Yesterday morning our primary system disc showed excessive Seek_Error_Rate errors … almost a billion. The disc has been running continuously for the last 4.7 years 24 hours per/day 7 days a week. I ran these numbers past our web hosting service and they recommended that we replace the drive as it was in pre-fail mode. Communicated with Saker and he approved of the outage to replace the disc. A 30  minute warning was posted, then the server was shutdown. I expected only a 1-2 hour outage but I sure was wrong. The drive was removed from the server and data was cloned to a new drive by the hosting staff. This took hours as explained in detail here . After completion of the cloning and the installation of the new drive the system failed to fully boot. After a few re-boots by the hosting staff it was found that an additional manual console step was required. Once done system booted up fully and site is now back with a brand new disc that hopefully will run for another 4.7 years.

UPDATE: Some of the commentators have suggested raid-1 technology for the site. So I asked our hosting provider to give a quote on having raid-1 storage.  Software raid 1 is $204/year or $17/month … sounds like a good price. The hardware raid-1 is much more expensive at $459/year. or  $38.25/month. Extending these numbers to the 4.7 years that we used the last drive the raid insurance would have cost us $959 (4.7yr) for the software raid and the hardware raid would be  $2,157 (4.7yr) . I personally feel that this level of continuity and uptime is not required for a non-revenue generating site.


Herb Swanson (webmaster)

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