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Scanner (BETA 2968) disappeared all drives in pool


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This is W8.1 Pro, with six 4T drives in the media pool.  Two weeks ago, Scanner had finished scanning all drives and pronounced them healthy.  Last week one day I didn't have any content in my media directory and found that all the drives were missing.  Not just offline, but not even showing up in the Windows Disk Manager.  Scanner was unresponsive.

 

I rebooted the machine and all media drives re-appeared.  A couple of minutes later I started the UI to Scanner and noticed on one drive it had found a bad (512b) sector, and as of the reboot had scanned past it about 4 (tiny) blocks.  About that time I received an email from Scanner:

StableBit Scanner Unreadable Sectors Found on "PMSERVER". One or more disks are damaged and have data on them that is unreadable:
  • ST4000DM000-1F2168 ATA Device - 512 B unreadable (1 sectors)
    • Model: ST4000DM000-1F2168
    • Serial number: W300M44F
    • Case: Server Tower
    • Bay: 2-1

You are receiving this message because you have set up email notifications to be sent to this address from the StableBit Scanner.

 

But it was dated as of the reboot, not when this event occurred several days prior.  During that time, Scanner was (apparently) locked up and media drives were not available.

 

Looking at the Windows Event Viewer, there were several scanner error reports referenced, which I have attached.  Maybe they'll help make some sense of this.

 

--Bill

 

ScannerErrorRpts.zip

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First, if the drives are not accessible to Windows Disk Management, then something "really bad" is happening. 

 

Specifically, both StableBit Scanner *and* Disk Management (and diskpart) connect to the "Virtual Disk Service" for getting information about the disks in the system.

 

Are all of these disks on the same controller?

You can "sort by controller" in Scanner to check.

 

If they are, are you using the "UnsafeDirectIo" setting? if you're not sure, then the answer is most likely no.

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I don't see anything labeled UnsafeDirectio.  There is a checkbox option "Do not use Direct I/O when querying SMART".  Those were all unchecked.  I think what you're suggesting is that they should all be checked?

 

For the six media drives in the pool, all are on 5 port port multipliers.  The first group of five are on ATA Channel 0, the second port multiplier is on ATA Channel 1, but only has one drive on it.  The drive with the read error was the second on the first port multiplier.

 

I believe what is being designated as ATA Channel 0 and 1, is the ASMedia AHCI controller with just two ports, part of the 8 SATA ports on the motherboard.  Other drives in the system are on the Intel 8 series/C220 Series SATA AHCI controller, also part of the MB.  There are 6 ports on it, but none of those are used for the Media Server Drives Pool.

 

 

Another odd thing about all this, is that when I placed the 'defective' drive in another machine and did a complete read surface scan, there were no errors.  Following that, a complete long format (high level) yielded no errors.  SMART showed no reallocated sectors, and no pending reallocation sectors.  The drive also passed the smartctl long drivetest with no issues.

 

Now I'm wondering if this was really a drive error in the first place?  It could have been transient, I suppose.

 

--Bill

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Like I said, you're definitely not using it then (it's in the "Advances Settings" config file).

 

 

But when all the disks disappear like this, and even Disk Management is unresponsive, that usually indicates an issue with the Virtual Disk service. If this happens again, then definitely let us know. Also, if this is frequent, uninstall Scanner or at least disable the Scanner service and see if the issue goes away. If it does, then definitely let us know.

 

 

 

Though, I would definitely recommend checking the SYSTEM event viewer logs for errors or warnings to see if there is something there that may indicate an issue.

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Bad sectors will get remapped automatically by the drive without your intervention. I've experienced this first hand just a few weeks ago.

 

Here was my experience:

  • A Western Digital Green drive developed a single bad sector.
  • The SMART data confirmed the bad sector that the surface scan has detected.
  • I was notified promptly and began a file scan.
  • The file scan revealed that no files were affected by the damage.
  • At that point I left the system alone for a few hours and then decided to re-check the bad sector to see whether it was still bad.
  • The sector turned green and the SMART data no longer reflected the bad sector.

