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Hard disk LED lights up permanently

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pslleung

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Aug 26, 2011
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After NAS boot up, the LED light indicating hard disk activities was on permanently....
 

ProtoSD

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Did you check the wire is plugged in to the correct spot on your motherboard, or if the polarity/direction of the connector is correct?
 
T

Teddie

Guest
I've the same "problem".

protosd said:
Did you check the wire is plugged in to the correct spot on your motherboard, or if the polarity/direction of the connector is correct?

Yes, of course. :smile:
 

ProtoSD

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Sorry, I know it seems like a stupid question, but I just had to verify.

Can you both tell us what hardware you have, motherboard, disk controller, disks?

I don't know that I can help, but it might help someone else discover a common variable.
 

pslleung

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I'm using an old J&W 780G motherboard connecting 5 drives (raidz) over the onboard SATA ports. When system booting up, the HD LED was off but once the system was booted, the LED remained on even there was no activity. Thisi is newly created FreeNAS system, does it take a long time to create raid ZFS volume?? thanks
 

joeschmuck

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Sorry if I treat you as if you know nothing here but if I assume you know what you are saying and you in fact misunderstood something, well we make no headroom. I deal with sailors all the time and we have to spell everything out. It's not the sailors fault, they are not trained to the level they one were.

If you have left the NAS on for a few hours and the HDD LED has not gone out, try the below steps.

1) After turning on the NAS let it sit for 10 minutes then unplug the Ethernet cable. Waiting another 1 minute does the HDD LED go out?
2) If it doesn't, reconnect the Ethernet cable.
3) Hopefully you have some shared folder on the NAS because now I want you to copy a LARGE file to it and watch to see if the LED goes out at all.
4) If the LED goes out then you have the LED wired improperly to the motherboard.
5) If the LED never goes out then shutdown the NAS, disconnect the hard drive cables, reboot (assuming you are booting from a USB drive).
6) Report what the HDD LED is doing from power on through bootup. If it is remains lit, either the HDD LED is connected tot he wrong location, or backwards, or your motherboard could just have failed.
7) If you remove the USB drive and power on the computer it should have nothing to boot from and the HDD LED should remain out.

If you could be as descriptive as possible it would help. And what version of FreeNAS are you running, I doubt it's the issue however you never know.

EDIT: So you are using the eSATA as well? You can try to unplug that one to see if the problem goes away.
 

fluca1978

Explorer
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Sep 8, 2011
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A trivial question: have you tried to monitor the disk I/O with iostat of something alike? Also an lsof will give you some information about what files are involved.
 

jfr2006

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May 27, 2011
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Hi:

If i were you, i would check the LCC counter on your HDs and see if they were not increasing like there was no tomorrow!
 

joeschmuck

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I would like to know if either of you have APM setting 127 or lower. This causes non-stop spinup and spindowns. I don't think that is the problem since you can access data and this "feature" makes things rather slow.
 

jfr2006

Contributor
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May 27, 2011
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174
So it confirms what i suspected. It's the APM settings that were messing with my discs (http://support.freenas.org/ticket/814). I turned it off in all discs, and only have the setting to put the discs on volume2 in standby after 10 minutes!

Regards.
 

pslleung

Dabbler
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I would like to know if either of you have APM setting 127 or lower. This causes non-stop spinup and spindowns. I don't think that is the problem since you can access data and this "feature" makes things rather slow.

APM was in "disable" mode. thanks
 

joeschmuck

Old Man
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So it confirms what i suspected. It's the APM settings that were messing with my discs (http://support.freenas.org/ticket/814). I turned it off in all discs, and only have the setting to put the discs on volume2 in standby after 10 minutes!

Regards.

Oh yea, APM will certainly mess with your drives if set incorrectly. If you plan to run your hard drives (no Standby setting) the I recommend setting APM to 128, it will unload the heads if I recall correctly and save a tiny amount of power, and I mean tiny but in a large array this could be a few watts of power. The acoustic control can be any settings but I think disabled works well.

10 minutes for HDD Standby seems a bit low. You may see your hard drive spinning down and back up again quite a bit but it depends on what you are using the NAS for. Keep in mind that even if you are not "accessing" your NAS shares, it's possible and very likely that when a system just checks to see if the share is still there that is will cause the drives to spin up. I see this frequently at my home. I set my HDD Standby setting to 120 minutes and am considering bumping that up to the next value. Spinning up and down will strain the drive motor so it's best to limit these situations. Just my two cents.
 

joeschmuck

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jfr2006

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Sorry, but would you elaborate further? What is LLC counter? thanks


Hi:
LCC -- Load Cycle Counter. It's a counter that keeps track of how many times the heads of your discs were parked and unparked. Typical discs have a life cycle of 300000 LCC. If your discs are always doing this, there life is shortened. You can check the values using the smartctl command.


Joe, in my system, volume 2 is only used for backup of volume 1 (part of it) and for freeing media from volume 1 that i have already seen, but wish to keep. So it is only accessed once a week (with a rsync job). so i think this is a good value. It was the value set to lower than 128 that were killing it. Even in volume 1, a 128 value in the APM was killing it...so i turn APM off in volume 1 (volume 1 is in constant use with transmission writing/reading from it)

Regards.
 
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