This Time Self-Hosted
dark mode light mode Search

I’d like some luck with those drives

So it seems like one of my HDDs is actually faulty. The SMART long test frozen my box down solid, not even the cursor blinked anymore.

I now have to test SDA too, right now I only tested SDB (SDA had a run of badblocks going just fine), to make sure it’s not simply a generic SMART problem. If I can pin down the problem to a single hard disk, I can probably just buy a new Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 at €70; if I can’t pin it down safely, I’ll have to buy a new pair, and that would cost me up to €236 – for a pair of 500GB disks that would be a nice investment as in the future I’d like to buy a KVM-capable box and then run quite a few virtual machines (hopefully KVM’s I/O performance is better than qemu’s last time I tried; beside, I should try to use an LVM device as virtual disk, rather than an actual file, should be better).

I’ve now resumed the test, and it still gives me timeout error on ata2 (the SATA controller), I hope sda is clear.

The definitive answer should be given out by the “SeaTools” software provided by Seagate itself, but… although it is nice that they use FreeDOS to make use of it, it seems like my Promise SATA controller (an on-board TX2plus) is not supported, it cannot find any disk to analyse 🙁

Seagate if you’re listening, you might want to put some effort into FreeDOS development so that controllers like Promise’s TX2plus (that is quite common as an on-board controller, and probably use the same interface of other Promise controllers, or at least one near enough to share the same Linux driver between TX2plus and TX4.

Anyway, it’s not like I can do much more for tonight beside waiting for SMART reports, for now my Gentoo development is suspended, I updated my .away status, for now I’ll handle packages through proxy until i can get a replacement disk. Donations to support the maintenance costs are welcome.

At least now I know I wasn’t too paranoid when I decided to always keep Enterprise’s disks in pair.

Comments 4
  1. AFAIK the long test will completely take over the drive and prevent it from being read/written to for the duration. This could cause the lock while it is running. Try running with a LiveCD if you really want to run a SMART test, but from the sounds of it your drive(s) are done.The 7200.10 series are nice. I have a pair of 320GB Barracuda ES, which is the ‘nearline’ version, and they run in a pretty hot environment. Very fast in RAID-1!

  2. I feel your pain. I’ve been getting “not reproduceable” gcc segfaults when compiling large ebuilds, so I have to start on the track-down-the-faulty-hardware journey soon too…

  3. Well, if Freedos doesn’t work for you, you can try some other DOS as a short-term solution.Check the stuff on “” and download some M$ stuff and tweak it to your needs.BTW, I’m no expert, but just don’t see how it could be DOS fault. DOS just uses BIOS for disk access.It just might be that you have to update BIOS on your card. I had quite some problem with Promise TX2 ( 2x PATA) cards and it was all due to crappy BIOS…

  4. I can’t try “other DOS” or “MS stuff” because I don’t have a license, and I don’t intend breaking that.And yes, by default it uses the BIOS to access the drives, *but* there are drivers for other non-BIOS-detected controllers, there always have been, and this is one of the cases where Seagate should have put more of them available.And the BIOS of the Promise controller is already up to the last version, I’m quite good at maintaining all the firmware of my devices up-to-date 😉

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.