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Seeking advice: Best strategy to remove defective drive from Pool

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Running DrivePool 2.1.558 on Windows Server 2012 R2.


Don't own Scanner.


20TB DrivePool, 6 Drives, 6 SATA ports (all full)


 


One (1) of these six drives, a 3TB Toshiba, is in the process of failing BADLY.


 


Symptoms… whenever I attempt to copy data from the Pool, ONLY files being read off the failing disk slows to a craw of around 50-80Kb… then stops and chugs… then reads another 40-80kb… stops forever while the HDD churns.  I'm assuming the drive's built-in ECC algorithms are working overtime to recover the bits and the SMART system is reallocating sectors (but the drive is nearly 100% full… maybe 60-70GB free out of 3TB.  The files I'm copying off DO eventually get read though.  And so far, the files I've copied off the Pool and spot checked seem to be error free, but it can take up to 1-2hrs to read back a single 1GB file from the damaged sectors!


 


Anyways, it's OBVIOUS this 3TB Toshiba will die any SECOND now.


 


So my options:


 


Option #1


Buy a PCI-e SATA III controller card.  Buy a new 3TB+ disk.  Add new controller & disk to server then use the built-in "remove drive from Pool" function to empty all data off the failing Toshiba hdd.


 


  • Q: Will the "remove drive from Pool" function timeout/error out?  As noted above, I HAVE been able to successfully copy files off this damaged HDD using plain old File Explorer… it just takes a LONG TIME.  How patient is the DrivePool evacuation function? Just as patient as File Explorer?  I know there's a "force removal of damaged disk" checkbox, but frankly I'm wary  of that option.  Nearly all this data is multi-part .RAR files without parity (music, movies, audiobooks).  If a single file from a multi-part .RaR-ed folder gets skipped b/c DrivePool decides it's taking too long to read, then I effectively lose 100% of the data in that folder even if 99% of those .Rar's are safely residing on the other 5 functioning HDD's in the Pool.
  • Q2:  Does the "remove drive from Pool" function actually DELETE all the contents off the removed HDD after the removal process completes successfully or even errors out???  What if the process finishes but with errors??  Does DrivePool delete all files off the removed drive?  If so, that's bad… gives me no opportunities to use a data recovery tool like SpinRite after the fact  to recover those files.

 


Option #2


Physically remove the failing Toshiba 3TB drive from the server.  Place the failing drive into a 2nd PC running Windows 10 x64.  Place a new 3TB+ replacement drive the 2nd PC and then manually copy contents to the new hdd using File Explorer.  Finally, move new disk back to server and run some command to reintroduce the "new" HDD containing the old/existing files to DrivePool???


 


  • Q1. There is a total filename/file path length limit in Windows  I don't know the exact number, 127 chars?, but somehow you guys seem to get around this issue inside DrivePool.  But I've encountered this problem when coping highly nested file trees using File Explorer (which my DrivePool contains (ie.. Media\Video\HighDef\TV\ShowName\Season\xxxxx.xxxxxx.xxxxxx.xxxxxx.xxxxx\yyyyy.yyyyyy.yyyyyy.yyyyyyy.yyyyyy.part99.rar).  Am I going to get thousands of "filename/file path too long, please rename file or shorten file path" errors when I attempt this manual file copy using Win10 x64?  Should I try using a disk cloning tool like Macrium Reflect Free Edition to clone the disk instead of using a manual file copy with File Explorer to get around such issues?
  • Q2.  If I'm successful copying my disk over, I know there's a manual command to force DrivePool to notice the replacement disk and make it reindex/remeasure/re-integrated the data back into the DrivePool.  Is there a URL to this FAQ?

 


Sorry for the really long post.  


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Sorry for the really long post.  

Not a problem, at all! 

 

 

Symptoms… whenever I attempt to copy data from the Pool, ONLY files being read off the failing disk slows to a craw of around 50-80Kb… then stops and chugs… then reads another 40-80kb… stops forever while the HDD churns.  I'm assuming the drive's built-in ECC algorithms are working overtime to recover the bits and the SMART system is reallocating sectors (but the drive is nearly 100% full… maybe 60-70GB free out of 3TB.  The files I'm copying off DO eventually get read though.  And so far, the files I've copied off the Pool and spot checked seem to be error free, but it can take up to 1-2hrs to read back a single 1GB file from the damaged sectors!

 

Anyways, it's OBVIOUS this 3TB Toshiba will die any SECOND now.

 

Ouch, sorry to hear this. 

