First, let me say thanks to the community and the developers out there for an awesome product. It is perfect for my needs, and satisfies my need to constantly improve the health of my home network.
Second, let me say that I promise that I have searched fairly thoroughly for the answer to my problem, and haven't found it yet. So, here goes...
I have a M4A88TD-V Evo Motherboard. It is listed in the compatible hardware forum. I am running four 2tb drives. One by Seagate, the rest are WD Green drives. I use this NAS for serving media to my home, and storing sensitive data such as photos and documents that cannot be lost. It gets mild use at best.
I am running two mirrored banks, striped. This is essentially a RAID 10 setup. I am using ZFS. My machine has a dual core Athlon II and 8gb of low latency RAM (Overkill, I know, but for future proofing as I add more drives). I am using a gigabit network, with high end switches and routers. There is one switch between my NAS and all of the attached PC's. The switch is connected to the router.
The problem is that when transferring large amounts of files from the NAS, occasionally the Windows 7 Ultimate machine that I use for backup storage gives me an error.
It tells me that the NAS is inaccessible, and asks me if I want to retry the current file being transferred. I can click retry until the my finger goes numb, but it doesn't matter. The gui for the nas is still up and working. The NAS can be accessed via ssh. For all purposes, the NAS is operating properly. Here is the rub. If I access the NAS any other way, for example by opening the shared drive or navigating to a folder on the share via windows explorer, I can then press retry a couple of times and it will resume as normal. To be concise, I click retry, and it says the error again. Then I hit retry again, and it gives me a different error (Invalid File Handle), which also asks to retry. I hit retry a third time and it goes back to happily moving files.
This seems to only happen when moving files FROM the NAS to my PC. I am not 100% sure on that, but about 90%. It only happens ONCE in any given file transfer operation, meaning if I am moving 200gb of files, it will only happen once, no matter how long the transfer takes. It doesn't happen to EVERY transfer.
This is definitely perplexing. I believe that either Windows is losing connection ever so briefly, and won't reconnect unless I access the drive with windows explorer (which is very odd), or there is a gremlin that needs to be flushed out. I cannot say where the problem lies, because all signs otherwise say that the NAS is fully connected and working.
Does anyone have a clue where to start looking for answers? I would look at the logs, but I am new to FreeBSD and don't know where to look, let alone what to look for.
I am using FreeNAS-8.0.4-RELEASE-p1-x64. I was considering going to FreeNAS-8.2.0-BETA3-x64, but somehow I don't think that will fix this problem. I have seen a few other people talk about this issue on other forums, but nobody has bothered to or been able to answer it thus far.
So, to sum up, random momentary disconnects are the visible symptom to windows, but no other signs that the connection has been broken. More than enough hardware to support the system. No idea where to look for the logs, and how to do so to see if there is any other info on the NAS side. I haven't looked for anything in the windows logs yet, but I will. Thanks guys!!!
P.S. On transfers to the NAS, I am getting a fairly constant 80-90 MB/s with large files, so I am happy with the performance!!!