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Files disappearing from Synology server – a mystery


DavidZ

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I have had my Synology DS 413j server since last October, with 2 3-Tb drives running in Synology Hybrid Raid mode. I use it as a server for my Zuma v3 computer (thanks for the great design Chris!) running JRiver/Jplay. I have been impressed, like most, with the fact that it seems to be a very well-designed, fully mature product, both from a software and hardware perspective -- and you can count those kinds of products on one hand, IMHO.

 

Until. But. Unfortunately

 

It began when I decided to upsample all of my 14000 CD-ripped files to 2xDSD using Korg's Audiogate software (the upsampled files sound spectacular, and I have been a long-time upsampling skeptic). It's a big project, needless to say, and to hold all the new files I created a new library in JRiver, "DSD Library," which resides on the DS 413j. I started doing them in batches of 15-20 gb worth of files.

 

A couple of days into this project, after a few batches were secure (or so I thought) in the DSD Library, I click on a Miles Davis track from one of the first transfer/upsample batches. JRiver tells me there is a problem with the link. My first instinct was to blame JRiver. Then I discover that the file, along with all the files from that batch are gone from the DSD Library folder on the DS413j. I search the entire Diskstation for .dsf DSD files. Gone. To see if I have a one-off problem, I transferred another batch, and sure enough, prior batches have disappeared too. Note that everything transfers and plays initially normallly. It's not til I transfer something else, prior batches disappear -- almost like they are being written over.

 

This happened 3 times or so, and my support ticket has been with Synology for almost a week -- they have no ready answers, and I am keeping my fingers crossed. I don't know where to go if they can't figure it out. Thecus? I write this as a caution for those who may be considering Synology, and also as a request to see if anyone has had similar issues. -- David

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Then I discover that the file, along with all the files from that batch are gone from the DSD Library folder on the DS413j. I search the entire Diskstation for .dsf DSD files. Gone. To see if I have a one-off problem, I transferred another batch, and sure enough, prior batches have disappeared too. Note that everything transfers and plays initially normallly. It's not til I transfer something else, prior batches disappear -- almost like they are being written over.

 

David ... I'm sorry, I'm not going to have an answer, not being a MC expert nor owning a Synology NAS.

 

That said, could you describe how you are doing the conversions? Manually selecting files and picking convert or some batch process? I'm sure you know how suspiciously this sounds like s/w doing exactly what it is asked to do and, yes, overwriting files in some specified directory structure. While I don't have a Synology NAS, I've researched them a lot and am on the verge of ordering a 412+. I sure would like to hear how they respond to your problem. Good luck.

 

... Cal

-----

i7 Mac Mini > USB > iDSD Nano > Audioengine A5+

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Cal -- I am sorry for (potentially) throwing a monkey wrench in your plans. I've thought about how I could be the culprit here, but so far I can't see how to pin the blame on me. Basically, I take the 16/22 files from an external USB backup storage drive and put them in a folder I labeled "audio transfer" on the Diskstation. I then open the Korg Audiogate software, cue up 150 or so files manually in Audiogate for conversion. I tell Audiogate to export the DSD files to the "DSD Library" folder on the Diskstation, via the LAN. There's no way I can see it writing over prior files, because every file has a unique name. Also, as I noted, the disappearance doesn't happen right away. When I do batch 2 and check batch 1 files, both batches are there as normal. Only after an hour or a day will batch 1 disappear. Bizarre and hugely frustrating. As you can imagine.

 

Also, I doubt there's anything related to the conversion that's causing it. In the interest of narrative brevity, I didn't mention the actual first time it happened -- back in October, when I first got the unit. I digitized vinyl using Korg's MR2000 recorder, and sent the files to be stored on the Diskstation. Same deal exactly. I upgraded the firmware on the DS413j, and the problem didn't recur til last week.

 

I will definitely post here when I hear back from Synology. I suspect this has them, unfortunately, scratching their heads. -- David

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Have you enabled the Recycle been on the folder(s) you store the music files in? If not you might try doing so and see if they end up in there when they "disappear". It won't solve the issue but it will probably aid in troubleshooting.

