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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:29 pm 
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Well, it had to happen - my HP MSS "died" two days ago.

I presume there was a scheduled update, because when I woke up, the MSS had all its HD lights off (which got my attention!), and the health light was flashing blue. I've forced a shutdown (power button >4 sec) then booted up again, and I never get past the flashing blue health light. I don't hear any drive seeking noises while it's "booting", so I know it's not doing anything.

No hardware changes were done. It's an EX470 with 5TB on it (3TB on the MSS itself, 2TB on a TR4M eSATA drive extender). I *am* running PP3 beta, but never had an issue until today, I don't believe it's related (no one reported similar problems on MS Connect).

I've searched the forums before posting, but nothing I found seemed related (in other cases, changes were made before the problems started, or the problem fixed itself eventually -- not here). So far the only "guess" I have is that my system drive may have died during the night, the MSS had to reboot for some reason (bluescreen or scheduled update) and never came back. The problem is not intermittent, it is permanent.

I'll try to do a recover (ironically my x64 recovery images are on the server, time to dust off that Vista 32bit install, lol) and see what I can find from there.

I'm a bit surprised that the MSS cannot tell me if the system drive is dead, I would have expected it to deal with the situation much more gracefully...

EDIT: I have solved the problem, it was a defective drive in my TR4M enclosure that caused the hangs. See this post in the thread for details.

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Last edited by fulg on Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:41 pm 
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I just received the same thing today exactly the way you explained it.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:47 pm 
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Well, it turns out booting the system without drives, then plugging them back in, was enough to fix this issue. Had I known, I wouldn't have waited this long to try...

On the upside, this "failure" made me get another 1TB drive! :mrgreen:

The first time I remoted to the MSS desktop (booted only with the system drive), Windows announced that the system had been rebooted for an automatic update, so it seems to have been an update gone bad after all. Never had that happen before...

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Comp1962
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:10 am 
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I got the flashing blue health light tonight as a matter of fact but not from an update but from performing a restore. System Restore was reported a SUCESS too. I sat and watched that Health Light bink BLUE this for over an hour. Sometimes I am too patient. Searched HP Web site for a solution and nothing. So I decide to perform another restore and here I am reading our post and the restore software now says Please Wait because my server is being rebooted. Then say remember this can take 5 minutes or more. This is not the first time I have done this either. Any way if it ends up doing the same thing again I will try your solution.

As for a bad system drive there is a blink code for the Health Indicator Light 1 BLUE, 2 RED. The bummer is there is no listing for a Health Indicator Light blinking Blue.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:08 am 
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Comp1962 wrote:
I got the flashing blue health light tonight as a matter of fact but not from an update but from performing a restore. System Restore was reported a SUCESS too. I sat and watched that Health Light bink BLUE this for over an hour. Sometimes I am too patient. Searched HP Web site for a solution and nothing. So I decide to perform another restore and here I am reading our post and the restore software now says Please Wait because my server is being rebooted. Then say remember this can take 5 minutes or more. This is not the first time I have done this either. Any way if it ends up doing the same thing again I will try your solution.

As for a bad system drive there is a blink code for the Health Indicator Light 1 BLUE, 2 RED. The bummer is there is no listing for a Health Indicator Light blinking Blue.



Any modifications to your MSS, i.e. upgraded processor?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:57 am 
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Same blinking blue health light. Seems to have happened after an update. No Mods to unit (485) except added 1TB drive when new in June. I am going to try the boot without drives solution. Will update


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:41 pm 
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I did install and LE1640 but since that time I put the original processor back in the unit. Only issue left is why my health indicators are not working all reading negative numbers and highlighted PINK. What I do know is that WNAS.SYS starts up then shuts down. I believe that controls the monitors and the drive lights. None of my drive lights are working. I wrote book about this in another area on this site.

Currently I am just happy my server is working but for the time being I only run it when I am home.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:59 am 
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Well, it turns out this issue isn't resolved, it happened a few times over the last couple of months. While trying to debug this, it seems that turning off the TR4M and power-cycling the dead server is sufficient to bring it back to life. Once WHS is up and running, I turn the TR4M back on and restart through the console (ignoring all the errors about missing drives), and generally that's the end of it, until the next WHS update that requires a reboot of the server.

I've enabled the NT boot log on the server to find out where it crashed while booting (/bootlog in boot.ini), and this morning found that my server had died again the same way. I pulled the SYS drive and hooked it to my desktop using a SATA enclosure to see the log, and interestingly, the ntbootlog.txt file dated back to november 25th (the last time the problem occurred). This means that the server dies even before Windows starts to boot.

When the server was revived (using the method above), I could see the ntbootlog file updated to this morning's date (when logged in through RDP), so the boot log is working fine -- therefore I know the hang occurred before booting even started.

Unfortunately I don't have a VGA cable, I guess that would be the next step in figuring out the problem completely.

One more detail that seems to point to the TR4M: I have three drives in mine, but when I rebooted the dead server the first time (with the TR4M still plugged in), one of the TR4M drives LEDs never turned on (i.e. one of the drives wasn't detected). This is the first time I've noticed this, and makes me think that the problem may be related to drive detection in the BIOS. Maybe it times out and asks me to "Press F1 to continue"? Does the WHS BIOS support USB keyboards?

In the resource tab of the console, I can see I have BIOS version R02 (Friday July 13 2007). Not sure if there are newer BIOSes or if it can be upgraded at all.

What is really puzzling with this problem is that it started soon after I installed PP3 beta, but the hardware configuration itself hasn't changed in almost a year (no new drives or any other USB devices hooked up).

