SAS Drive Testing

Posted on 2013-01-24
Last Modified: 2016-01-14
Fellow Experts!
I need to test some SAS drives we have acquired. I have access to a PowerEdge 2950. I connector all drives up to the Perc 5 controller. I have each drive in its own VD. I wanted to use Seagate tools or HDDTune Pro to see the Health of each drive. Neither program on this server reports the health. What is the fastest way to check the integrity of these drives so I can sell them?
Question by:digitalintl
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Expert Comment

ID: 38815914
Is it possible to change the mode on the controller from RAID to not RAID? If yes try doing that and then using the manufacturer's diagnostic tool.
LVL 47

Accepted Solution

dlethe earned 500 total points
ID: 38815928
You need a different controller, or spend some money on some commercial software that can drill down inside that controller and expose what you want to know.   SANTOOLS.COM has some things, but if you just want to test disks before deployment and don't want to buy a JBOD SAS controller ...

Then next best way to burn in is to create as many RAID1 arrays as possible, and boot to a UNIX distribution and enter

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=128k   (the /dev/sdb corresponds to output device.  you have to watch boot screen to see what devices are there.  this writes zeros in 128KB chunks from beginning to end on that device.  run multiple dd operations staggering a minute or so apart and kick them off in background by adding &

Author Comment

ID: 38815947
That you kindly for the quick responses. It have to be set to RAID 0 for each drive separately.
My main goal is to be able to read the health and to be able to know that the drive is in good shape before it was sold. Awhile ago I built arrays and verified them on a DEll PE 2950  PERC 5 controller. We still had drives returned to them supposedly failing in Seagate Tools. I can get Seagate tools to work in this environment yet.
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 38815998
You have to use the plain, vanilla LSI (or other SAS) non-RAID controller if you want to properly test them with the freeware stuff.

Author Comment

ID: 38890240
Could you possibly recommend a cheap non raid card with 4 to 6 ports?
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 38890285
Go to ebay, and look for a LSI branded 380x family controller.  (The 8 is 8 ports), or 340x is 4 ports. LSI is quality and it is only cheap because you can find a bunch of them used.   Really just look at ebay for any LSI SAS/SATA controller.

The PERC controllers are also all made by LSI and just branded by Dell.

Author Comment

ID: 38890479
These cards will allow me to do what I cannot with the Percy controller, which is setup jbod on the drives? I need to test each sad drive, different brands such as Seagate and Hitachi.
LVL 47

Assisted Solution

dlethe earned 500 total points
ID: 38890623
Yes the 34xx and 38xx do not have any embedded RAID, but there are two flavors of firmware, -IT and -IR.  You can get both from the lsi website.  You will want to flash the -IT firmware on them to use for testing purposes.

(The -R in -IR is for the RAID code, which is still limited, but nevertheless is there)

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