Mfusick's How to build an affordable 30TB Flexraid media server: Information Requested.! - Page 29 - AVS Forum
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post #841 of 3750 Old 04-19-2013, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

If your trying to install Windows home server to SSD smaller than 160GB here is how I do it:

Hit SHIFT +F10 to bring up command prompt. Then type : notepad.exe and hit enter. This will bring up the Notepad. Click file then open and browse to SKU/SERVERHOMEPREMIUM.def. You need to select all files at the bottom, and not just word files to see it. Then just edit the size of the HDD from the 160GB to anything you want it to be. Save and Close.

Then just type wpshell.exe and enter... set up will continue on your drive under 160GB smile.gif


Good tip.

Can you kindly confirm if you can do a hotswap with your M1015 please?
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post #842 of 3750 Old 04-19-2013, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post


Can you kindly confirm if you can do a hotswap with your M1015 please?

Yes. I've done it 50 times. I just make sure the light is not on (the drive is in use) on my Norco case first. Each bay has it's own HDD activity light. If it's off... I just yank it out. It disappears from MY COMPUTER, plugging it back in it re-appears.

I have even yanked them out while in use - nothing bad happened.

Why would you not be able to hot swap ? If the drive is not in use then pulling it out simply just kills the power. I'd just be gentle till it stops spinning if it is spinning when you yank it out.

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post #843 of 3750 Old 04-19-2013, 07:40 PM
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Don't know, someone from another thread posted something about having to rescan drives in Windows after hotswapping.
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post #844 of 3750 Old 04-19-2013, 07:58 PM
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I tried hot swapping drives with my M1015 and it didn't work. The drives just wouldn't show up again until I restarted. Though, I've got a Supermicro case and I'm running Windows in esxi so maybe it's different.
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post #845 of 3750 Old 04-21-2013, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Must be different. I yank it out it disapears. I put the drive back in and it re-appears. I'ts really nothing more to it than that.

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post #846 of 3750 Old 04-21-2013, 03:07 PM
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Not my intention to derail the thread but those of you who post here seem to have some Flexraid experience so here goes: I have hit a brick wall.

I installed Flexraid and set up a Cruise Control pool as follows:

1. 1x WD green 3TB as parity drive
2. 5x Samsung HD103UJ as data drives
3. 2x WD green 3TB as data drive
4. 2x Samsung HD153UJ as data drives

These were all empty. I initializedRaid and started the pool. Then

5. Added 1x WD Green 3TB parity drive (empty)
6. Added 1x WD Green 2TB data drive (50% full)
7. Copied data from other drives to pool.

I then set up a schedule (w/ email notification) to update once per night, validate weekly and verify monthly. First update set for 2.30am the following night.

Checked status the next morning and found the update had not run. No email received. Tried a manually triggered update, throws up a completely blank, non-updating progress window. Nothing happens. Log file has no indication of any update starting, scheduled or manual.

Ran a quick validate, which completed showing all the new files added.

So I decided to try a verify. It started out apparently working, running at ~90 MB/s but crashed at 86% because of a memory leak according to the log file entry.

I then decided to do a "re-create" to see if maybe a complete parity rebuild would fix it. It has now been running for 5 hours and only reached 4% of my approx. 8TB of data. It runs at 14 MB/s (!!) and only consumes 8% of my Phenom X4BE's CPU cycles. This is heading for 48 hours to calculate parity for 8TB of data.

Where did I goof when I set this up?
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post #847 of 3750 Old 04-22-2013, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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You have a bad drive. I had same problem with a WD green which is reason I started using other models. Two of my WD greens just didn't play nice. I ended up copying the data from them to a new HDD I had and not including them in the storage pool.

The drives had errors so its better I figured it out up front.

Try using other HDD and making a new configuration. See if you have better luck.
Do you have a empty drive you can copy data to ? I'd do that before anything else in event if failure.

Once done I'd test all your drives outside of Flexraid. You can just stop the storage pool.
If you verify they are all healthy then I'd post your log on the Flexraid forum and ask Brahim for help.

