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Corrupt Data, Missing Files, now Missing Drives


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Hi,

 

I'm having some trouble with my current DrivePool, here is my configuration:

 

System: Core 2 Duo E8400 3Ghz, 8Gb memory, P4C800-Deluxe motherboard with the latest BIOS, Corsair HX520 PSU.

 

Drives: 

2x Hitachi 2Tb 

2x Western Digital Red 3Tb

2x Western Digital Green 2Tb

1x Seagate 500G (System drive, not pooled)

 

The 2 Hitachi's and 2 Reds are plugged in to a Promise SATA300 TX4 card, the other 3 are plugged into the motherboard.

 

OS: Windows 8 Pro 64-bit

 

Initially everything installed ok and files were copying fine.  I have mainly media files as well as documents and pictures stored here.  I also run CrashPlan, so everything except my movies are also backed up to their cloud. I back 3 other systems up to a folder in the pool using CrashPlan (with duplication - wondering if this causes any problems?), and 1 other using Windows Backup.  Duplication is turned on for most folders, including these.

 

The first symptom I saw was StableBit Scanner noticed some S.M.A.R.T. errors on one of my Green drives.  I set it up so that if errors were seen that it would not store unduplicated data.  When looking at this drive, all contents were marked as Other.  I removed this drive from the pool seemingly without issue.

 

Next, I began having issues with permissions on one of the 3Tb Red drives, where it would be completely inaccessible (double clicking a drive would return "No access to device - you do not have permission").  I found that if I took ownership and ensured that the SYSTEM, System Administrators and my own login ID had Full Control I could regain access to the drive.  Once that was done, I noticed again that the contents of the disk was now marked as Other.  I tried to remove this drive but it would not remove.  I rebooted the machine a couple times to see if that would help, and the situation worsened...badly.  At this point only 1 of the Red drives shows up, it's labelled Local Disk and is asking me to format it when I try to open it (which I did not do, obviously).

 

I shut down the server again, removed both 3Tb drives, and plugged them into my Windows 7 desktop.  Same thing.  1 won't show up, the other displays an uninitialized file system.  I shutdown again and plugged them in one by one to see which one was which, identified the one with the uninitialized filesystem, and then when I plugged in the other a large stream of "deleting orphaned file part ####" streamed by followed by what looked like some repair, including a bunch of my pictures.  When it finally got to Windows, the drive shows up and reports that only 18G are in use (after looking for what that 18G consisted of, I could only manage to find 18MB of some CrashPlan backups and some empty folders under PoolPart.  I am currently executing a CHKDSK on this drive with both Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors checked.

 

Would someone be able to help me figure out what happened?  Which component of my setup failed?  Both 3Tb drives "seem" fine, neither reported any errors (I have StableBit Scanner installed/licensed as well) but both now have no data on them at all (for now, I'll see if CHKDSK can find anything and return it).  Was it something DrivePool did?  Is the Promise card at fault?  Is Windows 8 to blame?  It doesn't seem the drives are bad, they're both quite new (one of them only a couple weeks old, the other I had running in the same server under WHS 2011 for about 6 months).  I'm really stumped as to what could cause such a catastrophic failure.  

 

I'm thankful I didn't put anything crucial on this pool without a cloud backup of it (the software is marked Beta after all), but had I not I would have incurred some significant data loss.

 

Thanks.

 

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huadiph,

I'm not exactly sure what's going on here, or why you're having so many issues with the drives. Have you had any unexpected reboots or power failures? And your computer is connected to a surge protector (at least, preferably, a UPS/battery backup that uses "true sinewave", aka supports Active PFC PSUs)?

 

In regards to the permissions issues, I've experienced similar when I've had damage to the drive (due to repeated BSODs). running a full disk check (the repair bad sectors option, or chkdsk /r x:, or ideally chkdsk x: /r /scan on Windows 8) and see if that helps.

