In this article, you will learn how to identify a defective hard drive on a Windows Dedicated Server Windows and how to prepare for a replacement.
This article assumes that you have a basic knowledge of server administration with Microsoft Windows. If you have any questions or need assistance regarding the replacement of a defective hard drive, please contact IONOS Customer Support.
To ensure the highest possible reliability, it is necessary that you monitor the software RAID of your Dedicated Servers. If you discover that a hard drive is defective or receive a notification email about a defective hard drive, you must contact customer service to arrange for the hard drive replacement. This requires that you identify the defective hard drive and prepare the server for the replacement.
RAID systems enable greater reliability and/or higher speed. However, they are not a substitute for regular backups. To avoid data loss, we recommend that you back up your data regularly. Also, make sure that you back up your data before performing the steps below to ensure the security of your data.
Diagnosing Faults and Confirming Hard Drive Replacement is Necessary
In order to detect hard drive errors, please follow the steps below:
Install the Smartctl program. Smartctl is a command line program that can monitor volumes using SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) and check whether a hard drive is defective.
Hard drive defects cannot always be detected through the smart values. Accordingly, we recommend that you always perform an additional analysis of the log files on your server.
Follow the link below to find instructions for installing Smartmontools:
Viewing Detailed Information for Troubleshooting
Smartctl behaves the same under Windows as under Linux. For this reason, you can use the same commands. To use Smartctl for troubleshooting, you must open the command prompt and change to the directory where the Smartmontools are located. You can then enter the Linux commands listed below to view detailed information for troubleshooting.
To view a list of hard drives, type the following command:
C:\Program Files\smartmontools\bin>smartctl --scan
/dev/sda -d sat # /dev/sda [SAT], ATA device
/dev/sdb -d sat # /dev/sdb [SAT], ATA device
/dev/csmi0,2 -d ata # /dev/csmi0,2, ATA device
/dev/csmi0,3 -d ata # /dev/csmi0,3, ATA device
To view detailed information for troubleshooting, type the following command:
smartctl -iHAl error [NAMEOFTHEHARDDRIVE]
C:\Program Files\smartmontools\bin>smartctl -iHAl error /dev/sda
Analyze the detailed information you called using the smartctl -iHAl error [/dev/sd(a-z)] command. The first section lists information that you can use to identify the hard drive:
=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION === Model Family: Hitachi/HGST Ultrastar 7K2 Device Model: HGST HUS722T1TALA604 Serial Number: WMC6M0JAUEV8 LU WWN Device Id: 5 0014ee 00482c2ec Firmware Version: RAGNWA07 User Capacity: 1,000,204,886,016 bytes [1.00 TB] Sector Size: 512 bytes logical/physical Rotation Rate: 7200 rpm Form Factor: 3.5 inches Device is: In smartctl database [for details use: -P show] ATA Version is: ACS-3 T13/2161-D revision 5 SATA Version is: SATA 3.1, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 6.0 Gb/s) Local Time is: Thu Jan 17 06:17:05 2019 CAST SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability. SMART support is: Enabled
This section displays, among other things, the device model and serial number of the hard drive being tested.
In the second section, the current state of the hard drive is evaluated by Smartctl. If, for example, the value "Failed" or "UNKNOWN" is displayed instead of "PASSED", you should replace the hard drive as soon as possible.
=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION === SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED
In the third section, the SMART VALUES determined are listed in detail. Next to each current percentage value (VALUE), the worst ever measured value (WORST) and the respective limit value (THRESH) are listed. If the current percentage value (VALUE) or the worst ever measured value (WORST) exceeds the limit value (THRESH), a SMART warning is displayed in the WHEN_FAILED column (e.g. FAILING_NOW).
SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16 Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds: ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME FLAG VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE UPDATED WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE 1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate 0x002f 200 200 051 Pre-fail Always - 0 3 Spin_Up_Time 0x0027 141 140 021 Pre-fail Always - 3933 4 Start_Stop_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 15 5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct 0x0033 200 200 140 Pre-fail Always - 0 7 Seek_Error_Rate 0x002e 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0 9 Power_On_Hours 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 34 10 Spin_Retry_Count 0x0032 100 253 000 Old_age Always - 0 11 Calibration_Retry_Count 0x0032 100 253 000 Old_age Always - 0 12 Power_Cycle_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 10 16 Gas_Gauge 0x0022 000 200 000 Old_age Always - 1822115874 183 Runtime_Bad_Block 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 0 192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 6 193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 9 194 Temperature_Celsius 0x0022 113 109 000 Old_age Always - 30 196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0 197 Current_Pending_Sector 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0 198 Offline_Uncorrectable 0x0030 100 253 000 Old_age Offline - 0 199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0 200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate 0x0008 100 253 000 Old_age Offline - 0
The following parameters can indicate an imminent hard drive failure before a SMART warning is displayed:
Reallocated_Sector_Ct: Specifies the number of sectors reassigned due to read errors. If a sector can no longer be read, written to or checked correctly, a replacement sector is automatically assigned to it. The faulty sector is permanently marked as unreadable. This is a clear warning sign for incipient surface problems. If this value is not equal to zero, a hard drive failure is often imminent. This value is the most important indicator for a hard drive replacement.
Current_Pending_Sector_Ct: Specifies the number of unstable sectors waiting for remapping. If a sector cannot be read and written correctly, it first receives the status Current Pending Sector. The sector is not reassigned in this state, since the data in the sector are unknown. Only after several unsuccessful read or write attempts is a replacement sector assigned and the faulty sector is permanently marked as unreadable. The value Current_Pending_Sector_Ct is an important indicator for a hard drive replacement. If this value is not equal to zero, a hard drive failure is often imminent.
Offline_Uncorrectable: Specifies the number of uncorrectable write and read sector errors.
The last section deals with the internal hard drive log. Errors are recorded here if the server's work orders have not been processed correctly by the hard drive. If the number of errors in this section is at least two digits, you should replace the hard drive as soon as possible.
SMART Error Log Version: 1 No Errors Logged
If the SMART log was created as described above, it is sufficient information.
If you cannot view the serial number of the defective hard drive using Smartctl, you can alternatively provide Customer Service with the serial number of the working hard drive(s).
Scheduling Hard Drive Replacement
You can then have the defective hard drive replaced. To do so, please contact IONOS Customer Support.
Steps to Take After Replacing the Hard Drive
After replacing the defective hard drive, it is necessary to rebuild the software RAID. For more information on how to rebuild a software RAID, click here: