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Old 09-21-2006, 09:56 AM   #1
BWebb
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SATA harddrive problems


I am having problems with a SATA harddrive. Here are some specifics before I get into it...

Setup info:
Dell Pentium 4 3GHz / 1GB Ram
OS: CentOS 4.3
kernel 2.6.9-42.0.2.ELsmp

Drive info:
(the following returned from smartctl -i)
Device: ATA Maxtor 6V200E0 Version: VA11
Serial number: V40AQBEG
Device type: disk
Size: 200GB

The disk in question (/dev/sdb) is a secondary, non-RAID harddrive that mounts as /home2 on my machine. The primary drive (with OS) is /dev/sda and is a Samsung 80GB SATA drive, recognized by the system as SATA0. Let me stress that I am NOT having any problems with /dev/sda... it is only /dev/sdb that keeps acting strange.

The problem:
After some heavy use, /dev/sdb (/home2) becomes inaccessible. Well, you can 'cd' to it, but that's about it. 'ls' returns nothing. This has happened twice and both times I have recovered it by performing the same method: crack the machine open and plug the drive into a different SATA port on the mo'board. Reboot, go into BIOS to enable SATA1, SATA2, or SATA3... whatever I happen to be using at the time. The machine boots fine and /dev/sdb mounts like normal. I can access everything just fine... for a while anyways. I ran fsck, e2fsck on /dev/sdb and it returned a 'clean' message. Okay, that's great. I backed up all of the data just in case.

The last time I cracked open the machine to switch SATA ports, I noticed that the drive in question was burning hot... I mean, really, really hot. It was far warmer than the primary drive. I know these things can get warm, but this guy was ridiculously hot.

I'm guessing that this is not a SATA controller problem, because I'm not having problems with /dev/sda. The temperature of the drive makes me think that it is possibly shutting down to prevent damage, but I'm not sure.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Bret
 
Old 09-21-2006, 10:13 AM   #2
Chromezero
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If you suspect a heat problem, you could use a household fan to see if it helps. Open the case, leave the door off, and point the fan toward the inside of the case. Then, attempt to duplicate the problem. If the fan helps, you might want to look at your cabling to see if you can improve air flow inside the case. Also, you may want to look at hard drive cooling systems. A simple heat sink may be enough to fix the problem. I'd like to tell you that hard drives shouldn't get that hot but in reality, they can.
 
Old 09-21-2006, 10:40 AM   #3
kilgoretrout
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I think the first step is to thoroughly check the drive out with Maxtor's hard drive diagnostic utilities. You can download the iso here:

http://www.maxtor.com/portal/site/Ma...downloadID=113

If the diagnostics indicate a faulty drive and you are still under warranty, contact Maxtor for a replacement.
 
Old 09-21-2006, 11:03 AM   #4
Aeiri
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First, I would try upgrading your kernel and seeing if the problem persists. SATA support in 2.6.9 was a pain in the BUTT for me even to get working correctly, let alone getting working well. Now, though, SATA support seems to be working quite nicely (2.6.17 here).

I'm not saying this is going to solve your problem necessarily, but regardless of whether or not you solve the problem you should still upgrade your kernel if you are using SATA drives.
 
Old 09-21-2006, 11:09 AM   #5
Chromezero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilgoretrout
If the diagnostics indicate a faulty drive and you are still under warranty, contact Maxtor for a replacement.
I agree 100%, make sure the drive is functioning correctly. It's possible a malfunction is causing it to overheat...
 
Old 09-21-2006, 12:00 PM   #6
Crito
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BWebb
Drive info:
(the following returned from smartctl -i)
Device: ATA Maxtor 6V200E0 Version: VA11
Serial number: V40AQBEG
Device type: disk
Size: 200GB
So what does smartctl --all /dev/sdb say the temperature is? For comparison my 7200 rpm Seagate Barracuda is currently running at 43 celsius with a worst temp of 55 celsius. And I ran it in a room without AC this summer, so if it's hotter than that I say just return it. Maxtor has a "no quibble" policy so they're not going to argue with you about it anyway.
 
Old 09-21-2006, 12:21 PM   #7
BWebb
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Hey, thanks a bunch everyone. I am always so impressed by the response that I get to my posts.

Interestingly enough, I have set up about 10 identical systems over the past month and this is the first time I have had any disk problems. I suppose that I should thank my lucky stars that the failure/problem rate at this point is less than 3% (each system has at least three disks).

I'll checkout the Maxtor utilities and also see what smartctl has to say about temperatures etc. I'm just glad I was able to copy all of the data off before it went completely FUBAR. I feel that the overheating is just a symptom of a much larger problem with the disk. After all of the reading I have done lately about disk failures, it's amazing that they don't happen more often!

Thanks everyone...

Bret
 
  


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