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Problems migrating from WinXP to Samba server

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drawbars
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Problems migrating from WinXP to Samba server

Post by drawbars »

Hi All,

I had an older WinXP backup server on my system that has been crashing. Rather than replace it -- since it wasn't doing anything else except provide cloud storage of sorts -- I bought a USB drive bay and connected the backup drives to my Asus RT-N66U router via USB. Everything seemed to port well: the drives show up on the network as Samba drives under the folder /RT-N66U/... and I can fully access them in Windows. For security's sake, I use a different username and password for the router from the one that I use to log into Win7 x64.

I was using SBP v7.6 for backups on the old server. I had no problems modifying the backup profiles to point to the new 'home' of my drives, and the profiles run successfully 100% of the time inside the program. However, they don't seem to run reliably as scheduled backups:
  • I have given SBP the login credentials of the router, and if I run a test of the connection, it passes.
  • 30% of the time (roughly), the automated backups run as they should -- i.e., the next time I run SBP, I see "Success" in the Result column.
  • The other 70% of the time, they fail with a "Network Failure."
  • If I use SBP to manually re-run the failed backups, they always complete.
  • Has anyone seen this problem?
  • It seems like the likelihood of success is related to how long before I have accessed any of the router's drives prior to the automated backup. Does this make sense?
  • Is there something I can enable to get more info than just that there was a Network Failure?
Thanks in advance for any insights.

Regards,
-BW
cliffhanger
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Re: Problems migrating from WinXP to Samba server

Post by cliffhanger »

I have given SBP the login credentials of the router...
I assume you mean on the main Network settings page in the profile...
It seems like the likelihood of success is related to how long before I have accessed any of the router's drives prior to the automated backup. Does this make sense?
It suggests that Windows (which is what is returning the network error to SB Pro) is sometimes able to re-use a previous manual connection to the 'server' (in this case, router) that is persisting in the background / has not yet expired (Windows will often do that, sometimes causing great annoyance if it actually used different credentials to the one you want to use right now). But on the majority of occasions, there isn't one (latest such has already expired), so it cannot (does not). This suggests there may be something awry with the settings in the Scheduled Task which is running that copy of Pro, so that the Task can't achieve a network connection in its own right unless there's a persistent (or, current) one lingering from a recent (or current) interactive session.
Is there something I can enable to get more info than just that there was a Network Failure?
It's not clear if you checked the Log or that's just what's shown in the Result column (?)

Can you post a screenshot of the main Schedule config page in SB (right-click profile -> Schedule -> Edit Schedule) ?? Make sure the Security tab is visible on bottom section, which it should be by default.

(BTW, "7.6" is not the full version number: there are c. 18 versions that start 7.6.x.x - all different in some respect. It probably makes no difference in this particular case, but try to get into the habit of quoting all 4 parts. Latest official release is 7.6.18.0, latest beta is 7.6.20.0)
drawbars
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Re: Problems migrating from WinXP to Samba server

Post by drawbars »

Hi Cliffhanger,

Thanks for the quick reply. I'm using SBP 7.16.18.0. Didn't think it mattered for something this basic, but I will get in the habit of mentioning the full revision.

I think your comment about Windows reusing (or NOT reusing) credentials is part of the issue. If I try to test 4-5 profiles back-to-back, the last 1-2 will likely fail. The question is what to do about it.

Here is the requested screen shot.
Failing Setup #1.png
Failing Setup #1.png (63.75 KiB) Viewed 4630 times
cliffhanger
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Re: Problems migrating from WinXP to Samba server

Post by cliffhanger »

Sorry, I can't see any adjustments you could usefully try in that Schedule settings page (that wouldn't likely make it worse). Have you tried experimenting with the settings in Pro on Network -> Advanced? (I'd certainly suggest reading the contextual Help several times if you do)

But, what you report does suggest there is maybe something about the security token Windows issues to the Task when it triggers ( > opens a copy of Pro > runs the profile) that the router doesn't like/agree with (unless there's a MRU connection still hanging around, maybe). I'm assuming you didn't have such issues with the XP server, though, which might be significant - plus > >

I do remember I tried in the past to set up SMB access to storage on my Asus N55U, and finally decided* (even after a firmware upgrade) that its stability in that respect was dreadful (it would routinely accept/reject access requests with the same UN & PW, seemingly at random - so much so that I never got as far as trying it Scheduled). Plus, its throughput if it did accept a connection was abysmal. FTP Server functionality was very flaky (it didn't support setting date/time on files, for one thing...), and the Media Server happily 'exposes' MP3s to the LAN but point-blank refuses to do so for video (of various file-types), simply reporting to clients 'This folder is empty' (or words to that effect). Luckily, it has good DSL & wifi performance, else it would likely be in the shed now.

You could try setting the credentials to 'same as for Windows' (possibly just for testing) to see if it changes the behavior (removing all traces of alternate credentials)...


* read "...abandoned, because..."
drawbars
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Re: Problems migrating from WinXP to Samba server

Post by drawbars »

Thanks, I'll try playing around. I was hoping that this might be a known issue.

Actually, on the N66U, I'm having zero other problems with SMB. I can access the drives from multiple computers on the network, even at the same time. Yeah, the throughput isn't great, but I back up 3x per day (for business reasons), so the amount of updates per backup is small. I do almost nothing with video (but a lot with music), so I can't speak to your other issues. If I could get SB Pro to run updates automatically, I'd be satisfied.

I had less problems with my WinXP file server -- other than it would shut down every 12-36 hours. :?
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