StableBit DrivePool – Windows 8.1 Support and More


The latest build of StableBit DrivePool features Windows 8.1 Preview support and a lot of fixes.

Windows 8.1 Preview Support
Windows 8.1 Preview Support

Get it here:

Let’s talk about what’s new since build 310.

Windows 8.1 Preview Support

Well there’s really not much to say here, except that StableBit DrivePool now works correctly with Windows 8.1.

In latest builds, CoveFS for Windows 8.1 is now compiled with the development tools that Microsoft released with the Preview OS and a number of changes had to be made in the file system to make it work correctly with Windows 8.1.

If you like living on the bleeding edge, then we’ve got you covered.

UI Responsiveness

Previously, the DrivePool UI was not as responsive as it was designed to be when adding and removing disks. This is now fixed in the latest build and to demonstrate I’ve made a short video showcasing how easy it is to add and remove multiple disks to and from the pool.

(make sure to turn up the quality to 720p to get a clearer view)

As you can see, clicking the add / remove labels now gives you proper and instant feedback. Queuing up multiple disk operations is a snap, and you can see that StableBit DrivePool is even able to perform multiple simultaneous operations on different pools at the same time. For example, you can be creating a new pool, while adding or removing another disk on an existing pool.

Remote Control Updates

Remote control allows you to easily connect to and manage another system running StableBit DrivePool on your LAN.

Simply select which computer you want to connect to from the drop down at the top.

List Computers
List Computers

This by itself is not new, but we have 2 new remote control features in the latest build.

Reconnect to the Same Computer Used Last

This was a user feature request and is now implemented in the latest build.

If you were connected to a remote computer when you closed the UI, the next time that you open the UI it will automatically connect to that computer (provided that it’s still online).

It’s a very small change, but actually makes a big difference if you only have one DrivePool server and tend to manage it from many clients. We now save you 2 clicks every time you start the UI.

Static Peers

By default StableBit DrivePool uses multicast UDP packets to discover other peers to connect to. Sometimes, due to your network configuration, multicast packets can be dropped by your router.

Now in the latest build the Remote Control system can connect to static peers specified by you.

The installer now places a new XML file in:
C:\Program Files\StableBit\DrivePool\RemoteControl.default.xml

You can edit it and define your own DrivePool peers using IP addresses, Windows computer names or domains. For further instructions just open the XML file in a text editor like notepad.

Duplication Tag Consistency Check

When you enable per-folder duplication, StableBit DrivePool writes duplication tags to the directory entries on the disk in order to save the requested duplication level for that folder.

Having correct duplication tags is essential to the file protection that StableBit DrivePool provides.

How is This Possible?

You may be wondering, how can you get inconsistent duplication tags?

Here are a number of scenarios that can give you inconsistent duplication tags:

  • You enable folder duplication on a folder and then completely restore from backup one of the disks part of the pool to a state prior to when you had folder duplication enabled.
  • You disconnect one of the disks in a pool, connect it to another system running StableBit DrivePool and then disable folder duplication on that folder from the other system.
    Then you reconnect the same disk to the original system that had folder duplication enabled.
  • You enable folder duplication on a folder and then have a power failure a short time after.

The last case is actually not a problem with the latest builds. We now write the duplication tag through to the disk at the time that you enable it, but previously this could cause your duplication tags to get out of sync because the tag was cached.

What are the Consequences?

If a duplication tag gets out of sync on one or more pool parts, then any pooled files placed on that disk will not be duplicated. In addition, the folder might appear to be duplicated or not in the UI.

Can This be Addressed?

Yes, and it is no longer a problem in the latest build.

Every time that a pool arrives in a system, we kick off a duplication tag consistency check. The check is very fast and only traverses folders that have duplication tags set on them. The check makes sure that all the tags are valid and it checks every disk part of the pool and ensures that all the tags on each disk are in sync.

If a tag is missing or malformed an intelligent conflict resolution algorithm is run to construct a new repaired tag. The algorithm uses the available information in the conflicting tags, but if it’s in doubt it assumes that the folder was duplicated. After constructing the repaired tag it overwrites the old tags with the repaired one. It then kicks off a full duplication check over the entire pool, duplicating any files that are not duplicated.

This fixes any future such issues and also repairs pools with existing conflicting tags.

Miscellaneous Fixes

There are many other miscellaneous fixes to lockups and crashes in the latest build.

You can consult the full change log on the download page:

At this point StableBit DrivePool 2.0 BETA is on the fast track to a release final. All outstanding issues are being addressed and everything is being finalized. Hopefully we’ll have a RC after a few more builds.