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Status of BETA M3

edited June 2011 in DrivePool
Just a small status update on BETA M3.

DrivePool BETA M3 is still being worked on :)

There was a small hurdle to overcome when integrating with the WHS storage service. But I think at this point it looks like it will be possible.

If it ends up working out, this means that DrivePool shares / folders will be treated just like any other shared folder as far as the WHS services are concerned. WHS media streaming and remote web access will be fully compatible with DrivePool M3.

Unfortunately, this little delay has cost M3 another week or two in development, but I think it will be worth it. In addition to the close integration with WHS it will have some long awaited features of its own such as folder migration.

Oh, and thank you everyone for submitting bug reports for M2. New versions are released as bugs are fixed.

There will be a new M2 build in a couple of days extending the expiration time, so make sure to grab that.


  • Member
    Great news, thanks for the update! I'd rather have a finished product than a rushed product, i'm sure it will be worth the wait!


  • Member
    Sounds Great!  I think M3 is where I'll jump to Beta Test.   I'm starting to think you guys might win over Drive Bender just from the level of detail and your experience with Scanner etc.    I'm growing confident I'll be happy with a 3rd party DE replacement.   I'd like to understand how BACKUPS will work with the WHS 2GB limit though.   Hopefully someone tweaks backups to work correctly.  (or yet another 3rd party add-in solution is created.
  • edited June 2011 Resident Guru
    Do you mean WHS 2011 Backup's 2TB limit?

    If so: I had heard about WHS 2011 Backup's 2TB limit, but I hadn't realised quite how silly it is. I'd thought it was 2TB per disk. Apparently, it is 2TB total. However, there is hope that this may be extended to 16TB in the future.

    For now, as long as the physical drives that form the pool total 2TB or less, WHS 2011 Backup can back them up. Otherwise one needs to use a 3rd party solution. This is a WHS 2011 limitation, not a DrivePool limitation.

    It'd be nice to be wrong about this one! :)
  • Covecube
    Apparently, it is 2TB total.
    Does anyone know the technical reason for this limit?

    Is it just because the maximum drive size that you can have in WHS 2011 is 2GB?

    What if we put the backups on the pool, does that fix it?

    I should probably do some research, but I'm busy with other things :)
  • Member

    The backup size is limited by the Windows Backup functionality which is a part of the OS, Home Server is just a 'wrapper' on top off that, so the boys who develop the Windows Server 2008 OS have to fix it before WHS can do backup of larger volumes.

    Please research it after Drivepool is done and you need a new challenge ;)



  • Looking forward to the M3 update with the WHS integration, being able to move the default shares to the pool is critical.

    I also keep going back and forth between DrivePool and Drive Bender.  I much prefer your interface and the ease of use that I see with your product.  Keep up the good work, I know many look forward to the end result.
  • For what it's worth, the technical reason for the 2 TB limit is because Windows Server uses VHD as the backup container, which has a limit of 2 TB.  Why?  I'm not quite sure as I haven't really investigated it deeply.
  • Hi,  When is the M3 version planning to be released?
    Also any estimate for final release date?
  • edited June 2011 Resident Guru
    westptx is correct, WHS 2011 uses a VHD (Virtual Hard Drive) container format for its backups. Rumour has the next iteration of Server will use an improved VHD format that doesn't have the 2TB limit, but no idea if that will be backported to WHS 2011 if so.

    As to why? Good question. The blog I linked mentions that:
    • WHS 2011's Backup is built on top of the full-blown Server 2008 Backup & Restore system, which is (a) still accessible and usable in WHS 2011 if you wish and (b) capable of splitting a backup across multiple 2TB chunks.
    • The latter system is not user-friendly.
    So it seems the developers thought, "hey lets make backups user-friendly" and yet crippled it at the same time. Um, yeah.
  • Member
    I couldn't wait so I jumped in with M2 today.  (so far so good, I'm all pooled up once again!)

    I hope Drive Pool will be compatible with the Add-In: My Movies

    I've yet to install My Movies since I'm waiting for M3 with default "Videos" folder support.  I want everything in the correct final place before I start installing, setting up and customizing My Movies app once again from scratch..

    I'm hoping that the location setting allows me to pick the network share \\MEDIA\VIDEOS
    It might require a drive letter:\folder and then we're screwed.



    I wonder if many other apps will bulk at trying to select our Drive Pool network share

    I'm betting it won't be a problem, but we'll see!  (thought I'd ask while I wait)
  • edited June 2011 Member
    I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, but if you -need- a drive letter you can always assign a driveletter to an unc path, so no problem there.


