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Disappearing HDDs


ColinBrough
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Have a Gen8 Microserver, running XUbuntu 16.04 LTS; 4x drives, running AHCI mode - 32GB SSD with boot and swap, 6TB, 2TB and 750GB drives in the other three bays. Been running fine for the last 6 months...

Last weekend /home (on the 6TB drive) and possibly the 2TB and the 750GB drives disappeared while the machine was still up - symptom was the backups from my desktop (via unison and rsync) failing. Remote login needed password (since the ssh keys were in the now disappeared /home/....). Tried to reboot remotely, didn't come up. Today dug the machine out of its cupboard so I could hook up a monitor... only boots to emergency mode (since it can't find the 6TB, 2TB or 750GB drives, and they are mounted at boot time from /etc/fstab). Commented out the three drives, and machine now boots - but can't see those three drives.

Tried manually mounting them via 'mount --uuid XXXX' - "mount: can't find UUID=XXXX"

Tried gparted - it can only "see" /dev/sda1, the SSD - no sign of /dev/sd[bcd] where those three drives were.

Tried reinstalling - installer can't see /dev/sd[bcd] either...

 

Where have my drives gone? Feels like its a drive controller issue - something isn't letting me see those drives. And physically changing which bay the drives are in changes nothing. Attempting to boot with only one of them in the machine does nothing. Attempting to install afresh with only one of the "missing" drives in the machine it refuses to install since there is not enough disk space available...

As far as I know hadn't changed anything immediately beforehand. Uptime had been 4 weeks before the drives disappeared. Machine basically does file system backup, with a very little email relaying for a small mailing list.
 

 

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Update: the HDDs work fine in an external USB enclosure. The SSD is still working fine as boot disk and root filesystem.

So it is something specific to the HDDs when in the Microserver. Disk controller failure? Some kind of power supply issue that only affects the HDDs (drive motor power?). And given the above, is there any way of fixing what I have without buying a new microserver after only 8 months!!

 

Colin

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First thing I always check is the SATA connection at the system board. Unplug it and plug it back in to be sure it is connected well, with no stress on the cable. All four drives are in the front bays?

Check the power connection under the odd bay to be sure it is firmly connected. If you have a power supply tester it would be interesting to see if the 12 volt rail is OK. I don't think SSD's need 12 volt, but disk drives do.

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Thanks for the suggestions. Have unplugged and replugged power connector from system board, and reseated SAS connector (over which SATA is going) also on the system board. No change in behaviour. The drives are in the front bays - and it doesn't matter which bay any drive is in, the behaviour is still the same - can see the SSD, but the HDDs are invisible. Not 100% sure whether the HDDs are spinning up or not - my ears aren't quite sensitive enough, even close-to, and there are a couple of other machines with fans nearby too. Don't have a multimeter or other power-checking tools. If I can get hold of them, will post further - but not clear what I'd do if I do indeed find that the 12V rail is playing up....

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Hi,

 

New member here just joined to share my experience on this.

I had the same issue after a month of constant usage of my G8.

Suddenly no drives in Windows Server 2012 R2 and not even in bios!!

Only my boot drive in optical are worked.

Sometimes after unplugging and replugging some drives appeared. Sometimes all the drives appeared and after some days they disappeared again.

I tried RAID configurations and nothing.

I was desperate and really pissed off that I had to sent the server back as it was my word agains HP's when it comes to third party drives.

 

So to cut the long story short after some online searching I read that if you open the case and stretch the SAS and power cables a bit it should fix the problem.

And voila it did!!! First time I did it in a hurry and after a month the disks disappeared again.

The second time I removed the sas from the mother board pulled out of the case to strech it.

The same with the power connector.

Then put them back with the slightest curving possible.

 

Now it is more than half a year that the server works fine.

I hope this is the problem you face :)

 

Regards,

Angelos

 

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Thanks for suggestions - will give them a go when I get the chance - I'm surviving with the main drive in an external enclosure for just now. Did manage to have an online chat with HP Support, who weren't greatly helpful - sniffed at the drives not being HP drives... But their one suggestion, which I also haven't yet had time to try, was to zero the NVRAM and see whether any settings had got corrupted in their.

Have tried to reseat the SAS connector, but only at the motherboard end and not stretch it - and not got up close and personal with the connectors further up near the optical disk bay.

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Hello Goodnight.

A similar thing happened to me when I used the b120 controller. My server is now two years and three months old, but I also had failures (related to the controller, I think), had four 4 TB disks in the bays, plus a disk in the upper part of the optical drive, in the fifth sata . When I had the server for about a year (I do not remember it correctly) on one of the server restarts, it stopped detecting the optical bay unit where it had an operating system installed.

At first I thought that it was a failure at that moment, since when restarting it it started again. But with the passage of time that failure was made more repeatedly, and within it SSA stopped detecting the disc of the fifth sata. I tried many things, but in the end I could not solve anything and I decided to install the HP p410, and it is a controller wonder.

So I solved my story, and I did not have any problems. And I have not used the b120 again.

 

 

This fellow recently also had problems.

 

 

Edited by Robertomcat
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  • 4 years later...
  • 1 month later...

Seriously this is ridiculous... these past couple of months I've been getting constant disk errors with TruaNAS on my Gen8 (after years of it working absolutely fine), I'd gone through 6 new WD disks, RMAing each one, thinking I'd just been getting unlucky each time. Finally I snapped and went searching for answers, found this forum and various threads like this suggesting "wiggling" the power and data cables, and wouldn't you know it, no errors for the past week.

 

Great and all but this can't be sustainable, it's going to happen again at somepoint. What are the options with the gen8 with regards to completely replacing the current backplane setup?

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