On 8/24/09, Kelly Martin <kellymar...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I just experienced a hard drive failure on one of my FreeBSD 7.2
> production servers with no backup! I am so mad at myself for not
> backing up!! Now it's a salvage operation. Here are the type of errors
> I was getting on the console, over-and-over:
> ad4: TIMEOUT - WRITE_DMA48 retrying (0 retries left) LBA=441633503
> ad4: WARNING - SETFEATURES ENABLE RCACHE taskqueue timeout -
> completing request directly
> ad4: WARNING - SETFEATURES ENABLE WCACHE taskqueue timeout -
> completing request directly
> ad4: WARNING - SET_MULTI taskqueue timeout - completing request directly
> ad4: FAILURE - WRITE_DMA48 timed out LBA=441633375
> g_vgs_done():ad4s1f[WRITE(offset=216338284544, length=16384)]error = 5
> I could still login to the machine (after an eternity) but got lots of
> read/write errors along the way.  The offset shown in the errors kept
> changing, so I thought it was a hardware eSATA controller issue
> instead of a bad sector on the drive -  I replaced the motherboard,
> but the problem persisted. So I bought a new hard drive and have
> re-installed FreeBSD 7.2 on it. I'd like to plug in the old hard drive
> today, mount it and salvage as much as I can... especially the
> database files, config files, etc.
> My question: what kind of checks and/or repair tools should I run on
> the damaged drive after it's mounted? Or should I mount it as
> read-only and start backing it up? I am hoping most of my data is
> still there, but also don't want to damage it further. I desperately
> need to salvage the data, what do the kind people on this list
> recommend?
> thanks,
> kelly

If I were you, get a copy of spinrite (from grc.com) and always keep
it handy.  It can be risky on a drive already failing.  Here's what
I'd do....

Buy spinrite, no matter what.

slave the bad drive, read-only mount..  even if the FS is dirty,
read-only.. no fsck.
copy the data you can (if any).
reboot and run spinrite on the bad drive, deepest analysis (level 4 or
5) [may take days, weeks or even reports of months]
re-slave the bad drive to the system, fsck and mount read-only.
compare and copy any additional data, if any/if applicable, you can.

Scrap/destroy the drive if it has sensitive data.  I crack open the
drive and dismantle the HDD platters from the spindle, break the
read-write head ribbon cable, and remove the circuit board on the
drive when I destroy drives.

Each component should be recycled (being the responsible citizen),
maybe on separate runs to remove the possibility of someone nosy
getting into your stuff.
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