 

And one of the drives didn't show up? At all? Did you check device manager? If it didn't show there, then there is something definitely wrong. That, along with all the other issues you've mentioned, I'd be inclined to suspect that you may have some bad wiring here. Either with whatever the computer is plugged into, or with your power supply.

And while it may be possible that your Promise card may be at fault, I've seen this before with a bad power supply (did the same, or at least very similar and killed 2 drives, and severely damaged 3 others). Which is why I am suspecting that as the issue.

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Hi

I had the same problem once 3 drives started dropping out and gaining about 30 bad sectors each time they did after many hours of searching it turned out 1 of the wires in the molex connector had come lose and as such was shorting out the the drives that were connected to it so as Drashna's says check the psu and all the connectors if any drives have become damaged rma them and they will get replaced that's what I did

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Thank you both for your replies.  I had in the back of my mind that this could be a power issue, but was curious if anyone had similar issues with any of my software/hardware combinations as well.  I will replace the PSU and see if that helps (though I may not be able to do this until later this week...but I will try), I did check all the connections and wires but everything seems solid.  I suspect the whole PSU as well because I booted the server without the 2 Red drives and started seeing permissions and "enumeration" errors on other drives that were fine before.  I will connect them all to my i7 machine and ensure whatever data I have left is safe, then go through testing each one for bad sectors.

 

To answer your questions specifically drashna, I did have 1 unexpected shutdown (mea culpa on that though, wasn't a power failure) and the machine is plugged in to a surge protector, though not a battery one (it's on my list of needs now).  Drives were acting normal before but according to my Crashplan backups there are significant amounts of files missing (not to worry, I still have my old WHS 2011 backup available in the cloud) so it seems likely the drives were having problems prior to that.  The one drive that didn't initially show up (not as a drive letter and not in Disk Management) is the one that when plugged into my i7 machine by itself, had the stream of orphaned file part deletions, leaving basically nothing on the disk.  CHKDSK ran all night but wasn't able to recover any files.  I am going to try having both Reds attached at the same time now to make sure they both show up, then I will format them both and run checks again.

 

I will follow up when I have more information to share.

Thanks again.

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A UPS is such an important accessory for your server. It's a must have. You pay for insurance on your car/home/etc, right? Then why wouldn't you want to protect your hardware in a similar manner! Just saying.  Also, when shopping for a UPS/battery backup, make sure it's compatible with Active PFC power supplies. It's all but guaranteed that your power supply will be. And if the UPS isn't compatible (aka uses "true sinewave"), when it switches to battery, it could short out the UPS, blow the power supply or damage your hardware. Just a heads up. I've dug up a lot of that info recently because my UPS is getting old, and I really do need something with a higher VA rating.

 

As for chkdsk, it usually wont recover files. It will fix issues with the file system and *may* recover files. But you'd have better luck with a data recovery program.

 

 

And the less you use that current power supply, the better. 

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Solid advice, thanks :)

 

Yes I have pulled out the bad PSU, it will not power anything again.  I have ordered a new Corsair 760i PSU and a Cyberpower CP850PFCLCD UPS which was a decent price and works with Active PFC PSU's using what they call "pure sine wave".  It has good reviews and seemed like a good choice.

 

I will be doing the data work on the disks using my i7 machine, then rebuilding the server once the parts come in.  So far the 2 Red drives are still being scanned using Scanner and everything seems ok so far (well, not data-wise but that's ok - just looking for damage).

 

Thanks again!

Mark

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I saw the "PFC" in the model number, and was glad. :) 

All the cyberpower UPS's that support "pure/true sine wave" have "PFC" in the model number. APC makes it a lot harder to tell! :(

 

And glad to help. Sorry that you had some hardware issues. Hopefully everything works great after getting the PSU. On the plus side, that's a great modular, 80+ platinum PSU! 

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Well, it wasn't the PSU.  Seems like it's the Promise card.