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post #848 of 3750 Old 04-22-2013, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

You have a bad drive. I had same problem with a WD green which is reason I started using other models. Two of my WD greens just didn't play nice. I ended up copying the data from them to a new HDD I had and not including them in the storage pool.
 

 

My drives all check out, I have tested the heck out of them. BTW all the WDs are brand new with the exception of the WD20.

 

Note my problem is the update does not even start, let alone fail. This is something other than a failing drive. I have posted on the Flexraid forum, the dev responded today and I posted some logs.

 

So now I have a fully functioning pool but not a clue if parity is operational or not. confused.gif

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post #849 of 3750 Old 04-22-2013, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah. Something is amiss. I've never experienced that. Sorry I'm not sure a solution then. Mine was clearly a failed drive and removing it fixed my issue.

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post #850 of 3750 Old 04-23-2013, 02:28 AM
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Well I am starting to think maybe FlexRAID isn't that great after all. There was no way I could get it to do an update so I had to delete the configuration and start over.

 

I added all the drives again:

 

Parity drives: 2x WD Green 3TB

 

Data drives:

 

  • 6x Seagate 1TB
  • 2x Samsung 1.5TB
  • 1x Samsung 2TB
  • 1x WD Green 2TB
  • 2x WD Green 3TB

 

Total of 14 drives in the pool, 17TB total data space, 50% free. I formatted the parity drives before creating the array.

 

Initialization is moving at glacial speed; 12-13 MB/s. It's taken 50 minutes to reach 1% - if this is linear, which I sure hope not, we're looking at 83 hours to compute parity for 8 TB of data.  

 

And others report doing 20TB overnight? And I've seen the figure 1 hour per TB mentioned as well. In which case my system is only performing at 10% of expected.

 

My CPU is only being utilized about 20% so if I have a bottleneck it certainly isn't the processor. 8 of the 14 drives are connected to the IBM M1015, 3 to the motherboard and 3 to the (cheap) Lycom Marvell based PCIEx4 card.

 

When testing the drives individually, none of them did less than 120 MB/s sustained file transfer so no indication there of a bottleneck.

 

Maybe initialization of Flexraid arrays using non-empty drives does take this long and I am just being impatient, but that does not explain how some of you could initialize a 20TB array overnight.

 

Maybe it has to do with the fact I have two parity drives?

 

I'm going to give it a few days to see if the speed increases, but I'm not hopeful.

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post #851 of 3750 Old 04-23-2013, 04:12 AM
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How did you pool the drives?
Did you combine the smaller drives into one data unit (ie. 3x1TB = 3TB), so they are all about the same size, or did you add every drive individually? This can influence parity computation speed (less data units in your pool is better then 12 individual units + 2 parity)

I get pretty consistent speeds when creating parity or running a full verify, usually at about 80MB/s because there is a bunch of 5400rpm drives in my array.
I can also safely update FlexRaid to the new version - i've always followed its instructions to the letter however, completely uninstall the old version, then re-install the new. This leaves configuration intact and worked just fine for me.

Sounds more like a quirk with your system rather then a general FlexRaid problem, since its apparently not a common problem around here.
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post #852 of 3750 Old 04-23-2013, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by politby View Post

Well I am starting to think maybe FlexRAID isn't that great after all. There was no way I could get it to do an update so I had to delete the configuration and start over.

I added all the drives again:

Parity drives: 2x WD Green 3TB

Data drives:
  • 6x Seagate 1TB
  • 2x Samsung 1.5TB
  • 1x Samsung 2TB
  • 1x WD Green 2TB
  • 2x WD Green 3TB

Total of 14 drives in the pool, 17TB total data space, 50% free. I formatted the parity drives before creating the array.

Initialization is moving at glacial speed; 12-13 MB/s. It's taken 50 minutes to reach 1% - if this is linear, which I sure hope not, we're looking at 83 hours to compute parity for 8 TB of data.  

And others report doing 20TB overnight? And I've seen the figure 1 hour per TB mentioned as well. In which case my system is only performing at 10% of expected.

My CPU is only being utilized about 20% so if I have a bottleneck it certainly isn't the processor. 8 of the 14 drives are connected to the IBM M1015, 3 to the motherboard and 3 to the (cheap) Lycom Marvell based PCIEx4 card.

