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Software RAID5 crashes after NAS successively reboots itself

Software RAID information and help
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marceloreis72
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Software RAID5 crashes after NAS successively reboots itself

#1

Post by marceloreis72 »

Hi all!

I apologize if this has been discussed in another threat, I googled all day long and searched in this forum and couldn’t find an answer to my questions.
Sorry for my poor English, it’s not my native language.

First I need to say I’m a complete newbie, sometimes stupid, about linux. I can handle the NAS4Free WebGUI with ease if I get instructed.

Let’s start with my system’s configuration:

Corsair 430cx Power Supply
Sapphire PURE White E350 (IPC-E350M1W) Motherboard
4 x Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB Hard Drive WD20EARS
2 x 4Gb RAM Kingston KVR1333D3N9/4G

This system was running very fine since I built it 15 days ago. The 4 disks has been configured as independent disks (no RAID). I can reach 50 to 65 Mbps transferring a 12Gb .mkv video from my laptop (Lenovo T420s with Sata III SSD) to the NAS, and 65 to 90 Mbps from the NAS to my laptop.

Last Friday I decided to build a RAID5 using the 4 disks. My first attempt was to use an LSi MegaRAID 8344ELP that was here with no use for. During this attempt I couldn’t access the MegaRAID bios during system boot; the system recognizes the card and the disks but the keyboard stay unresponsive so I can’t go to MegaRAID bios, and the boot doesn’t proceed. I even installed the MegaRAID card in another motherboard to configure the array, after this the NAS could boot properly but transfer speeds was pretty slow. There might be some sort of incompatibility between this MegaRAID card and the Sapphire Motherboard installed in the NAS. I don’t want to have to connect the MegaRAID card and all disks to another MoBo if I need to access it’s BIOS, so I give up with the MegaRaid and get back to onboard controller.

I configured Software RAID5 in NAS4Free and it worked fine. Transfers speeds are a bit slower than with independent disks setup, mostly to write on the NAS, I think this is normal due to parity. With the same 12Gb .mkv video I could reach 30 to 40 Mbps from my laptop to NAS, and 55 to 85 Mbps from NAS to my laptop. After this I configured the BitTorrent client, as I want to avoid disk wear on the RAID5 array, I decided to install an external USB disk dedicated to BitTorrent client. And then my problems started…

After started to download using bit torrent, every time I try to transfer a file to or from NAS, the NAS suddenly restart. I disabled BitTorrent client, and it still the same, rebooting every time I try to access or transfer file to or from NAS.

I’m not sure if use the USB disk caused some system failure and the system started to reboot on every attempt to access or transfer files to NAS, I couldn’t find any information regarding this. If someone knows about or have had the same experience, please share.

After that I couldn’t access any data on the NAS, even after many attempts to recovery the file system using fsck I couldn’t. I’m lucky to be a bit paranoid and kept backup of everything. But was not in my plans to keep a backup of my entire NAS as it have an RAID5 array. If some disk fails, I should just replace it and it’s done.

My questions now are:

1 – Can the successively reboots damaged my Software RAID5 array?

2 - Some people say it’s better to have a software RAID than a hardware RAID under the argument that you need an identical RAID controller to recover your data if your controller fail. Is that true?

3 - Thinking about reliability, in NAS4Free, is better to use “Software RAID5” or “RaidZ”?

4 – Can I use the USB driver to be dedicated to BitTorrent? My board only have 4 sata ports, if the answer is not I should buy another external controller.

Any answer, tip or advice will be very helpful and much appreciated.

