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  1. #1
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    Question Problem with hard drive on my server

    My server is going down every 2-3 hours, Apache down, etc.

    I ran smartctl and everything seems fine. Datacenter says it is the hard drive having problems and needs to be replaced. Is there anything I can do to fix this without replacing the hard drive?

    I can access all the data fine on the hard drive.

  2. #2
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    If the datacenter says the harddisks are the problem, then I suggest taking the necessary backups and let them replace the disk
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  3. #3
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    Its best if you do what your data center prefers to do. Change the HDD and see what happens if the problem continues then talk to the provider. I can't think of anything else that could cause the problem. Have you installed any new applications lately?

  4. #4
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    I have not installed anything lately, the server has been fine for a few months and then suddenly started having problems. I am reluctant to swap the hard drive due to the files still being accessible and smartctl reporting no errors

  5. #5
    Is your datacenter going to charge you to replace the drive? If not then perform a backup and let them replace the drive. Its better to be safe now then be sorry later.
    Last edited by 2hourservers; 02-17-2011 at 08:32 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by chasebug View Post
    I have not installed anything lately, the server has been fine for a few months and then suddenly started having problems. I am reluctant to swap the hard drive due to the files still being accessible and smartctl reporting no errors
    Consider yourself lucky that the drive is still working at all, and that your files are still accessible. If the drive is having problems, you're lucky to be able to have the opportunity to copy the files to a new drive before it dies outright. Do you have raid or backups of your files? If not, there is absolutely no reason to hesitate in copying the files to another drive and stop using the questionable hard drive.
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  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ServerBoost View Post
    If the datacenter says the harddisks are the problem, then I suggest taking the necessary backups and let them replace the disk
    The datacenter based that assessment on a hdparm test they did when the server was under heavy load. I did the same test while the server just booted up and the hdparm results were fine.

    I want some confirmation that it is the hard drive problem before swapping it since I've spent over $300 on server configurations.

    The hard drive data are fine, I've ran disk check and smartctl and nothing is wrong with it. What are some other tests I can do to confirm that it is not the hard drive?

    Hard drive replacement is free but I don't want to lsoe my $300 worth of configurations over a wrong assumption.

    I am suspecting bad motherboard, memory, or powr supply.

  9. #9
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    You realize that a hard drive can die at any time without any warning, right? So you should be prepared for such an event by having COMPLETE and tested backups. Then if you want to change the drive proactively or have to change it because it died, it's just a matter of restoring the backup. There is no need to reconfigure the system from scratch.
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  10. #10
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    Did you notice any drive error being spewed in /var/log/messages and in the server boot log(dmesg)?

    Quote Originally Posted by chasebug View Post
    The datacenter based that assessment on a hdparm test they did when the server was under heavy load. I did the same test while the server just booted up and the hdparm results were fine.

    I want some confirmation that it is the hard drive problem before swapping it since I've spent over $300 on server configurations.

    The hard drive data are fine, I've ran disk check and smartctl and nothing is wrong with it. What are some other tests I can do to confirm that it is not the hard drive?

    Hard drive replacement is free but I don't want to lsoe my $300 worth of configurations over a wrong assumption.

    I am suspecting bad motherboard, memory, or powr supply.
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  11. #11
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    There is nothing in /var/log/messages and dmesg.

    I've made some configuration changes and I thought it was good with 10 hours uptime but now it just went down again.

    Going to my site at /home/domain only brings up a blank white page. The entire /home/domain folder is missing.

  12. #12
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    Another odd behavior of this server is after a server reboot, the root password doesn't work. I have to reboot the server a 2nd time for it to accept the root password.

    Right now I am 80% certain this hard drive is bad. I have so much data to move.

  13. #13
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    Are you on a RAID system with redundency (e.g. RAID-1, RAID-10)? Replacing one hard drive hopefully won't affect your data as it will get resynced when the server is again booted up.

    If you're not on RAID, you really should be
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  14. #14
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    No it is not on RAID.

  15. #15
    yeah i would recommend raid on anything of production importance

  16. #16
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    Ask the DC to simply image the current drive onto a new drive - that will save all your files and configuration and I would guess the DC has a machine dedicated to copying drives.

    The downside - this could take several hours, although you replacing the drive with a brand new one and restoring data/services/configurations could take that long anyway.
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  17. #17
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    The error message now is
    Code:
    Bus error
    Any command I issue in SSH gives that error:
    df -h
    ls
    free -m
    top
    etc.

  18. #18
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    Production server should have RAID and 2 hard drives

    If that is a Production server, it should have a RAID controller and two (2) hard drives. Hard drives fail, frequently, and may not give advance notice that they are failing.

    If you had a RAID controller and two (2) hard drives in that box, this would be a NON_EVENT.

    Spend a little more money and get a server with a RAID controller and 2 HDs, or have those installed in the box you have now. GL

  19. #19
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    It is a production server, I am renting over 30 servers, this would kill my profits if I added hardware RAID to every server.

  20. #20
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    That really is strange error for the drives. You can try asking the dc need to replace the motherboard for you and hopefully that would fix it.

    Quote Originally Posted by chasebug View Post
    The error message now is
    Code:
    Bus error
    Any command I issue in SSH gives that error:
    df -h
    ls
    free -m
    top
    etc.
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  21. #21
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    Definately consider Raid when re-issuing this server during the fix. You got lucky that you had warning, and the drive didn't just die. But, since it's looks to be spiraling toward immanent failure, the act of copying every file off of it can sometimes push them over the edge.
    Hopefully you keep good backups since there is no Raid.
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  22. #22
    I don't really understand why the troubleshooting continues. The drive is obviously on it's last legs. If you can copy the data off of it, great, if not, sucks.

    If you don't want raid, maybe regular backups? If all of the servers are for internal use, and there's free space on the drives, you could back up server A to server B and server B to server A. At least then you'll have your data if one of the drives fails.
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  23. #23
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    Because I am trying to figure out is it the hard drive or memory or other components having problems.

  24. #24
    by the time you figure it out, the drive will be dead and you will have lost all of the data.

    drives are the most common thing to have fail. files and folders disappearing would not be caused by anything else.

    general crashes are most often caused by bad motherboards, followed by bad ram, but if the drive seems to be having issues, it can cause this as well.

    hope this helps, and good luck.
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  25. #25
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    No RAID - I hope you are not selling web hosting

    Quote Originally Posted by chasebug View Post
    It is a production server, I am renting over 30 servers, this would kill my profits if I added hardware RAID to every server.
    I hope you are not providing web hosting services, or, other services, to innocent customers!

    Consider raising your rates, to cover the cost of having RAID in your Production servers.

    If the servers are proprietary, to your own company, and they do not have data of 3rd parties on them, and you want to continue without RAID, that's only risking your own stuff. But, if you are risking the data of innocent 3rd parties.... You will lose customers, when you lose their stuff.

  26. #26
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    Got a question, I just got a new server for $99 and wanted to add hardware RAID but provider tells me they only have software RAID available, should I scrape this server and look for a provider that has hardware RAID or try the software RAID?

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