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Some tools for the Beta community RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Since we're not really the "target market" group, but rather the serious tester group, it would be nice to get some troubleshooting tools on our end to help in the troubleshooting process. I've had several different issues that I haven't been able to figure out from just using event viewer's logs. TALQ is probably great for evaluating the issues at HQ, but after I run it and upload it, I'm not sure if I'll ever hear back on that given issue, as there are many other people also submitting. A couple tools that come to mind:

    1) the Drive Extender status tool that was mentioned before - I think I've lost data because I had reconfigured drives before the Drive Extender had completed a session.
    2) a possible disk checker (like chkdsk), that could be run to see if drive is healthy. I got one warning in my first build that the drive was unhealthy, but not why. On clicking the "repair" button, it said that my drive was healthy again. As a DIY'er, I have a hard time accepting that. I noticed later an event log report that my system drive had a bad block. I'm afraid to run chkdsk though, as I don't know if that will mess up this server's disk technology.
    3) a network test - I'd like to see it do a test transfer between client and server. XBOX 360 has this built in. It detects your network speed, and gives you green, yellow, red, etc., and tells you if your network is healthy enough for streaming, etc.

    That's the first few things that come to mind. If anyone has other ideas, feel free to add to the list.
    Tuesday, February 27, 2007 3:55 AM

All replies

  • *BUMP*

    Since there are a lot (10,000?)  more people on the forums now trying out WHS, I thought I'd campaign to see if this one gets any more hits this time around.
    Saturday, March 3, 2007 7:09 PM
  • I would agree with the streaming connectivity idea. I have a wired 10/100 Cat5 at home and am always wondering what my bandwith is like during the weekly problem solving scenerio.

    The bandwith meter could tell you if the server, the cable/wireless connection and/or the recieving computer each have what it takes for full streaming media.

    One last point on a bandwith meter is I had to manually figure out what my bandwith speeds were when I was trying different uploading options to the DE. This could be very useful in problem solving.

    Dawg

    Friday, March 9, 2007 3:59 AM
  • I think that this might be a good idea.  My WHS was reporting disk problems, and I wound up logging into the server, sheduling chkdsk, and rebooting.

    I am not sure what the "repair" button that was previously mentioned does.  I would be supprised if it can do chkdsk on the running system due to file locking issues.  I think that being able to run/schedule chkdsk from the "Home Server Console" would be nice.

     

    -John

    Saturday, March 24, 2007 3:35 AM
  • Dawg, I was wondering if you have had any issues with "communications errors" since you are using a CAT 5 network?

     Mine has several systems behind an ancient, by today's standards, 10 Mbps hub. I can never get a good backup on these systems.

    I am also getting the unhealthy or failing disk warnings on my setup that Janssen mentioned.

    The drive isn't exactly brand new but I have successfully installed a variety of OS's without any problems whatsoever.

    I was just about to purchase a new drive when I read your post!

    I am wondering if the problem could stem from the format that WHS uses when creating volumes.

    I had most recently re-installed after using an XP cd to boot and load recovery console.

    I wiped all partitions from there but I did not run a chkdsk.

    Thanks to your post I may be able to save myself some bucks by using tools I had not considered but should have known  to use.

    I'll repost with the results.

    Saturday, March 24, 2007 4:08 AM
  •  Tidefan wrote:

    Dawg, I was wondering if you have had any issues with "communications errors" since you are using a CAT 5 network?

    Mine has several systems behind an ancient, by today's standards, 10 Mbps hub. I can never get a good backup on these systems.

    I am also getting the unhealthy or failing disk warnings on my setup that Janssen mentioned.

    The drive isn't exactly brand new but I have successfully installed a variety of OS's without any problems whatsoever.

    I was just about to purchase a new drive when I read your post!

    I am wondering if the problem could stem from the format that WHS uses when creating volumes.

    I had most recently re-installed after using an XP cd to boot and load recovery console.

    I wiped all partitions from there but I did not run a chkdsk.

    Thanks to your post I may be able to save myself some bucks by using tools I had not considered but should have known to use.

    I'll repost with the results.



    Hi Tidefan,

    My network at home is all Cat5, hardwired by myself to a D704p router. I am using two 10/100 switches in my house. Connected is a AMD 3500, a P4 1.5, a P3 866 and a P2 400, also my Server Intel Dual Core 2.8 and a 360.

    Originally before I got the switches I had a 10Mps Hub. I had LOTS of troubles with the hub. The first thing that I would suggest is to head down to your local Best Buy or Future Shop and pick-up a 10/100 Switch for 14.99.

    As far as general performance is concerned, both the P4 and AMD can transfer files at good speeds 2-3min/Gig, but my P3 and P2 upload at about 1200-1500KBps.

