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Need Help: Sudden disk detection issue once Western Digital Red disks

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#1 slaWter



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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:31 PM


For over two years I'm running a server with the following configuration with great reliability:

Intel Core i3 530 1.2GHz
4GB DDR3 1333MHz
Intel X25-V G2 40GB (System Drive)
Adaptec RAID Controller 5405, with latest firmware, drivers and management software
Chenbro CK12804 SAS Expander
Norco RPC 4220 case with mini-SAS-to-SATA backplanes
Windows Server 2008 R2

However, this week I installed ten Western Digital Red disks and ever since then I have major problems getting all of my disks to work properly.

My storage configuration:
Adaptec 5405 (Power Saving Options Disabled)
--> Chenbro SAS Expander
--> RAID 6 Array with 10 Samsung F3 EcoGreen SATA II 2TB Disks
--> RAID 6 Array with 10 Western Digital Red SATA III 3TB Disks

Problem description:
After installing the new Red disks, I started building the second RAID 6 array with the same settings used for the Samsung disks. That process went smoothly and the RAID was building slowly. But after only 3 hours, the Controller Alarm went on and all 20 disks were suddenly missing.
After a shutdown and power-on, the controller detected all disks again and continued the building process in addition to verifying the Samsung array for errors. All disks were shown as "optimal" without any hardware related issues. This phase continued without issues for about two days and then the same problem arise and all disks were missing again and I had to start over the building/verifying process again. Since then, this happened twice more.
After that I decided to only verify the Samsung array and stopped all tasks for the WDC array and that worked nicely. So it appears that as soon as the WDC disks are being used, at some point in time, the whole SAS bus will go into an error state and all disk will disappear.

I would really appreciate if you could provide me with some pointers on how to continue trouble-shooting this problem.
Are there any known compatibility issues between the Adapted 5405, CK12804 SAS Expander, RPC 4220 backplanes and/or Western Digital Red disks?
Do I need to use certain settings for the Red disks to work, for example parking timeouts?

Thank you very much for your help.

#2 Valleyforge



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Posted 22 November 2012 - 05:01 AM

What's powering these 20 drives? Could the PSU be failing, and able to power 10 drives but die with 20?

Laptop: Dell inspiron E7440, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 mSATA, Win7 Pro
Workstation: i5-4690K, Z97I-Plus, H100i, Obsidian 250D, 480GB Crucial M500, 1TB WD Black, Win8.1 Pro, Hyper-V

NAS: Asustor AS-604T, 3GB RAM, 180GB Intel Pro 1500 & 2x4TB HGST NAS

HTPC:Intel NUC D54250WYK, 4GB, 64GB Crucial M4 mSATA, Win7 Pro

HTPC 2:Intel NUC DN2820, 4GB, 64GB Crucial M4 mSATA, Win7 Pro


#3 Stoyan Varlyakov

Stoyan Varlyakov


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 05:54 AM

I second Valleyforge - what is the PSU?
Can you test the +12 and +5 outputs?

What I have seen on an older system was exactly voltage drop which invalidates all drives in a soft array and the system freezes. Then after a power cycle all seems well until the next big load shows up.

Other than that, I'd give WD a ring on their special NAS support line for the WD Red.

Please note that WD Red are POS (piece of ... ) when they are in large arrays. Even SR has a bench of 4 of them if memory serves me right...

What you see above is my personal opinion. Don't take it as the holy bible and the one-and-only truth :)

#4 slaWter



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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:47 AM

Thanks for the replies guys.
I'm also "hoping" for a power issue and I'm currently running a test with only the 10 WDC disks. Haven't had time until today to continue testing. I'm really curious to see if this build-process is able to finish.
I'll report back.
However, if it's a power issue, I find it strange that it just looses all disks but the rest of the system remains usable. It doesn't crash or freeze...

I've contacted all companies involved but so far it's only the usual "check the compatibility charts" advice, nothing useful.
And the WDC Support is as horrible as always in Europe. The 24/7 phone support is not available here and the 24/7 e-mail support redirects me to the normal support e-mail page.

I really hate that Samsung went out of the HDD business :(

#5 slaWter



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Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:31 PM

As a follow-up:

With only the 10 WDC drives connected, the controller was able to build the array.
I then re-wired the power cables and so far so good. With all 20 disks up and running, everything seems to be stable now. I hope it stays that way!

Thanks again for your help :)

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