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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One other thing to try is to first see how much free disk space you have on the NAS. Then add a bunch of files and check the disk space again, note the difference. Repeat till such as time as some files/folders disappear, again noting the free disk space, which should have increased. I now it's crazy, hopefully Synology will get back to you.

 

I have had a Synology NAS (1812+) for almost two years now and have been fortunate it hasn't failed me yet, nor run into issues such as this, which would drive me nuts.

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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bplexico -- thanks for the tips. I will give them a try. When I chatted w/ one of the Synology techs, as she was thinking aloud she said something about "indexing," which I gather is how the OS manages files. One pattern in this odd case of mine is that the disappearances are all from one folder - the DSD Library. However, subfolders within it seem protected -- nothing has disappeared from them. I wonder if the mass dump of files corrupts the indexing for the prior transfer and somehow leaves the subfolders alone. who knows!!!! -- David

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Interesting, have you run any of the Synology disk utitilies with the DSM Manager to determine if your disks were functioning properly?

 

What files are in the sub folders under the "DSD Library"? And do you actually place files in the "DSD Library" folder itself?

 

Barr

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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Barr -- My original batch of DSD files happened to be in a folder that I just dragged over to be a subfolder of "DSD library". All of the disappearances were files sitting directly in the DSD Library folder. I just checked the disk manager utility, and it shows both drives as status normal. Thanks for your help. -- David

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Very strange indeed, so do you have multiple JRIVER libraries? Have you searched for the files using the prefix of a file rather than the .DSF extension? Very puzzling, so as a workaround you could add the files in sub folders and they would not be deleted, correct? As an aside are you not storing all of the contents of an album (CD) in its own folder..?

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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When I 'had' my QNAP NAS, I found the Atom processor and the the OS inside really struggling, when it came to creating files across the network.

 

For example, I would try to edit a FLAC in SoundForge stored on the NAS, and the file being lost, due to 'connection problems'. Gave up on that, and it would be simpler and quicker to copy the file to the working computer's drive, process the file and replace on the NAS. If you have setup files on a NAS, if you double click them to install, that's a fail right away, it just doesn't work.

 

Multiple copy streams didn't work out at all, say 5 copy streams of large files like DSD, made things crawl, and stop. Maybe our real computer experts can chip in to advise, the files are created temporarily you can see them on the NAS, and if they don't make it through, don't appear at all after a time.

 

I don't know what we can do in your case, maybe the best shot is convert locally, even to another USB drive, then robocopy or use a commercial utility software that checks for errors before it's too late and the job has to be repeated to the NAS.

 

A NAS is adding more and more complexity to what we expect it can do, it's really just a copy and store device. The more ask of it, the more it's becoming a computer of a higher power, so where do you draw the line?

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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1.5 --- Thanks sharing your experience. My process -- editing files from the DS413j and looping them directly back to the DS413j -- is dictated by the size of my project. My local drive on the Zuma is a SSD w/ only 40-50 gb free space, so exporting the new DSD files to that would require many smaller batches and more babysitting of othe process. As to whether I'm having issues similar to your QNAP, I'm inclined to think not. First, the whole process initially runs very smoothly. The Audiogate software does its upsampling process relatively quickly and the files flow back over the LAN to the DSD Library without any error notice being generated. Remember, it is always the *prior* batch that turns up missing some time later.

 

Also, back in October the issue surfaced in a much simpler context. I had DSD files sitting in my Korg recorder, attached via USB to the Zuma. I simply transferred those files via the LAN to the Diskstation. That's about as close to the basic "copy and store" model you mention. My hunch is that something else is going on here. Thanks again.

 

@Barr -- you mentioned using the subfolder as a workaround, and thanks for the suggestion. I could, but I'd much rather get to the bottom of this before investing any more time and energy in this little project.

