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I found out one of our servers was down today due to a HDD failure. The only thing I could see on console the was:

scsi 0:0:0:0: rejecting I/O to dead device.

This server has 2 HDDs with a software RAID 1. After rebooting and running a manual fsck it booted fine. I need to identify which HDD is failing and usually I would use smartctl. But here is what I get:

# smartctl -i /dev/sdb
smartctl version 5.38 [x86_64-redhat-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-8 Bruce Allen
Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/


Probable ATA device behind a SAT layer
Try an additional '-d ata' or '-d sat' argument.

Both -d ata and -d sat results in:

# smartctl -i -d ata /dev/sdb
smartctl version 5.38 [x86_64-redhat-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-8 Bruce Allen
Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/

Smartctl: Device Read Identity Failed (not an ATA/ATAPI device)

A mandatory SMART command failed: exiting. To continue, add one or more '-T permissive' options.

Adding -T permissive also results in an error.

Strangely hdparm also fails:

# hdparm -i /dev/sdb

/dev/sdb:
 HDIO_GET_IDENTITY failed: Invalid argument

Also, to make things even more strange:

Aug 15 03:14:14 server smartd[3426]: Configuration file /etc/smartd.conf was parsed, found DEVICESCAN, scanning devices 
Aug 15 03:14:14 server smartd[3426]: Device: /dev/hda, opened 
Aug 15 03:14:15 server smartd[3426]: Device: /dev/hda, packet devices [this device CD/DVD] not SMART capable 
Aug 15 03:14:15 server smartd[3426]: Device: /dev/sda, opened 
Aug 15 03:14:15 server smartd[3426]: Device: /dev/sda, is SMART capable. Adding to "monitor" list. 
Aug 15 03:14:15 server smartd[3426]: Device: /dev/sdb, opened 
Aug 15 03:14:16 server smartd[3426]: Device: /dev/sdb, is SMART capable. Adding to "monitor" list. 
Aug 15 03:14:16 server smartd[3426]: Monitoring 0 ATA and 2 SCSI devices 
Aug 15 03:14:17 server smartd[3428]: smartd has fork()ed into background mode. New PID=3428.

During boot it is smart capable?

This happens to both sdb and sda which have different sizes and are from different vendors. System is using /dev/sda currently but RAID array is being rebuilt with /dev/sdb. So far no errors regarding this.

I know hdparm and smartctl doesn't work for all HDD models/vendors. But smartctl was working before on this server.

My question: what is happening? :)

And how can I identify which HDD is failing before this server freezes again?

share|improve this question
    
Exactly what hardware do you have in this server? –  Michael Hampton Aug 15 '12 at 3:10
    
Can you post output of cat /proc/mdstat ? –  Chida Aug 15 '12 at 3:49

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