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Old 01-18-2008, 03:25 PM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2004
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Unhappy Linux Raid issues

I'm trying to build a simple Raid 5 array out of 4 SATA drives. They dries are , 250GB, 250GB, 500GB and 500GB. I've created partitions on each of them that are the exact same size, roughly 250GB.

/dev/sda1, /dev/sdb1. /dev/sdc1, /dev/sdd1

I created an array on these partiions before, but after a power outage it just died. not sure why...but since there was little of value on there, I just decided to rebuild the set from scratch. I first tried...

mdadm --create /dev/md0 --level=5 --raid-devices=4 /dev/sda1 /dev/sdb1 /dev/sdc1 /dev/sdd1

The device would start and then begin rebuilding as normal...about 5 minutes later it would show up like this.

Version : 00.90.03
Creation Time : Wed Jan 16 21:03:10 2008
Raid Level : raid5
Array Size : 732563712 (698.63 GiB 750.15 GB)
Used Dev Size : 244187904 (232.88 GiB 250.05 GB)
Raid Devices : 4
Total Devices : 4
Preferred Minor : 0
Persistence : Superblock is persistent

Update Time : Wed Jan 16 21:05:22 2008
State : clean, degraded
Active Devices : 2
Working Devices : 3
Failed Devices : 1
Spare Devices : 1

Layout : left-symmetric
Chunk Size : 64K

UUID : 26ab635c:6dcc91db:645e3c10:269b8dbf
Events : 0.34

Number Major Minor RaidDevice State
0 8 33 0 active sync /dev/sdc1
1 8 17 1 active sync /dev/sdb1
2 0 0 2 removed
3 0 0 3 removed

4 8 49 - spare /dev/sdd1
5 8 1 - faulty spare /dev/sda1

So it looks like 2 drives are faulty...but I can't see that they are. I have tested both of the drives and they appear fine. I can mount them and use them as individual drives, but in the raid set it's not working.

I tried zeroing the superblocks on each and I've repartitioned each of the drives. still the same result.

any help is appreciated.
Old 01-18-2008, 05:27 PM   #2
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Registered: Nov 2007
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thorough drive testing?

When you indicate testing the drives, do you mean a SMART long test with no failure or just the measures mentioned in your post (mounting and building a filesystem)? These latter may not exercise the drive sufficiently to find an error. I've read some complaints of the Linux raid manager too easily marking a drive as faulty, but your circumstances (power outage, repeated recreate problems) suggest the likelihood of a true hardware issue. Check out the smartmontools package if these tests are not already in play.

If drive tests aren't an issue, you might check with a Linux RAID guru, perhaps via the appropriate mailing list, about the output of your mdadm. I'm not an expert, but with 4 physical devices and the requested RAID array of 4 devices, I don't see how there should ever be a spare (sdd1 in this case) unless this output is an artifact of being in the process of creating/rebuilding on top of devices of which some have pre-existing superblock info (the apparently good ones.)
Old 01-18-2008, 07:34 PM   #3
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I'll try that

I ran Bonnie++ just as a cursory test, but I will do some more digging per your suggestion.


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