  • Member
    I'm using Drive Pool with My movies 4.01 on my HTPC and My movies WHS 2011 Add-in.  I have 3TB of movies in a drive pool folder and it works without hiccup.
  • Hi all i just updated to the new verison of drive pool 1864 BETA and it simply wont work it wont install properly if i try to upgrade from verison 1856 BETA and if i do a new install i can't see any drive's at all anybody had the same problems.

  • Reboot the server
  • edited June 2011 Covecube

    I'm hoping that the location setting allows me to pick the network share \\MEDIA\VIDEOS
    It might require a drive letter:\folder and then we're screwed.



    I wonder if many other apps will bulk at trying to select our Drive Pool network share

    I'm betting it won't be a problem, but we'll see!  (thought I'd ask while I wait)
    M2 currently mounts @ C:\ServerPool\ServerFolders, in WHS1 we called this D:\Shares. Similar thing, different location. You can point apps there, but try to use the network shares first.

    M3 pooled folders show up in the Dashboard and are recognized by WHS.
  • edited June 2011 Covecube
    As for rebooting the server, the latest builds have been updating the kernel driver. This requires a reboot after an update. Look for a little exclamation mark on the right of the DrivePool tab. If you click on it, it tells you to reboot.
  • Alex, 

    When are you planning to release version M3? Per your plan how good is it going to be and will it be stable enough to put personal data under it? What is the schedule for the final release?

    I currently have WHSv1 which is literally dying. Already purchased WHS 2011 and planning to migrate my existing storage to new WHS 2011. So I'm thinking what would be the best option to do.

  • edited June 2011 Covecube

    When are you planning to release version M3? Per your plan how good is it going to be and will it be stable enough to put personal data under it? What is the schedule for the final release?

    On M3:

    I generally feel that M3 will be it in terms of features and usability.

    M3 should contain all the features necessary to use DrivePool in all scenarios. That doesn't mean that the second M3 is released it will be stable and ready for prime time. There will be bugs found, I'm sure, and fixed. Also, there might be small feature additions as we move along to accommodate anything that might be missing. But overall, M3 will be DrivePool final minus the performance of M4.

    Keep in mind, M3 will still be a BETA and you should treat it as such.

    The Schedule:

    The release date is flexible, the target features are generally fixed. As soon as everything that is meant to go in goes in and is tested, it's released right away.

    Here's what still needs to be go into M3:

    • Folder duplication state change (back-end only)
    • Folder migration (back-end only)
    • Folder balancing.

    Points one and two will take 1 to 3 days.

    Point 3 will take about 1 week.

    After these are put in, internal testing will be performed and I'm sure fixes will be applied. This could take a few more days.

    So overall, I'd say we're looking at about a week and a half or so.

    Believe me, I'd like to release it as soon as possible but I don't want to compromise the design.
  • sounds great alex, everyone is really keen to try out some of the key features of this milestone i'm sure. keep up the good work
  • Thanks Alex! Looking forward to get and try out M3.

    Meanwhile I'd like to get prepared in transitioning existing storage to run under WSS Vail + your M3. I'm using Acer H340 (WHS v.1) with all drive bays populated. It is about 70% full. Some of shares have duplication enabled. What would be the best procedure to upgrade from WHS v1 to WHS 2011 Vail and then setup M3? Do you guys have any migration guideline?
  • edited June 2011 Resident Guru
    Here's what I recall I did (your mileage may vary - I'm not familiar with the Acer H340):
    • Made sure my WHS hardware was compatible with / had drivers for Windows Server 2008.
    • Made sure my backups were fully current.
    • Pulled all drives. Tucked WHS v1 OS drive away in case of "oops".
    • Installed a new drive as my system drive. WHS 2011 has a larger minimum system partition requirement than WHS v1 (though it's unlikely to be a problem with modern drives).
    • Installed WHS 2011, installed drivers (motherboard first, storage second, then the rest).
    • Put all drives back in (except for old WHS v1 OS drive), choosing to leave contents intact.
    • Installed StableBit DrivePool. Added all non-system volumes to pool. Created pool shares.
    • Made hidden DE folders visible, reset NTFS ownership on contents to Administrator, then reset NTFS permissions on contents to Administrator:Full, Everyone:Full. You may not need (or want) to do this - I did it because I'd messed around with NTFS permissions for some other thing I was doing, and I wanted to be sure things went smoothly.
    • Stopped StableBit DrivePool services.
    • On each drive, moved content from DE folders to corresponding DP folders, being careful to maintain duplication status (i.e. only moved DE content that was duplicated to a DP folder that had duplication enabled).
    • I did have to shorten some paths as the early DP builds couldn't handle very long file paths/names. This should be fixed now, but be wary.
    • Restarted StableBit DrivePool services. Checked that everything was where it was supposed to be.
    • Once I was sure everything was good, I removed the (now empty) DE folders.

