sata, no Raid or anything.  Its an asus P5BV-C motherboard.  I didn't change any of the driver settings, its pretty much default.

     

    I have 3 machines with Gig connections, all of them tie to the same 8 port switch.  2 Vista, and the WHS.  One vista machine has a Marvel Yukon just like the WHS, the other one is Intel I think. Going Gig to Gig between vista machines are pretty smooth.   But if either Vista Machine copies a large multi gig file to WHS they suffer the same way.  Peaks and valleys in the networking graph.  Copying from the server has no issues, and the network graph is more stable.  

     

     

     

    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 7:45 PM
  • What about trying this:

    Leave your WHS set to 1GB (either full or half duplex) and limit your clients to 100Mb (either full or half duplex) and try copying a file.
    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 7:52 PM
  • Okay so I tried one experiment last night.  I copied a 10 giigabyte truecrypt file to the WHS from two different machines.

     

    From the Vista machine running a 1gig link I would see the following transfering to WHS.   Spikes of up to 50-60% of 1gig for a couple of seconds, then valleys down to 0 for a couple of seconds, then spikes up to 60-50%, then back to 0, until the file finishes copying. 

     

    From my XP machine running a 100 mbit link the same file spiked to  60% of 100mbits and was level for a little bit.  I walked away and at some point it started a cycle of spiking to 50% of 100mbits, then dropping slowly to 10-15%, then picking back up to 50% and slowly dropping to 10-15%.  until it finished copying.  

     

    I'm hoping to track DISK IO, along with network IO, but won't be able to get to it until probably the weekend.

     

     

     

     

    Thursday, February 7, 2008 7:31 PM
  •  lpascual wrote:

    Okay so I tried one experiment last night.  I copied a 10 giigabyte truecrypt file to the WHS from two different machines.

     

    From the Vista machine running a 1gig link I would see the following transfering to WHS.   Spikes of up to 50-60% of 1gig for a couple of seconds, then valleys down to 0 for a couple of seconds, then spikes up to 60-50%, then back to 0, until the file finishes copying. 

     

    From my XP machine running a 100 mbit link the same file spiked to  60% of 100mbits and was level for a little bit.  I walked away and at some point it started a cycle of spiking to 50% of 100mbits, then dropping slowly to 10-15%, then picking back up to 50% and slowly dropping to 10-15%.  until it finished copying.  

     

    I'm hoping to track DISK IO, along with network IO, but won't be able to get to it until probably the weekend.

     

     

     

     

     

    I am really curios what you find out about this over the weekend. This is getting to be moderately frusturating, and I'm a very patient person.  I am currently copying about 8 gigs/24 files from my computer to the WHS box, and it is currently estimating between 26-30 days until completion.  On my PC, network utilization is averaging .82% during the transfers, and peaking around 42% for short bursts.  CPU Usage is at 9%, Mem is at 41%, nothing should be bogging this down....yet something is.

     

    I have gigabit interfaces on both pcs involved, cat6 patch cables (made by me, I have ~24 jacks I ran and fished throughout the house), and a HP Procurve switch tieing everything together.  This isn't a slacker of a switch either - it's a fully managed commercial grade switch that should be more then suffecient for home use.  Looking at the performance charts, it almost appears as if the speed bursts up for each individual file (~185mb) then slows down to almost nothing for awhile and then she goes crazy again for a small amount of time and then stops.  I am curious if the number of files being transfered at the same time matters for other people?  That's a theory I'm going to play with on my end...

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 8:14 AM
  • I never got a chance to try it. But this thread seems to be exactly what we are seeing, which was my suspicion.

     

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2819369&SiteID=50

     

    Drive Extender seems to cause a lot of grief, Corruption, Performance Issues. I really want to run without it. WHS has a lot of good features ( Backup, media sharing,remote access ) which work great but is hampered by Drive Extender.

     

    I bought WHS to replace an always on Vista Machine, which burned a lot of electricity due to its graphics card. It is setup raid 1 for critical data protection share, and raid 0 for the media share. I can do my own volume management, and am willing to suffer the migration pain should I need more storage, which is Drive Extender's only benefit over block level Raid.

     

     

     

    Monday, February 11, 2008 8:55 PM
  • I've still had no luck with transferring large amounts of data.  After several GB it looses connections.

     

    I've updated to ALL latest drivers with the help of some software to identify the drivers out of date. 

     

    I even skipped the second PC now and attempted to copy the data from the NAS to the WHS machine on the server itself.  Still errors out.

     

    I've checked all NIC settings on all machines and made sure the large file formats are allowed and bumped up setting where I could.  Swapped cables for the network, tried copy, move, teracopy, teramove.  All options fail in the end.

     

    Have a 16 port gigabit switch and all gigabit NICS.  NAS may be a slower connection but my max speed that I have seen has been around 20mb/s.  Most of the time it is 3-4 mb/s.

     

    Anyone solved a similar situation yet?

     

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 8:02 PM
  • I can offer a sort of round about solution. I dont know about drive extender or subtleties of nic cards but I did have many of the problems listed. The solution that has been working for me is teracopy http://www.codesector.com/teracopy.php which replaces the usual copy function in windows and seems MUCH more resilient - basically ive had it going on my xp machine transferring (500 gb at the last count) data continuously from a network drive to my WHS over the past few days. It has never flipped out or failed, even when backups have started and stopped and so on...waking up to find the copy function had failed about an hour after i went to bed used to drive me insane - that doesn't happen any more...

