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About dev_guy

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  1. I'm trying to evaluate unRaid on new hardware but attempting trial registration insists the date and time are wrong. Both the date on the computer with the browser, and the machine running unRaid, are within 1 minute of NTP time. Is there perhaps an issue with time for the registration server at unRaid or how it understands daylight savings? First the USB tool kept failing and now, after finally working around that, I still can't get it running?
  2. Yes but it defeats the purpose of the new easier-to-use tool, and may well cause some to give up on unRaid, if the recommended download and tool fails. I've been using unRaid since before the tool was released and know about the old way. It also doesn't help that unRaid is significantly different than any other NAS OS I know of. The others generally use an image file and a tool like Rufus, Win32DiskImager, etc. to create a bootable USB drive.
  3. I'm now having this issue as well on a Windows 7 machine with a Sandisk USB 2.0 FIT and also with a Silicon Power USB 2.0 drive. It just hangs at "Syncing File System" after showing about 98% complete. This is obviously a real problem and hopefully something that will get addressed. I know the USB creator is relatively new so a few bugs are likely to be expected. Sadly it also forces you to re-download the OS image each time you try something different. I've easily used up over a gigabyte of bandwidth trying different drives and ports. It would be nice if the tool had the option to use a local copy of the OS image and/or it saved the downloaded version.
  4. Sorry, by 3 drives I meant 2 or more data drives and 1 parity drive (a more common scenario than 2 parity drives and 1 data drive). In that situation unRaid has to do more work to calculate the parity data on writes and it shows in the write performance especially with a low power CPU/system. In my testing it's 90+ MB/sec for a single data drive vs ~50 MB/sec on sustained large writes for 2+ data drives. Even on my Xeon server I still don't get anywhere close to 90+ MB/sec on sustained large writes without using a cache drive.
  5. Thanks. Both drives were identically freshly formatted with XFS. There was a tick box before starting the array that said something to the effect of "parity already correct" and I wondered about ticking it as the drives should have already been identical? But I figured I'd be safe and let it create the parity hoping it wouldn't take forever but it did. Hopefully the array won't have any unclean shutdowns or other reasons to have to do it again anytime soon. Our fearless @Administrator is correct. On a normal Raid-1 mirror with new drives there is effectively no initialization. That's how FreeNAS, Qnap, Open Media Vault, XigmaNAS (aka Nas4free), Synology, etc. all work. You're up and running in just a few minutes with a protected 2 drive mirrored array. Anyway, the important part is there's no significant ongoing performance hit with a 2 drive unRaid setup unlike with 3 or more drives. So thanks for that optimization. And now I have a new project... The Qnap NAS uses an eUSB DOM (Disk On Module) for the OS. It's basically just a USB flash drive but with a 10 pin connector to plug into a motherboard. I'm going to see if I can install and license unRaid onto the DOM. Hopefully I can copy the current config from the trial on the external thumb drive, minus the key, and hopefully get a paid license for it.
  6. Thanks again to everyone who contributed. I now have 6.6.3 running on my low power (Intel N3160 SoC Qnap) NAS with 2 drives (1 XFS data and 1 parity) and I'm getting 90 MB/sec sustained writes which is something like 50% faster than with 3+ drives. So that confirms there's not much of a performance hit in a "mirrored" 2 drive configuration. The downside is it still took over 12 hours to do the parity sync on EMPTY 6TB drives which seems a bit ridiculous if it really is operating as a mirror. I realize this isn't a common use case but it does make me wonder what unRaid spent 12 hours doing besides copying 6TB of empty sectors to 6TB of empty sectors? It seems that bit of code could use some optimization? As an aside, Qnap's QTS operating system has devolved into form over function which was the whole point of installing an alternative OS on their hardware. QTS is loaded with bugs, there are multiple major security holes uncovered every week, out of the box the drives won't stay in standby and there's no way to make then stay in standby as the OS is running off the main drive array, and Qnap is constantly trying to upsell you with paid extras. Qnap literally seems more interested in supporting Karaoke (yes my NAS has dual microphone jacks) and a zillion other buggy apps nobody likes than being a solid and secure file server. It's sad. Anyway, life should be much better with unRaid running on the Qnap hardware. So thanks again!
