Tuesday, November 27, 2012

DriveBender not much fun

Last weekend I started on a journey, with some software and a spare hard drive, that ended in failure.
I subscribe to many RSS feeds and one caught my eye, that DriveBender was having a Black Friday sale for their software and it was to be $10. Ok, I admit it, my fault for buying something I really didn’t need, but I thought it would be nice to have software on my WHS 2011 box that would allow me to add additional hard drives in a pool like the original WHS did. This functionality was taken out of WHS2011. How could $10 be wrong?
My setup for my server is WHS 2011 installed onto a 2TB drive. 60 GB being taken up by the system, and the rest for the shared files. Now I have over 900GB free, but I thought why not future proof since Microsoft in their infinite wisdom quit developing WHS?
Well the install of the software went ok, ran its wizard and setup the server. So far so good. Everything seemed to run well. I thought, ok, I have a spare 1TB drive around, why not install it and see what else can I do?
Install the drive and go into DriveBender and add the hard drive to the pool. As soon as I did that the shares disappeared as the software reconfigures you drive mappings. No warning, just did it. To top it off they didn’t come back! So I rebooted. They came back. The first of many reboots to get the software to operate semi-properly over the weekend.
I could have left it there, but I then thought, why not use DriveBender’s functionality of mirroring selected files for backing up? I would select folders of files and that’s when the problems started. Instead of progressing through the whole folder it would stop. I tried everything in the software to get it to finish. It wouldn’t so I thought, ok, reboot time. Server came back and DriveBender proceeded to finish doing the mirroring. Now, while this was happening the server went to a crawl and memory usage went way up.
Well, I’m patient; I let it finish the initial mirroring that I had setup.
Ok, so I proceed to do my normal work over the weekend and keeping an eye on things and everything seems to be functioning normally.
Then, I copy two video files from a virtual server to the WHS2011. They seem to copy just fine. Later that day when trying to find the files they were gone! Not in the folder at all. I thought ok, maybe something with the mirroring is messed up. So I did some digging and still couldn’t find the files.
I thought ok, let me turn off mirroring, and see if they come back thinking that maybe the files were queued up for some reason. Nope, no go.
At this point I’m finished with the software. If I can’t trust it to keep my files intact I’m not going to use it. So I backed out of it. Be warned, it messes up your folder structures so don’t expect to uninstall and be able to go again. Nope, had to move my ServerFolder to the root of the drive, after finding it, then rebooting the server.
Thankfully it appears that no other files were lost and I’m back to just the 2TB hard.
Needless to say I won’t be using DriveBender anytime in the future.