[SOLVED] Drive Spindowns Affecting Media Playback?


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This has been an ongoing irritating issue with my Media Server for some time now; I can't pinpoint when this started happening, whether it was in recent 6.x releases or earlier releases (I don't recall experiencing this issue under v5 and certainly not under v4).  Upgrading to a completely brand new system in every single aspect has not resolved the issue.


As I watch a movie, every 20 minutes or so the video would freeze for 10-20 seconds.  It's almost like clockwork.  I have several different media players from different companies so it's not an issue specific to media players (though my Oppo 203 seems to experience this less often; however, it is used only to watch 4K).  If I log onto the NAS and spinup all drives, this seems to alleviate the issue for the remainder of the movie.  These movies are full copies; no re-encoding so they command a lot of NAS/network traffic when playing.  Regarding network, I recently moved so the topology is completely different, with only one switch (16-port rackmount NetGear ProSafe) transferred to new LAN.


My drives are set to the default 1 hour spin down delay.  I don't believe the issue is with the specific drive the movie is on, but I haven't dug into the logs to see if UnRAID was attempting to spin that drive down, or any other drives.  Perhaps it's when UnRAID is attempting to spin another drive down that it unexpectedly causes a problem with other drives.  I have the Cache Directories, Auto Fan Control (I no longer need this and will delete), Nerd Tools, VM Wake-On-LAN, and Unassigned Drive plugins.  My VMs are currently not running (haven't resolved libvert service error since hardware migration), though they have been in the past.


When It happens again, I will try to review the logs at that time.  Until then, has anyone else experienced this issue?

Edited by Auggie
Found the culprit
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  • 1 month later...



I have had similar issues you describe.  It seemed disk access was freezing at various random times, sometimes perhaps at intervals although I didn't time them to see if there was a pattern.  It would happen watching movies (freeze for 20-60 seconds or so), playing audio, reading/writing files to the array.  I wasn't sure exactly when this started to happen but know its been happening for a year or more.  Sometime in the past this didn't occur but I don't know that exact time frame or what unRAID release I was on at the time.


I do have a computer adjacent to my unRAID server and when using that computer, noticed that when the problem occurred, I could see all the drives being accessed, one drive at a time (LED illuminating for each drive on my supermicro 5-in-3 cages).  Once that random drive access stopped the problem would go away and the array would be responsive again.


I've searched this forum many times with various keywords and not been able to find anything, until I searched "scanning disks freeze" and this thread was at the top of the results.


I also had the Dynamix Cache Dirs pluging installed but wasn't using it.  I bet you are correct and this is the root cause.  I've uninstalled it and will monitor for the freezes and report back if it occurs or if it doesn't occur.


Thank you for posting this.

Edited by moose
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