 

As for the performance, there are a number of reasons it could be doing this. But if you're seeing reallocated sectors listed in the SMART data, that means that the read heads are moving all over the place, to the "spare" sectors set aside for reallocation. If this is rather high, then it can seriously impact performance. 

 

However, you're right, the drive is likely trying to recover damaged data (as well). 

 

 

  • Q: Will the "remove drive from Pool" function timeout/error out?  As noted above, I HAVE been able to successfully copy files off this damaged HDD using plain old File Explorer… it just takes a LONG TIME.  How patient is the DrivePool evacuation function? Just as patient as File Explorer?  I know there's a "force removal of damaged disk" checkbox, but frankly I'm wary  of that option.  Nearly all this data is multi-part .RAR files without parity (music, movies, audiobooks).  If a single file from a multi-part .RaR-ed folder gets skipped b/c DrivePool decides it's taking too long to read, then I effectively lose 100% of the data in that folder even if 99% of those .Rar's are safely residing on the other 5 functioning HDD's in the Pool.

 

Yes.  By default, the removal process stops on any errors.  however, there is a "Forced damaged disk removal"  option which ignores errors and continues on removing the disk. 

 

You can also use the "duplicate data later" option, which skips duplicated data on the disk (leaving it there) and then just reduplicates that data after the disk is removed.  

 

I highly recommend both options, but i'm not sure of your pool's duplication status.  If it's entirely duplicated, then this is a no-brainer, basically.  Just remove the disk, physically remove it, and then replace it and add the new disk. 

 

 

Option #2

Physically remove the failing Toshiba 3TB drive from the server.  Place the failing drive into a 2nd PC running Windows 10 x64.  Place a new 3TB+ replacement drive the 2nd PC and then manually copy contents to the new hdd using File Explorer.  Finally, move new disk back to server and run some command to reintroduce the "new" HDD containing the old/existing files to DrivePool???

 

Definitely an option. If you're entire pool isn't duplicated, this is probably your best, honestly. 

 

All the content are in hidden "PoolPart.xxxxx" folders on each drive. So you can access the contents there. 

 

 

  • Q1. There is a total filename/file path length limit in Windows  I don't know the exact number, 127 chars?, but somehow you guys seem to get around this issue inside DrivePool.  But I've encountered this problem when coping highly nested file trees using File Explorer (which my DrivePool contains (ie.. Media\Video\HighDef\TV\ShowName\Season\xxxxx.xxxxxx.xxxxxx.xxxxxx.xxxxx\yyyyy.yyyyyy.yyyyyy.yyyyyyy.yyyyyy.part99.rar).  Am I going to get thousands of "filename/file path too long, please rename file or shorten file path" errors when I attempt this manual file copy using Win10 x64?  Should I try using a disk cloning tool like Macrium Reflect Free Edition to clone the disk instead of using a manual file copy with File Explorer to get around such issues?

 

Windows (well, Explorer) has a 260 character limitation on the path length.  And 240 for directory length. 

The way around this is using the UNC path ("\\?\VolumeName\PoolPart.xxxx\path\to\files"), and is well supported. (this is how we get around the limitation. 

 

File utilities like Total Commander should have better results with this, and not run into this limitation (IIRC). 

 

Cloning at this point may cause more issues, as it may essentially just grab corrupt data. 

 

 

  • Q2.  If I'm successful copying my disk over, I know there's a manual command to force DrivePool to notice the replacement disk and make it reindex/remeasure/re-integrated the data back into the DrivePool.  Is there a URL to this FAQ?

 

The tool you're looking for is "dpcmd", and it is installed as part of the software. 

 

As for notice the replacement disk, not really.  If it's a straight clone, it should be picked up "normally" (the software is very good about handling missing/replaced disks, as well as "new" pools). 

 

But speaking of which, the newer versions offer the ability to immediately kick a drive out of the pool.  

There are also commands to remeasure the pool, but that should happen by default, when re-adding a disk. 

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Thank you for your detailed responses.  I'll be using option #2 (move HDD to secondary pc and attempt manual file copy).  I'm in the middle of a bunch of things at the moment, but I'll be attempting a file recovery when time allows.  

 

Regarding duplication status, unfortunately I only have "critical" data being duplicated.  While it'll be heartbreaking if I lose all my media, my world won't end if all 15TB outta the 20TB goes up in flames.

 

Thanks again.

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You're very welcome.  Though, I am sorry to hear about the drive. 

 

Hopefully, you're able to recover everything from the drive. 

 

And that's one of the nice things about StableBit DrivePool. Even if a drive fails, the rest of the contents on the pool is fine, and accessible. 

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