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Vice Versa hangs with RAID card

 
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Steviebone



Joined: 27 May 2007
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:14 am    Post subject: Vice Versa hangs with RAID card Reply with quote

I spent days tracking down an issue with Vice Versa locking up a computer when doing backups to/from a specific machine. The program worked fine for all my backups except for transfers to/from one specific machine. The two machines in question were running Windows 7/64. Both had the latest version of VV. Whenever transferring files between these two machines something happened that caused the computer running VV to lock up requiring a cold shutdown/reboot... not good.

It didn't matter which of the two machines was initiating the copy. That is to say I could run vice versa on machine A, copy to machine B, and machine A would lock up. Or I could run the same profile copying from machine B to machine A and machine B would lock up. The computer would always freeze after file transfer was underway (compare always completed ok). The percentage of completion when the lockup occurred was random. Both machines could run local copies without error or problems. The problem persisted with different profiles. It didn't matter what files were being transferred. Small profiles with only a few changes sometimes ran okay. Lockup was not immediate.

I tried all sorts of variations. The profiles had long file name support enabled. CRC check was enabled. I tried flipping these and a multitude of other settings. Since there was never BSOD only lock up Windows event viewer was not useful. I even tried replacing nics.

The vv profile log showed no errors and the last file copied was random.

Finally I deduced that the errors were always occurring when copying to folders located on a hardware raid 5 external chassis. So I tried disabling the raid and running the profile to an internal non-raid drive. That worked.
So then I tried other image/file copy programs using the RAID over the network. Aha! So now I was pretty sure the problem was either the card or a driver issue.

I had no problems reading the array. The BIOS saw the array and reported it healthy. The Windows management app also saw the array and could perform maintenance functions etc. The next step was to update the RAID driver, something I am always hesitant to do for fear of losing the RAID config and therefore the RAID.

Upon reboot, the Starting Windows logo appeared. All drive activity ceased. Uh Oh. The computer was not locked (the logo continued to flare.)
So I rolled back the driver. Same thing. Eventually I figured out (by accident) that I had to wait for Windows to load (took over 5 minutes... some sort of timeout issue I guess). Once Windows reappeared the Raid was again visible but my problem was not solved. Since I now knew the Windows startup after driver change thing I reloaded the latest driver, but Windows wouldn't finish the install. So out of final desperation I loaded the second most recent driver, still newer than the current install.

Problem solved.

The moral of this story: If you have problems with VV locking up, double check all your drivers (especially RAID) FIRST. You could save yourself mucho wasted time and headaches!


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jmoomaw_pdx



Joined: 28 Oct 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:54 am    Post subject: Same issue w/Win8 locking up Reply with quote

My Win8 desktop system has mobo RAID which I'm using for internal D-drive, but which is not referenced in any VVpro profiles. The PC has ongoing issues with suddenly locking up as you describe, sometimes just after booting before I can even launch anything. Other times it runs for hours and *then* locks up, causing the RAID set to become corrupted and taking hours to rebuild. Major PITA.

I was going to remove the VVEngine from startup to see if that fixes it, and your report tells me I'm on the right track.
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TGRMN Software
Site Admin


Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Posts: 8452

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi jmoomaw_pdx, I think it's quite unlikely that VVEngine is causing this issue, it sounds more like a problem with the RAID software....
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Steviebone



Joined: 27 May 2007
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Precisely why I posted this... I was beginning to wonder if it was a strange bug in VV... it wasn't. Try running the profile to something other than the RAID. If that works, its likely a driver issue with the RAID. Try other programs as well (like a backup program) - something that floods the RAID with dense reads/writes. This may tell you something as well. If a driver update doesn't fix it... (remember I had to go use the NEXT to most recent driver) you may need to check the RAID card itself. I know that can be tricky to say the least. Make sure your data is backed up.

NEVER trust your backup completely to a single RAID. A RAID can protect you against a single drive failure but sooner or later you will lose the RAID (or need to move it). RAIDs don't handle this well at all. Best practice is to ALWAYS have your critical data backed up several different ways.

Large drives are cheap now. I backup everything to both single and mirrored drives as well as large RAID 5 arrays. If you are having trouble with lockups first step should be to secure that data!

While Im on that subject, VV is IMO the best file by file backup for management of large numbers of files. But you should keep images of your important partitions as well.

NEVER TRUST A SINGLE IMAGE BACKUP SOLUTION. Image backups are notorious for backing up fine and then not restoring properly when you need them to. Test your backups periodically and again I recommend using more than one solution. In some cases I use three. Start with Windows and then supplement that with at least one good commercial grade program.

Good luck.
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TGRMN Software
Site Admin


Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Posts: 8452

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We use PROMISE RAID controllers (PCI) and never had a problem, highly recommended.
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