Questions about hard disks' performance, issues, tips, and software.

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10
votes
3answers
905 views

Slow filesystem access

I'm trying to diagnose a slow filesystem issue on a server I look after. It's been ongoing for quite some time, and I've run out of ideas as to what I can try. Here's the thick of it. The server ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I split a drive image created with 'dd' into separate files for each partition?

I created an image of a failing drive with: dd if=/dev/sde of=/mnt/image001.dd The drive had only two partitions: Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sde1 * ...
9
votes
3answers
24k views

How is disk speed measured and what is fast? How long should a copy of 1500 GB take?

How is disk speed measured? Is it Mbit or Mbyte per second read? What is average today and what is fast and what is very fast in the industry? Let's say somebody says it takes a long time to make a ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

root full Linux. No free blocks

df -h reports the '/' partition to be 100% full. While running du -hs * on each directory of this partition shows there is still lot of space. tune2efs which reports just one block to be free. Ran ...
9
votes
8answers
5k views

Equivalent of SysInternals FileMon for Linux?

I'm attempting to debug an application on Ubuntu - I need to listen to file open attempts (even for files that don't exist). Process Monitor (formerly known as FileMon) is available on Windows - what'...
9
votes
2answers
32k views

How can i check remaining disk quota?

df does only report the disk free space, how can i get my allowed free space ?
9
votes
5answers
89k views

Can you use a USB hard drive in ESXI?

I know that you can install ESXi 4.0 on a thumbdrive, but I was wondering if you could plug in an external harddrive to give extra storage to one of your VMs? We run a fileserver inside of ESXi that ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Is SATA-2 backwards compatible with SATA-1?

As per the title, are the two versions compatible?
9
votes
7answers
18k views

Multiple USB backup targets with Windows Server Backup

I'm trying to add multiple USB external disk targets to a Windows Server 2012 Backup schedule. Having gone through the steps in the GUI to add an additional target, the process fails with the error ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there any notable advantages (or disadvantages) to using EFI firmware and GPT boot disks in an ESXi environment?

My basic question is, as the title asks: are there any notable advantages (or disadvantages) to using EFI firmware and GPT boot disks in an ESXi environment? By "notable," I mean anything other than ...
9
votes
6answers
44k views

Check for hard disk errors / signs of failure on CentOS Server

What's the best way to check for HDD errors and early signs of failure on CentOS?
8
votes
6answers
1k views

So what do we use instead of PartitionMagic now that Symantec's killed it? [closed]

Apparently, since the last time I had to do a lot of playing with partitions and images, Symantec acquired, neglected, and killed off PartitionMagic. (Yeah, it's been a while.) What, then, are we ...
8
votes
6answers
8k views

The difference between desktop-series HDD drives and server-series

What are the main differences between desktop-series hard disks and server-series? The obvious things I can see are: durability (server hardware mostly more qualitative and have more warranty) and ...
8
votes
10answers
18k views

Configuring SQL for optimal performance… SSD or HDD?

Does anyone know of any comparisons that show how SSDs compare to HDDs for performance in a SQL environment? I'm trying to understand what type of performance benefit might be gained by moving to SSD....
8
votes
4answers
30k views

What do these disk errors in syslog mean?

I just rebooted my monitoring server for the first time in a while, and the following starting filling the screen: Jul 11 23:52:30 monit kernel: [ 25.255908] ata1.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 ...
8
votes
5answers
10k views

SAS or SATA for 3 TB drives?

We are looking to purchase new 3 TB enterprise-grade drives and can buy either SAS or SATA models. AFAIK, SAS generally gives better performance than SATA, but searching for benchmarks I found ...
8
votes
6answers
4k views

What causes hard disk failures?

What causes hard disk failures in general. I would like to know the common causes and how to prevent such incidence.
8
votes
6answers
35k views

SATA drives in HP ProLiant server?

Does anyone know if I can install normal 2.5" SATA drives inside an HP DL360 G5 server? Right now it has 6 72GB SAS drives. I am looking for raw storage for my files SAS performance in not required.
8
votes
7answers
22k views

Disk usage per user in Linux / Unix

I need to find out how much disk space is being occupied by each user on the network. I am aware of df and du commands: I could list the entire filesystem and AWK the output, but I wonder if there is ...
8
votes
5answers
9k views

Make a hard disk sleep and only wake up when needed

I want to connect another hard disk to my computer, which I want to sleep 99% of the time. I will only use it for a few things, but I need it to be mounted at all times. To achieve this I would like ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

High disk I/O when cache is used?

A few days ago I noticed a disk I/O wait and disk activity drop (which was great). Then I also notice that my cache was full(*) and fragmented. Then I flushed cache. After that, disk latency and disk ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How do you disable the “last accessed” attribute on NTFS/Windows?

Inspired by this answer, I realize I have no idea how to disable the last accessed attribute in Windows to increase performance. If you can, how? I know in Linux you can mount the partition with the '...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

OSX - Full Disk Encryption [closed]

What options are available for OSX full disk encryption? Which of them is the best?
8
votes
3answers
933 views

How to keep subtree removal (`rm -rf`) from starving other processes for Disk I/O?

We have a very large (multi-GB) Nginx cache directory for a busy site, which we occasionally need to clear all at once. I've solved this in the past by moving the cache folder to a new path, making a ...
8
votes
3answers
9k views

Best Nagios plugin for SMARTd / smartmontools?

