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Precision 380 hard drive failures

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Precision 380 hard drive failures

  • My Precision 380 workstatation is 10 months old.  The system is configured with Seagate 120 GB Barracuda SATA disk drives configured as a RAID 1 set (Intel Matrix Manager hardware RAID).  The first SATA drive failed when the system was one month old.  The failed drive was replaced and rebuilding the RAID 1 set went smoothly.  This week the second original SATA drive failed.  Dell diagnostics identified one bad block on this drive.  I obtained another Seagate 120 GB Barracuda SATA drive and attempted to rebuild the RAID 1 set.  I was unsuccesful as the supposedly good member of the RAID 1 set indicated a problem.  Dell diagnostics indicated seven bad blocks on this drive.
    I can certainly understand a disk drive failing, but three Seagate drives failing in 10 months on this system is beyond belief.  The Seagate drives were purchased new from another vendor and the RAID implementation was performed by me.  That means Dell assumes limited responsibility for the problem.  (The computer and peripherals are protected by a battery-backed up UPS, just to cover that concern.)
    I wonder if the disk drive controller could somehow be damaging the SATA drives.  With a difficult system rebuild ahead of me, I hate to think that the problem will occur again.
    I welcome any thoughts or suggestions.  Thanks.
    (Cross-posted on the Precision RAID forum)
  • Bad blocks are natural - every hard drive has them. I doubt the controller is causing them. In fact the controller may have a way to map the bad blocks out - this discussion could get really involved. Check your RAID controller to see if it has a utility that can take care of the bad blocks.
  • You may want to install drive temperature software. The cage on Dell’s system do no have a cooling fan for the drives, and depending on your use, you could be reaching thermal thresholds defined by the manufacturer. I have SCSI and jury-rigged an 80mm fan in front of the drive’s cage. The temperature before the fan was around 55-58C, mfg. top acceptable temperature is 65C, but at extreme risk of loosing data, or corrupted drives.

    After the fan was installed the temperature is around 34-38C. Bad blocks are also triggered when a cable is defective or not properly seated. These drives, if the have a bad block can be low-level reformatted. Seagate’s website has software for low-level format as well as Windows

    Message Edited by Chipstone on 08-10-200611:49 PM