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Backup Database Errrors + File conflicts


byronomo
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Over the past few (unbelievably frustrating) days, I've encountered a number of errors/glitches with my WHS v1 Box (stock Media Smart EX475 w/ @2GB RAM Upgrade). In the MSS, I have 2X500GB that it came with + 2X1.5TB. Additionally, I have a SansDigital TR4M enclosure attached via eSATA w/ 4x2TB. All drives are part of the pool, except 1 2TB in the enclosure is standalone that I use for backing up vital shares.

 

A *VERY* abbreviated summary of what has happened (happy to expand on any point, but didn't want to type pages & pages initially):

1. My 1st indication that something was amiss was that I was trying to view shares via Windows Explorer and the folder contents wouldn't display immediately as they usually do. Rather a green progress bar filled the "Address box" at the top of the Explorer window.

2. I shut down my Server+enclosure & rebooted my router and things started working again. (For those of you who read my other thread about upgrading my WHS, it was at this point that I started to think along those lines, "just in case".)

3. After working for a while, I got a warning that one of my client PCs was not backed up during the normal overnight process. I tried a manual backup, which didn't finish. I then tried a backup database repair followed by a re-boot, followed by a successful manual backup of that client.

4. Things were back to "normal" for a little while but errors started to pop up (Backup Database Error, File Conflict, etc.) which sent me into a "death spiral" of trying to "repair", rebooting, "health" and returning errors becoming more frequent. I noticed that at times while frozen in a repair operation or just sitting "idle" (meaning w/ no active file access ocurring from me) that at different times one or more of the drive access lights on the SansDigital tower would be stuck at orange color. In different re-boot cycles different lights would be stuck at orange...but #3 was only stuck once.

5. Ultimately, I ran Chkdsk as described here: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en/whsfaq/thread/b5372407-1f24-4eff-9092-069c4b4f0cee . The process took about 8 hours. However upon restart, Backup Database and File Conflict errors returned (but no orange lights). Before leaving for work (where I am now), I again initiated a repair on the backup database. The process ran for 1+ hours prior to my leaving and hadn't resulted in any orange lights at the time.

 

So--at long last---my questions:

1. Am I likely hosed? It would suck to loose the PC backups, but since most of my PCs are HTPCs and really have nothing on them, it wouldn't be the end of the world. I do care about my shares (file duplicated & backed up to standalone drive) and I'd strongly prefer NOT to have to re-rip my 400+ BD/DVD library.

2. Here's what I'm considering as a possible solution. I'm assuming that whatever the problem is, it resides in the SansDigital enclosure (although I don't know this for a fact). I was going to buy 4 new 2TB drives + new eSATA cable (just in case). Since the server seems to "work" for a little while between these errors, try to remove the drives 1-by-1 using the WHS remove proceedure and sequentially replace them with a new drive.

 

Is this a wise (but expensive) move or is there a better way to skin this cat?

 

If it is recommended, would I be OK to re-format the "old" 2TB drives and drop them into a seperate USB enclosure to use for a backup of the DVD Library (which currently has File Duplication off)? I'm hoping that if one or more drives is bad, it's just bad sectors which would be marked as unusable in the format process---is this the case?

 

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions/input!

 

[Added]

Just got home.... [Fingers Crossed] The backup database repair seems to have worked and all of my PC backups were lost (shouldn't be a problem). I had a lone File Conflict warning which disappeared upon server reboot. I picked up 4x2TB drives plus a SansDigital TR4UT-BP enclosure that I will connect via USB. Still would like to know if swapping out/formatting the drives in the original eSATA enclosure is recommended just to be safe?

Edited by byronomo
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Alot of the symptoms you are reporting point back to a possible drive going bad on you.

You might want to run the Home Server Smart add-in and see if there are any issues.

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Thanks guys...Not to sound like a support group, but...

 

I've been "green" for 5 hours now...

 

 

I've attached the external USB enclosure now and am prepping the drives. I've successfully streamed recorded TV from the server to one of my clients. I'm about to bring all clients online now before going to bed with the hopes that they all back-up successfully.

 

[fingers yet crossed]

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Are you thinking sata cables jmwillis? Or the eSata cable to the enclosure? (I'm really just curious, this is not a dig on you at all) Again, I like the SMART plug-in that's free (my favorite), told me about a drive that had some issues with bad sectors and would recommend that. However, you certainly have tons of data there and I would be concerned about losing the data. You said you don't have replication turned on, so do you back it up or is that what the original DVDs/Blu-Ray's are for? I'm of the selfish nature and would rather not have to spend the time to re-rip everything.

