Category: "Storage"

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  06:16:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 964 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Storage

Crashplan Evaluation Update

In the continuing evaluation of CrashPlan, I hit a snag last weekend. The servers were down...and everything stopped... not only could I test the online functionality that morning, local backups between my home computers also stopped. And, many of them required me to give the service a kick a time or two, before everything would work again. My laptop, the only computer I'm currently backing up to Crashplan hadn't backed up in nearly 48 hours....kept saying it was offline, but restarting the service finally got it to see that it wasn't. I had to reboot some of my Windows computers due to software upgrades, so I hadn't noticed this problem at first.

Wonder what the availability of the service is...does this thing happen often? Is there a notice somewhere, explanations, etc....or is my Enterprise IT background affecting my expectations?

Then last night I hit a new snag. In redoing the RAID5 on Zen, I went and recreated the old partition as a full 3TB...and its used for Windows Image Backups and Oops!backup. And, the remaining space ~1.1TB got made into a new partition that I set aside just for CrashPlan. Its a bit more than what they offer for their seed option.

I have a lot of media files that I've accumulated over the years...some organized, some not....but duplicated on different systems. And, some of those systems are getting old, and lately...I seem to spend more time/money on backups and maintaining... than replacing or migrating those systems. But, the main problem is the duplication of files among my different home computers.

Now I had originally looked at Crashplan (and other in the cloud solutions) as something to do backups of my laptop data, and not be tied to my home network, etc. And, then grew to being offsite backup for my important media collection, especially all those pictures and videos I've taken over the years (most of my traditional format is lost, water damage...someday I should sort through that)...and everything else as I become more and more digital. IE: when I did the closing on my mortgage....I signed lots and lots of papers for mortgage company, but my copy was just a CD-R. Seemed all the SA people I spoke to, said Crashplan was the one...though when I first raised the idea around the local IT crowd, Carbonite was mentioned. But, Crashplan supports Linux, and that's important...since I'm running a Linux laptop.... though cloud backup and my laptop was original more of an issue when I was thinking of getting a Windows 7 laptop (at the time Windows 7 had changed something that broke smbclient from talking to it, but smbclient has since updated to work I can still do backuppc on my home network....)

So, initially I pointed Zen and 4 other computers to the 1.1TB Crashplan volume. Zen is just backing up my profile directory (default), which is less than what I have Oops!Backup protecting (since not everything crams into the My Documents/My Pictures/My Videos/My Music...and even those that do...aren't organized much and dumping them in with other unorganized data would just make things worse....but I had intended to get everything off of TARDIS onto Zen....though I don't know where I left off, and don't know how to get back.) So, obviously all of TARDIS is one of the other 4 computers. Figure I want lots of backups of that system for when it finally packs it I'm strongly considering a Mac to replace it. And, it likely won't have the kind of storage (initially) that TARDIS has now. I also pointed Gumby to it, it has a couple external drives...where I know there's duplicate files between them (I treat one drive as archive and the other as active media...and I haven't cleaned up the active drive in some time. And, I still make copies to a couple network of which is still from TARDIS. (one of the things that didn't make it to Zen, because the DVD media center app doesn't work beyond XP....even though the service part is Java) Someday I'll upgrade to Blu-Ray and retire the old DVD player....

And, then I pointed box to it (because it happened to throw up a SMART warning the other day, and I'm not ready to do anything about it) and a local for my laptop.

Well, last night I was checking the laptop's backup does take a long time to push out my home directory on the laptop to CrashPlan central. And, saw that the local backup had stopped because the destination was full. Hmmm. Didn't expected it. Thought the service did data deduplication? But, I stopped it. Only I clicked the button next to the destination, rather than the button much lower down on the dialog (which required me to expand the dialog to see it). This resulted in ~1.1TB of data going poof, and all the other computers to lose it as a destination. I only wanted my laptop to stop going to it. So, slowly...Zen, TARDIS, and Gumby are working on backing up to it again.

I then got to wondering that the data deduplication feature I thought Crashplan offered. I found out that its only deduplicating per computer, not per account. That's going to be a problem now....since I'm pretty sure given that my backuppc pool is ~4.1TB (of 5.5TB) right now..that a 1TB seed disk is going to help much...and its even worse since it hardly does any dedup...the kind that I need.

While I would backup less to Crashplan than backuppc, with the duplication of data between different home computers not getting deduped....I could end up needing more than 5.5TB to backup all my home computers to the cloud.

Guess I'm going to have to go back and figure out what I want in cloud backup....


