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Very slow v1


LegoTechMan
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Hey guys,

 

I have been experiencing some horrible performance issues with my WHS v1 box. It didn't used to be this bad...

 

It take about 2 minutes for the console to open up and most of the time it doesn't open the first time. I get an error that it can't connect. I try one or two more times and it finally connects, but takes a long time.

 

What is the worst though is my perfomance with Media Center. I use My Movies to watch movies and all of my movies are stored on my WHS. Most of the time when watching movies, they freeze and I have to exit out and restart (or resume sometimes) the movies. And Blu-Rays are not playing very well at all...actually they are mostly unwatchable.

 

I ran a few tests copying movie files to a few different PC on my network and the speeds were mostly horrible. I am assuming this is being caused by the WHS and not my network, but I am not 100% sure. Attached is a little chart I put together showing the file transfer speeds. My entire network is gigabit except for a couple of PC's that are connected to a 100MB switch, including MBX301 that is on the chart.

 

I tried copying a few movies files to 4 different PC's from my WHS01. I started copying the files and waited 10 sec then recorded the speed.

 

What I find very interesting is that some files copy much faster than others. What this tells me is that some of the drives in my pool are performing better than others. Has anyone experienced this? I have Home Server Smart installed and it is reporting my drives as mostly healthy. There are some bad sectors on a couple of them, but that is it.

 

I am about out of space on the WHS box, but I have been in that situation before and it has not affected performance. Plus, if I add a new drive, it is not like it will balance out the storage so I don't think that adding a new drive will help performance, even though I need to do it.

 

The specs of my server are as follows:

Pentium D processor (2.8GHz), 2GB RAM

1 Western digital 320GB system drive

2 Western digital 1TB drive

4 Seagate 2TB drives

 

I have 9.39TB of total storage and 495GB free.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions to what my performance issues could be or how I can figure out exactly what the problem is???

 

My WHS is almost 2 years old and I would like to replace it, but I am not sure with what yet. WHS 2011 is cheap, but since WHS is dead now, not sure if I will go that route or not. And I need to find out more about Win 8 or Server 2012. So for now, I need to try to fix my v1 box.

 

Thanks!

John

WHS Speeds.JPG

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For a gigabit network, all your speeds seem kinda slow. What I didn't see in your post is what the speeds are between the other PC's. It would be good to test copying files between the other PCs so you have a comparison. This will help to isolate if it's you LAN or your WHS.

 

If the PC to PC speeds are a lot better, then I would replace the Ethernet cable that connects the WHS to your LAN. If that doesn't fix it, you are looking at one or more of your drives, or possibly the NIC in your server (but that seems less likely).

 

Do you have room for more drives in your WHS? If not, you may have an issue trying to remove one to replace it with a good drive, because you're so low on free space. If you have Folder Replication enabled for some folders you may be able to gain some free space by disabling it.

 

Once you have enough free space, Remove one of the suspect drives and replace it. Test the speed again and see if it's any better. If not, try Removing the other suspect drive.

 

Once you have all the suspect drives Removed, test again.

 

Let us know what results you get

 

Finally, more info on your LAN configuration might help. How are the PCs all connected together, etc.?.

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Could be something to do with disk migrator running for and extended period to re-balance storage.

Have you checked to see what services are running which may be causing CPU overload?

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Are you by any chance using EARS drives on V1? I would not use any 100 mb switches on your network so for troubleshooting, disconnect them. As Renny stated, check you resource monitor on V1 and see if DE is going crazy. 465 Gigs free with that many drives could be a serious issue.. You need to isolate the problem area as it could be your server or your network. Do as ikon stated and move some movies from PC to PC and then to the server to compare speeds. As for you comment on 2011, it is end of life but not dead by any stretch. IT will be supported till 2025. Take advantage of the low price if you plan on upgrading. Going to anything else will be significantly more money. You will be thrilled with the performance going to RAID vs DE.

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Well, I found one problem. I checking for DE migrator to be running, I realized that Windows Search was running and taking almost 100% CPU which was slowing things down considerably.

 

I got it stopped and my console comes up much, much quicker now.

 

I tried copying a couple of movies files and they are no faster so no luck there...

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Are you by any chance using EARS drives on V1? I would not use any 100 mb switches on your network so for troubleshooting, disconnect them. As Renny stated, check you resource monitor on V1 and see if DE is going crazy. 465 Gigs free with that many drives could be a serious issue.. You need to isolate the problem area as it could be your server or your network. Do as ikon stated and move some movies from PC to PC and then to the server to compare speeds. As for you comment on 2011, it is end of life but not dead by any stretch. IT will be supported till 2025. Take advantage of the low price if you plan on upgrading. Going to anything else will be significantly more money. You will be thrilled with the performance going to RAID vs DE.

 

Nope, no EARS drives.

 

I know about the switch, I moved some PC's around a while back and it caused me to need another switch and the only one I had laying around was an old 100MB one. I just haven't got around to replacing it yet.

 

Every time I have looked I have not seen DE going crazy. I stopped Windows Search from running and it is still stopped and it made a huge difference bring up the console and RDP.

 

I tried copying a file between a couple of my PC's that are connected via gigabit and got an average speed of about 65 MB/s. Which is way faster than most of the transfers from my WHS.

 

I do wonder if my infrastructure is the cause of my speeds of only ~65MB/s. I am using 2 TRENDnet TEG-S80g gigabit switches, a Netgear WNR3500 router and the cheapTRENDnet TE-100 100mb switch. The WNR3500 router is at the center with all of the other switches connected to it. My cabling though is questionable. My new cable runs are Cat 5e, but I still have some older cables that may only be Cat 5.

 

Of course that still doesn't explain the transfer speeds of only 3.5 MB/s.

 

I do have room for another drive in my box so I may get another 2TB drive and do some drive swapping and see what happens...

 

I think I will price out a WHS 2011 box and see what I can do...the problem is that I can't afford to buy another 9 TB worth of drives so that I can copy all of my data. And if I go RAID 5, I can't easily remove a drive at a time from my v1 box and add it to my 2011 box as I go...

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OK. first, get that router out of the middle of your setup. Move it to the edge. If it's your internet gateway, make sure it is only connected to the internet modem and 1 switch.. Then, connect your other switches together. Try to use as few switches as possible, and make sure all your heavy-load computers are connected to the same switch if possible.

 

You ideal setup is to have only 1 swtich in your LAN, right at the center, and to have 'home-run' cabling to every location you need a connection.

 

Replace any cables that are suspect.

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Thanks ikon, as soon I realized that my router was at the center of my network I figured that wasn't okay. I knew that I had heard that before somewhere...probably from a podcast.

 

Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of having one switch in the center of my network, that would require way too many cable runs to various parts of the house. What I can and will do is replace the router with a 'real' switch and see what that does for my speeds. I am also going to replace the cables that are suspect. Does anyone know of a good/inexpensive place to buy cables?

 

As for the WHS, I really don't think that will increase my horrible performance that I am getting there.

 

I think that my solution to that problem is to just build a 2011 box :) I have been specing it out and will probably order the parts in the next few days. I will post my parts selection in the appropriate forum.

 

Thanks,,

John

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