 

Did you buy all new drives like you had talked about? Is this the external USB enclosure new?

 

 

Thanks guys...Not to sound like a support group, but...

 

I've been "green" for 5 hours now...

 

 

I've attached the external USB enclosure now and am prepping the drives. I've successfully streamed recorded TV from the server to one of my clients. I'm about to bring all clients online now before going to bed with the hopes that they all back-up successfully.

 

[fingers yet crossed]

Edited by jazzerjay
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If you can isolate which drive is reporting bad I would try that SATA cable first.

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However, you certainly have tons of data there and I would be concerned about losing the data. You said you don't have replication turned on, so do you back it up or is that what the original DVDs/Blu-Ray's are for? I'm of the selfish nature and would rather not have to spend the time to re-rip everything.

 

Did you buy all new drives like you had talked about? Is this the external USB enclosure new?

I will now begin backing up the DVD/BD rips. Re-ripping is all "fun and games" 'till you have to do 100+. Initially I didn't because: 1)I didn't have the space, 2)I foolishly regarded the likelihood of something "bad" happening as much more remote than it apparently is and 3)as you stated, the originals are "back-ups" in a sense. After having my DVD Library completely ripped and instantly available on all PCs/TVs in the house (I have 9 client PCs, going for #10 very soon), I don't think I could ever bear to search for a physical disk and bring it to a viewing location again! So spoiled!

 

I did buy all new drives + the new enclosure. It was easy (even for me) to set up and appears to be working. I will likely add 1 more 2TB drive to my EX475 soon to replace one of the stock 500GB drives and hopefully be able to call it a day as far as storage is concerned. I don't forsee my DVD/BD collection doubling from this point---but my HD home videos will continue to grow.

 

As an aside---sort of---if IOSAFE had a product that could've contained the same capacity as the enclosure that I bought (8TB) I would've gladly paid a lot more to get that. Now that I'm all paranoid, I need to figure out my off-site and/or disaster protection plan.

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I could not agree more with the above statements. Ripping is quite "fun", as you put it, the first 25 or so times. When you reach the 100 or so, it tends to be more work especially when you have encryption issues going on or other DVD "extras" like a program that wants to install when you insert it into the DVD drive. So, I feel your pain. You said you have 9 client PCs, you're not part of The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family or The Waltons are you? I mean if they're all yours and such, that's cool. I just know I have enough trouble keeping the ladies in my house happy with the multiple X-Box and laptop combos, oh and don't forget the iTouchs everyone has. I too am beyond spoiled. I can't remember the last time I popped a DVD in to watch it into the player. I know there are folks here that prefer the 4.5GB of perfection from a DVD .VOB file, but my family really enjoys the movie and not so much the quality. In other words, if the same 1.1GB-2.5GB .m4v plays on the xbox AND the iTouch, I'm in business!

 

I'd still like to know if you have a bad eSATA cable with the old enclosure or if it was something internal, I guess it's just a curious thing for me.

 

Again, I question if you have been in my house. After joining this forum last year (or longer?), I bought the 1.5TB IOSAFE. I was completely sold on the idea that the entire case could be in a fire or drowned and my data would be SAFE. But, like you, the only complaint I have is that I can only fit all of our photos, mp3s, home movies and all of our user shares onto this thing. There simply is not enough room for movies and TV shows. I considered CrashPlan, which is talked about here and Whala of course was lifted up a time or two. Bottom line is that I'm not sure I wanted to store 2TB worth of media out to "The Cloud" and can you imagine if either one of us went with S3 from Amazon? Please, I don't have a tree that grows money. Anyway, good luck. Hopefully this morning finds your systems backed up over night and all things green.

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For my clients---4 are HTPCs running Media Center. I have 3 desktops, a laptop and a netbook as well. For the HTPCs...3 are Lenovo Q150s sharing a HD Homerun for a tuner. The "main" HTPC also has an analog tuner and a seperate QAM tuner. Additionally, on my outdoor TV, I have a slingcatcher attached, which "slings" one of my media centers to that TV as well. We mainly watch recorded TV, DVDs & Japanese TV (via slingbox---a whole different kettle of fish). All recordings are moved automatically to WHS and all HTPCs have Harmony remotes for a bit of uniformity and to keep the wife/kids off my case (only partially successful at that). I have 3 PS3s that can also be controlled via the same harmony remotes, so that helps keep the complexity down as well.