  7. Thanks all for the input. The answers tell me it's at least worth testing. The short version is I get about 90+ MB/sec writes on the small NAS box (Intel N3150 low power embedded CPU) running FreeNAS even with compression and encryption enabled (both are native to ZFS). My unRAID server, however, using the same drives and a much faster Zeon CPU, can only manage about 60 MB/sec sustained writes without encryption or compression (and no cache drive) on larger file transfers. So I'm worried the sustained writes will be even slower on the much lower power CPU if unRAID is trying to calculate parity information when it doesn't need to. As to why I don't just run FreeNAS, it's another OS to learn, maintain, prefers ECC RAM, and has its own issues--especially with stability. I'd rather use unRAID across everything if it can deliver similar performance.
  8. With only 2 identical drives can unRAID run a simple mirror for better performance vs performing needless parity calculations? This would be on a tiny NAS box so I'm not worried about adding more drives in the future. In my testing a simple mirror using other NAS operating systems far outperforms unRAID on writes with a low power CPU. I realize this isn't the typical use case for unRAID but I at least wanted to ask?
  9. I'll have to play around with some options. I don't even have a Windows VM running yet but appreciate the suggestions.
  10. @SSD and others thanks for your replies. I figured it was worth asking but I suspect they have closed the loopholes. I've done controller passthroughs with VMWare and ESXi and suppose I could share a local disk from within Windows using Windows networking but that's not ideal for other reasons.
  11. @jsdoc3 you're correct about larger drives possibly being less impacted by write cycles but for consumer drives the manufactures don't usually make any mention of what sort of wear leveling the drives have if any. Unless it's well hidden, the Sandisk website for example is remarkably devoid of anything resembling real specifications regarding the operation of their drives. There's static wear leveling, dynamic wear leveling, and various flavors of both, so even if a manufacture claims to implement wear leveling they need to provide more detail to really know what that means. My suspicion is if the thumb drive manufactures were using wear leveling they would advertise it. I suspect in a $10 USB drive they've engineered every last penny out of it and it will have minimal to no wear leveling. But, in general, a larger drive couldn't hurt except it might run a bit warmer. And yeah, I'd periodically replace the flash drive as preventative maintenance.
  12. @limetech thanks for your reply. I agree the community here is impressive but you also deserve a lot of credit for a unique and valuable solution. It's good to hear you have plans to keep the fleet afloat if the mothership becomes disabled. I'll be contributing to the cause with my credit card and hopefully in other ways as well.
  13. @pwm you make a valid point and it's likely even more applicable with the recently published spectre and/or meltdown vulnerabilities that can be exploited by merely browsing a site with hidden javascript. There are supposedly already 130 known exploits found in the wild. That said the "public" interfaces of things like Samba are very mature, open source, and generally quite solid. I worry much more about all the applications and functionality being jammed into commercial NAS products. Those applications are often closed source, developed in Taiwan or China, and poorly tested. For anyone curious have a look at Qnap's security page. Most of the vulnerabilities are related to "enhanced" functionality added by Qnap: https://www.qnap.com/en/security-advisory
  14. @frank1940 That's a good point and, from the sound of it, Tom might even help that cause from the sound of things if he's able to and still around should Lime-Tech cease their current operations. Based on everything I've learned, thanks to everyone's help here, a second licensed flash drive likely makes the most sense for me. I'd wait to buy the second license until I was sure I was likely to stay in the unRaid camp for the long haul. I agree about security threats, etc. I have an old NAS that hasn't been updated since 2013. I've had no need to mess with a good thing.
  15. More good input and I would add keeping an OS up to date, including unRaid, is only necessary if it has some future problem you can't fix yourself, you allow outside access from the web, and/or install new native applications that could contain malware. If none of those are true you should be able to, as @SSD said, live forever on the version d'jour. I also am not suggesting Lime-Tech abandon protecting against piracy. And, finally, I agree you can move to a different platform but it's the time required to do so that concerns me. It's not a trivial thing to do with a relatively complex unRaid setup with many users, access rights, VLANs, Dockers, VMs, etc. I can replace anything that fails in a server in a matter of minutes or hours EXCEPT an unRaid license (flash drive) or replace the unRaid OS itself with something else. And before I invest all the time, and put all my eggs in the unRaid basket, it seems reasonable to know what happens if the flash drive does fail and I'm unable to get another licensed when it does. Every choice of a server OS involves trade-offs I'm just trying to get enough information to choose wisely rather than blindly trust my flash drive will never fail and Lime-Tech will never cease operations.