When testing the drives individually, none of them did less than 120 MB/s sustained file transfer so no indication there of a bottleneck.

Maybe initialization of Flexraid arrays using non-empty drives does take this long and I am just being impatient, but that does not explain how some of you could initialize a 20TB array overnight.

Maybe it has to do with the fact I have two parity drives?

I'm going to give it a few days to see if the speed increases, but I'm not hopeful.


I just realized the dual parity drives. That might slow things down.

I still think you have a slow drive some place.

If not then your demonstration will be evidence that a server with a beefier CPU (i5 or quad core ) and faster HDDs might be beneficial in running dual parity.

I'm about to go dual parity myself so ill post my luck. I've got 12 Seagate 3TB's I'm going to use for 30 TB plus two parity.

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post #853 of 3750 Old 04-23-2013, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Btw have you tested speeds of all thee HDDs on the cheapo SATA card at same time. ?

It might go full speed on one drive but about the same speed divided by 3 on three drives.

Many cheap cards bottleneck which is why I added my IBM card.

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post #854 of 3750 Old 04-23-2013, 06:39 AM
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Thanks guys for pitching in.

 

I hope I am not too optimistic now but I think I have pinpointed the problem.

 

I had tested all the disk drives on my desktop system, not in the server. They all checked out fine.

 

I did another round of testing using HDtune, now with the drives plugged into the actual server. One of the Samsung 1.5TB drives was suddenly posting read speeds at the 25 MB/s level. 

 

In some rare flash of intuition I moved that drive to another drive bay (different SATA controller), tested it again, and its speed was back to normal. Tested a different drive in the original bay, and now that drive was dragging its feet.

 

So either the motherboard SATA port connected to that first bay (#4 in the top row on my X-case RM420/Norco 4220 chassis) is broken, or that port on the backplane is broken, or the breakout cable is flaky.

 

Flexraid update throughput is now suddenly almost 95 MB/s. Yay!

 

Can't be bothered to un-rack the system right now so I think I'll wait until that drive bay becomes needed, not likely for a while as I have 2 vacant ones and I can always replace smaller drives with larger new ones.

 

What do you think is the most likely culprit? I vote for the cable - unlikely that just one backplane or mobo port is shot, isn't it?

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post #855 of 3750 Old 04-23-2013, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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It's probably a bad connection or defective cable. I'd change out the cable and re-test. If it fixes it then it's probably the cable. If not and if you get the same results next I would try swapping out the backplane board with one from another row. If that works then is was the SAS port or how the bay fits into it connection. If it does not work then you know it's probably the SATA port itself because it's unlikely you have two bad cables or two bad back planes.

I kinda figured you had a slow drive in the bunch or something was funky. The performance is only as good as your slowest and worst performance drive.

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post #856 of 3750 Old 04-23-2013, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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THE LONGEST IT SHOULD EVER TAKE TO DO A PARITY CALCULATION INITIALIZE IN FLEXRAID IS 10 HOURS




Side Notes:

I notice that usually the slowest or lowest performance drives are also the smaller ones. This is simply because the older drives are both smaller and slower, and the more modern the drive the larger and higher performance it usually is. So the slowness of your HDD is probably offset by it's smaller capacity. So basically your reading data slower, but you have less data to read so the total impact is not that great.

In my case the generally crappy performance of my nearly full 2TB WD GREEN (think 60MB-75MB/sec) really does not hurt much because I am also doing 3TB (possibly larger) at the same time. The time it takes to do your parity is the longest time it takes to read your slowest/most full HDD. In other words if you are to read all of your hard drives drives then your parity will basically take the longest time it took to read one of the drives.

So I can read 3TB from my Seagate in about 5.4 hours, and I can read 2TB from my WD GREEN in about 8.3 hours. It's only about 3 hours longer because of the WD GREEN 2TB HDD to calculate my parity.


Some Math:
Seagate:
3145728 MB in 3TB divided by average 160MB/sec = 19,660 seconds (327 minutes)

WD 2TB GREEN
2097152 MB in 2TB divided by average of 70MB/sec = 29,959 seconds (499 minutes)


I'm just guessing at the average speeds but it's probably realistic based on reviews and the performance I see daily.


