[Rant] Tech Whine Like a baby thread

figmentPez

Staff member
My internet went out yesterday afternoon. I spent most of the afternoon and evening trying to tell tech support that there was an outage.

First I tried the app. The app wouldn't let me log in, usually a sign something is wrong on their end.

Then I tried the website, which I could log into via my cellular connection, but it kept throwing up error messages. Talking to a bot it kept telling me "I'm having trouble following our conversation, can you repeat that?" Even when I hadn't had a chance to reply. I worked my way through the bot until I got it to agree I needed to schedule a technician to come out, but it just threw up errors when I tried to schedule an appointment.

Then I tried the phone. The phone will not let you talk to a human until you've tried restarting your router, a step which requires you to agree to having them hang up on you and call you back in 10 minutes. I tried to demand talking to a human, but it wouldn't let me.

So I got on Twitter to complain, but they're slow to respond to each DM there. Like 15 minutes of lag between each message. Which took a while because they couldn't find me in their system at first. (Another sign that things were seriously messed up on their end.) Finally the Twitter support agreed that I needed to schedule an appointment, so I got a tech scheduled for 4 - 6pm today.

Then I got a call at 10AM this morning asking if my internet was working. They asked me to check on my router, and as I was headed to the living room the call disconnected. I have no idea what went on there, but I think they were asking me to restart my router again, because this tech did not seem to know I'd been talking to lots of other support, or that I had an appointment scheduled.

Around 11:30AM today I was playing LEGO The Incredibles and noticed my achievements had the correct icons again, and then I started getting other notifications. Which prompted me to check my internet, and it was back on. Guess the problem was something they needed to fix on their end the whole fucking time, just like I tried to tell them.

At least the scheduled appointment was easy to cancel.

If I had any other option for internet, I would dump Comcast/Xfinity, or at least demand they give me a huge discount if they want to keep giving me such horrible tech support.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
It always is. I'm sitting here on an unopened box with my exact cable modem in it because I am sick and tired of trying to prove to my cable company that the problem is not my modem.

HURRY UP FIBER
 
So, I got 4 new 14TB drives to upgrade my NAS...figured I'd do one at a time and let it rebuild the raid each time. Takes a while, but should be minimal disruption.

Well, the version of Terramaster OS I have on my box is woefully out of date. It only supports 12TB drives...so, I have to upgrade to the latest OS. This normally wouldn't be a big deal except for several factors:
1) the OS is so old, it's out of service. So I can't auto-update from the web.
2) This particular version of the OS was buggy as hell. It ran Plex just fine, but lots of things didn't work. Including pop-up dialogs on screens like, you know, the "manually update your os" control panel, where you browse for installation files (the plan was to manually upgrade to a version that WOULD auto-update)

Which lead me down this path:
  1. Download the latest full OS, since the patch-upgrade path is not viable
  2. factory reset the NAS-nope, can't do that. It requires a popup dialog too.
  3. Pull all the hard drives and reboot, so the NAS thinks it's a fresh install.
  4. Reinstall the OS over the old one. Which means I lose my plex server.
  5. Reinstall plex, losing my metadata, which means...
  6. Reindex all of my media.
  7. then start doing the hard drive shuffle.
I would call this "maximum disruption". I'm about a quarter of the way through step 6. I was so annoyed at step 2, I *almost* plunked $1000 down on a synology and an ssd drive for caching, but since there's technically nothing wrong with this box, I figured I'd stick with it a while longer if I could get it up to snuff.

Edit:
First drive is in the bay and the raid upgrade/repair is proceeding as expected.
1669076198813.png

Nearly 11 hours to complete. Good thing I'm letting it go over night.
 
Last edited:
Welcome back from your trip, I guess?

—Patrick
No one to blame but myself...had I not been lazy, and performed the automatic regular OS updates when prompted, I wouldn't be in this mess. It's a shame I stopped on the one (or at least the one I know of) that was so broken I couldn't manually do it later.

Edit: The estimate was pessimistic. Based on the current percent complete reported, it'll only take a little over 4 hours. Which means I can probably get 2 more drives done tomorrow if I'm not too busy at work.
 