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shakky4711
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Re: Software RAID5 crashes after NAS successively reboots it

#2

Post by shakky4711 »

Hello,

Not sure if you blundered into the trap, on bootup all disks get identified. With this information the raid array was created. When you plugged in the usb drive it can happen the order gets mangled, the forum is full with people who have this problem. So unplug the usb drive an look if you get it to run this way.
1 – Can the successively reboots damaged my Software RAID5 array?
Normally powerloss does not damage the array, it damages the file system
2 - Some people say it’s better to have a software RAID than a hardware RAID under the argument that you need an identical RAID controller to recover your data if your controller fail. Is that true?
Yes, I would agree, but Software Raid is not Software Raid
3 - Thinking about reliability, in NAS4Free, is better to use “Software RAID5” or “RaidZ”?
Software raid is declared as obselete since ZFS got mature, it is the steammachine compared to ZFS as a jet-fighter... You have bet on the wrong horse, especially with your WD-green drives. These drives are well known for the klick of death with this stupid head parking issue and massive defective sectors, acceptable fo backup or non-critical Windows clients, worst choice for storage...
4 – Can I use the USB driver to be dedicated to BitTorrent? My board only have 4 sata ports, if the answer is not I should buy another external controller.
I do not use the Torrent feature, but when you setup the usb drive as a single drive you can point the path where Torrents are stored to this single drive.

Generally I made bad experience with USB-drives and FreeNAS/NAS4Free, so if anyhow possible connect drives by native SATA ports. The Promise SATA300 TX4 is well known to operate well. But consider if it is not cheaper and reduces power consumption to buy a new board with 6 SATA connectors onboard. When you connect the non-raid member at the last port you do not get the problem with mixup from drive names.


Shakky

marceloreis72
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Re: Software RAID5 crashes after NAS successively reboots it

#3

Post by marceloreis72 »

Hi Shakky, thanks for your response.

shakky4711 wrote: Not sure if you blundered into the trap, on bootup all disks get identified. With this information the raid array was created.
I mean the LSi MegaRAID can identify the disks, but it don't let me get into it's bios to configure the array. I had to install the MegaRAID on another board with the 4 disks to configure the array, and install it back in the NAS to get it working. Based on this, if I need to access the MegaRAID bios for any reason, I'll have to install it on another board to do this, so I decided to remove the MEgaRAID and go to onboard controller.


When you plugged in the usb drive it can happen the order gets mangled, the forum is full with people who have this problem. So unplug the usb drive an look if you get it to run this way.
This was my first attempt. I unpluged the usb driver but the NAS didn't run. As the usb driver is manually mounted in NAS4Free I thought this has nothing related to this problem. Anyway, I kept the usb unplugged.


Normally powerloss does not damage the array, it damages the file system
Sorry, my bad :oops: . You're right, is the file system that was damaged. I followed many tutorials about how to use fsck tool but I couldn't fix it. Any tip?


Yes, I would agree, but Software Raid is not Software Raid
What do you mean?


Software raid is declared as obselete since ZFS got mature, it is the steammachine compared to ZFS as a jet-fighter... You have bet on the wrong horse, especially with your WD-green drives. These drives are well known for the klick of death with this stupid head parking issue and massive defective sectors, acceptable fo backup or non-critical Windows clients, worst choice for storage...
Yes, I read about ZFS, this is why I decided to go with it. About the WD-Green, I bought 8 of these drivers as soon they were released (early 2010). They have been used for data storage since them on my two HTPC. As I realized I don't need 4 disks on each HTPC, I removed 2 disks of each to build the NAS. I might be lucky as so far, 3 years latter, I have no complaints regarding these disks. The reason can be they have very low demand as the HTPC's are eventually used only.