 

New PSU, same issues.  I'm glad I upgraded my power though, you are right that it's the most important thing, so doing it now while everything is being set up is a good thing IMO.  But it seems now I have another component I need to replace.  That said I was running all the drives using IDE...I'm going to replace my boot drive and switch the BIOS to AHCI (current boot drive is incompatible, computer hangs at POST with AHCI enabled and the drive plugged in) to see if that does anything, but it's a long-shot I know.

 

My regular retailer seems to have the Syba SATA III cards that support JBOD...everything else seems to be RAID only and extremely expensive.  Same goes for Newegg.ca (I'm in Canada).  Are Syba cards any good?  They're about $50 for a 4 port card, which after spending $350 on new power makes my wallet happy, and the reviews seem ok, anybody have any experience with them?

Thanks,

Mark

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Ouch. Sorry to hear that.

As for the drive mode, AHCI is much better... and it is possible to switch, but it's not exactly simple:
http://www.ehow.com/how_7508713_switch-mode-ahci-mode-windows.html

 

As for the Syba cards, they're pretty decent. 

I'd recommend this card though:

http://community.covecube.com/index.php?/topic/35-syba-sd-pex40035-pci-express-20-sata-iii-60gbs-controller-card/

I actually picked up one of these from Fry's Electronics a while back, and work pretty well. The only issue I had with it was that it was preventing the system from sleeping...

 

Otherwise, yeah, the cards get a lot more expensive very fast. If you want a cheap higher end card, the HighPoint RocketRAID 2720 is a decent card. You just need to get breakout cables as well as the card (supports 8 SATA drives though)

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Ok, I removed one drive from the pool due to it reporting SMART errors, and I'm running the rest off of the motherboard for now...it's only SATA II but that's ok.  

 

I also removed my old boot drive and re-installed Windows 8 fresh on a 1.5 Tb drive that supports AHCI, partitioning it so I can add just over 1Tb to my pool as well.  Things are stable, and I'm running a restore of some files from the cloud backup now.

 

I can't find that specific card at my retailer - the one I was looking at is the PEX-40062 which is on sale for $40.  It has 4 ports instead of 2 (I do have 4 SATA III drives) as well.  I understand the one you linked has been tested for DrivePool, any reason that's the only one vs the one I'm looking at?  If I can find those somewhere for a good price I could do 2 of them as I have 2 x1 slots available on my motherboard, but I also have an x4 slot which would accommodate the 40062.

 

Anyways it's no longer urgent, I'm stable as-is, I'll put it on the upgrade list.  

 

Thank you very much for all your help and recommendations!

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That PEX-40062 should be good.  It uses a similar chipset, namely one by Marvell, and those seem to work very well.

You should be fine with either card, though.

 

Though the 40062 is a 2x card, so it does require a 4x or higher slot to use. So it may be more "efficient" to use 2x 40035 cards, as they are 1x cards. That way, if you get a bigger card in the computer eventually, you have the "higher" slots available still.  But this is really up to personal preference.

 

 

And glad to help!

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Ok I am finally completely stable.  I opted to just use the existing SATA II ports on my motherboard (there are 6) instead of getting another SATA III card.  It's stable and that's all I want for now.  I am still in the process of reconciling all my files and ensure they're properly distributed and duplicated on my drives...once that's done I'll consider adding a SATA III card for speed.  

 

I did have some issues with Windows 8 Pro as a server that may be of interest to others having problems - it's imperative you uncheck the "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" option within the ethernet adapter configuration.  That caused me a few days of grief at least.  With that off, everything has been great!

 

Thanks again!

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It was very weird...if I disconnected my RDP, I'd never get it back.  The strange thing is the password prompt would come up and accept my password, then I'd either get nothing or a black screen.  Drive shares were inaccessible.  This would also occur even if I kept my RDP session up.  It was very frustrating and I only found a small reference to the fix somewhere online.  Hopefully this thread will help others having the same issue.

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