  08:24:32 am, by The Dreamer   , 1100 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Storage

Oops!Backup, Crashplan and RAID5 OCE on Zen

I may have mentioned that I've been trialing Oops!Backup on Zen....the 30-day free trial period ended last week, and a few days before it ended. I went and bought a license. But, not the 20% off that I found an email for after I had gotten the license....wonder if the 120-day guarantee still applies.

Because on Saturday my system was acting weird, and the desktop had gotten messed up...figured explorer had crashed on me, and not all my systray icons came back. So, I logged out to log back in. Except instead of the login screen after the black one....I watched the bios boot sequence :??: And, it got stuck. So, I had to powercycle to get it to try again.

Starting to question my decision to go with HP. Especially since they sold me an extended warranty that doesn't apply to the computer that I bought it with... :## At least Dell did good with its extended warranty service....they replaced my Dell monitor that died under the Dell system warranty, even though I bought the monitor after I got the computer + warranty. (The Dell 18" LCD was a step down from the 21" CRT that I had....but it's an LCD!)

Anyways....things eventually came back up and everything seemed fine....until the hour, Oops!Backup failed with "Oops!Backup encountered an error while versioning your files. Please try backing up again. (4043)". So, I tried it again. And, again.... I think the software needs some kind of self-repair?

It continued to not work for a while, so I tried looking online for an easy fix....found nothing. So, I fired off an email to support. Didn't really expect much, given that it was Saturday night. But, got an email on Sunday to download and run a tool to collect logs and send them the result. Almost the size of a typical explorer :>>

But, then I didn't hear anything until Tuesday morning. The explanation is that a particular metadata XML file has been corrupted or tampered with for some reason.

First I'm to make sure that I didn't tamper with it, and that I'm not continuing to tamper with it.... umm, sure blame me.

So, I'm to delete it, exclude it, backup, re-include, backup....and then what?

A backup takes a really long time....a lot of stuff has changed since Saturday night. Current attempt has been running for over 30 minutes....though the backup destination is busy with other things as well (more later).

No joy. :`(

It had said the metadata XML file that was corrupt was the one for the _gsdata_ under Documents. Digging around, I eventually found where the error logs are kept...and see that its now complaining about _gsdata_ under Pictures. Wonder if its more that there's a race every hour when GoodSync is running and sync'ng my Documents/Pictures/Music/Videos folders or it was just the crash that killed it. Or, if there's any need to have _gsdata_ backed up by Oops!Backup

17.17GB of changes with both _gsdata_'s excluded.... Another 70.75MB after including them back. Guess we'll see in 37 minutes if its all fine again.... U-(

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  07:50:08 am, by The Dreamer   , 216 words  
Categories: Hardware, Storage

ST31500341AS vs 0F12117

So, thinking about how the sync of the ST1500341AS to 0F12117 was slightly slower than the sync of 0F12117 to 0F12117, I wondered what specs about the new drive would edge out.

Specs for the ST31500341AS that I could track down include:

Formatted capacity               1500GB
Guaranteed sectors               2930277168
Heads                            8
Discs                            4
Bytes per sector                 512
CHS                              63/16/16383
Recording density                1462 kbits/in max
Track density                    190 ktracks/in avg
Areal density                    277 Gbits/in2 avg
Spindle Speed                    7200 RPM
Internal data transfer rate      1709Mbps max
Sustained data transfer rate OD  135 MBps max
I/O data-transfer rate           300 MBps max
Cache buffer                     32MB
Average Latency                  4.16 ms
Track-to-track seek time         <0.8ms read
                                 <1.0ms write
Average seek, read               <8.5ms
Average seek, write              <10.0ms

Specs for the 0F12117 that I could track down include:

Recording density                1443 Kbpi
Track density                    285 Ktpi
Max areal density                411 Gbits/in2
Data buffer                      32MB
Rotational Speed                 Coolspin (5940 RPM)
Media transfer rate              1366 Mbps max
Typ Sustained transfer rate      136 MBps max
Interface transfer rate          600 MBps max
Heads                            6
Discs                            3
Bytes per sector                 512
CHS                              63/16/16383
Total Logical Data Bytes         2000398934016 bytes
Number of sectors                3907029168
Track-to-track seek time         0.5ms typ 0.7ms max read
                                 0.6ms typ 0.8ms max write
Average seek, read               <8.5ms
Average seek, write              <10.0ms
Average Latency                  5.05 ms

Probably all comes down to recording density....the Hitachi 2TB having more data stored on in less area than the Seagate 1.5TB, makes the Hitachi faster than the Seagate....


  07:47:49 am, by The Dreamer   , 718 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Storage

The storage upgrades on Orac and Zen begin

Because one of the 1TB RAID1 drives was starting to fail...I was looking at options to replace it.

