Resolved Proftpd timeout, slow ftp, transmission, kodi, SMR

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 15:02    Post subject: Resolved Proftpd timeout, slow ftp, transmission, kodi, SMR Reply with quote
This is not a question but just a post about some issues I was having and what I found to be the cause (SMR drive!) and the solution.

I actually got part way through making a post for help here a few weeks ago but stopped part way through.

The issues I have been have were, transmission locking crashing or running slow, kodi buffering, ftp directory listing timeouts in kodi, which just show as a blank directory!

It actually took me a long time to get into the problem. As for one kodi would list a directory as blank, and it can do this for a number of reasons. After trying many things like altering transmission settings or turning it off, all having varying success, I finally worked out that proftpd was slow causing timeouts through using filezilla. Well increasing the timeout in filezilla resolved that. The next bit was that no matter what the timeout settings for kodi don't work, you need to change another setting related to slow connections as well.

I also had the problem that when running transmission not only did the directory not list but things would continually buffer. The thing is that this had been getting progressively worse over the months.

So I thought the drive must be really fragmented. And it was 95% fragmented. So I tried defragging it, which was going to by my calculations take 2 months LOL. So I started deleting things. Nope still too long. So I decided to copy everything off then back on. Which worked really well till it got to about half way then just stopped.

So I investigated. Found stuff about SMR or Archive drives, which was exactly the problems I have been having. I got the Western Digital utilities package to erase to drive, only takes seconds and then the drive is like new. I worked out the program I was using to copy with, fastcopy, fragments files, so I just used windows explorer to copy. Anyway everything copied across quite fast.

I also switched from an ntfs filesystem to ext4. The ext2fsd drivers for windows are great, even include mke2fs.exe to format to ext4. Needed to learn the /dev/sdb1 /dev/sdc1 etc for windows a is disk0 b disk1 and partition 1 is 1. A small hiccup! using windows safely remove on an ext4 drive causes it to become corrupt somehow ! I ended up using the manager app to flush to cache and then just pulling the usb out.

The problem with SMR drives is they don't like being rewritten especially when full,as it can set off a chain of events where huge portions of data will become collateral and also need rewriting to survive.
The last thing you want to use them for is small continuous writes and rewrites, the type transmission makes !! I have solved that by using another smaller drive to run all the transmission config and parts off and then to get it to move the whole file to the SMR drive.

SMR drives are interesting as they use firmware to manage themselves internally and the OS never actually gets access directly to the disk. The firmware needs to manage all the collateral rewrites and it just presents this to the OS as I/O delays while it is busy doing all sorts of data shifting. The I/O delays end up getting so big that the drive just ceases to function and stuff starts crashing all over the place as no program has been designed for it. Even my windows was crashing because of the stupid drive.

Anyway hopefully this helps someone. SMR drives be careful with them!
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