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 PostPost subject: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:24 pm 
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Hello all,

Welcome to the new blog! This blog is specifically for use by me and will contain behind the scenes info about the site and other related projects for you to keep informed about. I took the opportunity of mentioning this to mrpijey and hounsell and they thought it would be a great idea, so here it is.

I'd like to begin with saying the backup server hasn't been well at all. In the last 4 days its had 3 OS reinstalls and numerous hardware issues which it took me until today to diagnose. It began with the server freezing randomly, and a reset would bring it back up. I didn't really have time to sort it out so I left it be, and each day it kept crashing with 16bit subsystem errors. Eventually it wouldn't boot back up, and that was Wednesday morning. In the end I formatted and reinstalled the OS. I didn't lose any data since it was just c:\ I was formatting. All was going well, until suddenly I kept getting more 16bit subsystem errors. I tried everything to stop it, but it turned out to be a virus! I reinstalled the OS AGAIN, and then I installed AVG and downloaded a removal tool for the virus, and that managed to get rid of it. Still crashing! OK, time to change the hard drive. I took an 80GB IDE out of my old server, that was originally the www_data drive. I reinstalled the OS and it was working again.

So, all was well for 24 hours, until it started hanging again. A quick reset sorted it and I was away again. I thought it was just coincidence. Anyway this morning I woke up to it crashed again. Right, what the hell is wrong. I tried disconnecting the CD-ROM drive since it was showing up as drive D as being the problem. Drive D was the CD-ROM. It wouldn't be the first time I had CD-ROM problems on my PC, just look at the eSys desktop PC I used to use... Anyway, reset, booted up, and all working again. 4 hours later, another crash! Same error in the log. What the hell, I disconnected D drive! OK, I thought, time to try out other drives and see if they're the problem. First I tried one of the 500gb backup drives, reset, and it wouldn't boot up at all. OK, plugged that one back in, disconnected the other 500gb backup drive. Bingo! Booted up. Since then there have been no more disk errors. I replaced that drive with a USB one for now until I can remove it and get the disk RMA'ed for a new one.

Its strange because that disk is no more than a few months old as well, yet its failed so quickly. Still, these things happen. eBuyer, the online shop I got the disks from, would be happy to replace it for me I'm sure.

I spent most of today reinstalling the software and reconfiguring the programs I use on the server, including getting HTTP back online. Due to the reinstall I lost all of the graph data on bandwidth, disk space and CPU usage, but not to worry. From now on I am ghosting the drive daily, so should anything happen in the future I can skip the re-installation and simply ghost the image back in a matter of 30 minutes or less. That should save a lot of hassle. It will also save graph data too, so I don't lose that.

Well, a fairly long first post but I hope its an interesting one! Here are some pictures of the server just as I wrote this post.

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:35 pm 
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Good blog man

... real interesting, I like it :)

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:40 pm 
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Good to see you got the "blog" up :D.

It seems like that virus was worse than expected! Hopefully it did not infect any other drives automatically.

Can not wait fora post about the wiki btw :P.


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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:41 pm 
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It infected every drive on the system but thankfully the anti-virus removed all instances of it. It did damage some of the files though. I'm waiting to find time to pull some backups off another drive to replace them.

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:49 pm 
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Good to see BA has a great backup system

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:52 pm 
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bns06 wrote:
Good to see BA has a great backup system


Well, it was designed to be as resilient as possible, and up until recently it worked superbly. I'm still restoring a recent backup image to the USB disk that is replacing the 500GB failed drive. Ghost isn't the fastest of programs when restoring inside windows.

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:47 pm 
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Great to see you finally got round to your blog Andy :)

It's good to have an inside view of what goes on behind BA.

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:46 pm 
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Andy wrote:
bns06 wrote:
Good to see BA has a great backup system


Well, it was designed to be as resilient as possible, and up until recently it worked superbly. I'm still restoring a recent backup image to the USB disk that is replacing the 500GB failed drive. Ghost isn't the fastest of programs when restoring inside windows.

That might be because the disks aren't internal lol.

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:48 pm 
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Nothing to do with it being external. It doesn't take 16 hours to copy 20GB to an external drive... Its the software itself being very inefficient.

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:50 pm 
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Andy wrote:
Nothing to do with it being external. It doesn't take 16 hours to copy 20GB to an external drive... Its the software itself being very inefficient.

Well ive noticed difference transfering over 200GB worth of stuff, from my 1TB WD external to my 320GB internal, and then from the 320GB to 500GB internal, took no were near as long as external to internal

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:58 pm 
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I'm telling you thats not the problem. Its always taken a long time to do it, even internal to internal, I've done it enough times in the past.

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:29 pm 
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If those drives are Seagate Barracuda 11's then they are all at risk as the Seagate's have that problem on the higher capacity ones where if you don't flash the firmware eventually it screws itself up at boot up and freezes the boot up. Yours was doing that in the end but its to do with some saftey thing which is activated and makes the drive gets stuck busy for no reason.

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:40 pm 
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I checked my drives, they weren't an affected drive. I checked via serial number and their site said it was OK.

I'll whip the drive out tomorrow and RMA it on Monday for direct replacement, along with the servers 2GB of RAM I keep meaning to send back as well!

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:48 pm 
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Toshua123 wrote:
Andy wrote:
Nothing to do with it being external. It doesn't take 16 hours to copy 20GB to an external drive... Its the software itself being very inefficient.

Well ive noticed difference transfering over 200GB worth of stuff, from my 1TB WD external to my 320GB internal, and then from the 320GB to 500GB internal, took no were near as long as external to internal


That may well be the case, in my experience, internal drives can be twice as quick as external drives (over USB) quite easily, however, it would never take 16hrs to copy 20Gb. That's impressively slow.

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:02 pm 
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I am using Ghost 8.

And it takes to backup an entire drive of 120GB including maximum compression about 30 minutes.
Not much at least I think, I can do other stuff while it's ghosting.

EDIT:
Great job on getting you're self an Blog.

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:45 pm 
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More forums to look at *yawn*

At least move this to General Discussion, there's no point essentially having two announcement subforums


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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:50 pm 
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happy dude wrote:
More forums to look at *yawn*

At least move this to General Discussion, there's no point essentially having two announcement subforums


No.

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:32 am 
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It is fine where it is.

I also just ghosted before reinstalling just in case :)


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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:36 pm 
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hounsell wrote:
That may well be the case, in my experience, internal drives can be twice as quick as external drives (over USB) quite easily, however, it would never take 16hrs to copy 20Gb. That's impressively slow.

Last time when copying huge amount of files (more than 16gb) takes too much times, it turns out that the HDD is dying. Better get those SMART-checking utility or a HDD diagnostic utility, better safe than sorry. :oops:

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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:49 pm 
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@Andy: Do you remember which 16bit error it was and in what shape it showed (BSOD, unthemed error message...)?


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 PostPost subject: Re: New Blog, and Backup Server Issues        Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:50 pm 
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It was a box that told me the error, the file causing it and Ignore and Close buttons.

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