Archive for the ‘Diagnostics’ Category

SANtool storage diagnostic device (Pre-announcement)

April 25th, 2009 No comments

Getting close to releasing what I believe will be the new standard in storage diagnostics for sysadmins and service people …  Let me know what you think!!

The SANtool™ is a multi-platform portable storage diagnostic tool. The SANtool enables the administrator/technician to efficiently diagnose, test, tune, break and/or repair storage peripherals. Unlike traditional software diagnostics there is nothing to license, “install” or remove. Plug the SANtool USB Flash stick into a machine running a supported Windows or UNIX/LINUX operating system, and start using the software. The diagnostics are performed by SANtools® command-line program, (SMARTMon-UX), and controlled via a web browser over a secure (SSL) connection. All HTML, Javascript files, images, the embedded web server, and O/S-specific executables are included on the SANtool.  No java runtime, external DLLs, drivers, or web servers are required.

This is picture of the SANtool desktop

This is picture of the SANtool desktop

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How to contact Seagate 24×7 critical data recovery services

January 25th, 2009 3 comments

The link to Seagate data recovery services is  Fill out the form, and they send you information.  If you drop the disk drive off to a UPS store, then they pick up the costs so shipping is free (unless you want to overnight it).  The two recovery centers in the USA are in Chicago and Santa Clara. The Seagate (US) 24 Hour Critical Response Number is: Read more…

Seagate’s boot-of-death identification software now offline

January 19th, 2009 No comments

Surely this is a temporary thing.  The Seagate boot-of-death disk drive identification site worked just fine up till Sunday evening (update … Still offline as of Wed Jan 21st 10:14 PM)


Using Seagate’s online tool to see if your disk is destined to become a brick.

January 18th, 2009 3 comments

In light of the sev-1 Seagate firmware bug that bricks both consumer and enterprise-class SATA disks, I ran the Seagate online tool that tells people if any of my disks are affected by the boot-of-death bug.

Is my drive destined to become a brick?
Is my drive destined to become a brick?

Seagate 'cuda test results

Yup, this just isn’t my day. Worse, my affected barracuda drives are running in a Solaris system as part of a zfs-based software RAID file system, and Read more…

Alert! Seagate barracuda & DiamondMax drives are dying en masse due to firmware bug. Seagate reacts.

January 18th, 2009 9 comments

Seagate hard drives from the Barracuda 7200.11, DiamondMax 22, Barracuda ES.2 SATA, and SV35 families, Seagate FreeAgent® , and Maxtor OneTouch® 4 may become inaccessible when the host system is powered on.  In other words, they turn into bricks.  If you are unfortunate to have one of these products and have not upgraded the firmware (i.e. if you are unfortunate enough to have one of these products and don’t cruise the Seagate support site on a regular basis), then a firmware bug will instruct the disk to turn itself into a brick some day when you power it up.  Do NOT power off any computer that has the following disk drives until you check the firmware.  Seagate is quietly offering free disaster recovery assistance, firmware updates, and software to determine if you have a disk that is running the evil firmware.  This “boot-of-death” bug rivals the infamous IBM Deathstar which lead to a successful class-action lawsuit. Read more…

How do you diagnose problems with tape drives and/or autochangers?

January 17th, 2009 No comments

TapeAlert is the street-name for the ANSI specification that governs hardware diagnostics for tape drives, libraries and autochangers.  It was “invented” by HP, and well established as an industry spec.  Pretty much everything from IBM half-million dollar robotic systems to consumer-class entry-level DAT drives from HP support the spec.  More information on the spec can be found at the TAPEALERT.ORG Read more…

What can you do with intelligent (SES-compatible) enclosures?

January 2nd, 2009 No comments

Here are some examples of scripts that I have written using the command-line engine in smartmon-ux.

Emulate the typical LED and alarms one would see with a hardware-based RAID controller so an appliance that uses software-based RAID has same look-and feel …

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Example SAF-TE Report

December 30th, 2008 No comments

Below is a  dump from a DotHill SAF-TE compliant enclosure, using SANtools smartmon-ux software. The text in RED indicates the SAF-TE components.  This was run on a Windows-based O/S, but the software is ported to Solaris, LINUX, IRIX, AIX, HP-UX, and other UNIX Variants.

smartmon-ux -I+ -E+ \\.\SCSI3:
SMARTMon-ux [Release 1.13, Build 4-SEP-2002] - Copyright 2002 SANtools, Inc.
Discovered CNSi JSS122 S/N " " on \\.\SCSI3: (processor) [SAF-TE] [Adapter/ID.LUN=0/0.6]
Inquiry Text Page Data - ANSI defined fields
  Device Type:                         processor
  Peripheral Qualifier:                Connected to this LUN
  Removable Device:                    NO
  ANSI Version:                        3 (SPC ANSI X3.301:1997)
  ISO/IEC Version:                     0
  ECMA Version:                        0
  Vendor Identification:               CNSi  
  Product Identification:              JSS122        
  Firmware Revision:                   L421

SCSI Enclosure Services (SES & SES-2) Management

December 30th, 2008 No comments

SCSI Enclosure Services, referred as SES or SES-2, depending on the revision level, is a command set that is used to manage and sense the state of the power supplies, cooling devices, displays, indicators, individual drives, and other non-SCSI elements installed in a fibre channel or SAS (host-attached) enclosure.  Intelligent enclosures that connect to the host via a SCSI cable will normally speak the SAF-TE protocol.

The command set is defined as an ANSI specification, and utilizes the SCSI commands to obtain configuration information for the enclosure as well as reprogram it to light external indicator LEDs or audible alarms to inform the user about the health and maintenance information for attached RAID controllers and disk drives.

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