3Ware Escalade Issues

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at toybox.placo.com
Thu Feb 23 03:33:18 PST 2006

>-----Original Message-----
>From: owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
>[mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org]On Behalf Of Nathan Vidican
>Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 10:24 AM
>To: Charles Swiger
>Cc: don at lizardhill.com; questions at freebsd.org
>Subject: Re: 3Ware Escalade Issues
>Charles Swiger wrote:
>> On Feb 22, 2006, at 12:31 PM, Don O'Neil wrote:
>>>>> 3) Is there some way I can do a faster FSCK, or perhaps
>'fool'  the
>>>>> system
>>>>> into thinking the file system is clean?
>>>> If you update to 5.x or later, you can use background FSCK
>rather  than
>>> having to
>>>> wait for the FSCK to complete the way it does under 4.x.
>>> I wasn't aware 5.x could do this. My next question is how are my
>>> existing
>>> apps going to be affected by upgrading to 5.x?
>> If you install the 4.x compatibility libraries, your old 4.x
>> should continue to work just fine.  However, you will want to
>> as much of your existing software under 5.x as possible.
>>>> Also, if you update to 5.x, you can run the smartmon tools, which
>>>> will let
>>> you
>>>> do a drive self-test using SMART, this will give much better
>>>> information
>>> about
>>>> what is going on with the drive, and also give an estimate of its
>>>> remaining
>>>> lifespan.
>>> Yes, this would help a lot!!!
>> Well, once you're running 5.x, install smartmon and run:
>"smartctl -t
>> long /dev/ad0", or whatever the right device is.
>>>> How old are the drives, if you know?
>>> They're less than 2 years old, and still under warranty.
>This is  the
>>> second
>>> drive to fail and it's driving me nuts.
>>> They're Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 6Y250P0 250 GB PATA
>drives...  Never
>>> had a
>>> problem with that particular drive until this batch.
>>> Can anyone suggest some good 250GB PATA drives for me to
>use? I  might as
>>> well swap them all out since I'm starting over. The 6000
>series  Escalade
>>> card I'm using doesn't support anything more than 250 GB.
>> I've had somewhat better luck with the so-called "special edition"
>> variants of the drives, such as the WD1200JB, which have more
>cache  RAM
>> and a longer warranty period than the generic versions....
>According to Western Digital, ONLY their 'SD' or (RAID-Edition)
>drives should be
>attempted in an array; WDC utilizes proprietary error
>correction mechanisms
>which mangle the error-handling done by an array controller. In
>short, while the
>drive is doing it's internal error-correction, the raid
>controller sees it as a
>drive failure and a whole new mess develops.

Whoah, there chicken little!

The article is in Western Digital's knowledgebase, article# 1397

Here are the relevant bits:

"...If you install and use a desktop edition hard drive connected to a
RAID controller, the drive may not work correctly. This is caused by the
normal error recovery procedure that a desktop edition hard drive

"...When an error is found on a desktop edition hard drive, the drive
will enter into a deep recovery cycle to attempt to repair the error,
recover the data from the problematic area, and then reallocate a
dedicated area to replace the problematic area. This process can take up
to 2 minutes depending on the severity of the issue..."

"... Most RAID controllers allow a very short amount of time for a hard
drive to recover from an error. If a hard drive takes too long to
complete this process, the drive will be dropped from the RAID array..."

So let me explain.  If you have a WD ide disk that is NOT in an array,
has a major error, and goes
away and hides for TWO MINUTES this is supposed to BE OK in a desktop?

How many users do you know are going to sit twiddling their thumbs
waiting for 2 minutes for
their computer to unfreeze?  I thought so.

You must have an extremely elastic idea of what an acceptable error
handling is on an IDE drive.
Yes, IDE, you know, Intelligent Drive Electronics?!?  As in, intelligent
enough to know that
if the problem is so severe it's going to take 2 minutes of scrubbing to
fix, that it's a
sign of imminent disk failure and the disk ought to be thrown out anyway?

I think what we have here is a bit of creative justification by WD for
why you should pay more money
for their RAID edition drives.

I'll tell you what.  I will keep an eye on my ATA raid setups that use WD
drives in them.  If one
disk dies for 2 minutes and the array dumps it, I'll RMA the drive back
to WD for a new one.
You by contrast, can keep your failing drives in your array until they
croak permanently.


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