RAID Drive Replacement

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On the 20th May, I noticed an email from mdadm (the Linux Raid Administrator) saying that a Degraded Array event was detected. It looked like two drives went down at the same time (SDC and SDD). Before I had done any diagnosis of the problem, I had ordered two replacement refurbished drives.

I went for refurbished because getting new ‘affordable’ drives that don’t use SMR technology (Shingled Magnetic Recording) is difficult. SMR allows more capacity in a smaller area, however they are a lot slower drives once you have filled the 25GB cache and in Network Attached Storage systems, they are not ideal. (Even WD Red NAS drives use SMR and don’t disclose that!)

So I went for some refurbished Seagate Barracuda 2TB drives. These were cheap and they used CMR 🙂

After a bit more diagnosing and a reboot, it looked like the SDC drive was okay but was just knocked offline because SDD corrupted the SATA bus. That made me feel a little safer, as I don’t like running systems with no margins for failure. I did a full set of diagnostics on SDC and reintroduced it into the array and it did a data check and came back online just fine.

I then had to wait a little while for my refurbished drives to arrive from Germany. They took a couple of days to arrive, which I didn’t think was too bad considering the world is kinda messed up right now.

Once the drives had arrived, I started doing my usual round of tests on new drives, to make sure they’ve survived shipping, make sure I’ve not been sold a lemon and also to make sure they’re going to give a decent level of service.

My testing involves using the SMART self test feature, recording those results, zeroing the drive, recording those results, then overwrite the drive 4 times with different patterns and compare that back. Once that’s done I record the results and compare again to make sure there’s no problems that testing has uncovered.

Next comes partitioning the drive. I just copied the partition layout of one of the existing disks and wrote the partition table to the disk. I then asked mdadm to add the new partitions into the RAID devices (md0, md1, md2, md3), and it started to rebuild the missing drive onto the new blank. You can see in the screenshot it is about 9.2% through recovery of the largest md device, md1.

From discovery to fix, this entire process took about 5 days. Actual user input was only about an hour, plus checking back and forth to make sure the drive was behaving.

Of course, RAID is not backup, but it’s great if your system can take two drives failing and still run fine. I have a backup system on a seperate drive and cloud backups. This is because in 2010, I typed an F instead of a G and wiped out the last 10 years.

Checking back through the logs, the problem was first reported on the 5th, but I didn’t see the email alert until the 25th, but at least it’s all fixed now. I didn’t need two drives, but it’s good to have a ‘cold’ spare in stock now 🙂

AcePC T11 Mini PC with Windows 10 CPU Throttling Fix

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I have being trying to fix an issue with Windows 10 on the AcePC T11 Mini PC. It would after a while, only use 33% of its CPU and be limited to 0.48GHz, which made YouTube and other processor intensive tasks really slow.

There are two problems that I encountered on Windows 10. The first was in “Power Options” in the Control Panel there was only the option for Balanced. High Performance and Power Saver were unavailable.

The second problem is the option to disable throttling is not visible by default.

I have created a registry file to allow us access to these options again.

It is recommended to update to the latest version of Windows 10 before applying these fixes, as they might be overwritten by an update.

 

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power]
"CsEnabled"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\PowerSettings\54533251-82be-4824-96c1-47b60b740d00\0cc5b647-c1df-4637-891a-dec35c318583]
"Attributes"=dword:00000002

The first option CsEnabled restores the hidden options in the Power Options section of control panel.
The second change allows us to modify the option “Processor performance core parking min cores”.

Copy the above to a blank notepad file, and save it as “power-fix.reg” making sure to include the quotation marks. Double click the file you have just saved to apply the registry fix and then you should restart your computer.

Then open the start menu and type Control Panel. Then navigate to “Power”. Chose the High Performance option, then click “Change plan settings”, then “Change advanced power settings”.

Navigate to “Processor performance core parking min cores”, under Processor power management, and set this to 100%.

Then finally, “Allow throttle states” to “Off”.

Apply your changes and reboot. Now your system should not be stuck running at the slow speed of 0.48GHz, but run around 1.44GHz to 1.68GHz

New Playlist

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I made a new playlist of songs I currently like.

52 tracks in playlist, average track length: 3:51
Playlist length: 3 hours 20 minutes 46 seconds

Playlist files:

  1. Postal Service, The – Nothing Better (3:46)
  2. Frank Turner – Worse Things Happen At Sea (3:43)
  3. Avril Lavigne – Nobody’s Home (3:32)
  4. Weepies, The – World Spins Madly On (2:39)
  5. Pierre Belmonde – Forever Autumn (3:17)
  6. Icon For Hire – Iodine (2:32)
  7. DHT – Driver’s Seat (2:51)
  8. Jem – Just a Ride (3:20)
  9. Halestorm – Freak Like Me (3:38)
  10. Reuben – Horrorshow (2:58)
  11. Rachel McGoye – Late Night Lover (4:07)
  12. Akon – Never Took The Time (3:57)
  13. Vanessa Carlton – Paint It Black (3:30)
  14. Green Day – Jesus Of Suburbia (9:08)
  15. Ed Sheeran – Drunk (3:19)
  16. Bad Religion – Let Them Eat War (2:57)
  17. Kelly Clarkson – Einstein (2:59)
  18. Tool – 10,000 Days (Wings, Pt. 2) (11:13)
  19. Evanescence – Good Enough (5:31)
  20. Death Cab For Cutie – I Will Follow You Into The Dark (3:09)
  21. +44 – Make You Smile (3:44)
  22. Halestorm – What Sober Couldn’t Say (3:33)
  23. Halestorm – I Like It Heavy (4:55)
  24. Halestorm – Here’s To Us (2:57)
  25. Muse – Uprising (5:02)
  26. Blue Swamp – Jumper On The Line (3:04)
  27. Ed Sheeran – I’m a Mess (4:04)
  28. Newton Faulkner – I Need Something (2:57)
  29. Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone (3:08)
  30. Placebo – You Don’t Care About Us (3:58)
  31. Tom McRae – A Day Like Today (3:48)
  32. Siouxsie And The Banshees – This Wheel’s On Fire (5:42)
  33. Bad Religion – Social Suicide (1:35)
  34. Against Me! – Dead Friend (3:02)
  35. Placebo – Special Needs (5:15)
  36. Seether – Remedy (3:27)
  37. Halestorm – Dear Daughter (4:46)
  38. Bad Religion – God’s Love (2:32)
  39. Ed Sheeran – Small Bump (4:18)
  40. Reuben – Good Luck (3:35)
  41. Android Lust – The Body (5:23)
  42. Icon For Hire – Get Well (2:57)
  43. Ed Sheeran – Little Bird (3:45)
  44. Halestorm – Love Bites (So Do I) (3:11)
  45. Jay Nash – Over You (4:00)
  46. Kelly Clarkson – Behind These Hazel Eyes (3:18)
  47. Fightstar – Unfamiliar Ceilings (4:06)
  48. Placebo – English Summer Rain (4:01)
  49. Jewel – Hands (3:55)
  50. Kelly Clarkson – Miss Independent (3:34)
  51. Against Me! – True Trans Soul Rebel (3:12)
  52. Weepies, The – Nobody Knows Me At All (1:56)