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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:05 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Little Rock
I turned on the TV this afternoon to find the second complete freeze of Myth R5.5 in 2 days. It was on a menu with the clock frozen at 11:52 am and the actual time was around 15:30.

I tried the remote, attached keyboard and ssh to no avail, finally giving up and pressing the reset button. An hour later when I remembered to check on the TV again, it was stuck at a S.M.A.R.T. warning that the primary slave had experienced a failure. It is a Samsung PATA 250GB similar to the one that failed less then 48 hours after I deployed to Iraq last year. Fortunately I'm here this year and can troubleshoot in person.

I tried rebooting several times to get past the slave drive error. The master has the root partition and should, as far as I know, still boot to a working system minus the TV shows stored on the slave. However, when I finally got the system to boot, it was to the setup screen because mythbackend hadn't started. I tried several resets before it was time to go out for the night, so in the end I threw in my old copy of SpinRite to see if it could recover the slave drive enough for us to get all the data off both drives.

So now, the questions:

1) If the slave drive is really what is toast, should that be stopping the master from loading up mythtv to include mythbackend or am I experiencing some other problem here?

2) If I can get access to both drives is it feasible to save the TV shows we've already recorded to transfer to the soon-to-arrive new system?

3) Is there something else I should be checking? The master HD is less than a year old, purchased in August of last year right after I got back. The slave, which seems to be the failure point this time, is probably 2 years old at least and as much as 4 years old--I'll have to check my NewEgg records to be sure.

Also, this seems like a good time to upgrade the hardware which was built around the MythTV-for-less-than-$500 concept and bring us into the 2000s with HD recording and playback. Please see related post for my hardware recommendation request.


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 12:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:30 pm
Posts: 8
1.) If you had a drive failure on the drive where you were storing your recordings. Perhaps your missing directories and mount points on the Master?

2.) If you want to move to a new system you could transfer it all over or if it's just a few recordings you could just copy them over to your "videos" directory on your new system and play them back their, minus your commercial scan breaks. If you decide to just copy , then use the links in /myth/pretty to copy them over to your new target.

3.) Does the bios see the Slave drive?
Is the drive spinning or making any odd noises that you didn't notice before?

Given that if it is dead you may be stuck with only the primary drive and whatever exists on it. You could run mythtv-setup again to re-configure your path for your storage locations on another drive or the master. If you do want to retain your current setup without the slave drive that contained your recordings then obviously you need to delete their references in the frontend or mythweb.

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 2:47 am 
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Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 11:55 pm
Posts: 1206
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Heat is the sworn enemy of hard disk drives. With your failure rate, I would *strongly* suspect inadequate cooling of the drive in its enclosure. Unless you relish these "upgrade opportunities" you should take care of the cooling issue first.

Look for drives that are noteworthy for their cool running. The WD "green" drives come to mind, for example. They offer capacities up to 2T per drive now.

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 2:16 pm 
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Agreed. What is the temp of your HDD when idle? You can measure it by running hddtemp (apt-get hddtemp).

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:05 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Little Rock
I suspected cooling issues which is why I initially added more cooling fans to the case and then later opened the case, cleaned out all the dust and applied more thermal paste to the cpu.

I especially suspected heat because after the one time I saw the SMART error on hdb it never surfaced again; I just got different and inconsistent errors. Also hdb is solely a storage drive but other functions such as loading mythbackend and mysql failed. I focused primarily on cooling when I purchased my new system, choosing a Coolermaster case supposedly designed for cool operation and adding a highly rated cpu fan instead of the stock cooler. I also purchased a HDD cooler for the first time ever--should have thought of that one before.

I will point out that most of the components besides the hard drives have been in more or less constant use since 2006 so I'm not completely surprised to start having some trouble.

Right now the system isn't entirely idle because a mythcommflag job is running, but hda is 43C and hdb is 41C. Since I cleaned out the dust bunnies and re-applied thermal paste, the system has run constantly with no lockups. Somewhere in the constant resetting/rebooting I borked mysql as others experienced elsewhere on this forum, but running it like this:
Code:
/usr/bin/mysqld_safe --skip-grant-tables

is working for now.

All my new stuff arrived tonight from NewEgg so I guess I'll copy the 420GB of TV shows to my 1TB external drive and start putting the new system together. I appreciate the suggestions; hopefully it will help keep my most recent purchase running long into the future.


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 9:58 pm 
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Location: Arlington, MA
Sure hope you've been making regular backups now that the DB is at least minimally working...


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 10:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:05 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Little Rock
tjc wrote:
Sure hope you've been making regular backups now that the DB is at least minimally working...


I have, but in the end I might wind up starting completely from scratch and leaving the old programs behind. After all, it's just TV. Even my wife says that when she's not whining about how she wants to watch TV :-)


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