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@ Barr --I have a main library with a mix of mostly PCM rips. The DSD Library is a new creation just to hold that format. Keeping them separate is desirable because my Lampizator DAC has a physical switch that needs to be toggled for the right format, and the result is either silence or nasty noise if you are caught with it in the wrong position. Most of my PCM rips are in their own album folders, but not all. When I discovered how glorious upsampled 16/44 sounded, that's what got me started on this nonsense. Eventually the DSD Library will be the only library, and I won't have to do any toggling between formats. If I can get the Synology to stop screwing up, I could be done with it in 2-3 mos. Re: checking by prefix, no --- haven't tried that, but will. Thanks. -- David

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It sounds like a consistency check needs to be run on the volume. An improper shutdown or some other event may have left the volume in an inconsistent state. Funky things can happen when the volume gets in that state. Always a good idea to run the consistency check after weird stuff like this happens.

 

My DS413 is plugged into a UPS to help avoid improper shutdowns. I'm tempted to say that a UPS is a must when running RAID.

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Try this...

 

Do the convert and save the files to somewhere else (either another directory or more preferrably) a directory on your computer doing the conversion.

 

Then once done, see if they disappear... if not, then copy those files (manually copy, not convert) over to your DSD Library folder and see if they stay.

 

The only way I would see the files disappearing is if something is moving them, which my first thought is the NAS OS would only do something like this if there's a space issue...but if no space issue. I don't see why it would.

 

Another test would be to put different files in there (txt, doc, whatever)...and see if those disappear as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As the original poster, I wanted to give an update. Not much good news. I have established that the OS of the 413j is taking files targeted / copied into the desired folder and moving them to the recycling bin. I have forwarded this info to Synology "support" and haven't heard anything. No one there has deigned to talk for any more than 90 seconds to me. Apparently this bug has been part of their OS for a while -- check out the 2 posters on their own forum:

Synology Inc. Online Community Forum • View topic - Files disappear

 

-- David

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As the original poster, I wanted to give an update. Not much good news. I have established that the OS of the 413j is taking files targeted / copied into the desired folder and moving them to the recycling bin. I have forwarded this info to Synology "support" and haven't heard anything. No one there has deigned to talk for any more than 90 seconds to me. Apparently this bug has been part of their OS for a while -- check out the 2 posters on their own forum:

Synology Inc. Online Community Forum • View topic - Files disappear

 

-- David

 

Great - my DS412+ is coming in tomorrow. Just what I need, a giant, 16TB file shredder . . .

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - MacMini running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > Topping D90 > Topping A90 > Dan Clark Aeon 2 Closed / Focal Elegia

Home Theater - Mac Mini running Roon Server / AppleTV > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Denon X3700h > Anthem Amp for front channels > Revel F208-based 5.2.4 Atmos speaker system

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I am sorry this is all happening DavidZ. I have been a Synology customer for a couple years, and this past winter migrated from a DS410 to a DSD1513+, then just recently added a 4 bay DX add-on module (20 TB, with 2 bays still available). The Synology OS has been trouble-free, backups have been easy (once you understand how Synology does a backup...I do mine manually) and I've had no issues with their great customer support (via phone). Let us know how this thing ends up.

 

John, I would not be afraid of your new purchase. Just make sure you update the OS before moving forward.

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Ted, thanks for your condolences, and I am certainly glad you haven't experienced any issues. Regarding your assurances to John, I'm not sure how you can be so confident. Several things about this issue are troublesome. It is replicable, and has been replicable over several Synology OSes, including the latest. It is clearly and obviously a function of the OS --- with an enabled recycling bin, it creates a folder in that bin, named exactly the same as the correct target folder, and dumps the files there. No ambiguity or possible "user error" there. Files don't necessarily disappear right away, so they leave traces of their existence in JRiver, as links. A file that transferred properly into the 413j, and played fine on JRiver, will the next day display that link as broken, with the bar/circle icon where the album cover had been.

 

Screwy stuff unbefitting the leader in the server/NAS industry --- even DOS and Windows don't do that. I should mention I use SHR -- their own raid software. Finally and most maddeningly, "Support" doesn't seem to have a clue, after 3 weeks and repeated evidence and clues. If they had a shred of customer service chops they might see fit to talk to me. And it is clear the bug has been out there and documented for a while (see my links above to Synology forum). Sorry to unload this way, but I'm sure you understand my frustration. -- David

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Davidz,

Sorry, I was not trying to minimize your troubles, but simply assuring John that the law of averages (hundreds of folks I know run Synology file servers for music 24/7 unaffected) are in his favor. Yes, your issue with recycle bins is odd and frustrating, and hopefully Synology will get to the bottom of it. Sorry if I sounded less than empathetic. It is important to raise this yellow flag and follow through until rectified...but it is even more surprising given their good track record.

