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bondisdead

Intermittent remote access

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bondisdead

There are just too many issues with this server installation, and I have had no success tracking anything down. While I would like to get down to the root cause of the problem, I'd just as soon have a stable installation, and the easiest way to do that would be a fresh install.

 

I have a spare motherboard with the same Intel H67 chipset as my current installation. I was thinking of just doing a fresh WHS 2011 install on the new motherboard. I would test that system, and see if things are better. I would copy over some data to my shares and install the same add-ins that I have now (AWIECO DriveInfo, AWIECO RemoteLauncher, AWIECO WakeOnLAN and MyMovies). I'd like to be able to recover my existing client backups, but not sure how I would do this. If have them all backed up to an external drive, but not sure how I would selectively do this. It's isn't as simple as using re-recreating the "Client Computer Backups" Server Folder, is it?

 

If everything is okay, I would then transfer over my RocketRAID 8-drive RAID-5 array. I believe this is simply a matter of moving over the card, and installing the drivers. I do have a RAID-1 array of two 2TB drives that is using the motherboard's RAID. It is my belief that as I have the identical chipset, I can just move over those drives to the new motherboard and the RAID will be maintained. This data is backed up, just in case, but the RocketRAID is *not* backed up.

 

Does this sound like a plan? I know, I'm giving up and taking the apparently easy way out!

 

Wanted to do an update on this topic (pretty lame, responding to my own thread - LOL). Upon further debugging, I narrowed down the problem to WAS (Windows Process Activation Service) Warnings. The Event IDs were the following:

  • 5011 - Process serving application pool 'RemoteAppPool' suffered a fatal communication error with the Windows Process Activation Service.
  • 5010 - Process serving application pool 'RemoteAppPool' failed to respond to a ping.
  • 5009 - Process serving application pool 'RemoteAppPool' terminated unexpectedly.
  • 5013 - forgot to write this one down.

During the time that I get these warnings, I am unable to logon to the server via RDP or the Dashboard. Doesn't make a difference whether I am inside or outside of my home network. I am still able to access all of the data on the server, including the playback of music and picture viewing. These warnings are definitely correlated to the server being unavailable for connection, as I will have a Dashboard window open, then suddenly it reports that it has lost connection. Sometimes it will come back quickly, but more often the windows will try twenty attempts to reconnect before aborting. Eventually I can connect to the server again. When I do, I take a look at the log files. Sure enough, at the same time that the Dashboard lost connection, one of the WAS warnings above was reported. The WAS warnings would repeat for the entire "blackout" period where I could not connect. The WAS warnings stop once I can connect again.

 

Folks suggested a hard-drive problem, but I wasn't sure how to isolate this easily, as I have so many drives. I ended up doing an entire rebuild with a new Intel H67 motherboard. All other hardware is the same, including CPU, RAM, hard-drives and Highpoint RocketRAID 2720 card. I did the rebuild slowly, initially leaving off the Highpoint card. I was able to consistently connect to the server, and the log was free of any WAS Warnings. I then add the Highpoint card (I had problems doing this as it made the system unbootable, but this is discussed in a separate thread on the Highpoint 2680 card) and reconfigure the system like I had it before. I did client backups and even did a server backup. Low and behold, I start getting the WAS Warnings again! Somewhat intermittently, but the system response is the same: no ability to login to the server via remote desktop or the Dashboard. So it looks like there is either an issue with my RAID card or one of the drives connected to it. The WAS warnings come up whether I am actively using the server or not (ie. it's idle, doing nothing).

 

I am going to disconnect the card from the system tonight, and see if I get stable operation for a day or two (stable operation = no WAS Warnings). Many folks on this forum have reported good success with the Highpoint 2720 RAID card, so I've either got a bad, consistent bad driver installation or one or more drives in the array is having issues. Any suggestions on how to perform a drive check on all the drives? Would I need to remove them from the WHS-2011, and test them individually in another computer using chkdsk or a Seagate/Western Digital diagnostic utility?

 

Other than the connection issue, I have been extremely happy with my WHS-2011 build! ;-)

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ikon

So, bad driver, bad RAID card, and/or bad drive(s).

 

You could test the drives by removing 1 drive at a time from the array and disconnecting it from the card, then run for a day with the rest of the drives, then rinse-and-repeat until the bad drive is found (if it is a bad drive).

