Data Replicator 3 design and GUI behaviour

Discuss backup and restore functions of the DiskStation with respect to computer clients, such as Synology Data Replicator, Time Machine, or other client backup software.
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Data Replicator 3 design and GUI behaviour

Postby WernerGg » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:46 pm

I have the impression that DR3 design and programming is very weak, but I am not yet shure. Maybe I made some mistake during installation or setup. Maybe DR3 is buggy. I would like to hear if other users have similar or better experience with the program.

I am talking about WinXP SP3, DR3 V3.0-1.0142 (current version), DSM 2.3-1157 (current version) on a brandnew DS409slim, RAID 5. I am trying to sycronize my PC via DR3 to the DS. The first run made a full backup of about 160GB as expected. Took about 24 hours due to my still slow "fast" ethernet LAN. I will upgrade it to GB tomorrow. Transfer speed is not my topic here.

From now on I expect that DR3 is startet with Windows, runs in the background and replicates each change on my PC to the DS. But it does something else. I don't know what and why.

Indeed the DR3 program starts with WinXP and works. It's not a background process, just a minimized application. But anyway. Why not?

When I open the minimized DS3 icon from the taskbar it opens its window and has a dialog in front. There I can see each and every file just like during the first full backup. This are many files, about 600.000. I have no idea, why DR3 touches them again. They have not been changed since the first backup. The program runs and works for many hours. ==> I'm afraid, it makes just another full backup.

Unfortunately this dialog in front of the DR3 window is application modal, which means that I cannot do anything with the application. It's blocked. Probably DR3 is a primitive single threaded process ==> This is very bad programming style. That dialog is totally useless. It's information could be easily written into the normal DR3 window.

The dialog tells very stupid things like "6GB saved from 6B totally", but keeps on working for hours.

When I minimize the application again (which can be done by minimizing the dialog) and reopen it, the dialog has disappeared and the window is still blocked. I suppose the dialog is behind the window and I find no way to bring it up again. So now I can not only do anything anymore, even worse I cannot see anything anymore. Within DSM and/or File Station I can see that DR3 is still busy working and saving files.

Now I cannot even stop DR3, since the button is on the unreachable dialog. I have to kill it with task manager. But I don' dare. What will happen then?
Last edited by WernerGg on Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
WernerGg: DS409slim/RAID 5/1.33TB/ext3, DSM 3.1, Verbatim 2TB/ext3/eSATA, Netgear GS108GE, Lancom 1511, WinXP
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Data Replicator 3 design and GUI behaviour - Part 2

Postby WernerGg » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:42 pm

DR3 has meanwhile finished its synchronization run. I did not kill it. The program is still active. The current status is as follows:

Now it is Wednesday 18:10 (Note: I use 24-hour times). My last entry in this topic was written yesterday evening while DR3 was running.

That funny DR3-dialog has disappeared, DR3 ist still in synchronization mode. I could stop it now with the StopSync-button in the backup-window. But why should I stop it?

The backup-window is still deactivated apart from the buttons. So I could not change folders for synchronization if I wanted to do that. I cannot even browse the folder tree. The other windows are active. So I can at least view the protocol:
- The backup had started yesterday (Thuesday) noon at 12:25
- The backup has ended today morning at 01:25. So that syncronization took 25 hours (for about nothing)
- The protocol does not tell me what had been done. No number of files or saved size. No speed information (files or MB per second or so) ==> Would be nice to give such information. DR3 knows it all.
- Many files had not been saved because in use. Drivers etc. This is allright. ==> But when will these files ever be saved? DR should run as a service during boot or shutdown of the PC.
- Many Files had not been saved because their name is too long. Not my files. Most of them are IE8 temporary files. ==> This is not allright. DR3 is a windows program. It should be able to handle the windows file system (NTFS)

Within DSM I can see that about 23 GB had been saved during that run. Maybe right also I wonder what I have done with 20GB since the first full backup. Anyway. 23GB/25h = 0.28 MB/s. ==> Funny. This is not my "fast" ethernet LAN (I measured 10 MB/s for file transfers PC->DS). This is DR3 working but doing nothing.

During that long DR3 run I had created some files. Those have not been backed up until now. ==> Is this a bug or a feature?

Before (!) that DR3 run I had created a directory with some files. This directory had not been saved. ==> This is a bug or at least a very strange behaviour for a data replication program.
This directory did not exist when I made the first full backup days ago. So it was not selected for backup. I suppose that it is still not selected. But I cannot look after that because the DR3 backup window is still blocked and I cannot even browse the tree of selected directories.
If this was true it would mean that DR3 does not take notice of new directories and it would be my duty to tell DR3 about each and every directory I create. ==> Impossible behaviour

Today after the end of that DR3 sync run I have modified some files. Until now these files have not been replicated to the DS. What is that still running DR3 synchronization process doing? I'm afraid, it does just nothing. ==> Bug or feature?

Of course I have received and sent emails during and after that DR3 run. These have not been saved until now as I can see from the Outlook.pst file on the DS. The date is yesterday 12:17, i.e. short before the start of that DR3 sync run. ==> This is definetly a bug. I remember that I was asked by DR3 how often I wish to syncronize emails and I said every half hour.

So what now? What shall I do so that DR3 does its job "data replication"?

Stop the sync process, adjust folders from scratch again, restart and wait for another 25 hours?

I hope with all my heart that somebody will tell me: "You are an idiot, read the docs, click on x and y and everything will be fine"
WernerGg: DS409slim/RAID 5/1.33TB/ext3, DSM 3.1, Verbatim 2TB/ext3/eSATA, Netgear GS108GE, Lancom 1511, WinXP
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Re: Data Replicator 3 design and GUI behaviour

Postby johndurbetaki » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:17 am

I see a similar action from DR3. I see files that I have never touched being backed up time and again.

I also see that there are two backups being done, one to the Z: and one to the Y" drives, which as far as I can tell are just doing the same activity. But again, it backs up 3GB of files and I have not touched most of them.

Also, I have DR3 running on my laptop and it never seems to sync. I turn off the laptop for 24 hours or over the weekend and a file that I modified on Monday is not backed up, ever. If I restart the computer, DR3 wants to to do a backup and then it does 3GB, when only a few MB are needed. I am at a loss. I would appreciate any insight...
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Re: Data Replicator 3 design and GUI behaviour

Postby ninettoM » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:57 am

Hello WernerGg,

yes I also find DR rather clumsy for an application that is basically doing a rather simple task.

BUT regarding your query about where the new files could be - I also first thought that DR was not backing up new files after the first full-backup, and then I noticed that a new folder had been created by DR with the prefix "DR-ComputerName"... and violá, inside this folder was a tree with numerous sub-folders, one of which had the most recent files.

That this behavior is so poorly documented (or even necessary) is rather stupid.

Maybe you should check if a DR-folder has been created on your deskstation?

best, ninetto
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Re: Data Replicator 3 design and GUI behaviour

Postby mrinfret » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:32 pm

I'd like to request that the main DR3 window be resizable. When viewing the logs, there's no way to determine the full name of a file for which a complaint is being logged (file already open, etc.). I've had to resort to saving the log to an external file, then viewing it. That's very inconvenient.

Also, I would much prefer the filename filters to support regular expressions or at the least, wildcards applied to the full pathname. Specifically, I may want to suppress the backup of a file named abc.dat in one branch of a backup tree, but not all. Since I don't want to filter out all *.dat files, my only option is to specify "abc", which might omit other important files having the same base name.

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