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Copying to HP Proliant N40L grounding to a halt... Help please!


j_cocker
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I am having a strange problem with my 2-year old Proliant N40L:

- A wired home network using Cat5 connecting 3 x win7 Home Premium PCs and a Proliant N40L 
- A modem router connected to the switch 
- A TP-Link 1000bT Switch (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003UWRYBI/ref=pe_217191_31005151_dp_2 ) 
- All PCs/router/Server are connected via the switch. 
- The ProlianN40L acts as a media/backup server sitting next to the switch running win7 Ultimate. Stays on 24/7 
- The ProlianN40L houses 3 HDDs: 1 x for OS only, and 2 for backup. One of the two is shared over the network.

- My backup policy is that everyone on the network can copy to the shared HDD on the server, and a batch file running on the server then keeps the two HDDs identical. I prefer that to a RAID1 arrangement as it gives me more control.

All was working well for the last couple of years - average speed I got when copying to/from the server was just under 100Mb/s, which I am ok with. 

In recent weeks I noticed that, on occasion, the upload speed to the server drops to "nothing" - i.e. around 100kb/s. The download speed from the server is still as before, i.e. ~100Mb/s. I noticed this both when simply trying to copy a file(s) to the server over the network, or when examining the log of SecondCopy that runs overnight backups from the machines to the server. 

What I tried so far: 

- Ensuring all Windows are up to date 
- Booting the server 
- Booting the switch 
- Booting PCs 
- Copying between the two HDDs on the server - full speed (so nothing wrong with them I would assume) 
- Copying from server to one of the PCs on the network - full speed. 

From the above it appears that there is some sort of a bottleneck when writing to the shared HDD on the server. I assume it is software related rather than hardware (as it hasn't changed), but am not sure. 

I had a similar problem a few months ago, and I managed to cure it by un-sharing the HDD on the server, booting it, and the re-sharing it. This worked at the time, but the problem now returned, and the fix no longer works...

Any idea what is going on? 

Many thanks in advance, 

J. 

PS: I am aware that in some cases the order in which the different components on the network are turned on is important. However, this setup has simply "just worked" for the last couple of years. P{arts of it were occasionally, and everything was always fine.

Edited by j_cocker
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Have you tried a different cable or a different port on the switch? Could be an intermittent issue.

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Sorry, didn't want to make my original message too long, but yes, I have tried a different cable and a different port.  Good points.

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Thanks for that. Before trying your suggestion I decided to try a last attempt at finding if there is in fact a hardware issue:

 

I removed the server from its cupboard, and connected it directly to the modem/router, the later is used as a switch between the server and another PC. Well, the transfer between them was super fast, so I suppose that eliminates any problems with the server, and only leaves the (original) switch and/or cabling as possible culprits.

The switch works fine I believe, so I just ordered a replacement Cat6 cable that should, hopefully, solve the problem.

What a carry on.

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When you tested the server out of its cupboard, did you use a different cable to connect it to the router? If so, try it connected to the switch with that cable.

When you mention the server is in a cupboard, have you checked the temperature on it?

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  • 3 months later...

I am having a strange problem with my 2-year old Proliant N40L:

 

- A wired home network using Cat5 connecting 3 x win7 Home Premium PCs and a Proliant N40L 

- A modem router connected to the switch 

- A TP-Link 1000bT Switch (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003UWRYBI/ref=pe_217191_31005151_dp_2 ) 

- All PCs/router/Server are connected via the switch. 

- The ProlianN40L acts as a media/backup server sitting next to the switch running win7 Ultimate. Stays on 24/7 

- The ProlianN40L houses 3 HDDs: 1 x for OS only, and 2 for backup. One of the two is shared over the network.

- My backup policy is that everyone on the network can copy to the shared HDD on the server, and a batch file running on the server then keeps the two HDDs identical. I prefer that to a RAID1 arrangement as it gives me more control.

 

All was working well for the last couple of years - average speed I got when copying to/from the server was just under 100Mb/s, which I am ok with. 

 

In recent weeks I noticed that, on occasion, the upload speed to the server drops to "nothing" - i.e. around 100kb/s. The download speed from the server is still as before, i.e. ~100Mb/s. I noticed this both when simply trying to copy a file(s) to the server over the network, or when examining the log of SecondCopy that runs overnight backups from the machines to the server. 

 

What I tried so far: 

 

- Ensuring all Windows are up to date 

- Booting the server 

- Booting the switch 

- Booting PCs 

- Copying between the two HDDs on the server - full speed (so nothing wrong with them I would assume) 

- Copying from server to one of the PCs on the network - full speed. 

 

From the above it appears that there is some sort of a bottleneck when writing to the shared HDD on the server. I assume it is software related rather than hardware (as it hasn't changed), but am not sure. 

 

I had a similar problem a few months ago, and I managed to cure it by un-sharing the HDD on the server, booting it, and the re-sharing it. This worked at the time, but the problem now returned, and the fix no longer works...

 

Any idea what is going on? 

 

Many thanks in advance, 

 

J. 

 

PS: I am aware that in some cases the order in which the different components on the network are turned on is important. However, this setup has simply "just worked" for the last couple of years. P{arts of it were occasionally, and everything was always fine.

 

Over the last few months I have tried several things to get around this problem:

 

- Replaced the switch with a new identical one - no change

- Replaced  modem/router with a new (pretty much identical) one - no change

- Disk check on all HDDs in the server (3) - all returned no errors

- Replaced all relevant CAT5E cables - no change

- Tested server whilst connected directly to the modem/router (i.e. use it as a switch) - no change

 

As I was running out of ideas I found that HP had released an updated version of the driver for the NIC. I installed it, and for the first time in 3+ months the writing speed to the server was as it should!  However, after 3-4 days of working smoothly, it suddenly reversed to the tortoise pace again... ;-(

 

I checked the event viewer, and it has nothing suspicious in it - not before/during/after the time it "went bad", and in fact, not at all.

 

I am at a complete loss.

 

Any more ideas anyone please?

 

All very odd considering that everything worked without any problems for 2+ years, and no changes were made to any software and/or hardware.

Edited by j_cocker
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A few other things I have tried:

 

- Disabled Windows Firewall on the server (just in case...) - no luck

- Connected the server to the modem/router directly (no through the network switch) - modem/router used as a switch. Tried to access the server from another PC connected directly to the /modem/router - no luck...

- Connected to the server from other PCs on the network - just as slow.

 

I believe therefore that the problem must be to do with the server.  Am I right?

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