 

P.S. I'm still trying to understand your file replacement work flow. Sorry for the dumb questions: Do you have the new upsampled DSD files auto-imported (a simple custom view can keep them separate in your JRiver views). I ask cuz maybe JRiver is moving them if you have broken links options set incorrectly (not sure that can happen to physical files, but can happen to links and previous library entries if they are named the same and try to go back into the same directory) Also, have you simply tried on-the-fly upsampling to 2XDSD (i.e no new files); the Zuma has plenty of horsepower for it?

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No problem, Ted. I really didn't take offense. And I appreciate the forum to let off steam. My IT friend at work put his finger on it when I described these problems: "instead of listening to music you've become a system administrator". Exactly.

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Davidz,

Sorry, I was not trying to minimize your troubles, but simply assuring John that the law of averages (hundreds of folks I know run Synology file servers for music 24/7 unaffected) are in his favor. Yes, your issue with recycle bins is odd and frustrating, and hopefully Synology will get to the bottom of it. Sorry if I sounded less than empathetic. It is important to raise this yellow flag and follow through until rectified...but it is even more surprising given their good track record.

 

P.S. I'm still trying to understand your file replacement work flow. Sorry for the dumb questions: Do you have the new upsampled DSD files auto-imported (a simple custom view can keep them separate in your JRiver views). I ask cuz maybe JRiver is moving them if you have broken links options set incorrectly (not sure that can happen to physical files, but can happen to links and previous library entries if they are named the same and try to go back into the same directory) Also, have you simply tried on-the-fly upsampling to 2XDSD (i.e no new files); the Zuma has plenty of horsepower for it?

 

Ted - sorry -- I missed thewhole second paragraph of this post last nite -- had been a long day ;<].Not sure I follow all of your line of inquiry, but let me respond with what Ihave done. It has been in the back of my mind that maybe there is some interactionbetween JRiver and the server that is behind this. Before I describe thisrecent project, I need to note that it cropped up when I first bought the 413jin October. Then, I simply ripped vinyl with a Korg recorder to make DSD files.These were copied over into the appropriate library folder, and, yesauto-imported into Jriver. The disappearances always seem to happen within aday or so of transfer.

 

Theprocess now is: I transfer a batch of PCM files from outboard seagate drive viausb to 413j folder named "audio hold". I use Korg Audiogate softwareon the Zuma to do the upsampling, then export back thru the LAN to the"DSD Library" folder on the 413j. The JRiver "DSD Library"looks to the "DSD Library" on the 413j for auto-import. I'm notreplacing any files in the DSD Library folder. It all seem to flow verysmoothly, and at first everything works. Then hours, or maybe a day later, thenewly imported .dsf files are gone from the DSD Library folder. ONce I enabledthe recycling bin, they started showing up there. One other piece of weirdness(and a possible workaround): I have audio files in a subfolder in the DSDLibary folder. Nothing has every disappeared from them.

 

Regardingon the fly upsampling -- I tried that, and wasn't that impressed. It seemed to robsome of the dynamics and "homogenize" the sound a bit. So I wassurprised when I tried the Korg upsampling. Dramatically, unambiguously betteracross the spectrum, IMHO, vs. PCM originals.

 

Aboutmy criticism of Synology support: they've come up with nothing in the way ofsuggestions. The idea to enable the recycling bin came from a poster that Ilinked above, as well as from bplexico above. Whether this is a valid clue forthem, whether they are escalating this, I don't know. I know code is tricky, anddon't necessarily expect instant answers, just some line of communication. Thanks for your help. -- David

 

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Thanks. Great summary, sorry to have you do that for me. :(

 

Weird indeed, especially given that the subfolders are fine.

 

I agree that there are no excuses for you getting blown off or under-prioritized by Synology customer service. I will ping some folks I know at Synology and let them know of this thread.

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