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I know they say when the third light is blinking blue, sometimes that means that the server is running chkdsk or something and I should leave it.

I have left it for about 48 hours now and still nothing.

I had been getting some messages about a possible disk error - on one of the disks.

If I just remove one, once powered down, and then turn back on the server will I lose files ?

I am thinking of pulling the drive that I suspect has issues - running SpinRite on it and then putting it back in before starting up, or am I being too paranoid and the server should work with the other 3 drives.

I had about 1.1TB free, and the drive I am pulling is 1TB. So I am cutting it close.

Thoughts ?

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Don't run SpinRite, since it's below the OS level anyway. It does the same thing as the surface scan in chkdsk /r. You'll want to back up your files to external storage, and run a disk check from the drive manufacturer, as well as a chkdsk /r (slave up the drive to another PC). – user3463 Apr 8 '11 at 3:28
Why would I not want to run SpinRite ? Given that it is below the OS level, that makes it the perfect candidate. It should look at the sectors and restore any data that might be lost/corrupted. Kinda too late, SpinRite is running as I type this :) – marcamillion Apr 8 '11 at 4:39
On a failing hard drive, the last thing you want to run is a tool that reads areas of the disk thousands of times, with an unlimited possible run-time. You want to get your data off as soon as possible, with the least number of reads. – user3463 Apr 8 '11 at 4:43
Except where the damage is too severe, or there isn't sufficient free space, etc., etc. As I said before, I'd sooner get the data off before futzing with the drive. If a drive is badly damaged, SpinRite could run literally for years. – user3463 Apr 8 '11 at 4:56
@marcamillion assuming you're using WHSv1's built-in Drive Extender technology, and you haven't set up your own software RAID. Then it isn't actually software RAID and you can just pull a disk out and plug it in another machine, and you will see the full NTFS file system with whichever files were on that disk. WHS DE places whole files on normal NTFS disks, and then keeps track of their whereabouts using "tombstones" on the system disk. This was one of the huge advantages of using WHSv1's Drive Extender technology over RAID, data recovery is just as easy as on a normal Windows system. – GAThrawn Apr 15 '11 at 17:04
up vote 2 down vote accepted

From my comments:

In this case, SpinRite may not be appropriate if the damage is too severe, or there isn't sufficient free space. I'd sooner get the data off before futzing with the drive. If a drive is badly damaged, SpinRite could literally run for years.

Go with the manufacturer's drive analysis tools first. See if the drive is physically damaged. Then move the data off as soon as possible. I see SpinRite as a last resort.

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