I don't have any 3TB GREEN's for data anymore in my server - But this is the impact it has:

3145728 MB in 3TB divided by average 93MB/sec = 33825 seconds (563 minutes) [9.3 hours]



So I'd guess the longest anyone should ever expect a parity calculation or initialization to take with totally full drives is about 10 hours.
That being based on 3TB of data being read at about average 93MB/sec. (WD GREEN 3TB specs) Seagate 3TB 7200.14 would do it almost twice as fast by comparison. So the general time it takes should be between 5 hours and 10 hours based on 3TB drives that are full. It should take less time with less full or smaller drives.

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post #857 of 3750 Old 04-23-2013, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spectrumbx View Post

1. http://wiki.flexraid.com/2011/04/15/quick-validate-vs-validate/

2. Scheduled entries cannot be edited. It is just much simpler to delete them and create new ones.

3. There is no documented typical scheduling because it all depends on your usage pattern.

Quick-Validate: Reports changes in your array. You can manually run it once here and there to check for changes, but no point in scheduling it.
I mean, changes in your array are expected.

Update: you run it as often as you need to (based on how often data is being changed in your array). You could run it every hour or once a day or once week. It is up to you to decide.
I also recommend running the Update task right after big data changes rather than waiting for the scheduled operation to trigger.

Validate: I run it once a week to detect datarot. You could run it once a month or any other frequency. It all depends on your level of paranoia. Make sure it runs only after an Update operation has run.

Verify: I run it once a month. Again, the frequency here is driven by your level of paranoia. Make sure it runs only after an Update operation has run.

Validate and Verify do the same thing but take a different approach in doing it.
Validate was designed to replace Verify as it runs faster and detects datarot whereas Verify just does bit for bit verification.

If you want more power, check out the FlexRAID Expression Language: http://wiki.flexraid.com/2011/06/02/the-flexraid-expression-language/

This topic is reminding me to add a task that automatically syncs the RAID first before executing Validate/Verify.
Made notes to Mantis: http://bug.flexraid.com/view.php?id=299

Did you ever add the task to automatically sync the RAID before executing Validate/Verify ?

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post #858 of 3750 Old 04-23-2013, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

THE LONGEST IT SHOULD EVER TAKE TO DO A PARITY CALCULATION INITIALIZE IN FLEXRAID IS 10 HOURS

This is assuming your controller or PCIe bus doesn't bottleneck when you read from all drives at once, which some onboard controllers will most likely do.
Onboard controllers are usually only connected via PCIe 2.0 x1, while still 500MB/s in theory, can cause limitations - and thats also assuming the general PCIe bus doesn't slow down when everything is transfering at once.

Also, you should take the write speed of the parity drive into account, writing is typically slower than reading.
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post #859 of 3750 Old 04-23-2013, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevcairiel View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

THE LONGEST IT SHOULD EVER TAKE TO DO A PARITY CALCULATION INITIALIZE IN FLEXRAID IS 10 HOURS

This is assuming your controller or PCIe bus doesn't bottleneck when you read from all drives at once, which some onboard controllers will most likely do.
Onboard controllers are usually only connected via PCIe 2.0 x1, while still 500MB/s in theory, can cause limitations - and thats also assuming the general PCIe bus doesn't slow down when everything is transfering at once.

Also, you should take the write speed of the parity drive into account, writing is typically slower than reading.


Yes. Great points !

If your intended parity write speed is longer than your slowest data read speed that would be your bottleneck. Usually read and write speeds are close though so I wouldn't expect much change in the time it takes.

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post #860 of 3750 Old 04-24-2013, 12:37 PM
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I'm installing FlexRAID on Windows server 2012, unlinke unRaid, I was told my hard drives just show up as generic disks with no exclusive identifiers (i.e., shows up as New Volume or whatever name I gave it with the assigned drive letter). For my new server, as I have a huge number of disks (30+), it is difficult for me to know which hdd listed in Windows Explorer or the Disk Management screen corresponds to the physical disk installed in the server, is that correct? If so, I have to attach one hdd at a time and then reboot the server, then label it, and so on. I really don't like that way at all. Any suggestions?
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post #861 of 3750 Old 04-24-2013, 12:44 PM
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SMART data readers displays serial numbers of the HDDs if that's of any help to you.
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post #862 of 3750 Old 04-24-2013, 12:45 PM
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That is exactly what I had to do.