Whenever something tries to write to a bad sector, the drive will automatically swap in a new known good sector from the spare sector pool and take the bad sector out of service. This is done silently and automatically. This might have been what happened in your case.

 

Normally, the Scanner will re-scan bad sectors automatically and flag them as good after some number of day (depending on your settings).

 

Was it a false positive?

 

One common cause of false positives is when you abruptly disconnect a drive while it is being scanned. This will cause the Scanner to flag the currently scanning sectors as bad (since they're unreadable), right before getting notified that the drive was unplugged. The Scanner will at this point flag those "bad" sectors as "unchecked".

 

As far as your error reports:

  • There is an issue trying to add a firewall rule for remote control. This looks like a COM issue in Windows. If you don't use Remote Control you can ignore this, or even turn that feature off in Scanner Settings.
  • A drive seems to have been abruptly disconnected while it was being queried for its power status, before we query it for SMART data.
  • At least on one occasion, the system drive did not report the controller that it was on. This is the strangest of the bunch.

If these errors continue and impede functionality then open up a contact request @ http://stablebit.com/Contact , mention this post to get the case forwarded to me and we can do remote support.

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The normal DirectIO settings are fine as is. You should not need to change this setting.

 

And the "UnsafeDirectIo" setting is different from the "Do not use DirectIO when querying SMART" setting. It' a list of methods that can cause issues with your controller if used. And it's off by default. Hence "unsafe". Normally, it should not be enabled, unless you know what you are doing, or support directs you to do so.

 

The "Do not use DirectIO when querying SMART" setting is something else from this entirely. There are a couple of methods we used to query SMART information, and this gives you some control over that.

 

 

But please do check out Alex's response above.

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Bad sectors will get remapped automatically by the drive without your intervention. I've experienced this first hand just a few weeks ago.

 

Here was my experience:

  • A Western Digital Green drive developed a single bad sector.
  • The SMART data confirmed the bad sector that the surface scan has detected.
  • I was notified promptly and began a file scan.
  • The file scan revealed that no files were affected by the damage.
  • At that point I left the system alone for a few hours and then decided to re-check the bad sector to see whether it was still bad.
  • The sector turned green and the SMART data no longer reflected the bad sector.
Whenever something tries to write to a bad sector, the drive will automatically swap in a new known good sector from the spare sector pool and take the bad sector out of service. This is done silently and automatically. This might have been what happened in your case.

 

But if it had, there would be corresponding entries in the SMART table. Specifically Reallocated_Sector_Ct, and if a reallocation is pending Current_Pending_Sector. Both of these remained at zero.

 

Normally, the Scanner will re-scan bad sectors automatically and flag them as good after some number of day (depending on your settings).

 

Was it a false positive?

 

One common cause of false positives is when you abruptly disconnect a drive while it is being scanned. This will cause the Scanner to flag the currently scanning sectors as bad (since they're unreadable), right before getting notified that the drive was unplugged. The Scanner will at this point flag those "bad" sectors as "unchecked".

 

As far as your error reports:

  • There is an issue trying to add a firewall rule for remote control. This looks like a COM issue in Windows. If you don't use Remote Control you can ignore this, or even turn that feature off in Scanner Settings.
  • A drive seems to have been abruptly disconnected while it was being queried for its power status, before we query it for SMART data.
  • At least on one occasion, the system drive did not report the controller that it was on. This is the strangest of the bunch.

 

On point #2, that easily could have happened early on in the logfile, but in the current and current-1 week, the machine was completely static, sealed up and unbothered. So it wouldn't have been likely unless there is a cabling problem of some sort.

 

If these errors continue and impede functionality then open up a contact request @ http://stablebit.com/Contact , mention this post to get the case forwarded to me and we can do remote support.

Will do, thanks Alex.

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