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Non-RAID drive attached to RAID card - Controller failure


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The title says it all. The drive in question was my WHS 2011 server backup drive. Here's the event message:


Disk 'SAMSUNG HD204UI-S2H7J9AB701690' at Controller1-Channel3 failed.


I removed it from the RAID card (it's not part of an array, just a single attached drive), attached it directly to the motherboard, booted but no luck in getting it to reappear in Dashboard. So I pulled it, connected it to my PC, booted, went into Disk Management, assigned a drive letter and tried to open it. No luck. Ok. The heck with it, I'll just wipe it and start over, which I did. While I was at it, I checked SMART and the drive looked perfect, full health, no reallocated sectors, nothing at all. Once all that was done, I reattached it to the server, reestablished it as the server backup drive, then configured and started a manual backup. It completed while I was at work today.


So here's the deal, or question, as the case may be. To me, it looks like a problem between the RAID card (it is using the lastest firmware, the same version as when I first installed it) and the Samsung HD204UI HDD, more specifically its firmware. So I flashed the Samsung. Actually, I re-flashed to the same version which was already at the latest, but what the heck. I did it anyway. This I did after work today, after the drive had finished backing up the server from scratch. I had to power the sytem off completely before the mobo would detect the drive, don't know why, but no problem. I can do that. So it's there and it seems fine. I'll keep an eye on it.


Any thoughts? Comments about the RAID card - HighPoint 2720? Samsung HD204UI and/or its firmware? I'm using HighPoint a breakout cables so I don't suspect them, but again, I'm not sure. So... What do you think?

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I had a similar problem with a WD 2TB EARS drive, out of the 4 connected to the card, 1 didn't even survive the initial build of the array. Bit later, it was working again, then failed, etc... Never did get around to trying it on a motherboard directly, though I should. When doing some other research, I found a little bit out about the differences between consumer and enterprise drives that may be what's happening.


Enterprise drives have a feature called TLER - Time Limited Error Recovery. If they can't recover an error within a few seconds, they quite trying. Consumer drives do not have this feature, and will scan to recover an error for a lot longer period of time. The problem with this is that while scanning they become non-responsive, and the RAID card ends up dropping them as dead even though they are functioning properly, just in the middle of an internal operation.


I don't know if this is what's happening to you or not, but I have seen similar issues, and this is an explanation that at least fit the description of what I was seeing.

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What you guys are describing is not a drop or related to TLER. The fact that Rich attached it to a motherboard and the fact it was not in an array rules that out. Andne, in you case it sounds like just a bad drive. I have had two bad drives in the past 12 months but no issues with dropouts. Issues related to TLER usually appear as almost a lock up. One was related to bad sectors and the other was just dead and was not detected just like what you are describing but right from the beginning. Put in a new drives and no issues since. I have a 14T and 10T array.

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Agree, get another drive; RMA that one if under warranty.


It sounds mostly like a drive controller board issue, as though the board is working sometimes and sometimes not. Could be heat related, cold solder joint, just a bad chip, contact corrosion in the interface to the drive internals, etc.

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Rich, so there was a time, when everything was working fine???

Yes. It was fine for 3 or so months.


Agree time for a new drive

It would seem, but SMART data looked fine when I had it connected to my PC. Maybe I should try Stable Bit Scanner?


Agree, get another drive; RMA that one if under warranty.


It sounds mostly like a drive controller board issue, as though the board is working sometimes and sometimes not. Could be heat related, cold solder joint, just a bad chip, contact corrosion in the interface to the drive internals, etc.

Well, the heat-related is a possibility as I was doing a complete server backup. But the total amount is a couple megs over 1TB, and the case is well-ventilated/cooled with 4 fans - 3)140mm + 1)120mm.


Anyway, I have one more thing to check out, something firmware related. I'll let you know.

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hm...5 Samsung HD204UI drives: 3 with one firmware version, 2 with another. So I flashed them all the same. Now that that is done, I'm going to wipe the server backup and rerun it, the whole thing. Let's see if RAID card and drives play nice now. And yes, I'm going to reconnect to the single drive to the RAID card.


If this solves the problem, I'll hate to say it but this was one of my own doing. I remember flashing a couple of the drives before I built the server but I'm sure they weren't all done. Either way it turns out, I should not have been so sloppy about it. Not when a RAID card is involved, right?

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Backup is started. Should be done by morning. I'm going to bed. Sure hope I don't get woken by any alarms tonight. :)

You let your WHS alarms wake you? That is what I call dedication. I like my sleep too much for that :mellow:

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