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Thread: Hard disk lockups

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Hard disk lockups

    ... system has random lockups, while rsyncing from disk 1 to disk 2. Obvious suggestion is that the disk is going bad - but which disk?

    Complicating issues is the fact that the server is headless, and it would be very inconvenient to hook up a monitor.

    Can anyone suggest an easy way to test which disk is locking up?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by awacs; November 15th, 2012 at 05:31 PM.

  2. #2
    ahallubuntu is offline Chocolate-Covered Ubuntu Beans
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    Re: Hard disk lockups

    Install smartmontools. Then do

    Code:
    sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda
    to check attributes of /dev/sda (or replace with /dev/sdb, etc.) It's less easy to interpret the attributes if you don't know which ones are important (the "pre-failure" text looks scary but isn't). Just paste the output of the command here for the disk you are worried about.

    You can also run S.M.A.R.T. tests.

  3. #3
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    Re: Hard disk lockups

    Quote Originally Posted by ahallubuntu View Post
    Install smartmontools. Then do

    Code:
    sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda
    to check attributes of /dev/sda (or replace with /dev/sdb, etc.) It's less easy to interpret the attributes if you don't know which ones are important (the "pre-failure" text looks scary but isn't). Just paste the output of the command here for the disk you are worried about.

    You can also run S.M.A.R.T. tests.
    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Re: Hard disk lockups

    Thanks for anyone who wants to look at this. output of smartctl -a is attached (or I could post it inline if anyone wants.)
    Attached Files Attached Files

  5. #5
    ahallubuntu is offline Chocolate-Covered Ubuntu Beans
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    Re: Hard disk lockups

    The 250GB WD drive (/dev/sda) has four reallocated sectors. That means four sectors failed and were marked "do not use" by the drive's firmware and replaced by spare sectors. This is not catastrophic especially on an old drive. You may see a slight reduction in performance as the spares will be non-contiguous with the sectors that failed.

    You should watch this number, though; if more sectors fail more than say a few a year I'd replace the drive. The drive probably has a few hundred spare sectors FYI.

    None of the other drives have glaring problems that jump out at me.

    You can use smartctl to run an extended S.M.A.R.T. test on the drives that are suspect. On the 250GB drive the test will take probably 1-2 hours. Check the man page for smartctl for exact syntax. The drive itself (the firmware) will run the test; smartctl will just monitor its progress each time you check it. You can use the drive while the test is in progress but probably best not to.

  6. #6
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    Re: Hard disk lockups

    Thanks!

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