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The sound of failure

So, what does failure sound like? I am not sure but I think I know what impending failure looks like, like this:

end_request: I/O error, dev sda, sector 844726271
sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Unhandled error code
sd 0:0:0:0: [sda]  Result: hostbyte=0x04 driverbyte=0x00
sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] CDB: cdb[0]=0x28: 28 00 32 58 e9 1f 00 00 38 00

This is what I found in the dmesg output on my server tonight after a large copy failed. When the copy failed I started poking around and the entire /home partition went read-only on me and then right after went off line completely. Talk about getting worried… I checked the logs of course and saw the above nastiness.

On reboot the drive came back up just fine. The problem is of course the failure is a sign of bad things to come. I shut down the server to preserve any life the drive may have left until I can secure a replacement. I simply have no place to store 824 GB of data right now and don’t want to run the chance of burning up what little life it has left till I do.

Of course since I have to shut the thing down what better time to work out an upgrade. Nothing like a little scare to remind one that RAID is a good idea. I am pricing the parts for a pair of 2 TB HDs for /home, two 640 GB HDs for / and such and a replacement 1.5 TB HD to replace the failing unit. That would put all the drives into pairs for RAID1 in all cases. At the same time I can go ahead and install the hot swap cages.

Now to cross my fingers and hope the drive can survive an 824 GB data transfer before it dies…

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One comment on “The sound of failure

So I bought a replacement drive that is identical to the one that was dying. It was the same all the way down to the firmware. To make things go more smoothly I installed the one SATA hot swap cage I had and proceeded to copy data. I was able to recover 726 of 824 GB before the drive refused to transfer a single bit more.

The other upgrades are still on the list. I just need to find funds, as hardware is not cheap when you are broke.


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Most who fail…

Most who fail have yet to really try!