I didn't at first, and I quickly learned how to run a recovery through FlexRAID when i stupidly removed and reformatted the wrong disk...
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post #863 of 3750 Old 04-24-2013, 12:46 PM
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SMART data readers displays serial numbers of the HDDs if that's of any help to you.

Be careful - if you don't have your device mappings correct, the SMART information on the drive may be mispointed and you don't realize it.
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post #864 of 3750 Old 04-24-2013, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elpee View Post

I'm installing FlexRAID on Windows server 2012, unlinke unRaid, I was told my hard drives just show up as generic disks with no exclusive identifiers (i.e., shows up as New Volume or whatever name I gave it with the assigned drive letter). For my new server, as I have a huge number of disks (30+), it is difficult for me to know which hdd listed in Windows Explorer or the Disk Management screen corresponds to the physical disk installed in the server, is that correct? If so, I have to attach one hdd at a time and then reboot the server, then label it, and so on. I really don't like that way at all. Any suggestions?

It might be a rude approach but I just yank out a drive while "my computer" is up and watch which HDD disappears. I then label it with a sticker (label maker) put it back in and rename it in WHS.

I did this for all 12 of my HDDs. (30TB).

It's really as simple as that.

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post #865 of 3750 Old 04-25-2013, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

It might be a rude approach but I just yank out a drive while "my computer" is up and watch which HDD disappears. I then label it with a sticker (label maker) put it back in and rename it in WHS.

I did this for all 12 of my HDDs. (30TB).

It's really as simple as that.
That's a good idea if at the time you yank out, you have to make sure the drive is idle, but you don't know. Otherwise, you kill the drive and the controller as well because of electric arc. I don't like that way at all.
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post #866 of 3750 Old 04-26-2013, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Well my Norco 4220 has individual status LEDs on each drive bay showing if its powered (blue) and if its active (green).

It's obvious if its in use or not. I just make sure the green light is off or not on.

I label each drive when I first add it to the system. Usually when they are empty and I format them. Then I never worry about it again smile.gif

It's just how things are. I accepted this as normal procedure and never really even thought much else about it.

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post #867 of 3750 Old 04-28-2013, 12:02 AM
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Well I just used HDtune to read the serial numbers of the drives, then set the windows disk volume name to correspond to the bay number (e.g. BAY_4); that way I have a direct way of knowing which drive is where.
I then keep a spreadsheet listing all drives with serial numbers, Windows volume names, Flexraid unit names and SATA port numbers, in a safe place. Just in case.
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post #868 of 3750 Old 04-28-2013, 06:52 AM
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You could also put a sticker on each bay with its name.
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post #869 of 3750 Old 04-28-2013, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post

You could also put a sticker on each bay with its name.

I do this. Cheap $16 label maker from costco. Prints on tape.

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post #870 of 3750 Old 04-28-2013, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by politby View Post

Well I just used HDtune to read the serial numbers of the drives, then set the windows disk volume name to correspond to the bay number (e.g. BAY_4); that way I have a direct way of knowing which drive is where.
I then keep a spreadsheet listing all drives with serial numbers, Windows volume names, Flexraid unit names and SATA port numbers, in a safe place. Just in case.

Your much more anal and organized than I am.

I just have a paper I wrote it on handwritten that remains on top of my server case, and I did label each HDD with a label maker (stick on tape labels)

I am pretty simple:

Seagate 3TB #1
Seagate 3TB # 2
etc... etc....


WD GREEN 3TB PARITY, etc... etc...

I label them by what they are and that's about it. I don't record the serial numbers I just make sure the sticker label matches what they are named in my SERVER OS. That's it.

If I needed the serial number I could always pull out a drive, but I just don't see why I need that info.

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