I original had a plan to upgraded one of my 1.5TB RAID1's to a pair of 2TB drives....freeing one of the 1.5TB drives to test out the OCE/ORLM feature of the RR622 & TR5M-BP on Zen...converting the current 2x1.5TB RAID0 to a 3x1.5TB RAID5 (or perhaps 4x1.5TB) Oops!Backup seems to be doing well and its filling up the space, I'm sure there's a setting to tell it not to, but not an issue at the moment. Guess I should buy it before the 30 day trial runs out.

At first I was looking at new 1TB drives....though for $20 more I could get 2TB drives, the same kind as the 6x2TB RAID10. The 1TB and 1.5TB drives have been 7200RPM (as were all previous drives)....the Hitachi's are the first of the greener drives....5940RPM. Given that I'm doing PM RAID in a first gen PCI Express box, I'm probably still not seeing the full potential of the greener drives.

Full story »


  06:43:59 pm, by The Dreamer   , 165 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage

Another Harddrive is biting the dust

Two years ago I bought a pair of 1TB drives from NewEgg.

This being first Sunday and all, mdadm checkarray ran on Orac for several of the arrays (the 3 arrays that share the 5-bay port multiplier enclosures are excluded, and get run individually later....since running at the same time is slow)

Anyways....1 of the 1TB drives spat lots of errors....and Orac is pausing now as it spits errors now and then. Guess I'll look to getting a new 1TB drive via Amazon Prime?

I was curious, and went to check warranty status on Seagate....nope. Really, went over to NewEgg to see when I had gotten the drives and what kind of warranty it had.... Only a 2 year warranty. Guess that's that.

Wonder if I should buy one new drive, two new drives....and if I go two new drives....should I get bigger ones? They don't fit the original expansion plan I my usage has grown to where the old plan doesn't work anymore....

hmmm.... &#58;&#104;&#109;&#109;&#58;


  10:08:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 2143 words  
Categories: Stuff, Hardware, Furnishings, Storage, Printers

Almost didn't make it to the UPS store today

So, when I got up this morning...the plan was to fully wake up and go down to the UPS store hopefully before it gets too hot.

But, I started in on various things for random reasons.... I was filling out some paperwork for an appointment I have on Monday. And, while I was doing that, I thought that now might be a good time to finally move my HP Photosmart 8450xi from by TARDIS to the new All-In-One Cart I had gotten from Staples. I had worked out yesterday where it was going to sit....but first I moved the TR5M-BP to a spot on the cart. Decided to go with the bottom shelf. Not sure why, but I moved it live. And, then I went to move my printer. After that was done, it occurred to me there was a CD that I wanted to burn, so I went to get a CD-R...and noticed that the DVD+R cakebox didn't have any labeling on it, and occurred that once I open the CD-R would also have no label. The discs don't have any marking on the fronts...though the color of the dye on the data side would be one way to tell them apart. But, I had just bought a Brother P-Touch PT-1090 Label Maker, so it was time to open it up and use it.

Noticed a tear strip on the pack, so it would be easy to open...I took it to the bedroom to work on it.

I had the bed stripped for laundry (mainly because I had gotten years of disgusting dust all over it from doing ReplayTV surgery on it.) When, I thought that while I have it this far apart, I should finally replace the bedframe. Old bedframe is over 25 years old....had noticed when I moved the bed a couple years ago that one of the rollers on the frame was broken....I had made a note that should I find a new bedframe via Amazon Prime. And, some time ago I did....a year ago, on July 31, 2010.

A pretty nice frame...and I made the switch and got all that done. Noticed that the Select Comfort controller was only showing a few segments....missing so much that its useless. Wonder how I'm going to get it to the right pressure tonight? It had been losing segments for a while...but I guess I intended to look for doing something about it...but don't know why I put if off so long. I suppose deep down, I had reached my limit on getting Select Comfort to get it right.

But, I had worked up a sweat fiddling with the bed base....I had taken the cover off to get it to fit the new frame, and the plates had shifted. And, it took some work to get them flush again. So, I went off to shower, and then thought I should see about heading out...but I got laundry going, so I should get to a suitable spot first. So, what will I do next?

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  11:49:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 2214 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Hardware, Software, Computer, DVDs / NetFlix, WiFi, Storage

Morning Orac outage

Well, Orac was being somewhat unresponsive this morning.... Looks like early this morning the system stopped answering to Cacti, with the temperature of the GPU rising to a new high. Don't know what the high would've been, because there was no snmp data for a while. GPU temp did recover, but the display did not.

Ended up rebooting, needed the excuse to see external journal work....

