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Network shares on external USB drive are lost after reboot


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#1 Swiftie

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 09:44

Basically have a server (2003 Standard) which has a USB drive connected to it and some folders on there are shared for users to access some files and various other small things. But everytime the server reboots. The shares are lost. Even though the USB drive is given the same drive letter and it's connected to the same port.

What causes this? Why aren't the shares remembered?


#2 Deemon

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 13:01

I don't know why is that happening .. I know it's bad idea to have USB drives 24/7 connected to win 2k3 server. I've had tons of bad experiences with these things. Youre lucky your servers are running and not crashing when USB drives connected.

Some doods did backups on external USB HDD's. And every night servers crashed. There was two solutions :D
1. set a timer to HDD's when they come online (power timer)
2. replace these hdd's. Use NAS or something else.

#3 fault

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 14:07

Some small clients I used to work with did nightly backups to USB connected drives, since they didn't want to invest in tapes: didn't really have any problems but I guess your mileage may vary :s Maybe they didn't have enough juice? Or were dodgy branded drives? Just speculating :)

One specific client even ran a share off one of the USB drives with client-side drive mappings as you describe. Don't remember having any problems with it though even when rebooting (which was rare though I must admit).

So the share itself is lost on the server? What SP are you running? Anything in the Event Viewer before/after the restart?

#4 OP Swiftie

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 17:49

So the share itself is lost on the server? What SP are you running? Anything in the Event Viewer before/after the restart?


Put it like this..

We have SERVER A with SP2 which has a USB drive connected and given drive letter F: (Maxtor Basic 500GB)

This F: drive has two folders

  • FolderA
  • FolderB

Both folders are shared and access given to the rightful users.


If SERVER A reboots as it did thanks to patch tues...

The shares setup on FolderA, FolderB will be lost upon rebooting.

#5 fault

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 21:11

:(

  • Anything in the Event Viewer?
  • I assume when the server restarts, the USB drive is automatically remounted as F: drive and is available?
  • You don't have any login scripts on the server itself (e.g., GPO-based, local Start Up folder, ...) that might be trying to map F:\ to something else? (assuming in the previous question you answer "no")
  • What about changing the drive letter for the USB drive to something else (compmgmt.msc) then resharing the folders? Restart then test again.
  • How about when you do a manual restart yourself making sure that there are no open connections to any files (compmgmt.msc)?
Getting a bit desperate now... :hmmm:

Edited by fault, 10 September 2008 - 21:17.


#6 +BudMan

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 21:18

Well I would guess when the server goes to create the shares on its boot up the usb drive has not been connected yet..

Look in your event log -- it most likely state hat the share path did not exist yet. You could create a script to kick off after the server has fully rebooted that would share out what you want.

But for the life of me I can not understand why anyone would do something like this.. if your server does not have enough space for files you want to share -- get more drives, or bigger ones. Or another server or NAS.

Sharing anything off an external USB would be a temp type of thing, not something that would be a perm type solution.

#7 OP Swiftie

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 22:38

:(

  • Anything in the Event Viewer?
  • I assume when the server restarts, the USB drive is automatically remounted as F: drive and is available?
  • You don't have any login scripts on the server itself (e.g., GPO-based, local Start Up folder, ...) that might be trying to map F:\ to something else? (assuming in the previous question you answer "no")
  • What about changing the drive letter for the USB drive to something else (compmgmt.msc) then resharing the folders? Restart then test again.
  • How about when you do a manual restart yourself making sure that there are no open connections to any files (compmgmt.msc)?
Getting a bit desperate now... :hmmm:


I'll dig up some event viewer logs 2moz as I'm not on site till then if I can squeeze in a visit.
There's no log on script that I know of. (But I'll dig around to see if there's something I have missed)
I'll do the further tests later. When I have access.

You want to talk about desperation; I was near enough thinking of just rippin it out the drive out of usb enclosure and sticking it in. :rofl: If I knew for deffo that it was SATA that is...

But for the life of me I can not understand why anyone would do something like this.. if your server does not have enough space for files you want to share -- get more drives, or bigger ones. Or another server or NAS.

Sharing anything off an external USB would be a temp type of thing, not something that would be a perm type solution.


Its not a PERM solution. Its something to just tie up some loose ends until an upgrade to 2008.

But I was just trying to see if it's something I'm doing wrong or not.

#8 +BudMan

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 23:35

Like I said already -- more than likely shares will be created in the boot process before an external USB would active. Share's not being able to be brought on line would clearly be in the event log.

You can duplicate the same by just deleting a folder that is shared, and not removing the share - you will see these errors that share x could not be created.