I do not use the Torrent feature, but when you setup the usb drive as a single drive you can point the path where Torrents are stored to this single drive.
I agree. I might have done something wrong. I read in the forum people complaining about NAS successively rebooting when they share the root directory on usb drive. I'm not sure, but as I'm a stupid newbie I could easily do that :D


Generally I made bad experience with USB-drives and FreeNAS/NAS4Free, so if anyhow possible connect drives by native SATA ports. The Promise SATA300 TX4 is well known to operate well. But consider if it is not cheaper and reduces power consumption to buy a new board with 6 SATA connectors onboard. When you connect the non-raid member at the last port you do not get the problem with mixup from drive names.
I decided to this board with only 4 Sata ports because I was looking for a Mini-ITX board to build something small. I'm using it in a Cooler Master Elite 120 case, it's really small. I have three other boards here that are not in use:

MSI Big Bang Marshall + i7 2600K > Awesome board, but it's a XL-ATL, quite big. Don't it's a good choice (8 Sata ports + 8 PCIe x16 Slots)
Asus P8P67-Deluxe+i5 2400> Good board, ATX size (8 Sata ports + 3 PCIe x16 Slots)
Asus P5Q3-Deluxe WiFi + C2Q Q6600 > Good Board, ATX Size (8 Sata ports + 3 PCIe x16 Slots)

My plan is to use my small NAS (the one in the Cooler Master Elite 120 Case) as a download server only, and to build a decent storage with one of these boards. I have an AeroCool xPredator case here that is not in use, I can fit 12 HD's on it, and with some DIY job I think I can easily go to 16 maybe 20 Hd's. I already have everything, just need to buy a good set of HD's (not WD-Green, for sure! ;) ).


These are my further questions:

1 - In terms of NAS performance, can the choice one of the processors listed above make any difference? Some people say the processor load for a NAS is very low, mostly if you use an external RAID controler.

2 - Can you give me some tip about the HD's choice? Is there any threat on this or another forum regarding HD's? If you put me in the right direction I can go further researching.

3 - I didn't get your though about choose between hardware RAID or software RAID.

4 - People talk about use an external controller with a IT Firmware, so you disable the RAID features of the controller and can use ZFS for example. Do you know if there is any list of the controllers that are able to be used with an IT firmware on the forum? If not, should I search for "IT Firmware" on the controller features/specs or is there any other keyword?

Many thanks for your patience.

marceloreis72
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Re: Software RAID5 crashes after NAS successively reboots it

#4

Post by marceloreis72 »

Anyone to help?

marceloreis72
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Re: Software RAID5 crashes after NAS successively reboots it

#5

Post by marceloreis72 »

Anyone to help?

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raulfg3
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Re: Software RAID5 crashes after NAS successively reboots it

#6

Post by raulfg3 »

marceloreis72 wrote:1 - In terms of NAS performance, can the choice one of the processors listed above make any difference? Some people say the processor load for a NAS is very low, mostly if you use an external RAID controler.
YES, but you need to search forum for others Users/mobo with same CPU to compare performance.

marceloreis72 wrote:2 - Can you give me some tip about the HD's choice? Is there any threat on this or another forum regarding HD's? If you put me in the right direction I can go further researching.
WD RED are the best option, if you have WD green and want to use, you need to search for wdidle to apply a patch to firmware to avoid excesive sort parking head time.

marceloreis72 wrote:3 - I didn't get your though about choose between hardware RAID or software RAID.
Use always soft Raid, and ZFS better that Raid5 or simmilar, you understand whwn have a problem

marceloreis72 wrote:4 - People talk about use an external controller with a IT Firmware, so you disable the RAID features of the controller and can use ZFS for example. Do you know if there is any list of the controllers that are able to be used with an IT firmware on the forum? If not, should I search for "IT Firmware" on the controller features/specs or is there any other keyword?
IT Firmware is the same that say ( DO NOT USE embeded Hardware RAID Features of your Board, use Soft Raid instead), search for a good and cheap & compatible in BSD Board.
12.0.0.4 (revision 6766)+OBI on SUPERMICRO X8SIL-F 8GB of ECC RAM, 12x3TB disk in 3 vdev in RaidZ1 = 32TB Raw size only 22TB usable

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marceloreis72
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Re: Software RAID5 crashes after NAS successively reboots it

#7

Post by marceloreis72 »

Many thanks for giving me the right direction Raulfg3! Now I have a job to do seaching about this.

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