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I have my hard disks being set up remotely on a Dell R200 server using Ubuntu OS. When I tried to verify the disk specs (which are supposed to be WD RE4 set up in RAID1 array) I get this message:

"Device does not support SMART"

What could have caused this this and how to solve the issue? Thanks

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Are you passing the disk through a RAID controller; perhaps as a RAID0 Logical Drive? If so, the RAID HBA will 'abstract' the disk, disallowing the host OS access to management functions like SMART. – Chris S May 26 '11 at 3:16
There is a RAID controller, and the colo techs are supposed to use it to arrange the disks on RAID1. I'm not sure about that. – alfish May 26 '11 at 3:18
Yeah; the RAID controller wont pass SMART through; it's not an 'issue' per-se, it's just a fact of the matter. – Chris S May 26 '11 at 3:19
I see. So how can I confirm spces or check health of my disks or RAID? – alfish May 26 '11 at 3:25
The controller should have some method of passing the array's status to the OS. You would not be able to check the "health" status of individual disks. If the controller specifically supports WD RE4 disks, it will report key pre-failure conditions to the OS as well (I haven't seen an HBA that supports WD RE4 w/o custom firmware, but it's certainly possible one exists and that yours does). – Chris S May 26 '11 at 3:40

Without more details we will have to assume that you are using Hardware Raid. When you enable Hardware Raid the controller abstracts the device and presents a virtual device to the OS.

To elaborate:

Dell Server, two disks without Hardware Raid enabled Linux would see them as /dev/sda and /dev/sdb. You could then use smartmontools to query /dev/sda or /dev/sdb. If you build a Software Raid device in Linux (/dev/md0) you will still need to query the devices directly (sda, sdb) rather than the Raid device (md0).

If you do use the Hardware Raid functionality, the controller will present a device (sda) which is similar to the Software Raid device and you will not have the ability to query the SMART functions of each disk directly as each disk is hidden from the OS.

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