Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

Bizarre Storage Spaces behaviour


Kaldek
 Share

Recommended Posts

OK folks I've posted this over at Microsoft as well but here goes:

 

I have a weird problem with my Windows 2012 Essentials R2 storage spaces.
 
My storage space was created with 2 x 2TB Western Digital drives (identical) and set up as a two-way mirror.  One started to report some SMART errors, so I temporarily plugged in an extra 2TB disk (also identical to the other two) and added it to the pool rather than immediately remove the dead drive, delete it from the pool and THEN add the new one.
 
Then, this new disk reported worse errors, so I removed it from the storage space.
 
Now, Windows is telling me that I am running out of space in the pool, but only in the storage spaces GUI, not in Disk Management or in Explorer.
  • Explorer reports 1.1TB used of a 1.8TB disk size
  • Disk Management also reports the disk is 1.8TB in size and is healthy
  • Storage Spaces however, says that I have 3.63 TB of total capacity (what?), and 16.5GB free (what?), but if I try to change the space, it currently says "Storage Space size (maximum): 1.80TB"
 
Obviously I stuffed up by adding a drive to the pool rather than removing the disk with errors, and Storage Spaces has marked the pool size as the combination of a 1.8TB two-way mirror and another 1.8TB non-resilient disk.   
 
The question is - how do I now tell Windows that the pool is 1.80TB in size?  I've tried to do that but it just ignores me and keeps the storage space size as 3.63 TB.   Surely there's something at a command prompt I can use, or do I have to completely erase my entire storage space, recreate it and restore everything from backups??
 
 
If so that would be REALLY stupid for the simple mistake of adding a drive to the pool before removing the old one.
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You created a RAID 1 mirror and then added it to a pool?  Why?  Those are two different technologies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You created a RAID 1 mirror and then added it to a pool?  Why?  Those are two different technologies.

 

No no, I created a storage space with two drives, setting it up as a "two way mirror" within the storage spaces management console.  It's basically RAID1 but handled as a storage space.  The benefit is that it can be encrypted using BitLocker, which you can't do with the old Windows drive mirror technology.

 

It was after I set up that two way mirror that I added another disk to it, with the intention of adding it, then removing the current "failing" disk.   Seems that you cannot just remove a drive from a storage space though unless the disk is already physically not there.  Only THEN can you say "remove disk".

Edited by Kaldek
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Friends don't let friends use Storage Spaces.  I had a similar issue and it had something to do with available drive space based on the pool size.  When you created the pool it has a virtual size, then you assign drives to it (or before) till the pool is provisioned.  They are two separate things.  Somehow when you removed the drive from the pool it no longer thinks you have the drives allocated to the pool.  I do not remember the exact gyrations I went through to fix this but it left me with a "What where they thinking" moment.  Add the lousy performance in parity mode and that was enough for me.  Sine SS is not very fault tolerant, I would consider an alternate route before you loose data.  If all you need is one mirror, then just use the OS as at least that is stable.  Not much help i know, but I cannot remember that far back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah I'm going back to using Windows drive mirroring.  This Storage spaces stuff is totally underbaked!

 

The only benefit to me was BitLocker, and that just gave me instant BSODs every time I wrote files to the storage space.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Add to that the STUPID ReFS restrictions on HyperV.   As soon as a VHDX file is copied from one ReFS disk to another one, VMs won't boot unless they are re-converted to VHDX again, with the conversion process writing to the target ReFS disk.  

Back to NTFS it is then.

Edited by Kaldek
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definetely a work in progress.  In a year or two if will be good tech but for now, Just Say No!  Good luck and let us know how it goes with the mirroring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I've moved everything onto my new 3TB drive.  However, I set it up with a 2TB partition and was going to mirror it to my remaining good 2TB drive.

 

However, I'm stupid and forgot that due to the sector size differences I can't mirror it.  (4KB vs 512 byte sectors).

 

I can't be buggered moving all my data around again, so I'll just go buy another 3TB disk and mirror that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

OK folks I've posted this over at Microsoft as well but here goes:

 

I have a weird problem with my Windows 2012 Essentials R2 storage spaces.
 
My storage space was created with 2 x 2TB Western Digital drives (identical) and set up as a two-way mirror.  One started to report some SMART errors, so I temporarily plugged in an extra 2TB disk (also identical to the other two) and added it to the pool rather than immediately remove the dead drive, delete it from the pool and THEN add the new one.
 
Then, this new disk reported worse errors, so I removed it from the storage space.
 
Now, Windows is telling me that I am running out of space in the pool, but only in the storage spaces GUI, not in Disk Management or in Explorer.
  • Explorer reports 1.1TB used of a 1.8TB disk size
  • Disk Management also reports the disk is 1.8TB in size and is healthy
  • Storage Spaces however, says that I have 3.63 TB of total capacity (what?), and 16.5GB free (what?), but if I try to change the space, it currently says "Storage Space size (maximum): 1.80TB"
 
Obviously I stuffed up by adding a drive to the pool rather than removing the disk with errors, and Storage Spaces has marked the pool size as the combination of a 1.8TB two-way mirror and another 1.8TB non-resilient disk.   
 
The question is - how do I now tell Windows that the pool is 1.80TB in size?  I've tried to do that but it just ignores me and keeps the storage space size as 3.63 TB.   Surely there's something at a command prompt I can use, or do I have to completely erase my entire storage space, recreate it and restore everything from backups??
 
 
If so that would be REALLY stupid for the simple mistake of adding a drive to the pool before removing the old one.

 

Hi Kaldek:

 

I know I’m coming to this late -- but I had been running Storage Spaces in S2012E for quite a few months in a test setup.  Unfortunately I broke that setup apart not long ago to test some other things so I can’t try to duplicate your current problem until I get S2012E-R2 up and running in the next week or two when I’ve finished up some other projects. 

 

I would suggest to think about Storage Spaces as a Pool from which you can make a number of Virtual HDD’s out of with different characteristics like Simple Resiliency (a lot like a RAID0 across all the drives in the Pool) and 2-Way Mirror Resiliency (something like a RAID1 but I think it’s more like a Stablebit DrivePool with duplication always turned on because if you have more than 2 physical HDD’s in the Pool the mirroring/duplication is split across all the HDD’s).  With Thin provisioning you can actually assign more capacity to a Virtual Drive you create in the Pool than is available in the Pool whereas if you use Fixed provisioning it’s sort of like the name implies the space that the Virtual Drive gets from the Pool is “fixed” and carved out of the existing pool so the capacity has to be available in the pool.

 

Disk Management and File Explorer will see the Virtual drives you’ve created in the Storage Spaces Pool as real drives – they cannot see the actual physical drives that make up your Storage Spaces Pool.  It’s much like working with “virtual” drives created by pooling a number of drives in a RAID configuration on a RAID card like the RR2720 – at least that’s how I visualize it.

 

When I first installed S2012E and created a Storage Spaces Pool and Virtual Drives I used the “Manage Storage Spaces” but later I found it a lot more intuitive to work in the Server Manager: at Server Manager => File and Storage Services => Volumes => Storage Pools

 

“Obviously I stuffed up by adding a drive to the pool rather than removing the disk with errors, and Storage Spaces has marked the pool size as the combination of a 1.8TB two-way mirror and another 1.8TB non-resilient disk.”

 

My read of this is that you created an additional Virtual Drive in your Pool that was a Simple Resiliency – you don’t need to create Virtual Drives when you add a physical drive – you could have deleted the extra Virtual Drive in Server Manager.  Were your Virtual drives: (1) the 2-Way Mirror and (2) Simple -- created with Fixed provisioning?  (That could explain your Pool running out of space, i.e. 3 physical 2TB HDD's in the Pool with a Fixed 2TB 2-Way Mirror and a Fixed Simple 2TB Virtual Drives/Volumns carved out of the Pool.)

 

NOTE:  If you created a Simple Resiliency Virtual Drive in your Storage Spaces Pool – you are not going to be able to remove a HDD from the Pool until you delete that Simple Resiliency Virtual Drive(s) (a Simple Resiliency drive is “like” a RAID0 done across ALL HDD’s in the Pool) – this is true (from my experience) for Simple Fixed and Simple Thin.

“The question is - how do I now tell Windows that the pool is 1.80TB in size? I've tried to do that but it just ignores me and keeps the storage space size as 3.63 TB.”

 

The Storage Spaces Pool size is the sum total of the physical HDD’s you’ve added to the Pool.  You will have to remove physical HDD’s from the Pool with Server Manager to reduce the size of the Storage Space Pool.  Check this Thread: Remove Disk From 2 Way Mirror in Storage Spaces Pool

 

I also did a few Blogs on S2012E as well as posts throughout the Forums that may be useful to you (be sure to also check the references at the end of each blog):

 

 

Check also the postings in the Forums about S2012E from last Fall and Winter – lots of good “stuff” there.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Kaldek:

 

I know I’m coming to this late -- but I had been running Storage Spaces in S2012E for quite a few months in a test setup.  Unfortunately I broke that setup apart not long ago to test some other things so I can’t try to duplicate your current problem until I get S2012E-R2 up and running in the next week or two when I’ve finished up some other projects. 

 

I would suggest to think about Storage Spaces as a Pool from which you can make a number of Virtual HDD’s out of with different characteristics like Simple Resiliency (a lot like a RAID0 across all the drives in the Pool) and 2-Way Mirror Resiliency (something like a RAID1 but I think it’s more like a Stablebit DrivePool with duplication always turned on because if you have more than 2 physical HDD’s in the Pool the mirroring/duplication is split across all the HDD’s).  With Thin provisioning you can actually assign more capacity to a Virtual Drive you create in the Pool than is available in the Pool whereas if you use Fixed provisioning it’s sort of like the name implies the space that the Virtual Drive gets from the Pool is “fixed” and carved out of the existing pool so the capacity has to be available in the pool.

 

Disk Management and File Explorer will see the Virtual drives you’ve created in the Storage Spaces Pool as real drives – they cannot see the actual physical drives that make up your Storage Spaces Pool.  It’s much like working with “virtual” drives created by pooling a number of drives in a RAID configuration on a RAID card like the RR2720 – at least that’s how I visualize it.

 

When I first installed S2012E and created a Storage Spaces Pool and Virtual Drives I used the “Manage Storage Spaces” but later I found it a lot more intuitive to work in the Server Manager: at Server Manager => File and Storage Services => Volumes => Storage Pools

 

“Obviously I stuffed up by adding a drive to the pool rather than removing the disk with errors, and Storage Spaces has marked the pool size as the combination of a 1.8TB two-way mirror and another 1.8TB non-resilient disk.”

 

My read of this is that you created an additional Virtual Drive in your Pool that was a Simple Resiliency – you don’t need to create Virtual Drives when you add a physical drive – you could have deleted the extra Virtual Drive in Server Manager.  Were your Virtual drives: (1) the 2-Way Mirror and (2) Simple -- created with Fixed provisioning?  (That could explain your Pool running out of space, i.e. 3 physical 2TB HDD's in the Pool with a Fixed 2TB 2-Way Mirror and a Fixed Simple 2TB Virtual Drives/Volumns carved out of the Pool.)

 

NOTE:  If you created a Simple Resiliency Virtual Drive in your Storage Spaces Pool – you are not going to be able to remove a HDD from the Pool until you delete that Simple Resiliency Virtual Drive(s) (a Simple Resiliency drive is “like” a RAID0 done across ALL HDD’s in the Pool) – this is true (from my experience) for Simple Fixed and Simple Thin.

“The question is - how do I now tell Windows that the pool is 1.80TB in size? I've tried to do that but it just ignores me and keeps the storage space size as 3.63 TB.”

 

The Storage Spaces Pool size is the sum total of the physical HDD’s you’ve added to the Pool.  You will have to remove physical HDD’s from the Pool with Server Manager to reduce the size of the Storage Space Pool.  Check this Thread: Remove Disk From 2 Way Mirror in Storage Spaces Pool

 

I also did a few Blogs on S2012E as well as posts throughout the Forums that may be useful to you (be sure to also check the references at the end of each blog):

 

 

Check also the postings in the Forums about S2012E from last Fall and Winter – lots of good “stuff” there.

 

 

 

 

I knew you would bring balance to the force.  Your optimisum and hope for SS would make up for SS bashing.   Nice write up!  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...