disk stacking software

Sydney D. Hoeltzli sydney at bcserv.wustl.edu
Wed Mar 17 16:46:49 EST 1993

WAGNERF at BRUNB.BITNET (Wagner Fontes) writes:
>        Stacker 2.0. What's bad?
>        There must be something wrong, otherwise there wouldn't
>        be a version 3.0.
Well, one can get upgrades simply for improvement....
>        I've heard about people loosing all the data from a HD,
>        but I'm not sure it was Stacker's fault.

>        Does it behave well with Windows 3.1 ?

Someone else may have already done so, but let me summarize our lab's 
experience with Stacker 2.0.  We run Stacker on a total of six PCs.  In 
general, we have no problems.  We use Beame and Whiteside netware and Stacker 
does not conflict with B&W PC-NFS drivers.  We use Windows 3.1.

Known 2.0 caveat:  if running Win3.1 in 386 enhanced mode, the swap file MUST 
be on the unstacked drive, and all programs should direct the *.tmp files they 
write if Win hangs to a \temp dir on the unstacked drive.  This is often not a
problem, but one of our PCs has a LOT of stuff on it, including some
ill-behaved code which hangs Windows pretty damn often.  W/ proper set-up but
no maintenance (not knowing the necessity) we built up a bunch of lost
allocation clusters. Build up enough of these, and Stacker 2.0 gets confused
and write-protects the stacked drive.  The problem can be avoided by running
scheck and sdfrag, two programs provided with stacker, on a regular basis.
The write-protect problem was overcome with PCTools DiskFix followed by sdfrag,
and the only files corrupted were the ones in use when the problem occurred.
However we adopted the scorched earth policy just in case, reformatting and
restacking the harddrive, reinstalling all executables and restoring only data
files to the refreshed hard drive.  We found few problems, we lost no data,
we're just paranoid.  And yes, we had recent backups.

On the advice of the Stacker people, we upgraded to Stacker 3.0 when we did
this.  Stacker 3.0 is supposed to be more robust with Windows-type problems.
I want to remind folks that the write-protect problem occured on 1 out of 6
machines, only on the one running all the ill-behaved software plus a bunch of
drivers. For the most part we have been satisfied with Stacker.  It has been an
economical and for the large part reliable solution to our harddrive capacity
problems.  If I were buying Stacker for Windows use I would definately shell
out for version 3.0 as it is supposed to be improved for these problems.

Hope this helps.
  Sydney D. Hoeltzli                            |sydney at bcserv.wustl.edu
  Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics|                
  Washington University School of Medicine      |               
  Box 8231, St. Louis, MO 63110_________________| (314) 362-3342

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