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Some Video_TS folders play fine... some don't


BigSpenderNOT
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Hi guys,

 

Been having tons of problems trying to figure out my skipping video issue in WHS v1 home build. I really should put my specs in the signature, but basically I have ~20TB of data on 10 internal drives and 6 external USB 2.0 drives. The internal drives are connected via onboard SATA and two SATA controller cards. I have a lot of movies stored in VIDEO_TS folders using My Movies as the backend. Some movies play well. Some play like unwatchable chopped up crap-ola... skipping, etc. All disks that can show SMART data to me seem fine. Right now I'm trying to investigate down two paths:

 

1. Page faults/sec and page/sec are averaging over 100 (closer to like 400 most of the time) in the performance monitor which (searching the net) seems like it is an issue... most suggested fixes say just get more RAM. I have 1.87 GB usable RAM and have configured the Page file using the recommendations shown here (but using 1.87 GB RAM as my starting point of course instead of the 3.99 in the article):

 

Link

 

AND the available RAM is alwasy around 500 MB or so... so I think more RAM is not going to help... I don't even know exactly what this whole page stuff is all about but my searching lead me to the performance monitor which seems like a really cool troubleshooting device... if you know what you are doing! any thoughts on any of this?

 

2. Maybe all the data on certain disks are transferring slow? Troubleshooting this could help me point to a bad SATA controller card and/or bad hard drives, me thinks... BUT, how the heck can I figure out what data is where in my 16 drive spaghetti mess? Is there an add-in that will hep me pinpoint where physical files are?

 

Yeesh... any help would be greatly appreciated as I feel that I am in way over my head here, but am always interested in learning something new... especially if that would help me get things back working!

Edited by BigSpenderNOT
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I wonder if the movies that are playing slow are coming from one of the USB drives? We were just talking about this issue recently and I couldn't recall the Add-In that displays where files are located.

 

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/windowshomeserver/add-ins.mspx

 

At the bottom of this page is a link to Duplication Info for Windows Home Server. It's pretty old and not being updated any more so I would proceed with caution but it does allow you to see what files are duplicated on drives.

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Hi guys,

 

Been having tons of problems trying to figure out my skipping video issue in WHS v1 home build. I really should put my specs in the signature, but basically I have ~20TB of data on 10 internal drives and 6 external USB 2.0 drives. The internal drives are connected via onboard SATA and two SATA controller cards. I have a lot of movies stored in VIDEO_TS folders using My Movies as the backend. Some movies play well. Some play like unwatchable chopped up crap-ola... skipping, etc. All disks that can show SMART data to me seem fine. Right now I'm trying to investigate down two paths:

 

1. Page faults/sec and page/sec are averaging over 100 (closer to like 400 most of the time) in the performance monitor which (searching the net) seems like it is an issue... most suggested fixes say just get more RAM. I have 1.87 GB usable RAM and have configured the Page file using the recommendations shown here (but using 1.87 GB RAM as my starting point of course instead of the 3.99 in the article):

 

Link

 

AND the available RAM is alwasy around 500 MB or so... so I think more RAM is not going to help... I don't even know exactly what this whole page stuff is all about but my searching lead me to the performance monitor which seems like a really cool troubleshooting device... if you know what you are doing! any thoughts on any of this?

 

2. Maybe all the data on certain disks are transferring slow? Troubleshooting this could help me point to a bad SATA controller card and/or bad hard drives, me thinks... BUT, how the heck can I figure out what data is where in my 16 drive spaghetti mess? Is there an add-in that will hep me pinpoint where physical files are?

 

Yeesh... any help would be greatly appreciated as I feel that I am in way over my head here, but am always interested in learning something new... especially if that would help me get things back working!

 

 

There are a whole bunch of reasons that this could happen. Let me give my input. For starters, because you are using my movies and your collection seems large, RAM will definetely help. You do not mention the processor or the type of drives as they will also be a contributor. Based on the shear number of drives, going to much slower USB drives, and I assume some smaller and slower drives, the location of these files maybe partial to your problem. For starters, if it were me I would add more RAM, at least one more Gig. The other thing I would is to see if you can loose the USB drives. Running movies through WHS via USB can hit performance significantly especially if they are slower drives. The problem you are indicating are indicative of data being streamed off of a slower drive. I do not think you have a bad SATA controller but rather you system has become to bogged down with a bunch of variables such as the drive mix and USB. If you want to troubleshoot it, then remove one USB at a time, try some movies, but it back it and go to the next one. Once you eliminate all the externals, grab an extra drive and one at a time remove one drive, put a spare, in and move on down the line. It will take you forever but it should answers some questions. If I where a betting man, I would say it is a combo of USB drives, RAM, and the extra overhead needed by MyMovies. As to address your comment on 500meg of RAM, remember that windows adjusts itself based on pysical RAM, the more you have the more it takes but it breaths better. As for the page faults, that only means your system is requesting things that are not in RAM and having to search the disks for it. Your theory on one or more drives being slow is certainly valid.

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I was having the same issue and found one of my drives was transferring data at 3MB/seconf. It was an Advance Format drive which needed to be removed. Try checking the transfer speeds of all of you drives with HD Tach.

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I was having the same issue and found one of my drives was transferring data at 3MB/seconf. It was an Advance Format drive which needed to be removed. Try checking the transfer speeds of all of you drives with HD Tach.

 

 

Very good suggestion. That will rule it out much faster and you are right, that is the exact system of the Advanced format drives.

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Do you install HD Tach on the server itself or a client and then remove the drives from the server to test?

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Do you install HD Tach on the server itself or a client and then remove the drives from the server to test?

 

I use it on the server.

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Do you install HD Tach on the server itself or a client and then remove the drives from the server to test?

I installed HD Tach onto the server itself to test each of the drives. Had to give the server permission to install the software and it works fine.

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Thanks for the input everyone. ITTOG already asked the question that I was going to. :)

 

I'm going to install it on the server tonight (hopefully) and start working my way through the 16 hard drives... starting with the USB ones I suppose... or maybe the WD advanced format drives (I have three of those in my drive pool and they have all been jumpered from the beginning). I'm really hoping to finally have some answers on this.

 

I've been fighting this problem and that problem ever since I had to do a server reinstall without the proper SATA controller driver loading... so had to move data from one drive at a time, adding the drives then to the pool one at a time.

 

EDIT: And I will also upgrade the RAM when I have the chance, just to be safe!

Edited by BigSpenderNOT
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Very good suggestion. That will rule it out much faster and you are right, that is the exact system of the Advanced format drives.

Would ATTO be a good app for this as well?

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