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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:14 pm 
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Hello,

I am interested in finding out how long the process should take once you initiate the removal of a storage HDD. The one in particular is a 2TB which I was having issues with. I believe it has been going for well over 12 hours (started on 10-3-2010 late night/early morning, looks to be 75% complete and it is now 10-4-2010 @ 8:08 PM. The server shares still cannot be accessed, and the Windows Home Server console seems to be responsive (I can move around the dialog box).

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Is this abnormally slow, for WHS? Or is this possibly due to HDD errors?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:22 am 
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I had to remove a hard drive a few weeks ago. The first time I left it run overnight and it still hadn't completed. I ended up canceling it and I got a message there there were some files that were open on that drive and that was causing a conflict. I ended up shutting down all the services/programs on my WHS that may have been causing the conflict, reran the removal, and it took about 3 hours. Have you seen any conflict messages (I believe the message should at a minimum show up right before you go to remove the drive)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:20 am 
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Thank you DBone for your answer. I appreciate it, sounds like we are having similar experiences to some degree. I got it all sorted but their were two similar, yet different issues with my system. The first was that I could not cancel the removal process, had to perform a a hard shutdown. Once it was up and running (light blinked blue for about 3 hours- guessing chkdsk) a conflict, I tried it again, same result, although I stopped it after 4 hours. I then restarted the server and stopped all processes like you stated (twonkey, media sharing, anything that was running!). Alas, almost success, I got a list of files that were having issues, a couple conflicts corrections and an I/O'd file manual delete and poof it finally finished.

So I think the second issue is that during a removal of a storage disk, WHS stops the backup processes and stops access to shares, but does not halt [enough] services. When you are "removing" a disk it seems like you would not want media collector and any other such apps running on the disk you are trying to remove. While I did take a look at the task manager, I did not take notes. I suppose it would be hard for me to recall exactly what I checked and what I saw, I do know that for me, manually stopping the extra services allowed me to remove the drive successfully, when previously it had failed twice.

I cannot completely fault WHS, as I knew about the "failing" disk and had been putting off buying one until I saw a sale. Money saved sometimes does not equate to a saving overall. 8)

PS I now rather loath the advanced format drives, but that is for another post! It works, but it was a learning "experience".

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:10 am 
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So my question to this is what services are safe to stop before attempting to remove a hard drive from the WHS drive pool? I obviously need to do something on my system before trying to use the Remove function because my removals are taking a ridiculously long amount of time. I recently removed a 1TB drive from the drive pool and it took over a day to complete. As I write this I'm removing a 2TB drive, and based on the progress bar, I'm just shy of 50% done... it's now been 2.5 days since I started that process!

It doesn't appear to have locked up, but it sure is running slowly. I would really like to figure out what is happening here as the server being unavailable for such a long period of time is unacceptible. The way this is progressing, our household will have been without the server for a full week just to remove this 2TB drive from the pool.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:49 pm 
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The drive removal process makes sure that all files are moved off the drive and duplicated on other drives, to protect your data. You can just pull the drive but you risk losing data. 2.5 days sounds like a long time, does the drive have issues? Do you have enough free space on other drives?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:14 pm 
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The drive shows as Healthy in WHS, but fails a couple SMART tests. I am removing the 2TB drive to have it sent back to Seagate because I don't trust the fact that it does have a couple failure items listed in the WHS SMART add-in. Today I did some research and found out about PIO disk mode vs. DMA. My drive controller seems to have changed this drive down to PIO, which I'm guessing is contributing to why it is so slow. At the rate it's going at (assuming it's still working because it's hard to tell), it's going to take at least another 3 days to complete the removal process. I do have duplication turned on for everything, but I'm not sure what would happen if I were just to turn off the Server now (in the middle of the removal process). I have 3.5TB currently listed as my free space available.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:24 pm 
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I get to reply to my own post...
Hopefully this helps someone else.
So tonight I experienced a power failure throughout the house, while the drive removal I was talking about in my last post was taking place. With the almost 3-day process now interrupted I decided to try something I had been reading about this afternoon. When the power came back on and I rebooted the WHS, I ran the restdma.vbs script I found online which automates the process of resetting all the system's hard drives to DMA mode. Sure enough, I had a few hard drives that were operating in PIO mode and slowing down performance!

I re-ran the 2TB hard drive remove wizard and it just finished now. It still took several hours, but not the 6-7 days that it was on track to take prior to running that script. Beware of PIO disk mode!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:43 pm 
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Do you have any idea what might have caused the drives to fall back to PIO mode? Got a link to the script and any more discussion around this? Is this a MediaSmart Server or a DIY system?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:00 pm 
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The script I got off this site: http://winhlp.com/node/10
My WHS is home built.
The drives falling back into PIO mode is apparently caused by CRC errors on the drives. I am actually going to remove three drives from my WHS, all to be returned. The Seagate 2TB I just finished removing had SMART "End-To-End" errors. My two WD 1TB drives each have hundreds and hundreds of CRC errors. I'm going to remove each of those as soon as I purchase a new 2TB drive to cover the space I'd be losing from their removal. They seem to have fallen back to PIO mode, and I'm noticing that as soon as a drive is in PIO mode, the performance of the entire WHS suffers big time. I'm going to stick with the "safe" Seagate Barracuda LP 5900RPM drives because I'm concerned that my WD EADS and EACS drives (again, both with a crazy amount of CRC errors) are problematic for WHS the same way the newer WD EARS drives are with their "Advanced Format" technology.


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