    Hope this helps. Take it one step at a time, maybe experiment with a VM or old PC. Remember, DP is in beta, and I may have made a mistake above (I don't *think* so, but...).

    It should be quite feasible to automate migration from DE to DP folders; if it's not a planned feature for DP, I'm quite sure someone will write a tool to do it.
  • Thank you Shane for instructions. I'm just not very clear about step related to duplicated folders. Could you please elaborate more on this. In case of DE how do you know which file is original and which one is duplicated one?
  • edited June 2011 Resident Guru
    The trick is that if you're migrating strictly between DE and DP folders with the same level of duplication, it doesn't matter. It's exactly the same file, stored in two locations. A hypothetical example:

    Drive Extender: I have five drives, all contain x:\DE\Shares\Photos, and as "Photos" is a share with duplication enabled, any two of those drives will contain a copy of a given file.

    DrivePool: I have five drives, all contain x:\ServerPoolPart.long-guid-code\Photos.2, and as "Photos" is a share with duplication enabled, any two of those drives will contain a copy of a given file.

    (DE recognises duplication-enabled folders via an external process; DP recognises it by merely having a ".2" on the end of the internal folder name)

    If you were to simply move everything in DE's Photos folder to DP's Photos.2 folder for each drive, that pretty much sums up the migration process (caveat: you have of course stopped the DP services before doing this, and made sure that DE doesn't have mangled NTFS ownership/permissions, per my previous post above).

    (for a folder without duplication, DP represents it by appending a .1 rather than a .2 to the end, and you follow the same process)

    However: if you were to move the contents of a duplicated DE folder to a non-duplicated DP folder, I have no idea what would happen. The converse, non-duplicated to duplicated, presumably would get marked as 'unhealthy' by DP and could be 'repaired' (duplicated) as space allowed - haven't tried it myself.

    P.S. I speculate that the long-guid-code used in DrivePool's folder scheme is more forward planning by CoveCube, to allow for multiple pools (distributed across multiple servers, even) should such a feature be implemented - I certainly hope so. :)
  • This guideline should be very useful. Thank you!
    I will use it once I receive my WHS 2011 CD and M3 gets released.
  • edited June 2011 Resident Guru
    • Put all drives back in (except for old WHS v1 OS drive), choosing to leave contents intact.
    Hmm. Upon reading some old DE docs, it seems that (depending on hardware configuration) DE may store actual files, not just pointers, on the data partition of the WHS v1 system drive. So you may need to temporarily add your old system drive to your new server so that you can copy (not move, unless you're braver than I) any x:\DE\Shares\your-folder-here content across to your new system drive's data partition in x:\ServerPoolPart.long-guid-code\your-folder-here.duplication-number

    (also, I do not recommend messing manually with the NTFS ownership/permissions on the old system drive, in case you need it later, but you can accept any requests by WHS 2011 asking you for administrator privileges required for it to access x:\DE\Shares - and remember to safely remove the old system drive after you're done, before your next reboot occurs)
  • I could successfully migrate DE to DP. However, I'm having little troubles with folder duplication. Every time i modify a duplicated file, the status of drive turn into "Unhealthy" state. "Recovery" process looks like fixes the problem (even though takes too much time), however every subsequent file modification brings the drive back into unhealthy state. 

    Is this a bug or made by design?

    Another issue is that while wizard was recovering duplicated files, i pressed "Recover" again and the second window throws an exception. I think while drive is busy in recovery process, the button should be locked.

    Also, when starting the wizard looks like DP already knows which files are missing. Why does it spend so much time in scanning entire drive again? Isn't is supposed to just copy those missing files from source to destination drive?
  • I too am having the same issue as rubenhak, evertime I make a change to a file, I have to run the recovery.

    What is the status on M3? Will it fix this issue?


  • Alex, by any chance do you have any new progress with DrivePool?
  • Resident Guru
    Rubenhak, sean10780, does this problem occur if you modify a file in a freshly created duplicate-enabled share (i.e. one that is not from your DE to DP migration)?
  • Shane, those shares were freshly created with DrivePool but content I migrated from DE. However, any new file added to the share can bring it to unhealthy state.

    Just came across another problem. I was just copying 3-4GB files to the  share, and the process failed two time. Third time it manages to copy the file.
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