1 Reply Latest reply on Aug 2, 2010 9:23 AM by vjunk

    System unresponsive after SMART error


      My Dell 530s with 2x 320gb Seagate Drives in RAID1 config suddenly went very unresponsive today. I had been doing lots of development work and assumed it must be something I had done, so restarted. It took an age to shut down, and in fact after it had been on the shutting down message for 30 minutes I did a hard power off...


      When I restarted I had a SMART error on one of the drives. Matrix Manager then started a "volume verification and repair" process, during which time the system remained unusable - it would take 20 mins just for the start menu to come up....  eventually it finished and reported the SMART error.  But even after that, the system remained virtually unusable. If I give up and hard power off, the whole process just starts again...  A couple of times I also got a message about the 'logon process has failed to create the security options', and then Macaffee reports it is not active. I am pressuming it has simply timed out, or is having some conflict with the Intel RAID drivers perhaps that are struggling to run the disk that Macaffee is also trying to protect (does that sound plausable?)


      If I let it shut down properly, and then restart, the system is still unusable.


      Is this normal behavior when a drive is perhaps failing? I have checked all the cabling is OK.

      Clearly, I can change the drive as the SMART error suggests. But I don't want to do that, only to find out something else is causing the unresponsiveness.


      EDIT: Well I don't think it is anything to do with the drive.  Having finally got into the system configuration settings after waiting an age, and booted with no added drivers or start up programs, the computer zips along just fine. So there must be something I installed yesterday, or somehow corrupted, that is causing some sort of conflict that is causing the computer to act so slowly.

        • 1. Re: System unresponsive after SMART error

          Yes, a failing drive can very well cause this behavior.  If you are getting S.M.A.R.T. errors, then there is definitely something wrong with the drive.  I can't be certain if it is the cause of your problem, but chances are very good that it is.  To see if it's that drive, take it out of the RAID array, then disconnect it's data and power cables.  (Contact Intel support if you need help with this.)

          S.M.A.R.T. keeps track of certain parameters (e.g., spin up time, number of bad sectors) and monitors them for abnormal changes to predict imminent failure.  It's not that accurate in that hard drives often fail with no S.M.A.R.T. errors being reported and some hard drives that do report S.M.A.R.T. errors can still run just fine for years, but I would not use a hard drive reporting errors for any important data.  If it is under warranty, then having S.M.A.R.T. errors is enough to get it replaced, even if it has not failed yet.