Drive #3 is in and syncing. Should be done just in time for drive #4 to arrive. That'll sync overnight, and tomorrow I can grow the raid capacity by 20 terabytes :D

1669150481472.png
 
So, the newest OS asked for my email address..I put it in and forgot about it.

I just found all the emails in the junk folder from the drive sync status updates...that's kind of nice. I can quit periodically checking on it now, and just wait for the notification that it's done.
 
Well, after all the whining, it really only took a day to get things back to some semblance of normal. Final array rebuild should be done around 4am if past rebuild times are any indication. So, when I get up in the morning, I'll expand the pool to give myself another 20tb on the RAID :D

I guess I can skip that handbrake step to reduce file sizes now.

1669177209222.png
 
Well, after all the whining, it really only took a day to get things back to some semblance of normal. Final array rebuild should be done around 4am if past rebuild times are any indication. So, when I get up in the morning, I'll expand the pool to give myself another 20tb on the RAID :D

I guess I can skip that handbrake step to reduce file sizes now.

View attachment 43013
Got an email notification at 3:42am that the last drive sync finished. Then the system immediately kicked off another sync. Looking at the storage pool, it looks like the system automatically kicked off the process to assign all the new free space to the pool. Convenient for me, because it started the process 4 hours before I even woke up. But maybe problematic for those people who might have wanted to use the new space to create a new, separate storage pool.
 
Is this some sort of SSD-less joke ?
No.
maybe problematic for those people who might have wanted to use the new space to create a new, separate storage pool.
With ZFS, at least, that is the default behavior when replacing your existing disks with larger ones, especially if it was told at initial setup to “use maximum available” rather than “use this specific amount.”

—Patrick
 
No.

With ZFS, at least, that is the default behavior when replacing your existing disks with larger ones, especially if it was told at initial setup to “use maximum available” rather than “use this specific amount.”

—Patrick
From what I can gather, Terramaster OS is based on BTRFS. I don't recall if there was a setting for "use maximum available" when I set it up, but I don't see any kind of indicator or switch for it now. I don't mind it. I just was thinking that I wanted a separate volume, say, to install a dockerized cloud storage solution and get rid of DropBox, I might be feeling a little annoyed.

Edit: It seems like they rolled their own file system at one point. ZFS

ZFS eliminates volume management altogether. Instead of forcing you to create virtualized volumes, ZFS aggregates devices into a storage pool. The storage pool describes the physical characteristics of the storage (device layout, data redundancy, and so on) and acts as an arbitrary data store from which file systems can be created. File systems are no longer constrained to individual devices, allowing them to share disk space with all file systems in the pool. You no longer need to predetermine the size of a file system, as file systems grow automatically within the disk space allocated to the storage pool. When new storage is added, all file systems within the pool can immediately use the additional disk space without additional work.
 
ZFS is also notorious for being very difficult to alter once created. That is, if you decide to add additional disks after the initial pool creation, you could potentially have a bad time (scroll down to the part about "Hating your data"). btrfs does not have this limitation (allowing you to resize pools), but I wouldn't consider btrfs mature enough for critical data storage.

--Patrick
 
ZFS is also notorious for being very difficult to alter once created. That is, if you decide to add additional disks after the initial pool creation, you could potentially have a bad time (scroll down to the part about "Hating your data"). btrfs does not have this limitation (allowing you to resize pools), but I wouldn't consider btrfs mature enough for critical data storage.

--Patrick
Well, my NAS array is full, so I'll never be adding a single disk in any case.
The final expansion operation took longer than expected---about 27 hours. But now, finally, I have this:
1669310348416.png

Whee!
 
I’m in the process of replacing all the 2TB in my “practice” NAS with 4TB right now (which would double my pool from 6TB to 12TB), but since I’m replacing them only when they fail, that means I’ve done only 1 of 5 so far, which means I may not replace them all prior to the construction of my “real” NAS, which I intend to be a 7-drive monster.

—Patrick
 
This kind of was my 'practice' NAS, too. Originally I was serving Plex up from a machine I cobbled together from parts left over from various upgrades, but I'd been keeping an eye on dedicated NAS boxes. When the Terramaster went on sale at Amazon, I figured it was cheap enough and I could at least get my feet wet. That was years ago, and it's still been going strong, so I haven't felt any real pressure to 'upgrade' the hardware other than the hard drives.
 
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