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Adaptec Raid 3405 Problems!!!

We have a real emergency here and want to ask the experts.

We picked up a client that had a dell Vostro box running windows 2003 server.  It contained 4 sata drives running off the onboard controller.  Each drive had various data.  They wanted to improve performance,  So I recommended we install an adaptec 3405 raid controller in RAID 10 config.  We initialize all 4 drives and gain performance with the RAID 10 after restoring the data of course.
At the same time we upgraded them to 2008 Server.

Everything went perfect.... then suddenly the controller alarm sounded.
Adaptec storage manager indicates drive 2 had failed.  I thought this was strange ...however I figured perhaps that drive was already on its way out.
Keep in mind the server was running perfectly...we even had the staff into their software and databases for a few hrs working away while we went out to get a replacement drive to rebuild the raid.

Then we went to swap the drive - the server took about 15mins to shutdown....swap the drive...and on reboot 2008 server runs a CHKDSK!!!!!!   recovering orphaned files etc....I was not happy to see this.   Finally got into the server and SM....drive 2 was rebuilding....  However the data was totally inconsistent!!
The database they use was corrupted.... we were getting MS jetdatabase errors - 2 users trying to change file same time ....all indicative of bad data.

ANother reboot to see

This time alarm again!!!!    channel 2 is missing all togther !  The card is only showing 3 channels and devices!
Do I have a bad card?  Bad firmware?
Where to start?

Please help
1 Solution
That controller needs to run enterprise class drives.  Is that what you have?  Also, did you have the battery backup module?

If you do not have enterprise disks tuned for the proper delay on error recovery, then if you get a few bad blocks in the same stripe then the controller WILL take a disk offline, and every bit if what you described will happen.

j-teksolutionsAuthor Commented:
thanks ...I have 2 of them in servers at our office running WD drives Green and BLue edition with no problems?
j-teksolutionsAuthor Commented:
of note - this cards cable has the 4 sata connectors 0,1,2,3
It also has a small lead labelled P4?  it is 9 pin female almost like an onboard usb plug...what is this for?
My other 3405s dont have this extra lead?
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Then that is your problem.  WD Green and Blue drives are so very wrong for this controller.  Root cause is due to an issue commonly called TLER.  Specifically, when you get bad blocks you have a limited amount of time for the HDD to either recover or give up.

The controller also has a timer.  If a disk does not respond to an I/O request then it will fail the drive.  The timer in the WD drives programs them to go into a deep recovery LONGER then the controller will wait.

Read this whitepaper I wrote which mentions more info.

Or even read the Adaptec COMPATIBILITY document which proves my point.  Note that they ONLY qualify the WD enterprise drives.


If you do not use the right drives, then this will absolutely positively happen over and over, and you will continue to lose data.  I know.  I spent 20+ years writing RAID firmware, HDD diagnostics, configurators, etc..    If you like WD, get yourself some RE4s.
P.S. Sounds like it is a test/diagnostic header.  Don't worry about it. P.S. while I'm on my desktop-class vs enterprise-class soapbox, are you aware that WD's datasheets even say they will void the warranty if you use Green / Blue or Black disks in a RAID5 ?   Give them the benefit of the doubt that they know what they are talking about, and if your servers at the office are

However, if you use software RAID, in particular solaris ZFS type RAID, then desktop class drives and the error timing issues are no problem.  Same also if you use native windows native software RAID.   (You will still have fewer ECC bits and the disks are still going to be architected for about a 10% duty cycle and the manufacturer only recommends using them only 8 hours a day 5 days a week + vacation, so you won't get disks designed for 24x7 ... but at least the RAID software won't fail the disk any time it goes into deep recovery).
QlemoC++ DeveloperCommented:
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
I am having a similar issues as this, with raid failing consistantly and drives dissapearing all together, And we have tried both Seagate ES series drives and WD RE4 series.

Absolutly driving me nuts as to what is going on..
I really need full details, pls post as much info as you can about the specific makes/models; RAID config, any other info that may be important as a new question and me and other experts will take a look at it.

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