Tags: esata

04/20/11

  11:35:17 pm, by The Dreamer   , 3081 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC, Storage

Zen is back, with a little help from Acronis True Image Home 2011

.... kind of, though more not.

Three weeks ago today, Zen locked up. And, when it came back...it wasn't all there. It was bad....stuff wouldn't run, missing or corrupt system dlls, etc. Well, I did buy Acronis True Image Home 2011 the weekend before, and I had got nonstop backups going for a few days...and it seemed to show that it had replaced the old backup settings (image back only). And, trying to go into "Backup and Restore" launched Acronis True Image Home....

Guess I will restore the system to a previous time earlier that day. Seems the last time was about 6 hours back (and there were other weird gaps) later I read that non-stop isn't really non-stop...it'll pause if the machine is 'too busy'. Problem is it thinks BOINC is the machine being 'too busy'....didn't figure this out until later.

But, I went for it. After doing the restore, it rebooted...and...poof, I have nothing. Well, it went into HP's recovery partition instead. And, the only option enabled there is to restore the system to factory. After some cursing, I figured I'd go ahead, reinstall Acronis True Image Home and try again with an earlier time. While, that was happening, I had gotten onto another computer to do some surfing to see if there was some alternative way to invoke the restore, having not used the create restore cd option yet.

I found that I could download an iso from acronis, that was the same as what the software would've created and boot with that. So, instead of completing the initial setup screens of the freshing restored to factory...I booted from that. And, then tried looking for an earlier restore time.

Well, that interface is pretty bad. The worst part is that it sorts non-stop backup times alphabetically....so 1:59 is followed by 10:00, and then 11 and 12, before 2:00 shows....and AM & PM, those are at the end of the string...so PM times are interleaved into the AM times. Well, I remembered what time I had restored to previously, so I had a starting time to search for and try to guess backwards to a suitable restore time. There was a huge gap, now it was a busy 'vacation' day. I had a doctor appoint in the morning and then an MRI in the afternoon. The first restore attempt had been to a time shortly after returning from the MRI. The next backup times were for a period after I had returned from the doctor appointment. Might be okay....I would probably lose one Quicken transaction, but I could easily put that back (entering that I had paid co-pay)...I had read emails then as well as after the MRI, but I didn't recall anything too important that I had to get back having come in since my morning email check.

So, off it went....oh the first restore attempt took hours and I had gone to bed hoping to find Zen back in the morning. Now the next day, I was running a bit late for work...but I got it going, with it reformatting and updating partition settings first and I hoped to come home from work and be up and running again.

Well, that's not what I found. I was back at the HP Recovery Partition screen. So, I rebooted from the Acronis recovery disk, and this time I hit the search for backups option to see if it might find anything else. I figured it was worth a shot, while I mulled over the idea of starting over from scratch....at least I had the stuff in backuppc (sort of). Well, it did find something else...it found some image backups...odd. I had played around the option in Acronis True Image Home, but thought I had opted to go with non-stop backups and a fresh start with the external drive.

But, it seemed to be valid images and it was from the night before the crash. So, I used that to restore. I only made one mistake, where I marked the C: drive as active instead of the hidden system partition. Booting a GParted Live CD, I switched things back and that got me going again. Now while I was in the GParted Live CD, I noticed that it saw two internal drives...instead of the Intel Matrix RaidVol. I suppose that means the Intel ICH8R Matrix Raid is actually another FakeRAID, and after some searching around I found it to be true.

Hmmm, wonder if I shouldn't have bothered ordering the system as RAID1 then? Years ago, I had built a PC using FakeRAID...and it was kind of a mess after the motherboard failed (around the time where lots of motherboard makers were having trouble with counterfeit capacitors.) Yet, I'm considering building a machine from scratch again.... :hmm:

Wonder if it being FakeRAID is why after crashes it messes up the RAID, and has to initialize again (was scary seeing that the first time)...and then verify and fix errors.... wonder if this is going to happen every time Windows 7 fails to shutdown safely?

Oh well, try the boot....and success its all working again. I then look at the backup drive to see what I had restored from. Well, before I setup Acronis True Image Home 2011, I had been using Microsoft's image backup option, and scheduled it to run every Tuesday night. And, it usually runs on through to Wednesday night. Though it did seem to not take as much time lately....guess Zen also getting hit by backuppc at night was slowing the image backup down. I had looked at blocking out that night in backuppc, And, at this particular time...there was no hit from backuppc, because I had taken I was in the process of building a new array (I plan to write about that later) I was between backups.

Guess I'll leave Microsoft's image backup going...since it worked. Though it has one annoying negative. It removes the previous backup before creating the new backup, and if something goes wrong...no backups.

Meanwhile, I couldn't get non-stop backup to go again...probably a mismatch in state or something?

I then dig through the non-stop backup and restore a few files that had changed since the image backup.

