The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Hard drive funkery II

Posted By on January 26, 2009

Okay, so I apparently forgot something really important in this post (since edited to add the information), namely that if you don't modify /etc/mdadm/mdadm.conf and update the initramfs, your machine doesn't boot.

See, that’s the problem with Unix machines. You hotplug in some hardware, leave the thing up for six months (this one has been up since the last kernel upgrade, so maybe a month or two?) and then when you reboot it, you’re not really sure it will come up, because you’re thinking “what the hell did I change since I rebooted it last??”. Luckily, modern Linux distros include a busybox shell with the initramfs, so I can manually assemble the arrays..
mdadm --assemble /dev/md0 /dev/sda1 /dev/sdb1 /dev/sdc1
mdadm --assemble /dev/md1 /dev/sda2 /dev/sdb2 /dev/sdc2
exit the busybox shell, boot, fix the aforementioned stuff, reboot. Oh, and I wouldn’t have had to reboot, except that I had to apply this firmware update.. See, my drives were:
sda/sdb:
Model Family:     Seagate Barracuda 7200.11
Device Model:     ST31000340AS
Firmware Version: SD15

sdc:
Device Model:     ST31000333AS
Firmware Version: CC1F

sdd:
Model Family:     Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 family
Device Model:     ST3500630AS
Firmware Version: 3.AAK
Now, the ST31000333AS and ST3500630AS as well as Liz’s ST31500341AS (1.5TB) were not affected, as the 1TB and 1.5TB are both new (and thus already fixed) and the 500GB is old (and thus never had the problem). So, pop those out, load firmware on the ST31000340AS, and all is good.. except the aforementioned MD problem, which is not Seagate’s fault. Ironically, I wouldn’t have even bothered with the firmware update, except for the fact that in some cases the drives can get bricked after some number of reboots. I figured that the penalty for that is so high that I’d run the risk and update the firmware. All is much happier now:
Device Model:     ST31000340AS
Firmware Version: SD1A

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