 

 

I'd still like to know if you have a bad eSATA cable with the old enclosure or if it was something internal, I guess it's just a curious thing for me.

 

I swapped out the eSATA cable...but am still having some issues that I will have to investigate further when I get home. It kinda sucks how work gets in the way of trying to fix your server. I doubt if my boss would understand if I called in with "server sick" and stayed home.

 

I tried the Home Server Smart Add-in that was recommended, but it didn't identify any problems.... I'm going to try "Stable Bit" (mentioned on HSS podcast) tonight when I get home. It sounds like it might be more robust/thorough.

 

If that doesn't identify any problems (and they are still ocurring). I'm going to swap out all of the 2TB drives (1-by-1) in the eSATA enclosure and replace them with the new 2TB drives that I bought yesterday. I'll re-format the "old" ones to use as backups in the new enclosure with the theory that if one of them is "bad" it should be easier to identify which as each will have a discrete drive letter since they won't be part of the pool.

 

Question for all:

As mentioned, right now I have 3x2TB in the original eSATA enclosure as part of the pool (+1 2TB that isn't part of the pool) and 4x2TB in the USB enclosure all set up as backup drives. If I go through the exercise of replacing all of my drives in the eSATA enclosure, is it better to Remove (via WHS) each drive from the eSATA 1 by 1----or should I add all 4 of the USB drives to the pool and start removing the eSATA ones 1-by-1, yank them all out and then just physically move the "new" drives from the USB to the eSATA enclosure?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought I'd provide an update here in case someway somehow it helps anyone else and to let those of you who kindly offered help where this situation is.

 

Here's what I ended up doing:

1. I moved my drives from the TR4M enclosure to a new TR4U (USB) enclosure that I bought. I continued to get lots of file conflict errors and StableBit was also reporting a lot of strange errors and the server kept freezing up.

2. As a (nearly) last ditch effort, I went out and bought ANOTHER TR4M enclosure and another 2TB drive. I put my 3x2TB drives (containing my shares) + 1x2TB (containing share backup) into the new TR4M. In hindsight, this seems to be where I turned the corner and started to head back to "health".

3. I still got a bunch of file conflict errors, but I ran CHKDSK on all drives (with repair option). After CHKDSK (which took >12hrs), things seemed to get even better as file conflict errors seemed to go away (except 1 or 2) and my shares seemed accessible.

4. At this point, after being deflated so many times in the process of trying to fix this problem, I wasn't overly optimistic that I was near a solution. I still had concerns that 1 (or possibly more) of my drives containing the shares was going bad. Before going further, I copied all of my shares except DVD libary to a NAS that I have, just to make sure that everything was readable and so that I could be sure that I had a backup of a backup.

5. I decided to replace all 4 of the 2TB drives with brand new drives, 1-by-1. Before doing this, I had to upgrade a 500GB drive in my EX475 to a 2TB drive to give myself enough breathing room to remove drives containing shares w/ file duplication.

6. Using the WHS drive removal function, I removed each of the drives. Each 2TB drive took about 8-10+ hours to remove in this way.

7. After all of the new drives, my server seemed to run as well as it had prior to this big problem (btw, my server had been up & running smoothly w/o a single reboot for about 4-6 months prior to this).

8. A few straggling file conflict errors remained, but they were of a different type than the problematic ones that I had been having. The new ones were the ones that can be corrected by either deleting the file or moving the file off the server and back. I used the WHS Cleanup tool to successfully fix these.

9. I re-attached the TR4U USB enclosure and populated it with my "old" 2TB drives and formatted them all.

10. During the time that I was removing the drives, I called Sans Digital tech support and, based on the conversation, they asked me to send the TR4M back to them via RMA.

 

In closing, I now HOPE that the (flaky) TR4M enclosure was the cause of the problem because that will mean that it is truly solved (assuming that that particular unit had a malfunction).

 

One of the many things I learned in this whole ordeal that I'd like to share with other Newbies was that a lot of these procedures/processes take a loooooong time and you just have to let these things run. For example, CHKDSK will seem to hum along doing its thing and then it will get stuck at some points for literally hours and then will finish up. As mentioned, removing drives from the pool takes a really long time as well. In hindsight, I'd guess that for at least some of the times when I thought my server had frozen up, it was possibly still doing something.

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