RAID Woes - Is My Disk Failing?

Having a bit of a conundrum with a new machine I just inherited (the machine that replaced the last dedi that I had issues with and made a thread about). This has occurred twice, so it’s only a matter of time before it occurs again unless I can find a fix or conclude that I have a bad disk…

About a week ago, my server went unresponsive. When logging into IPMI, I found a ton of read/write errors indicating issues with the raid array. Here’s what I saw in remote console:

After rebooting the machine and checking cat /proc/mdstat, I saw that the “md1” RAID 10 array was resyncing. I don’t have the output saved of that nor the mdadm -D /dev/md1 output, here is the output currently after everything was fixed. The output at the time did not say that there was a “failed device”, it merely said there was only three devices in the array and the first slot said “removed” instead of “/dev/sda2”.

           Version : 1.2
     Creation Time : Fri Aug 30 03:10:31 2019
        Raid Level : raid10
        Array Size : 466493440 (444.88 GiB 477.69 GB)
     Used Dev Size : 233246720 (222.44 GiB 238.84 GB)
      Raid Devices : 4
     Total Devices : 4
       Persistence : Superblock is persistent

     Intent Bitmap : Internal

       Update Time : Fri Sep 13 23:55:50 2019
             State : active
    Active Devices : 4
   Working Devices : 4
    Failed Devices : 0
     Spare Devices : 0

            Layout : near=2
        Chunk Size : 512K

Consistency Policy : bitmap

              Name : ubuntu-server:1
              UUID : efc4aafe:326e25dd:2b9da3de:7b245123
            Events : 19955

    Number   Major   Minor   RaidDevice State
       4       8        2        0      active sync set-A   /dev/sda2
       1       8       51        1      active sync set-B   /dev/sdd3
       2       8       18        2      active sync set-A   /dev/sdb2
       3       8       34        3      active sync set-B   /dev/sdc2

Then, I checked SMART info for the drive to see if it was dying and to run a “long” offline SMART test to discover any errors. Below is smartctl -a /dev/sda output:

smartctl 6.6 2016-05-31 r4324 [x86_64-linux-4.15.0-62-generic] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-16, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke,

Model Family:     Crucial/Micron RealSSD C300/M500
Device Model:     Crucial_CT240M500SSD1
Serial Number:    13290945F7B3
LU WWN Device Id: 5 00a075 10945f7b3
Firmware Version: MU02
User Capacity:    240,057,409,536 bytes [240 GB]
Sector Sizes:     512 bytes logical, 4096 bytes physical
Rotation Rate:    Solid State Device
Form Factor:      2.5 inches
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   ACS-2, ATA8-ACS T13/1699-D revision 6
SATA Version is:  SATA 3.1, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 6.0 Gb/s)
Local Time is:    Fri Sep 13 23:58:06 2019 UTC
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status:  (0x85) Offline data collection activity
                                        was aborted by an interrupting command from host.
                                        Auto Offline Data Collection: Enabled.
Self-test execution status:      (   0) The previous self-test routine completed
                                        without error or no self-test has ever
                                        been run.
Total time to complete Offline
data collection:                ( 1115) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities:                    (0x7b) SMART execute Offline immediate.
                                        Auto Offline data collection on/off support.
                                        Suspend Offline collection upon new
                                        Offline surface scan supported.
                                        Self-test supported.
                                        Conveyance Self-test supported.
                                        Selective Self-test supported.
SMART capabilities:            (0x0003) Saves SMART data before entering
                                        power-saving mode.
                                        Supports SMART auto save timer.
Error logging capability:        (0x01) Error logging supported.
                                        General Purpose Logging supported.
Short self-test routine
recommended polling time:        (   2) minutes.
Extended self-test routine
recommended polling time:        (  18) minutes.
Conveyance self-test routine
recommended polling time:        (   3) minutes.
SCT capabilities:              (0x0035) SCT Status supported.
                                        SCT Feature Control supported.
                                        SCT Data Table supported.

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       408
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       32768 (0 3)
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       44978
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       41
170 Grown_Failing_Block_Ct  0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       30
171 Program_Fail_Count      0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0
172 Erase_Fail_Count        0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0
173 Wear_Leveling_Count     0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       6
174 Unexpect_Power_Loss_Ct  0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       32
181 Non4k_Aligned_Access    0x0022   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       29981 7532 22449
183 SATA_Iface_Downshift    0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0
184 End-to-End_Error        0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0
187 Reported_Uncorrect      0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0
188 Command_Timeout         0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       35
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   055   037   ---    Old_age   Always       -       45 (0 63 255 151 0)
195 Hardware_ECC_Recovered  0x003a   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       4294967295
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       30
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0030   100   100   ---    Old_age   Offline      -       0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0
202 Percent_Lifetime_Used   0x0031   100   100   ---    Pre-fail  Offline      -       0
206 Write_Error_Rate        0x000e   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0

