Ominous smartd messages ....

Brandon J. Wandersee brandon.wandersee at
Thu Aug 4 00:50:44 UTC 2016

William A. Mahaffey III writes:

> On 08/03/16 15:19, Matthew Seaman wrote:
>> On 03/08/2016 20:13, William A. Mahaffey III wrote:
>>> What does this mean ?
>> That there's a bad spot on the disk, which may also mean that you've got
>> a corrupted filesystem -- depends if the bad spot was in use by zfs or
>> not.  'zpool scrub' should tell you if the filesystem is corrupted.
> Can I do that 'zpool scrub' live ?

Ordinarily, yes. A scrub might lower performance a little while it's
underway, but it's safe to use the system while you do it. However,
depending on how much data you have on that pool, a scrub can take a
long time to finish. A scrub of the measely ~1.8Tb on my pool takes the
better part of five hours to complete. The risk I would worry about in this
particular situation is whether leaving the system running long enough
for a scrub to complete would result in more sectors on the disk failing,
in an area already passed over by the scrub. If that happened, you'd
wind up with more corrupted files (assuming there already are corrupted
files in the first place due to a filesystem problem). Finding and
fixing those would mean running another scrub, taking up twice the time.

Ordinarily, then, I'd recommend running the scrub after replacing the
disk. In this particular situation, if you want to try get out of this
with absolutely no corrupted files, then if at all possible use `zfs
send | zfs receive` to clone the existing pool to a new pool on another
machine, and run the scrub there. The problem is that if you intend to
recreate your current pool in a RAIDZ layout you'll need to back up your
data, and if you back up your data using rsync (as you have been) and
then restore it to the new pool using rsync, the checksums for the
previously good files will be lost and the corrupted files will be given
new checksums. ZFS won't realize they're corrupted. Bear in mind,
though, that none of this is to say that any of your files currently are
corrupted or will be corrupted. This is just a "best approach to
worst case" as I see it.

> I was/am already thinking along those lines, w/ 1 complication. I have 
> another box (NetBSD 6.1.5) w/ a RAID5 that I wound up building w/ 
> mis-aligned disk/RAID blocks in spite of a fair amount of effort to 
> avoid that. I/O writes are horrible, 15-20 MB/s. My understanding is 
> that RAIDZn is like RAID5 in many ways & that you always want 2^n+1 
> (3,5,9, ...) drives in a RAID5 to mitigate those misalignments, 
> presumably in a RAIDZ also. Is that so w/ RAIDZ as well ? If so, I lose 
> more than a small amount of total storage, which is why I went as I did 
> when I built the box whenever that was.

I don't have enough knowledge/experience with RAIDZ to answer your
specific questions, but if nothing else you could still combine the disks
into mirrored vdevs, which are more flexible than RAIDZ, but slightly
less robust. You'd have a maximum of half the storage space and more
redundancy than you do now (though significantly less redundancy than
with a RAIDZ setup).


::  Brandon J. Wandersee
::  brandon.wandersee at
::  --------------------------------------------------
::  'The best design is as little design as possible.'
::  --- Dieter Rams ----------------------------------

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