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Topic # 96738 3-Feb-2012 10:39
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Hi all,

Has anyone had any experience with setting up a drive pool for the recordings from mediaportal or other media software. As you are aware, our recordings can get pretty big. 

I currently have a 2TB drive for the recordings and noticed last night that it was getting full. Previously, I have changed the disks to dynamic and spanned them across multiple drives, however, in the event that one of the drives dies, all of the data is gone (without considerable effort to recover). I do have a spare 2TB drive that has not been installed in the machine yet. OS is Windows 7 Ultimate (32bit).

All of the recordings are stored into a folder called TV on the current 2TB drive. There are subfolders with TV1, TV2 and TV3 (not exact names, but, similar) that have about 800GB, and, another 800GB in the root of that point (ie, T:\TV\tv1, T:\TV\TV2, T:\TV3\ contain about 800GB, and the rest of the space is used by the rest of files and folders in  T:\TV\). My first thought was to move the data in the 3 subfolders to the second drive, and, create a symlink (junction) from the existing points so that it appears to be the same. The problem with that approach is that I believe that the files get moved from the TV1,2,3 subfolders up one level when there are not multiple episodes so that would result in a simple move command ie, mv T:\tv\tv1\file.ts T:\tv\file.ts resulting in a physical movement across the drives instead of just changing the reference to the file.  

What I would like to do is have multiple drives pooled together and present a virtual drive that is the sum of all of the existing drives, preferably while still having the data on each separate drive as normal NTFS data.

Basic requirements
Large files (>4GB)
Ability to share the virtual drive (for other media players)
Good performance.

I've had a quick look through the options and have found these Drive Bender - Seems to do exactly what I want. Price is 40USD

Liquesce - Still in beta, however, looks promising.

My preference is free or low price. I want to keep it on the same machine (don't want to set up WHS or a linux machine for this).

Is anyone aware of/using any others?

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  Reply # 576738 3-Feb-2012 11:27
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Have you tried drivebender? From an Australian firm, $40. I'm using it with 4 x 2TB Green drives. These drives all show up to windows as 1 8TB drive. But not as a repository for my recording server. I would maybe have some concerns about write speed. But theoretically it's only writing to one drive as a time, and has the added advantage of being able to turn on folder duplication if you wanted.

I have it on a WHS2011 machine, but it'll run on most versions of windows.

Previously known as psycik

Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex

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  Reply # 576783 3-Feb-2012 12:50
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davidcole: Have you tried drivebender? From an Australian firm, $40.

Yes, I saw that. That's my backup position, and it does seem to do exactly what I want. I'm trying to find a solution that won't involve the financial controller if possible :-)

Performance wise, I’m hoping that there would actually be an increase in performance. One of the things Liquesce has going for it is the different modes of operation. Balanced trys to spread the data around the drives, so, if MP is recording 4 streams to the drives, it’s possible that each drive will get 2 recordings directed to it, increasing the possible write performance in much the same way as raid 0 (but, without the striping, no increase for 1 stream being recorded). If I manually even out the data distribution before creating the merge, this should mean that both drives get used approximately equally.


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  Reply # 578534 8-Feb-2012 08:39
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I use a slightly different approach with my Mediaportal installation that achieves a similar thing. I have 2 disks for TV recording in the server and I have configured different tuners to record to different disks. I currently have 4 tuners (via 2 x HD Homeruns) so I have configured Tuner 1 to record to Disk1, Tuner 2 to record to Disk 2, Tuner 3 to record to Disk 1 etc. This not only spreads the disk usage but, by definition spreads the writes across multiple spindles when recording multiple shows simultaneously.

It's not perfect in that Disk 1 still gets a greater portion of the shows but I have a 2TB for disk 1 and a 1TB for Disk 2. I should probably move Tuner 3 to Disk 2 as well and only revert back to Disk 1 for Tuner 4 (rarely used!). Anyway... it provides a level of load balancing for zero $ so may be worth a look.


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  Reply # 578674 8-Feb-2012 13:10
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dklong:  I currently have 4 tuners (via 2 x HD Homeruns) so I have configured Tuner 1 to record to Disk1, Tuner 2 to record to Disk 2, Tuner 3 to record to Disk 1 etc. This not only spreads the disk usage but, by definition spreads the writes across multiple spindles when recording multiple shows simultaneously.


I did consider this approach, however, as I use a media player (not a mediaportal client) in the bedroom, I want a single point where all of the shows are being recorded to so that I can look for recordings in one place. Explaining to my wife that she has to look in different share points for each program, and, these may change at random is not an acceptable solution.

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