dealing with a failing drive

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Mon Nov 12 08:07:42 PST 2007

On Sat, Nov 10, 2007 at 05:22:06PM -0800, David Newman wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> I'd welcome suggestions on how (or whether) to try to revive a SCSI
> drive that's failing.

to answer 'whether':  don't.   Get your stuff off from it as
soon as possible and nuke it if it has anything sensitive at all.

If it is a mirror or raid5 then you should be able to just replace it, but
otherwise, back it up immediately and quit using it.

Generally, if you start seeing a regular hard error, the drive
is on its last legs.   The errors only increase.    You may be 
able to do things to get past this one error, but more will be

So, is answer to 'how': also don't.


> This is on FreeBSD 6.2-RELENG on a Compaq Proliant DL320, onboard RAID
> and two SCSI drives in a RAID1 array.
> Today this system rebooted and hung on Compaq's "what do you want the
> RAID controller to do?" message. I told it to fix any errors.
> When I brought the system back up (after running fsck in single-user
> mode), the log had lots of errors like this:
> Nov 10 09:00:40 mail kernel: ida0: hard write error
> Nov 10 09:00:40 mail kernel: ida0: invalid request
> Nov 10 09:01:48 mail last message repeated 35 times
> Nov 10 09:03:49 mail last message repeated 571 times
> Nov 10 09:12:27 mail last message repeated 796 times
> I vaguely remember trying about a year ago to load a SMART utility from
> the ports collection but it wouldn't work on drives in a RAID array.
> Is there some other way to:
> a) diagnose/fix the errant disk here?
> b) monitor the health of disks on a Compaq controller so it doesn't get
> to this point to begin with?
> thanks in advance
> dn
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