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USB problem


hfournier
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I've just setup a new N40L that's almost the same as Joe Miner's build:

http://homeserversho...icroserver.html

except I used a 256GB Plextor SSD and the 16GB kit of Kingston memory.

 

I have 3TB drive and two external USB drives setup in a Storage Space Pool for now (yeah, it's slow). My goal is to move the data off the old server, then add the drives from the old server to the pool and get rid of the USB drives.

 

I started moving files from my WHS 2001 server to the new WS2012E server, but when I checked on progress, I found an error... the target was missing. I checked the Storage Space and it was offline. The mouse worked, but keyboard was unresponsive as well. Seems like all the USB ports (except the mouse) went bye-bye. I tried reconnecting, but nothing changed.

 

I rebooted the server, walked away, and when I cam back I had a black screen with a blinking cursor in the upper-left. I rebooted again and watch it go through post, but it stopped at "Initializing USB Controller". Did a Shutdown, powered off the USB drives and restarted the server. It started without issue. I powered the USB drives back up, checked Storage Spaces and it showed the drives repairing and a few minutes later everything was back to normal.

 

Anyone ever see anything like that? I'm guessing there might be an issue with one of the USB drives vs something with the microserver... thoughts?

 

Henri

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I've seen the part where I tried to boot up with a USB drive connected, that I don't normally have connected, and got the blinking cursor at the top left. Unplugging the USB drive fixed the problem immediately.

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Yes, check your boot order in the BIOS

That may or may not work, but the thing is it shouldn't matter. If the system encounters a non-bootable USB device it should just move on to the next device, but that didn't happen. It's a bit weird.

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I've just setup a new N40L that's almost the same as Joe Miner's build:

http://homeserversho...icroserver.html

except I used a 256GB Plextor SSD and the 16GB kit of Kingston memory.

 

I have 3TB drive and two external USB drives setup in a Storage Space Pool for now (yeah, it's slow). My goal is to move the data off the old server, then add the drives from the old server to the pool and get rid of the USB drives.

 

I started moving files from my WHS 2001 server to the new WS2012E server, but when I checked on progress, I found an error... the target was missing. I checked the Storage Space and it was offline. The mouse worked, but keyboard was unresponsive as well. Seems like all the USB ports (except the mouse) went bye-bye. I tried reconnecting, but nothing changed.

 

I rebooted the server, walked away, and when I cam back I had a black screen with a blinking cursor in the upper-left. I rebooted again and watch it go through post, but it stopped at "Initializing USB Controller". Did a Shutdown, powered off the USB drives and restarted the server. It started without issue. I powered the USB drives back up, checked Storage Spaces and it showed the drives repairing and a few minutes later everything was back to normal.

 

Anyone ever see anything like that? I'm guessing there might be an issue with one of the USB drives vs something with the microserver... thoughts?

 

Henri

 

Hi Henri! Like John said: Check the Boot order -- and while you're in the BIOS => reduce the priority of the USB Ports -- unless you want to power down all your USB drives everytime you want to reboot your MicroServer. Boot priority has wacked me more times than I care to count --

 

As for Storage Spaces -- this sounds very similar to the Problem Matt was having with his mix of STATA and USB drives and Green drives etc http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4630-potential-storage-spaces-issue/#entry50921 probably a good idea to check the whole thread for that matter as well as PCDoc's testing. I haven't had any problems so I can only speculate. I am planning to try some pools with a mixture of drive types, speeds, sizes, and connections and see what happens -- till then I have no first hand experience.

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Yeah my other PC ... ie not my N40L ... does this ... used to be fine ... one day I had a blackout ... after I repowered everything my PC wouldn't boot with my externals plugged in ... and never got it fixed either. Just learned to boot it without the USB drives plugged in. Haven't had this issue on my N40L though. Might be one of your enclosures fragging the USB land in the N40L though. Hope you get it sorted ... is the just one USB enclosure or multiples? Have you tried rebooting them with just one plugged in, verifying that it works and then trying the next to see if it's just one enclosure?

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I'll check the BIOS as suggested and that will hopefully rectify the boot issue. I agree with Ikon though, it shouldn't matter... it should have just fallen through and booted from the SSD.

 

But, I'm more concerned about why they went offline in the first place. Just happily transferring files, then BAM... you're SS is offline. Like I said, I suspect one of the USB drives may have caused it, as opposed to the microserver, but I'm new to the N40L, so I thought I'd ask.

 

The UDB drives are:

  • LaCie 500 GB
  • iOmega 1 TB

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UPDATE

 

Backup failed. Checked server and SS was offline, both USB drives missing, and keyboard not working.

 

Powered off both USB drives and the keyboard came back about 12 seconds later. Tried powering on one drive... not detected, loss keyboard. Same with the other drive. Reboot.

 

Checked BIOS boot order and found SSD at 3rd drive behind both USB drives (not sure how that happened). Fixed it, so that should solve that problem.

 

After booting (with both USB drives still powered on), I got "Please wait" for longer than normal, but when the system finally came up, SS was back online, so I'm guessing it was doing a repair.

 

Checking the Event Viewer - System shows an error at 11:01:26 PM (backup started at 11:00 PM) with Event ID 4 and Source usbehci and a message:

"A timeout occurred while waiting for the EHCI host controller interrupt on Async Advance Doorbell response."

 

I checked eventid.net, but there was nothing about the above error. I Google and Binged it and found a few threads where people were seeing the same thing, but with USB devices other than drives as well, like network adapters. All were running Windows 8 and some even reported that they never had the problem (using same hardware) until they upgraded from Win7 to Win8. So this looks like a problem with Win8 (and WS2012E) that may be related to putting USB ports under heavy load.

 

Now what? I know I have to finish decommissioning my WHS2011 server ASAP, so I can grab the drives from it and get rid of these USB drives. But it still puts the whole idea of using external USB drives to expand your storage (even temporarily) into question.

 

And BTW, I have a 3 TB USB 3.0 drive (for backup) attached to a WD USB 3.0 PCIe card and it remains available the whole time.

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The more I hear about the WD USB3 cards, the more I like them. I have 1 in my server and it just seems to work. It's a pity other cards don't seem to work nearly as well. The only thing that seems to make sense to me is that the Win8 USB driver isn't as compatible with a lot of USB controllers as it should be.

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