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Intel RAID showing constant failed drives errors

Posted on 2013-11-25
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Last Modified: 2013-11-26
I have several Windows 2011 Standard servers running Intel RAID 1 (mirror) . The raid controller is built into the Intel server motherboard. Several servers have had RAID failures upon start up - (they show degraded). I replace the "bad" drive and rebuilt the RAID ARRAY. That will solve the problem for a month or 2 then it shows up failed again. I have tried different brand hard drives and still the same issue. All the "bad" drives are never really bad, they test good. Has anyone had a similar situation or what might I be doing wrong?
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Question by:chriswolf
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by:dlethe
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First, most common reason for this is using cheap desktop drives that do not support TLER instead of proper 24x7x365 server class disks.

Secondly, the Intel RAID is absolute crap. You will get better performance & higher reliability using the native windows Software mirroring.  

The reasons they test good is twofold
 * Most testing software, especially consumer testing software won't detect the problems you have to begin with
 * Typically issue is with timing on bad blocks. Error recovery must take no longer than 5-7 seconds depending on the controller model, but on non-enterprise disks, it could take 30+ seconds.  So it times out and logs errors that makes drives fail.   Enterprise disks give up after 2-3 seconds, and let the controller fix the problem, that is why you need to be using them.
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by:chriswolf
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Ok thanks, I will have to order the 24X7X365 drives and see if that solves the issue for now. Thanks for your input!
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dlethe earned 500 total points
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Make sure documentation is clear about the disks being "server" or enterprise class, and if using SATA, they talk about the HDD having TLER capability, and being designed for 24x7x365.

If your controller also supports SAS, then these are going to be a better choice in terms of reliability and performance, but cost is higher.
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