SMART Error Log Version: 1
No Errors Logged

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num  Test_Description    Status                  Remaining  LifeTime(hours)  LBA_of_first_error
# 1  Extended offline    Completed without error       00%     44973         -
# 2  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     44972         -
# 3  Extended offline    Completed without error       00%     44805         -
# 4  Short offline       Completed without error       00%     44653         -
# 5  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     44627         -
# 6  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     44626         -
# 7  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     44625         -
# 8  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     44587         -
# 9  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     44576         -
#10  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     44573         -
#11  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     37362         -
#12  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     27101         -
#13  Extended offline    Completed without error       00%     27041         -
#14  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     27033         -
#15  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     27027         -
#16  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     27026         -
#17  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     27024         -
#18  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     19564         -
#19  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     19548         -
#20  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     19412         -
#21  Vendor (0xff)       Completed without error       00%     19397         -

SMART Selective self-test log data structure revision number 1
    1        0        0  Not_testing
    2        0        0  Not_testing
    3        0        0  Not_testing
    4        0        0  Not_testing
    5        0        0  Not_testing
Selective self-test flags (0x0):
  After scanning selected spans, do NOT read-scan remainder of disk.
If Selective self-test is pending on power-up, resume after 0 minute delay.

The drive had passed the SMART test without any errors. Not knowing what to make of this, I added the partition back into the RAID 10 array via mdadm --manage /dev/md1 -a /dev/sda2. That went well and the RAID array resynced. The cat /proc/mdstat output matched the output shown previously.

After that I rebooted into emergency mode, ran fsck /dev/md1 -y to fix all the errors (there were quite a few) and rebooted. After that all was well… or so I thought until the same exact problem occurred again overnight last night. I can’t tell based on the above is the drive was at fault, the RAID array is mis-configured (it was installed by the provider, not myself), or something else is going on.

Any help provided would be greatly appreciated! I’m a RAID noob, so be gentle if it’s something obvious that I’m missing :slight_smile:


I should also note, I’ve never had an issue with the md0 partition (a small RAID1 array for /boot) of which the /dev/sda1 partition is a member of.

I could be totally reading the wrong thing (on mobile) but looks like that drive is pretty old based . 44978 hours worth of usage at the least?

Yep, over 5 years of power on time, definitely old.

Software RAID 1 on a 5 year old SSD.

Is that a no-no?

They’re Crucial M500’s FWIW

I think we both know the answer to your problem, it is the hardest one to swallow but it is time to partway and move on to something newer. She is too old for you.


RIP. Probably time to see what the provider recommends. Hopefully I don’t get moved to a different machine again and possibly score some fresh drives.

I guess what I’m most confused about is that the mdadm -D /dev/md1 output didn’t said a device had failed, but simply said only three devices were in the array. Like the /dev/sda2 device had mysteriously vanished somehow.

iirc the mx500 had some firmware issues. Try updating the firmware first and see how that goes.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but the disk was probably kicked from the RAID array because it was too slow to respond to the (software) controller requests. So it might have a lot of read / write errors or otherwise poor performance (too many reads / writes resulting into aged flask memory) that’ll get it kicked from the array. If it won’t kick the disk, the whole array would become unresponsive, but that you already experienced before. A drive can pass a SMART check just fine but still get kicked from an array.

I’m not sure how your particular software RAID controller works, but it might only kick disks on boot (controller initialization) after it found out it performed poorly lately. I don’t have much experience with software RAID controllers.

TL;DR It’s likely just /dev/sda2 that’s gone belly up. Have it replaced, rebuild the array and you should be good to go.

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Yeah, I agree. That seems most likely. Time to ticket and see what happens.

From what I can find, the firmware updates are Windows-only.

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Check to see how it does them; I’m sure there are a few ‘drop to DOS’ sort of deals you can possibly still do.

Umm it’s your leased hardware and your already paying mark ups. May as well make them replace the darn thing as it’s obvious that it’s not operating like it should.

Any data centers that worth the prices that dedicated servers usually goes for will just yank the component out. Then RMA, fix and/or throw the “brick away”. At some premium data centers they will even put you on a brand new server equal or better spec’ed and “fix” the “defective” unit and re provision it. To save their customers’ the hassles.

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We’re back in business!

Drive was replaced this morning with a fatter, shinier drive – Samsung SSD 860 EVO 500GB with ~1 year power on time and no reallocated sectors. Partitioning and RAID resync all went well. Should be smooth sailing until the next drive starts showing signs of borking. But, at least, when that happens I’ll know what to do. With the bigger drive (500GB instead of 250GB), I’ll be able to set up a little volatile partition as well with the unused space, which is kind of nice.

To be honest, this was pretty much my very first experience diagnosing and fixing anything involving RAID. I’m still a noob, but I’m happy my first experience with an array failure ended with a good result (drive replaced; array patched; no file corruption). Thanks to everyone for their input and help with this :slight_smile:


To be honest, this was pretty much my very first experience diagnosing and fixing anything involving RAID

I’m also trying to build up some experience with such stuff. Currently somewhat afraid of touching raid or anything related to disk. :slight_smile:

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Setup your box with QEMU. Create multiple virtual drives. Learn to install on software emulated hardware. Until you run into actual physical issues like above, it’ll prep you for handling the day-to-day feeding.


Thank you! :* Will do.

Other than setting up my RAID1 with a primary ext2 partition I set aside for the bootloader to eat on both drives, the rest was mostly straightforward.

I’ve ignored it, and the 12+ year old hardware for like a year other than care and maintenance.

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3 flipping days? Renting from someone who renting this out in their basements? Even budget data centers have 12 hours hardware SLAs.