I've installed SMARTd / smartmontools on a server and I want to monitor it over Nagios. However on Monitoring Exchange, I see several plugins http://www.monitoringexchange.org/cgi-bin/page.cgi?g=...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Recover data from SCSI hard disk

We've got an old server with SCSI hard disk. The server crashed last week and it isn't exactly known what hardware component is damaged. Since the server is due to be retired anyway we don't want to ...
8
votes
2answers
12k views

hdparm on OS X

On Linux, I can verify and change the low level parameters of my disk drive using hdparm. Is there an utility providing the same capabilities for OS X, or perhaps some other way of manipulating the ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

Partial-stroking / Short-stroking / Half-stroking Hard Drives?

Could anyone here explain to me what is implied by this term? (I've seen the same thing mentioned with the 3 terms). At first when I read about it, for some reason I understood that it was some way ...
7
votes
9answers
5k views

Linux: How to find out whether the harddrive is causing a bottleneck?

I'm not asking how to find out where a bottleneck is. I just what to know how to check if the harddrive is being used at its limit (and hence causing a bottleneck). Something like top where I can see ...
7
votes
21answers
20k views

Which is the most reliable (or unreliable) hard drive brand? [closed]

I know that everyone has their own personal preferences and favorites but around here we have running joke about a particular brand of hard drive. It seems that 95% of the time when we have a crashed ...
7
votes
8answers
64k views

Mount network drive as physical drive

Is there a way to mount a network location so that it appears as a local physical disk? e.g. \\computer\share as D: (not a network drive)
7
votes
7answers
8k views

Use of 2.5" Laptop Drives in a Server?

We're acquiring several 1U servers with (8) 2.5" drive slots. Although we can use either SATA or SAS, there is a large price variance as soon as you order 16 or 24 of these drives, so we are looking ...
7
votes
4answers
456 views

Purchasing hard drives with non-sequential serial numbers

I've always heard that you should not purchase hard disks with sequential serial numbers for any storage system. Now I find myself, for the first time, in a position where I need to purchase around ...
7
votes
4answers
7k views

Disable Caviar Green drives spinning down

A few months ago I build a 1u server to go into a colo facility. Not knowing any better, I used WD Caviar Green drives. My users have been complaining that the system can be a little slow off the ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

How do I configure Ubuntu Server to power down drives when not used? [closed]

I just got home file server, and it contains 7 hard drives. I installed on it Ubuntu Server (Jaunty). What should I do to make it power down drives when they are not in use (most of the time they will ...
7
votes
3answers
398 views

Why Do Hard Drives Fail?

I'm just quite interested in the reasons why hard drive failures occur. Some people say that it's because it was handled poorly during the shipping and transportation processes while others say that ...
7
votes
7answers
3k views

Which file system to use for portable hard drive shared among different operating systems?

Something similar has been asked already but my criteria is a little different. I need to share a portable hard drive (USB/Firewire) between Mac OSX, Linux and Windows XP systems where the files being ...
7
votes
6answers
11k views

KVM online disk resize?

We're evaluting KVM for Linux virtualization on a few projects. All is going well so far. But one of our requirements is the ability to add disk space to a running guest without rebooting or taking it ...
7
votes
5answers
9k views

Linux md vs. LVM performance

I am trying to tune my NAS, running openfiler, and wondering why I'm getting relatively poor read performance from 4 WD RE3 drives in RAID 5. EDIT: Please note I am talking about the buffered disk ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

Why are “sectors per track” still relevant on a modern OS with modern drives?

I am building out a new machine and the raid controller is asking me for sectors per track. I haven't had to deal with disk math in a long time (1998?), and I can't find anything that pertains to ...
7
votes
2answers
321 views

Disk latency is growing since a few days ago, with no special change in disk throughput

Here is the disk latency graph of my server. The server has two 5400 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s hard drives mounted with software RAID 1 configuration. No special changes has happend in those days ...
7
votes
3answers
8k views

How to determine disc spindown time

I am able to set both APM and spindown times using the command: hdparm -S 246 -B 128 /dev/sda Unfortunately I can only find the APM value in the information output: hdparm -I /dev/sda | grep ...
7
votes
3answers
17k views

How do I recover from a faulted zpool where one device is OK, but was temporarily offline?

I have a zpool with 4 2TB USB disks in a raidz config: [root@chef /mnt/Chef]# zpool status farcryz1 pool: farcryz1 state: ONLINE scrub: none requested config: NAME STATE READ ...
7
votes
3answers
964 views

Chkdsk capabilities

I've used several different tools for repairing disks and have been wondering if there is a list of what exactly CHKDSK can repair? The MFT? Boot sector? Backup boot sector? Clusters? What common ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Determine if C drive has 2 GB of free disk space

I am trying to determine if a target pc has atleast 2 GB of free space. Here is what I have so far: @echo off for /f "usebackq delims== tokens=2" %%x in (`wmic logicaldisk where "DeviceID='C:'" get ...
7
votes
3answers
475 views

Hard disk write-once mode on Windows

Is it possible to force a hard disk into 'write-once' mode in Windows? I want to securely store logs so they can't be changed, but I can't use tapes or optical media due to performance reasons.
7
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it safe to transfer RAID 5 disks from one server to another?

I have (what I assume) will be a relatively simple question. I have an old file server that I've decommissioned and replaced. I would like to re-use the hardware from the old file server at our ...
7
votes
2answers
15k views

Constant disk activity - how can I tell what files are being accessed nonstop?

On my Windows 2003 Server, the disk activity has been out of control recently - the disk queue is getting long, and I'm getting heat on the wait time for resources. I'm looking for a tool that will ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Importance of disk alignment for Windows Server 2012

I saw article about Disk alignment here and also here.Also there where some references that windows server 2003 has some problem with disk alignment. After reading article I am confused whether we ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

PostgreSQL slow commit performance

We are having some problems with a PostgreSQL configuration. After some benchmarks I found out that very simple queries are taking a relatively long time, upon furter inspection it appears that the ...