Friday, 31 October 2014

Windows 7 FastCopy

I had cause today to copy ~440GB of data between two drives on my Windows 7 VM. Both drives were assigned to the VM as PHY: devices and the OS had PV drivers installed but even so, the copy operation was painfully slow with speeds of less than 20 MB/s and an estimated copy time of 6 hours.

Without the time or inclination to troubleshoot why the transfer was so slow, I did a quick search for windows 7 fast copy and came across a tool called, handily enough, fastcopy.

I installed and fired it up and set it to do the same operation. It finished in 1.5 hours with an average speed of ~70MB/s. Will be using this for similar operations in future.

Now to figure out why the OS copy operation was dog slow...

Friday, 10 October 2014

Current SetUp

MediaServer8 + Expansion Chassis In-Situ
Following on from my post on putting in place an external expansion chassis, I'd ordered a few cables to make the set-up a little more workable.

Specifically, a DVI cable with a 90-degree connector on one end now allows me position the expansion board correctly in the external chassis so that all slots are now externally accessible. I've also installed an eSata backplane that has two Sata cables internally. This allows me connect two hard drives in the expansion chassis to the MediaServer8 eSata ports.

The photo above shows MediaServer* and the expansion chassis positioned in my attic. This location is close to the termination point for all cabling in the house (Cat5, Speakers, RF) as well as telephone/fibre entry points. It's all a little messy right now, I need to get some order on those cables!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014


One of my longer term goals has been to set up a general purpose workstation VM on MediaServer8. I've toyed with a few Linux variants but recently decided to try Netrunner. The 'rolling' version  is an ArchLinux distro with KDE based on Manjaro.

It was a bit fiddly to set up and get GPU passthrough working. This is not aided by the fact that the display does not switch on until very late in the boot process so unless running via VNC, you can't see what's going on.

A little coaxing and persuasion, however, combined with a good deal of patience paid dividends and I got a consistently reliable boot with GPU passthrough.

As an added bonus, I discovered that I can even connect two displays to the HD5450 card and both will be driven for an extended desktop.