#9 Who knows

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 08:26

Here is a possible solution to your problem:

. Get the junction tool from http://technet.micro...s/bb896768.aspx

. On one of your internal hard drivers, let's say C:, create an empty folder:
C:\> mkdir C:\FolderA

. Create a symbolic from this folder to the folder you want to share from your USB drive:
C:\> junction C:\FolderA F:\FolderA

. Share the directory C:\FolderA as 'FolderA'
C:\> net share FolderA=C:\FolderA

After the reboot, such share should still be there, even if the USB disk is offline.

Hope this helps.

#10 Liquidfox

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 18:02

We've got the same problem. As far as i'm aware, it's a "feature" of MS Server...

#11 +BudMan

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 11:36

Not creating shares when the location of the share does not exist ;) Yeah that's kind of a feature!

If your wanting to share y:\somefolder and Y: does not exist when the computer goes to create the share -- how exactly do you expect it to share anything??

You can have the same kind of issue on an iscsi disk if the disk is not reconnected when the server reboots. In a cluster as well, which is why in a cluster you make the share dependent on the physical disk being available.

The junction is kind of how you could do it -- but you might be better off just mounting your USB disk to a folder vs going thru all the hassle of a junction -- which might cause you issues in your share.

This way when the server goes to create the shares, the location of the shares will exist for it to create them -- even if actual files will not show up until the drive gets mounted later in the boot process. Or even after someone logs in, etc.

#12 OP Swiftie

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 22:12

The junction setup would've been ideal to keep this temp fix working, going to keep that in mind for next time I come across a similar problem with clients who don't want to listen to reason.

I personally went with the option of just ripping the drive out.

Sticking it in one of the servers and problem solved.

#13 +BudMan

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 12:51

mounting to a folder vs a driver letter would be easier than creating a junction.

#14 Fisshbate

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 17:53

But for the life of me I can not understand why anyone would do something like this.. if your server does not have enough space for files you want to share -- get more drives, or bigger ones. Or another server or NAS.

Sharing anything off an external USB would be a temp type of thing, not something that would be a perm type solution.


Let's see. Tape drive - $3500.00. Tapes - $100.00 each. Terabyte sata drive with external enclosure - $200.00 max. Checked the price of SCSI drives lately? I switched from tapes to external HDD's for backups a while ago and have been quite happy with it. I also have a home system that the sata controllers on the MB packed it in. I run multiple linux distro's from external hard drives on it with no problems. I have found external drives to be a cost effective solution to quite a few problems.

#15 +BudMan

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 18:59

WTF does the cost of tape drives and tapes have to do with sharing external usb drives?

If you want to backup to external drives -- more power too.. That has nothing to do with the OP issue. Did he ever mention backup??

"some folders on there are shared for users to access some files and various other small things."

As to the price of SCSI disks -- I am well aware of their prices.. Again WTF does that have to do with your ma and pop cluster
F of a backup solution?

Did I ever state that external USB drives do not have use?

I have over 2TB of data on just the SAN in this one location, along with all the other servers -- your looking at over 6TB for this 1 location alone.. Sorry your solution $200 external usb drive might be fine for some ma and pop operation.. But I just have to much data to even allow for such a thing.

Just the SQL "data" alone for this 1 location is is over 120GB.. How fast can you backup 120GB to your external SATA drive? I highly doubt your anywhere close to 1GB a minute across the network to some usb disk ;)

[10/23/2008-03:16:43 ,0,0,0,0,0,2,0,0,0] Total Size (Disk)............ 121,875.50 MB
[10/23/2008-03:16:43 ,0,0,0,0,0,2,0,0,0] Total Size (Media)........... 122,961.00 MB
[10/23/2008-03:16:43 ,0,0,0,0,0,2,0,0,0] Elapsed Time................. 1h 42m 42s
[10/23/2008-03:16:43 ,0,0,0,0,0,2,0,0,0] Average Throughput........... 1,197.25 MB/min

I also need to always keep a backup copy off site for disaster recover reason. Oh and BTW not sure where you looking at buying tapes.. but they are not $100. A LTO 4 800/1600 GB tape is more like $70 retail -- even without compression that is still cheaper than your 1TB sata drive when you look at $/GB

Here you go $62 a tape
http://www.tapeandme...4_tapes_tdk.asp

800GB/62 = 12.90 GB per $

What format is your 1TB drive using? Whats the actual usable space -- lets say its like 930, which its going to be lower.
930GB/120 (price on newegg for 1TB drive) = 7.75 GB / $

And with that tape your also going to get more than 800 with compression. So your easy more than 2x the cost of tape storing it on your sata drives.

But again -- the OP was not talking about backups anyway ;)



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