     

     

    graham

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 8:40 PM
  • Do any of the points have an on-board NIC?  I had a similar issue with my WHS until I put in a dedicated PCI NIC in the WHS.  No problems since.
    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 8:45 PM
  • gandt...thanks for the tip.  That is a great program and I am currently using it.  Does you WHS have a built in NIC or is it a card?

     

    Jlorenz...My WHS does have a built in NIC and your suggestion sounds like it would be the only one that has not been tried.  An unfortunately...it is from I believe that MARVEL manufacturer...who I have not heard many good comments about.  I do have a PCI NIC in another machine in the house that I can steal and try a test.  Although...the server machine is a new Acer AMD dual code machine...Would be a great, easy, cheap solution for this issue.  Thanks for the advice and I'll have to post back with the results.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 9:30 PM
  • I have an ex475 so built in...glad you like Teracopy

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 9:39 PM
  • teracopy is a great solution too.  It works similar to a FTP client that can resume downloads.  It is intelligent (unlike the built in Windows copy) so it can handle brief network connectivity interruptions.

    I've found that on desktop based motherboards that the onboard NIC is great for reagular computing, but does not work well for file serving (large copies, mutliple streams, etc..)  That is why you pay more usually for server based motherboards as they put a bit more into the overall specs of the board and built-in NIC.
    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 9:41 PM
  • Jlohrenz....Tried the other NIC in my PC based WHS and so far I have copied 10 gb total.  Last "Teramove" was 6.5 gb which would not work before.  Can't thank you enough.

     

    Original poster should look at their setup and if you have a built in NIC then it would be well worth it to try another PCI NIC.  All the symptoms of the original post matched my situation and this fix seems to have resolved my issues. Orignal poster could then close this issue if it resolves his problem.

     

    Thanks again.

    Tim

     

     

    Update:  10 minutes later the WHS crashed with blue screen of death.  Will need to look into driver to see if it is the most current.  Using Netgear GA311 gigabit

    Wednesday, February 13, 2008 1:56 AM
  • Ah....netgear nic's.  Never liked them.  Check for updated drivers and make sure they are for Win2K3 Server.  I'm using a TrendNET and have been very happy with it.

     

    Another note:  You may be dealing with the file copy issue that has been discussed in another thread.  Users can regularly get their server to fail by copying and deleting files regularly.  the DEMigrator service can't keep up with the process.

     

    I'm wondering now if your issue, since you are copying a large amount of data might be related to that.  What was the bluescreen error?  do you remember?

     

    DEMigrator seems to have issues keeping up with dispersing the data amongst the hard drives in WHS when there is a lot going on (large file transfers or multiple copy deletes).

     

    I'm guessing the NIC resolved your one issue only to welcome you to the BIG issue with WHS right now.  Hopefully they will have a resolution to this problem soon.

    Wednesday, February 13, 2008 2:33 AM
  • The DEMigrator could be an issue but I will find that out next week when my new Intel NIC arrives. Many of the copies were photos and lots of them.  Doing the move it would be deleting lots of photos.  But the PCI NIC I tested did not seem to have any issues.

     

    The blue screen I'm pretty confident was the PCI NIC...don't remember the exact error but it did point to hardware.  The driver identification software did show that the driver was out of date for the NIC so I obviously downloaded a driver that worked...but was not the correct one.  Most of the companies do not show specifically drivers for Windows Server 2003...so I've been taking the XP versions since they were released close to each other.

     

    The new Intel PCI card has drivers specifically for 2003...one of the main reasons for going Intel.  Could have found cheaper ones.

    Thursday, February 14, 2008 10:34 PM
  • I had an older NIC laying aroudn form an older HP desktop.  I put that in and WHS recognized it immediately.  So far today I haven't had any issues during file transfers but I did have one issue where my desktop was unable to use the shared folders.  I got a message about me being locked out and that I should check with my system administrator.  So I rebooted the desktop and everything is fine now.  I guess we will see?.?.?.

     

     

     

     

     tnslocum wrote:

    Jlohrenz....Tried the other NIC in my PC based WHS and so far I have copied 10 gb total.  Last "Teramove" was 6.5 gb which would not work before.  Can't thank you enough.

     

    Original poster should look at their setup and if you have a built in NIC then it would be well worth it to try another PCI NIC.  All the symptoms of the original post matched my situation and this fix seems to have resolved my issues. Orignal poster could then close this issue if it resolves his problem.

     

    Thanks again.

    Tim

     

     

    Update:  10 minutes later the WHS crashed with blue screen of death.  Will need to look into driver to see if it is the most current.  Using Netgear GA311 gigabit

    Friday, February 15, 2008 5:43 AM
  • I think the NIC card change was the answer.  My WHS has been running flawlessly since I changed the card to PCI NIC.  I have moved about 60 gb worth of data and now troubles.  Thank you everyone!!

     

    Monday, February 18, 2008 4:48 AM
  • I have a similar issue with my mediasmart e470, it disconects similarly and crashes my vista box when trying to transfer multiple files with a total size of about 28 gigs, whs states the network timed out.  funny thing is my other machines *(2 xp laptops) backup and transfer large files fine.  The vista box for some reason transfers files much slower than the XP ones and perhaps having it transfering for such a long time is the problem, I am not sure.  The vista box is pretty stable though, it handles prime 95 for hours and hours wtihout a problem.  any additonal info can be provided and I would appreciate any help I can get.  (oh everything is fully up to date and patched) vista box is an hp media center with vista ultimate with a few upgrades (power supply, video card, ram). 
    Tuesday, November 17, 2009 7:08 PM