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Help with Drive Balancing


PINKTULIP
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Hi Guys

I seem to be missing something with regard to Drive balancing!!

I have over 2TB of storage in my Frankenbuild spread over 6 physical drives.

I currently have 912Gb of available space, as i have turned off a lot of folder duplication.

My Drive '0'which is a 74Gb Drive, and hosts the 20Gb 'C' partition, however it is 94% full and causing error messages.

My 5 other drives have plenty of available space, and i have tried the drive balancing tool, but there is insufficient space to run the programme.

How can i ease the burden on my Drive '0' and share some of the data across the other drives.

Look forward to your responses.

Cheers

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Has it been > 2 days with that drive configuration?

One way to manually do it is if you can figure out what is on drive '0' then move that over the network to another computer and move it back to the WHS.

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Have you follow the instruction in the readme file ?

How to Install:

Download the zip file and put it on a share on the WHS machine. Now, RDP into the WHS machine as Administrator and unzip the exe onto the C: drive. I've always run it on a share, but I'm not sure that won't lead to a problem, so running from C: is definitely fine. Now, you can either just double click the exe or you can open a cmd window and run it from that. I also suggest keeping the Disk Management tab open in WHS console so you can see the drive activity if you so choose.

*****************************************************
Before Running, I suggest...

1) Stop all clients from writing data to the pool while the app is running. Writing to the disks will mess up the calculations from even distribution and if you write too much, you'll end up seeing no progress in the final step after some time and you'll have to let the timeout expire (30 min of no progress).

2) Stop clients from reading data while the app is running. Not nearly as important, but I say this here because you're read performance to a client is going to be horrible if the app is moving data on the disk your client is reading from.

3) Stop SageTV service or any other service on the WHS machine which affects #1 and #2. Some users have reported crashes of the tool (again not a big deal, but you'll manuall have to cleanup the d:\fake and c:\fs\*\fake directories.

4) Basically, you ideally want an idle server (minus your RDP session) for best results. Not listening to these suggestions will not break anything other than the efficiency of the app, so no harm will occur to your data.

*****************************************************
Things that can cause a less than stellar results

1) Look at the amount of Shadows as a whole on the drive pool. If this number is greater that 0, it will affect the final outcome of drive balance. I found that I had 100GB+ of Shadows during my first run of drive balancer. After the first run completed, an overnight run, the shadows were gone. I then reran drive balancer and it finished up the job.

2) The amount of duplicated folders can may make it difficult to get a "perfect" balance. I am not suggesting turning off duplication on anything, I'm just pointing out that duplication will limit the choices DE has when it moves around files. If you have 4+ disks in the pool, this becomes less of an issue since DE will have more choices.

*****************************************************
Here's a typical walk through of the program's steps

1) Decide if you want to include D: in the balancing effort. This is a personal choice, so I'm just giving the option. Personally, I'm not sure what's better.

2) If you chose yes to #1, then skip to number #4. Otherwise, the D: is now filled up with fake files to within 10GB of it's capacity. You are then asked if you want to clear data off of the Landing Zone. Again, personal choice, so you decide. I just put in the options.

3) If you chose no to clearing the landing zone, skip to #4. Otherwise, The app will restart DE and it should start to move off data. It will do it's best to move off data, but if after 30 minutes of no progress, it will declare victory and move on.

4) Time to choose how you want to balance the data and make a few calculations. They are self explanatory, so I won't dive into that. There are checks in there to make sure you don't try to overfill a drive or don't have enough capacity. Remember, this tool doesn't delete/move/copy your data files, it just creates fake files to get DE to do what we want. After the calculations are made, you will be asked if they seem appropriate. If you say no, the app cleans up and exits. If you say yes, move on to #5.

5) Now it's time to balance the data. Suffice to say that It will tell how it progresses, when it goes to sleep, and when it tries to restart DE. If you find it isn't making progress, you can hit Ctrl-C. You must then delete the D:\fake and C:\fs\*\fake directories to cleanup.

I have found that if you aren't happy with the balancing results another run can help. The issue is I'm being cautious in balancing the data and it's sometimes too cautious to get good results. The perceived "cautiousness level" is indirectly proportional to the amoun of data in your pool. The more data, the perceived cautiousness is lower. The tool is more aggressive than past revisions, and should be within 10-20GB on each drive.

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My I suggest you try to determine why your system drive is full (Drive C).

You may need to clean up the log space on this drive.

Logs for WHS tend to be found to three locations on the system drive.

C:\Temp
C:\WINDOWS\Minidump
and
C:\WINDOWS\Temp

A forth location may be involved is you are using MyMovies
C:\WINDOWS\SYSMSI\SSEE\MSSQL.2005\MSSQL\LOG

If you are only use the OEM Build of WHS or a Vendor modified version of WHS the system drive should be about 50% free.

I would strongly discourage you from installing any software to the system drive located on C:. If you are given the option pick another location.

Windows Server needs this space free in order to OS files in and out so the reason you are receiving errors is mostly likely

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PINKTULIP, I've used Drive Balancer and gotten my drives to within a single percentage point of each other. But before I did, I read through the ReadMe and the following caught my eye.

UPDATED NOTE:
Some people have been having trouble not getting any data to move when their D:\ has lots of data on it. Before doing anything else, please run Drive Balancer to clear the landing zone only. To do this, choose "n" to include d:, then choose "y" to clear landing zone, and the "5" to exit. After this initial run (which can take hours), rerun Drive Balancer the with the options you want. I believe this will help the problem of no data being moved on some people's systems.

Following the above before the running full balance worked for me, and I had a drive that was over 90% full. I hope this helps.

Also, while running Drive Balancer, in the beginning phase, it may ask you to check, then uncheck and hit 'Apply' on a folder share (go into console for this) in order to 'wake up' drive balancing. Again, I just followed instructions and had a very good outcome. If something was suggested as a good settings option, I went with that.

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OK, I am getting nowhere,

I started with ekbayes suggestion of clearing out the logs, but to be honest didnt really find very much in the locations suggested.

I have followed all the suggestion for using the Drive Balancing tool, and just tried excluding 'D' from the balance, but keep getting the same error. "There is not enough space on the disk" "Exception handling error" and then the app closes.

Looking in 'Disk Management' I have the following

Disk 0 - 74Gb - 94% full - Healthy (System)
Disk 1 - 186Gb - 69% full - Healthy
Disk 2 - 372Gb - 55% full - Healthy
Disk 3 - 232Gb - 68% full - Healthy
Disk 4 - 931Gb - 51% full - Healthy
Disk 5 - 298Gb - 43% full - Healthy

Any more thoughts would be much appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK i finally figured out the problem, it was Wuala, now i know a bunch of you guys use Wuala, so would be very interested in knowing your configuration, as it would seem my install of it caused all the problems.

Everything related to Wuala was on the one physical drive, now i have removed it and run Drive Balancer again, all is well with my data spread nice and evenly over all my drives.

Is there a way of getting Wuala to spread the data across all of the 'D' partition as i would like to use it again, i have managed to get upto 60Gb of storage which is very useful.

Thanks for all your input on this one.

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