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03/28/11

  01:43:48 pm, by The Dreamer   , 837 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage

Worked on Orac yesterday

Yesterday, I decided that I should poke around Orac in preparation for building that new 5x2TB RAID5 array. My backuppc pool keeps filling up, and deleting old backups isn't freeing up enough space anymore (5x1.5TB RAID6 array.)

At first it was just going to be a simple procedure to add two eSata cables from the computer to the Sans Digital MS2T+B, and then shutdown and move the two 1TB drives in RAID 1 from the bottoms slots of my TR5M-B (upper 3 are unoccupied). But, as I was pushing on the cables the bracket popped in...so I had to open the case to put it back in place.

While I was in, I decided to see what kind of fan is on the drive cage. A couple of weeks earlier, I had gotten a SMART alert of high temperature and cacti showed that there was a rise for a few hours in the late evening. It had been warm that day, warm enough that I touched the AC briefly in the earlier part of the evening. Guess I needed it to stay on the rest of the evening.... But, there was no fan...though there were mount holes for a fan, and there's supposed to be a fan connector on the motherboard for it. Though not all models had one, so evidently not the GT5635E. Though wonder if I should, maybe the addition of the second internal drive makes it desirable (so far I've had to replace the second drive twice....the current one is now a newer generation than the original drives, and runs cooler.)

Since there wasn't a fan, I didn't take the cage out....so I didn't measure what size fan might go in the spot. Though I have a rough guess as what size it is, so perhaps later on I'll pick up a fan to put there. I should probably see about a new rear fan....perhaps a faster one might help.

But, I put things back together and moved the drives, started things back up.

Of course, the first problem is now all my drive letters are different....which messed things up like cacti (hddtemp recording), gkrellm and rc.local (where I changed the i/o schedule for the RAID6 array drives to noop). There was also the complication that the filesystem on the drives I just moved hadn't been fsck'd in over 6 months. So, it needed to fsck them. root also needed be fsck'd. It took a long time to boot, but eventually did. Though the filesystem on the moved RAID1 array hadn't finished checking...had set 'nobootwait' on filesystem. I'll probably remove those now...since they have fixed Bug #563916. But, after fixing rc.local (and before fixing cacti) I rebooted....so it still needed to do the fsck.

Later I still had to reboot again, because two services that reference the filesystem....weren't happy...well, one was really unhappy and the other wasn't reporting valid information for it and needed a restart to make it work (I couldn't probably have fixed the issue without a reboot, but I wanted to make sure it rebooted right after another change I had made. There's still something odd going on, affecting a different RAID1 array....will look into that later (or I could opt to move the filesystem to the RAID6 array)....since it could use a grow.

Full story »

03/15/11

  02:48:37 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1358 words  
Categories: General, Home Theatre, Software, Furnishings, Storage, Healthcare, Roku XDS, Boxee

Today is supposed to be Roku day

And, it will be....but first I decided that I should get at the clutter of new stuff that I hadn't gotten around to yet.

First up was a Sans Digital MS2T+B MobileSTOR enclosure I had picked up a while back. The current array that backuppc goes to on orac is filling up. It's just a 4TB filesystem on a RAID6 array using 1.5TB drives. There's one other filesystem on this array and it could use some more room as well. I have debated whether the array needs to be RAID6 for backuppc, or whether RAID5 would be sufficient. But its the other filesystem that is driving RAID6, though I wonder if RAID 0+1 might be better for that (or just RAID1, since it is currently small enough). But, I'm using a pair of 5 bay PM enclosures....and older RAID 1 in one, and the RAID6 array in the other.

So, I've decided that I'll likely look at getting 5 2TB drives and doing RAID5 for a backuppc only array....keep the current 5 1.5TB drives in RAID6 for the other filesystem and whatever else I might want to move over to it. But, the stuff on the current 1TB RAID 1 array should just stay put. Well, there are two (of 4) regular eSATA ports on the back of orac that aren't being used yet. So, that's where the 1TB RAID 1 array will go.

It is still a ways off before I take the plunge and actually build the new array (though the backuppc filesystem has filled up twice since I thought up this scheme)... though prices are dropping and I do have a tax refund coming that many other things I want to use it on (including a travel/backup cpap setup, which is about the entire refund...oops).

But, I decided I would set it up, because I saw 2TB Hitachi drives the other day for cheap (they did recently get acquired by Western Digital, so sellers might be clearing out the Hitachi branded drives?) So, it might fall into range of what would be an acceptable single month discretionary purchase. Though technically, I've already done this month's when I bought the Nanosat speaker package that was a NewEgg shell shocker....though I used BillMeLater. I've been wanting to get this set to upgrade the odd ball collection of old speakers that is my current setup. But, the shellshocker price put it just into the range.... But, I was considering Seagate drives...which then dropped to remain cheaper than Hitachi....Hmm....

Anyways...I went to put the new enclosure into service, but I couldn't find the pair of eSATA cables I thought I had set aside for this. I did buy a pair of eSATA cables last fall from Amazon.com. But, evidently I used them for something else. I'd guess when I moved orac, I needed the length...not sure where the old cables went to then, but the probably aren't long enough for this. So, did some quick eBay purchases...and maybe I'll get to this eventually....

