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I'm running a network attached storage appliance (Iomega ix2-200) which is running some sort of Debian variant. Recently, the unit has been unable to shutdown cleanly, either via the web interface or by pressing the power button on the unit itself. It goes through the shutdown processes (killing SSH, samba, http daemons) but it hangs at a point I can't determine.

The unit flashes a small white LED when shutting down and this LED does not stop flashing. The drives do not power down, but there is no activity (at least that I can hear - it's usually quite noisy when reading/writing). Pressing the power button again at this stage does nothing, and the only way I can power the device back on is by pulling the power and reinserting it. Interestingly, when I pull the power and boot it back up the device doesn't complain with its "Oh I had an unsafe shutdown" email which it normally does if I yank the power supply.

Is this something I should be concerned with? The data on this NAS is quite valuable and I don't have a unit to backup to (this was the unit!). If it's a typical sign of these failing then I will go out and buy a new one.

Has anyone got any idea how to determine the shutdown process in the way of logs etc on a Debian operating system?

Update The last two messages the device gets in /var/log/messages are the following:

Aug 24 11:06:44 Ruth shutdown[5945]: shutting down for system halt

Aug 24 11:06:44 Ruth init: Switching to runlevel: 0

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5 Answers 5

It looks like the system is going down for "halt", which does not always mean it's going down for poweroff. This could be a BIOS/ACPI thing, but it could also simply be the fact that the device has shut of and is waiting for the power to cut out (remember the old days when after shutdown the system used to show you a message saying "It is now safe to power down the system" or something similar? That's what I'm thinking is going on.)

2 possible workarounds;

  • If you have access to a root shell, enter the command shutdown -hP now and see if it actually shuts of this time.
  • Force ACPI; I don't know much about NAS equipment, but I'm figuring it'd have some kind of boot loader (maybe even just GRUB). Add this as a kernel option; acpi=force, reboot the device (does running reboot from a root shell reboot it or does it still just hang after shutdown?), and try the shutdown -hP now command.

Edit: Oh, wow. I seem to be quite late, don't I? :p

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I can't say that this is a sign of a failing device, or that anything is really very wrong with it- rather that this hang is the exact point where the appliance expects that one would pull the power. What I am saying is essentially that the machine has assumed the same shutdown routine that most older computers have- Shutdown software, and once this is done, sit idle for the user to physically unplug the unit. Seemingly this is a good way of shutting down your unit as it does not give you any response saying that the device had a bad shutdown or anything of that variety.

What I find suspicious, though, is that the device only just started to do this. Did you install any updates or modify the device's software in any way before this problem started to occur? Logically, if you didn't do either of these things, then you shouldn't be having any problems.

I Wouldn't be worried about data loss during these hard shutdowns; as long as the hard drives aren't actually writing or reading during said hard shutdowns, there is really no chance of data loss or HDD Damage. By the looks of those log messages, the appliance did fully shutdown, too. I would assume it safe to unplug the device or force-shutdown the device by pressing and holding the power switch, once the machine begins to "hang."

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Try it from another machine. Troubleshooting something like this, I will try on another device. I suggest that although it may seem to be (by log file) shutting down, you can see it is not. Because it is frozen, it means it has faulted.

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Tips to try:

  • Can you try an IOMega NAS firmware upgrade for your NAS
  • Do a disk integrity check from the NAS Admin website
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I am no expert but how about you open command propt(if that's avalible) and if not you could always cut the power supply (not recommended though).

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