[sc:windows-category ]In my current series on building a new VM server I have selected Hyper-V as the hypervisor, in the past I have used the system running the hypervisor to also host a DFS replicated data share for my home folders and other data.
As one of the last steps in setting up the new server I enabled DFS replication, and promptly had the new host server blue screen on me.
There’s about 1.2 tb of data to be replicated and instead of decommissioning the old server and moving the drive over to the new one, I instead picked up a new hard drive for the new system. So my first thought was some kind of issue with the new drive.
My first step was to change the SATA port and cable, but alas, exactly the same issue.
Searching on the net I did find one reference to the issue, however the only recommendation was to send MS the crash files, which I was not yet ready to do.
Still thinking it was a drive issue, I decided to stress the drive a bit and execute a robocopy of the data from the remove server, this proved to be successful without issue.
This pretty much put the nail in the coffin of the “drive issue” theory and so the next most likely item was BIOS and drivers. There was a new motherboard BIOS available but that didn’t help anything.
After a few hours of hunting around and found all the network/SATA drivers were up to date as well so that seemed unlikely.
By this point I was pretty well convinced that it was network related and so I decided to install a D-Link Ethernet card (the onboard ports used an Intel chip), disable the Intel Ethernet cards and proceeded to re-enabled DFS. Which promptly crashed again.
My last thought was that the virtual network card installed by Hyper-V could be conflicting somehow. Disabling the virtual network card and re-enabling DFS replication proceeded to work without crashing.
While DFS was replicating I decided to test the theory one last time and re-enabled the virtual adapter, at which point the server blue screened again.
Having “found” the issue, I decided to build a new VM to host the DFS replica, installing a 2008 R2 instance and assigning the 2 tb disk to the VM was straight forward enough and enabling replication promptly starting populating the data without incident.
Now my question is, is this an isolated incident or will any Hyper-V/DFS installation cause the same kind of issue.
For the time being this will have to wait, once my old VM host server is decommissioned (should be shortly now) I’ll rebuild it as a Hyper-V server and give it a try, just to see. If it blue screen’s as well, I’ll have to open a support incident with MS to track it down, if it doesn’t have the issue, I’ll just chalk it up to a weird interaction on the new hardware.
UPDATE #1: Well I guess I spoke too soon, part way through the replication the VM bluescreened, replication has started again and I’m going to see if I can get some more details the next time it happens.
UPDATE #2: One more bluscreen in the last 18 hours, I’ve noticed one other item that could be an issue, both of my previous DFS hosts are running R2, no service pack, while both the Hyper-V server and the new VM I built with SP1. If the bluescreens continue at this pack I’ll let replication of the rest of the data complete and then try upgrading the other DFS servers to SP1 and see if they subside or not.
UPDATE #3: No more bluescreens on the VM since the upgrade to SP1, however after upgrading one of the other DFS servers to SP1 (and leaving the third with no SP) it bluescreened after about 12 hours. I’ve upgraded all remaining servers the SP1 and everything has been running for about 48 hours without and further bluescreens. I haven’t tried used the Hyper-V server as a DFS replicate as I removed the DFS replication role after I created the VM, but I’m pretty confident with the setup I have now and no desire to watch a server blue screen just to prove a point 🙂