    What kind of computer are you running. Originally I tried to install the Server on the P3 which worked but in the end it didn't. Hence the new server. That was the only time I had any fail disk warning (may have also been related to an external USB drive that I had connected) Currently I only have the one 500 Gig Sata drive so I don't have folder duplication turned on (yet).

    Please post what kind of computer you are running and maybe we can figure out the problem. What kind of motherboard are you using and what kind of drive?

    For the record, my Server the Dual Core 2.8 with 1 GIG 3200, on board video/audio and a case was 320 dollars and I am very happy with it. If you are serious about this product, you may consider a small investment. Oh, the 500GIG drive was on sale at tigerdirect.ca for 149.00 (all prices in Can.)

    :)

    Dawg.
    Saturday, March 24, 2007 2:48 PM
  • I've just added a suggestion that WHS automatically run chkdsk on new drives when they're added to the DATA array.  The intent was to follow MS's own recommendation on unformatted drives, but could be extended to ANY drive added to WHS...  You could visit and vote yay or nay
    Sunday, March 25, 2007 3:43 PM
  • Here are the specs on my server:

    P4 2.4 ghz

    VIA P4PB400 MB

    768MB RAM

    NEC DV-5700A DVD

    WD1200BB-00DWAo 120 GB HDD

    Using on-board NIC.

    Client machines are all XP PRO

    2 IBM P3-800 mhz 512 RAM

    1 Dell P3 650 256 MB RAM

    Had tried adding a wireless laptop running Vista RC1 in a previous install...the Vista machine seemed to be a problem so I reformatted the server and now only the XP systems are in the mix. Once I get up and running with these I have more systems I would like to add.

    I have run chkdsk /r a couple of times and it is coming up clean.

    Rebooted the server and reinstalled the Console on 1 of the IBM systems ...backing up now.

    This is the system that has never completed a backup.

    It has 2 drives...the C drive backs up ok...the other drive is a 120 GB data drive that stalls out at about 60% completed.

    I always seem to get a lost communications error when it fails.

    I have seen others mention they solved this by adding an entry to the hosts file.

    I'll try that next unless you have any sugestions. Thanks.

     

    Monday, March 26, 2007 5:32 AM
  • How much data do you have on the IBM D Drive that is giving you trouble? Why not just transfer it over to the C Drive, or on to the server?

    Me Personally, I have 2 low end computers at my house, a P3 and a P2. Each computer has a single 6GIG drive. If I need to store anything, then it will simply go on to the server.

    For simplicity sake and also for problem solving, have you considering removing that troublesome 120GIG drive.

    Perhaps, it is your I/O card or PCI card on your Mother Board that is giving you trouble. I had received that same error when I had a external USB drive connected to WHS as part of my Drive Extender. Ohh...I also read somewhere that WHS only likes NTFS formatted drives (I think). Is your D Drive FAT32 or NTFS?

    Dawg.
    Monday, March 26, 2007 2:15 PM
  • 1. 120 gig data drive is dang near full....System drive C is only 20 gig...about half full.

    2. I have pretty much the same type of configuration on all my machines...around 20 gig system drive and 60-120 gig data drives.

    Removing the data drive would defeat the purpose of the server as I would be using it to provide a backup strategy only.

    I don't see a real advantage as far as sharing files goes to what I have now.

    I can play music or videos on any system in the house from any other systems shares.

    3.  I thought about the NIC...it is onboard...the installation DVD loaded drivers for it...I haven't loaded any drivers for any hardware on the server. All drives on all systems are NTFS. By the way I tried adding an entry to the hosts file specifying the server. The backup failed at 32% complete with a bad communications error again. I am going to try swapping out the NIC and bypassing the hub. Planning to go 100% wireless very soon...that is why I haven't upgraded to a higher bandwidth switch or hub yet. Thanks for your suggestions...I guess I will have to just keep plugging away til I get it right.

     

    Monday, March 26, 2007 7:32 PM
  • Just be cautious about going wireless right now, there seems to be some bugs with that too.

    Dawg.
    Monday, March 26, 2007 10:17 PM
  • FWIW, I have several PCs including Home Server on gigabit switches across cat 5 (yes, cat 5) in the house, and several more connected via 100Mb switches.

     

    Network transfer on the gigabit machines runs up to 49MB/s (megabytes, not megabits), and on the 100Mb machines runs up to about 10MB/s.  (These measurements from SandraPro 2007.)

     

    I have a couple of notebooks connected via 108Mb WiFi, and the backups have been reasonably reliable.  (The biggest issue is that they're usually not turned on at 1AM, and the server complains after a couple days.)

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 10:01 AM
  • A great idea! I'd suggest someone has a look at the goodies aquired with Sysinternals and incorporate some of those

     

    Gordon

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 5:56 PM