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:19 am 
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fulg,

I think your problem has to do with a bad hard drive. I say this because when I first put my drives in my unit which is not a TRM4 but the version Roswell sells which I believe is the same unit, I accidently installed a 1 TB very dead Seagate drive (New drive too) anyway the server would boot the port multiplier would be accessed then the server would shut down. The port multiplier would show 2 drives the LEDS would turn green then flash red and that when the server would shut down and restart. So I disconnected the eSATA cable and the server would boot no problem. I opened the port multiplier up and removed drive #3 and saw that it was the defective 1 TB Seagate Drive. I then restarted my system and everything booted up perfectly.

So I would say shut your server and TR4M down and remove the drive that does not light up then restart your system and see if the problem goes away. If it does then I will be happy I installed a wrong drive because it helped another person and provided me some useful information about if a drive fails in a port multiplier.

The reason I wanted multiple drives in my enclosure was initially to verify the port multiplier was working fine. Unfortunately I installed a known bad hard drive, my fault on this one because I assumed it was a good drive since I thought I put it on the bottom of the Hard Drive stack on my desk which are all Seagates about to hit the trash can.

Good Luck and let me know how you make out.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:51 am 
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Comp1962, thanks for the reply. I should add that once the server boots up correctly, all drives are accessible and working, no data is corrupted, and no funny noises are emitted. No failure is reported via the Disk Management add-in for any drive. I guess one thing I could try is find a utility to dump the full SMART info of all drives (Disk Management only shows "Failure Predicted: False").

The drive that wasn't detected on bootup was a new 1TB disk I added to the TR4M after I started having the problem, to backup the backup database and prepare for an eventual system restore. I was thinking the system drive was dying, but that doesn't seem to be the case, so I haven't done the restore yet... I have a fair amount of customization to my system so a restore is truly a last resort option.

I've ordered a VGA cable from cakalapati this morning, hopefully this will help diagnosing the problem...

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:25 pm 
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fulg,

The new 1 TB Drive you added was it after that your problems started? I am just curious and while your server is booted up and running which is a good thing I wonder if the problem would occur again not from a soft restart but a hard start meaning power everything down then start it back up again. Even a new drive should turn on the Drive LED to show its present. Did you happen to reseat the new drive then things booted up fine? Every little detail tells a story no matter how small the detail is. I have experienced new devices out of the box fail so new does not always indicate thats not the problem unfortunately thing do arrive DOA but your drive is currently running and I just wonder if you may have reseated it.

Do you remember when you first installed your very first drive in your EX470 and how it was abit hard to insert then over time as you work on the unit the drives seem to become easier to install or maybe we just automatically push abit harder or acquire the majic touch. Again I am just curious, always curious about the details.

I would not perform a Server Restore at this point unless it was absolutely necessary. HP is about to release the 3.0 software for the older MSS and if your going to purchase that then thats the time to do the restore if you can wait. I would be more concerned with backing up your clients with BDBB and for that I use a 1 TB WD USB Drive but I also have it backed up on another USB Hard Drive as well. Redundant backups do save your butt.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:17 pm 
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Comp1962 wrote:
The new 1 TB Drive you added was it after that your problems started?

No. I bought the new hard drive because of this issue (after it had occurred a few times), I got it to replace the system drive. The problem started before I changed anything hardware, so it is not the new drive. It started soon after I installed PP3 beta, but as I found out this morning, when the system is hung this way (flashing blue health light), Windows has not even started booting so I believe this points towards a hardware issue.

A while back (after I started having this problem) I did remove and re-seat all drives and cables (MSS and TR4M), but that did not help.

I haven't been able to find a SMART monitoring tool that works under WHS, so I will wait for the next time the issue occurs (next patch tuesday...) and get the SMART info from my desktop. I'm never sure if I'll be able to bring back the server up after this happens, so I want to minimize reboots if at all possible. Once I get the VGA cable I'll be much more confident in diagnosing this, because right now I'm totally blind.

Does anyone know of a SMART monitoring utility that works under WHS? I presume it is possible since the Disk Management add-in does just that, but doesn't show us the raw data.

In the mean time, once booted the server works 100% (and gets a lot of use!) so this is still only an annoyance, but it is becoming quite the pain in the backside to deal with. I am wondering if all the other posts of servers stuck on flashing blue lights means I am not alone with this problem?

Thanks for taking the time to post; one of you may help to uncover this mystery... :)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:54 pm 
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Hi, new to the forum. Sorry to beat a dead horse but, I am also experiencing the flashing blue health light. I have a 470 with the factory setup. Only change was the addition of a second hard drive. All has been functioning normally until the other day when confronted with the flashing light. Rebooting doesn't help.

One of the earlier posts suggested removing the drives and rebooting. I think the user had some external drives connected. Was the suggestion simply to unplug the external drives or were some of the internal drives removed as well?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

In a seperate question - can I remove the second drive, drop it into an enclosure, and read the disk via a connected computer? If it comes to doing a server recovery, I was hoping to back everything up to a new external drive.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:03 pm 
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Welcome, Datch, to the world of MSS/WHS! Good to have you aboard.

I believe he was referring to re-seating the INTERNAL drives. (See also my comments above about re-seating the backplane and even the memory.)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:41 pm 
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I am having the same issue, it was after a added a new drive, but it was fine for a week after that. it seemed to have something to do with when I was trying to re-establish my network ( Adding a new XP machine to possibly use as an HTPC) (I may have turned off the MSS too soon after starting a reboot?)

Last time I had an issue with not being able to connect to the server I was able to use this trick to get it to show up again.

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3748&start=4

Right now I can't find a regular USB keyboard, they all have too many features that don't seem to be recognized (I even bought an HP one today).

Last USB Keyboard I used was from a fried who since moved away.

(The last issue was related to the Free virus protection software)


If anybody finds a solution that doesn't involve a restore please let me know. If I find an USB keyboard that works, I will post that as well.

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