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05/15/10

  04:20:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1373 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Storage, Ubuntu

5-bay RAID and backuppc

Ever since I learned about 5-bay port multiplier SATA enclosures, I've been wanting to get one to play with. And, when I acquired 'orac'...I sought out a port multiplier eSATA adapter to include in the build of the system. And, then waited for support of the adapter in ubuntu. Stopped on 8.04LTS and waited for inclusion in a kernel.

I took a step closer when I finally got the 2-bay enclosure to mirror a pair of drives I had impulsively purchased. Since it worked, I then then bought a 5-bay enclosure (it came up as a NewEgg ShellShocker).

But, after some thought, I decided that what I wanted to do was build a 5 disk RAID5 using 1.5TB drives....so it would get me at least 5TB of real storage. And, set that I would wait until 1.5TB drives were under $100.

In the meantime, I collected a bunch of old SATA drives to see what I trouble I could get into....it didn't last long, as one was definitely dead and two quickly failed. Of course, two of the had been kicked out of RAID1 setups previously, and the other was a failing drive that I replaced/upgraded. So, it was back to waiting.

Eventually, I got 3 Samsung 1.5TB drives through NewEgg ShellShocker. And, I set up a 3 disk RAID5. Sadly, it didn't last very long....one of the drives failed while I was building the array. I exchanged it for a new drive with NewEgg, and waited for it before trying again. While I was waiting, I formatted it a bunch of times and learning about smartctl and various things of drive repair. One of the remaining two original drives, was showing signs of slow death and one unrecoverable sector. When, the new drive arrived...I did a long self test and a quick, but full, format....taking a couple days before I created the 3 disk RAID 5.

Once, that was done, I created a new big filesystem that is /var/lib/backuppc to have backuppc on 'orac'. Initially a 1TB filesystem.

Then one day, the bad happened. A drive on 'gumby' failed. It was time to stop putting off figuring out how to setup backuppc and start putting stuff into it. It turned out to be a lot easier than it thought to get started, though I did have to rebuild smbclient to have a longer timeout to get it successfully complete a full backup of a given partition. I then learned some other stuff and fine tuned the configs.... One big change was I broke out the windows hosts into individual partitions (ie, gumby_c, gumby_e, gumby_f), and came up with a 'semaphore' solution so that it wouldn't backup more than one partition at a time from a windows host. Eventually, I had all my systems in it (it fully backs up everything except itself, where it backs up only key parts....) I even got it backing up my work Mac Book Pro.

I later grew the filesystem out to 2TB.

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09/18/09

  06:44:48 pm, by The Dreamer   , 161 words  
Categories: Hardware, Momitsu V880N, Storage

iozone read/write performance of RAID1 vg's

Was discussion storage speeds with some friends over lunch....so I wondered if I could get some data comparing the performance.

vg0 is are two internal SATA drives, each on their own SATA channel, being mirrored. vg1 is the SANS Digital pair of drives, sharing a SATA channel via Port Multiplication, being mirrored.

Guess the graphs show that the internal drives are faster for small files....though for larger the difference goes away, so that things are comparable.

As it is....vg1 is mainly my MMCVideo filesystem - MMC (Momitsu Media Center). So, the files tend to be large and sequentially read/written.

Meanwhile, I've already removed the old MMCVideo logical volume from vg0 and doubled the size of /home. Even though now that I think of it, there's stuff under /home that might better go in its own logical volume(s)....now that I have room to create them.

Or later go on that HP MediaSmart Server that I've been dreaming of adding to my network.... :hmm:

09/16/09

  07:59:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 381 words  
Categories: Hardware, Storage, Ubuntu

SANS Digital TowerRAID TR2UT-B & ubuntu 8.04LTS

I've been wanting to try a Port Multiplier eSATA enclosure on my Ubuntu 8.04LTS Server, known as 'orac', for sometime. But, keep getting sidelined by how much it would cost to get a 5-bay enclosure and 5 drives... it would only be a matter of time that the price of drives would come down.

But, storage has been tight on my file server and it has been causing issues, and I know I'm going to have tons more stuff to add to it. The server current is just a pair of 500GB internal drives mirrored in RAID1. So, I started looking at options to add 1TB of RAID1 storage. I considered buying two discrete external 1TB drives....or buying an external enclosure that does RAID1. When I came across the SANS Digital TowerRAID TR2UT enclosure, and a few other like it....I narrowed on this one because it was under $100 and available under Amazon Prime. But, this enclosure sat in my cart 'saved for later'.

The reason I considered the enclosure was that it purports to do various RAID configurations on its own, additional it can be just JBOD and connect to a Port Multiplier port on 'orac'. If the drive didn't work on Port Multiplier, I could resort to the other options....additionally, it does USB...so if it just doesn't work on eSATA I could use it that way. Especially, should I later get 5 bay PM eSata boxes and displace this one. And, there's that thought that I might get an Airport Extreme and do TimeMachine backups to a USB attached storage....

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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