Once backup, I switched back to internal journal...but one of maximum size rather than default size. And, then shutdown the system to extract the PCI Compact Flash card. During the reboot to see external journal work...I realized that I wasn't likely to see much performance gain from getting faster compact flash since the card itself was only UDMA/66. So the 133x CF is already faster than the card?

Probably should've fsck'd manually after the switch back....some discussion thread suggested doing this after fiddling with journal settings. But, its fsck'ng now after the boot back up. Apparently superblock had invalid external journal superblock hint? And, auto fsck failed, requiring manual fsck.

Downside of internal journal is that it can only be a max of 400MB (an improvement from the 128MB default I had before)...but that's only like 0.01% of my total space. And, there was a discussion thread that seemed to suggest a journal size of 0.2% would yield better improvement....I didn't do the whole 16GB CF card...though wonder how much that would've helped.... But 0.2% would call for a journal of ~10.9GB. Suppose I could turn off data journaling, especially since there are files that backuppc puts down that are bigger than the 400MB journal. Though I think the ordered/writeback modes usually just do metadata journaling, while I had switched it to data journaling when I was playing with external journals...but I didn't switch it back.

Wonder which of writeback or ordered would be more optimal for this FS? &#58;&#63;&#63;&#58;

Full story »

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  10:35:28 pm, by The Dreamer   , 614 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage

What was to be a quick Orac upgrade, was a bit more.

The other day when I was shopping for quieter 120mm fan for my TR5M-BP enclosure, I thought about getting a bigger/better fan for Orac. I knew there were holes to take a fan larger than the one that was current in it.

Though I guess I should've measured or something. Because after I had the old fan out and things apart...found the fan that I had gotten was too big. I started putting things back, when I decided I might as well do the other things I wanted to do.

First the mirror of the internal RAID1 was failing.....the original had failed early and I exchanged it for a recertified one from Seagate and put in a different drive. Interesting that the warranty of the replacement drive seems to have expired, while the warranty of the original ST3500630AS is still active.

I was trying to decide if I buy a new 500GB drive, or put the recertified one in. Seeing as I had things open...and I hadn't bought a new drive yet. I put the recertified one in. I also had that project to put in a PCI compact flash card in. Though I hadn't gotten the desired compact flash card, yet. But, did have a 16GB 133x card sitting I decided use that for now. The 8GB 600x card will have to come later.

I then put everything back...and watched to take forever to boot....the PCI compact flash card seems to slow the boot down a lot, and I don't know why. Maybe I don't want it now. May need to rethink the experiment. Perhaps when I get a correct sized fan and open it up next.

And, then it didn't....guess in everything, I forgot to reconnect the case fan. Oh well, the silly clamp does a lousy job holding the unsupported slot covers in place...and putting cables back in, the bracket pushed in. They probably knew that since the blank has a hook on it, but the eSATA bracket is a regular kind...but no room to slip a screw in to properly secure it.

So, opened things up and then tried it all again.

Oh yeah, while I had it open the first time, I noticed the CPU heatsink was all full of dust, so I blew that out.

Well, things came up slowly....of course the boot RAID1 was degraded. I then sfdisk'd the new drive, and added it back to the md0/md1....should be done in an hour or so (from now, not when I added it...)

And, then went to fiddle with the compact flash card as an external journal of an ext4 filesystem. Forgot that I was originally playing around with the idea of external bitmaps when I had gotten the idea for the compact flash....but concluded that it wasn't going to work, there's no way to have a filesystem exist during that stage of boot. Not sure if an external journal helps with performance or not....might have been something back when I was doing RAID5/6....but not sure its important enough with RAID10. Don't really have any way to measure if it makes any real-world improvement to what I'm doing.

Meanwhile...I updated cacti, the card shifted all my drives around.... And, seems the CPU is now running a bit cooler than it was before....but the GPU is running hotter than before.

Guess clearing the dust out of the heatsink was good, but adding the PCI card was bad.

I think keep things cool is more important than the external journal I will probably yank the compact flash card out when I get the new fan. Wonder if a PCI slot cooler would be something I put in instead?


  05:58:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 575 words  
Categories: Hardware, Travel, Home, Furnishings, Storage, Printers

Staples® All In One Cart


Because of the high pitched whine of the fan in the Open box TR5M-BP I wrote about....I had gotten to thinking about finally getting a small printer stand to go next to Zen. So, I had been eyeballing one on, and trying to decide what else I would get to get free shipping.

While browsing last week, I spotted a really good price on a new label maker (my old one having run out of tape....and it has always been a peeve that it isn't the laminated kind like the older deceased label maker had....) ... where the sale price was less than new tape for my old label maker (a new M tape) probably doesn't include that much length in the starter (TZ) tape it comes with....but should be good enough for now. And, then the other thing was I've been meaning to restock on bottled water at home..... So, I ordered 3 cases...