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bondisdead

Wanted to provide an update to this topic, as I ended up doing some more testing. I have not come to a definitive conlusion yet (as I am afraid to break my working setup)!, but it looks like the Awieco Wake-On-Lan Add-In was causing the intermittent operation! I plugged my motherboard RAID, OS RAID and RocketRaid cards/drives back in, and noticed that I had rock-stable connections. However, I then remembered that I also uninstalled the Wake-On-LAN Add-In as well. Don't recall the reason I removed it, but glad that I did!

 

Anyways, I have not had a single dropped connection since mid last week (knock on wood). The server is up and running, without any issues (okay, I still have the intermittent failed server backup issue, but I'm not the only one there). I have had this Add-In installed from pretty much the very beginning of my issues, and have even updated to the latest version. I am going to give it another week, then install Wake-On-LAN again to confirm if that breaks things again.

 

If re-installing Wake-On-LAN does indeed cause disconnects to my server (as described in this thread), it will be a mixed blessing. For one thing, I will be relieved to have this connection issue resolved after so many months. Meanwhile, I really like the ease of use and functionality of the Add-In, so will miss not having it anymore.

 

Meanwhile, does anybody have a Wake-On-LAN utility for WHS 2011 that they can recommend? I have used AutoExit, but didn't like having to install something on each client.

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ikon

Really like your plan to wait a week then reinstall the Aweico.

 

There are numerous WoL utilities out there. I have used one called mc-wol.exe. It's a command line utility, but it could be run via RDP or a Scheduled Task. It doesn't require anything on the client other than that clients be set up for WoL in the BIOS.

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bondisdead

Really like your plan to wait a week then reinstall the Aweico.

 

There are numerous WoL utilities out there. I have used one called mc-wol.exe. It's a command line utility, but it could be run via RDP or a Scheduled Task. It doesn't require anything on the client other than that clients be set up for WoL in the BIOS.

 

I will update back on whatever I find, as somebody may or may not find it useful! ;-)

 

I need the WOL to be an Add-In, as I want to use the Remote Web Access feature of WHS 2011 to get into my server, then wake up a client computer from there. The Awieco WOL utility has a tab on the remote access page that allows you to do this. Very convenient.

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ikon

I need the WOL to be an Add-In, as I want to use the Remote Web Access feature of WHS 2011 to get into my server, then wake up a client computer from there. The Awieco WOL utility has a tab on the remote access page that allows you to do this. Very convenient.

I never use the web access; I always RDP into my home puters. Good luck with your quest.

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bondisdead

Thought I would post the latest results to this thread, as it may prove useful to others. Or considering how I am one of the few to respond to this thread, it will at least make me feel better for my frustrations throughout these issues! :wacko:

 

As it turns out, my only problem was not using the latest Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver! The issues described ad nauseum above were all related to the two 2TB RAID-1 array that was in my system. If I used a single 2TB drive I would not have issues, but when I went with the two drives in RAID, the issues would crop up. Note that none of the warnings really had anything to do with storage, but as someone suggested above, the system would likely go to la-la land during some storage access, and lead to the WAS Warnings and remote access issues. So the real problem was the RAID-1 storage and the older Intel driver. No issues at all with the hard-drives themselves. No issues with the Awieco WOL utility as I postulated. Turns out I uninstalled WOL at the same time I disabled the RAID, but didn't make note of the simultaneous actions on my part. Future note to self: Take copious notes when debugging, and ONLY MAKE ONE CHANGE AT A TIME!

 

I was using the IRST driver downloaded from the motherboard vendor web-site, not the latest one from Intel. After installing the latest IRST driver last friday (10.8.0.1003 - 11/11/11), everything was all good! From here on out, I will be downloading drivers directly from Intel/AMD sites, to be sure I have the latest. The motherboard vendors do not always keep up to date.

 

With all that said, it does make me wonder how I was the only one having these problems. Seems like there was a big window of opportunity that someone else was using these drivers in the same configuration I was. Oh well, at least I am happy now, as my WHS 2011 setup has been great since I updated the Intel Drivers! Knock on Wood! :ph34r:

Edited by bondisdead

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ikon

Congrats. Glad you ordeal is finally over :)

 

Future note to self: Take copious notes when debugging, and ONLY MAKE ONE CHANGE AT A TIME!

 

I find a whiteboard on the wall of my testing area is handy for notes when troubleshooting.

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