I delayed ordering until Saturday, hoping to get the order to show up sometime yesterday (after my dentist appointment, had taken the whole day off so not to have to walk back to work in the heat). Well, the water and label maker arrived on Tuesday instead...and by some area courier for Staples, instead of UPS. Actually, more used to a local delivery service fulfilling office store orders than UPS...though it tended to be that way living in Columbus, Ohio...where they have many local stores around the city and probably warehouses too. While there's a local Staples here....thought there was going to be an Office Depot or OfficeMax coming....not everything is stocked here, so some stuff comes by UPS from Kansas City.

I meant to leave a note on Wednesday, since there was a good chance that UPS would show up while I was at the dentist....but I ended up being rushed to get to I forgot. Fortunately, the UPS guy left the printer cart box by the door (maybe he saw me when I was walking into the dentist office...)

With the other things that happened yesterday....I didn't quite get around to fully assembling it as I had intended....was interrupted by work and that pretty much ate up the rest of the evening (also while I was doing my Wednesday night church thing and later IHOP with some friends).

But, finally finished it earlier today... now to clear a spot for it.

The plan was to put the TR5M-BP on a shelf on that it would be pointed in a direction so that it would be less noisy (and the open back/front should get better airflow that it's getting now on bookcase shelf.) Though at some point the sensor fan I got from Amazon will show don't know if I still plan to do this or not.

Though once I get the cart situated.. I think I'll move my HP Photosmart 8450xi back to the livingroom, where it should be.... And, we'll see if the laser printer I've been dreaming about ever materializes next to TARDIS instead. Was originally planned as a summer purchase, but more likely it'll be my next Christmas present (where Zen was the present I got last Christmas....financed on a 6-month no interest...which is why I thought printer would happen now. But, that was before I decided that I want to do more travel (having not done any since last November...)

Wonder if I need to move my UPS to make cart fit....


  08:24:49 pm, by The Dreamer   , 594 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Storage

Update on Open Box TR5M-BP

Back on Sunday, I also got around to switched the 2 1.5TB drives of my backup storage from the hardware RAID1 of the TR2UT-B, to the TR5M-BP. Was kind of surprised they both showed up as valid drives, Windows was smart enough to offline one due to duplicate signature and it seemed it would just work. Good to know perhaps.

Did find the something else missing in the Open Box TR5M-BP....screws. There should've been 20 screws for harddrives (4 for each of the 5 trays). But, there were only 12 screws. Not sure how that maps out. But....not really that worried.

Now, I'm not entirely sure why I'm doing RAID1, I had thought about switching it to spanned or RAID0...I suppose either way, I'm toast if one drive fails...but its just backup data. Though having the backup did save my tail once. JBOD could be an option for the kind of backup I'm doing now, though not sure how to implement it with the current backup software (Microsoft)....its already kind of bad in that it deletes the backup before making the new backup. There's room for two backups on the disk right now.

Though I've thought I would like to continue my search for a better Windows backup product (i.e. time machine like), instead of the current for disaster recovery and backupppc which exposures windows of 24 hours and greater (due to window constraints, and limits on simultaneous can sometimes approach 72 hours since the last backup).

And, obviously I'm paranoid of my data, so lots of backups is good.

I deleted the partitions, initialized the drives in the rr622 web interface and turned them into a RAID1 set and redid my Windows Image Backup.

I didn't note what kind of throughput I had was getting with eSata & TR2UT's hardware RAID1...but the rr622/software RAID1 is slower. The Windows Image Backup took longer than it had been before.

But, I didn't feel like messing around with it just yet. First problem was the fan was kind of noisy compared to everything else. Though it wasn't really loud to be a problem, but there was a high pitched whine to it that made it annoying. I had gotten a new fan to have on hand to replace the fan in the other used TR5M-B, I got off of eBay.... (since I had to replace the one in the Rosewill clone a while back.) Haven't had to use it yet. Though I poked around on Amazon to see if there was perhaps a quieter fan to consider. Narrowed down to a couple of choices, and then decided to get both....because I decided that I'm also going to upgrade the case fan in Orac at some point.

Then I decided that would break the RAID1 and try spanning....well, it doesn't do that. So, I guess RAID0. Well, a new Windows Image Backup to the RAID0 went much faster than anything I've done that might not be bad.

Then, I thought perhaps I'll give the Windows file backup product another shot now.... &#58;&#108;&#97;&#108;&#97;&#108;&#97;&#58;

Full story »

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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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