Asking for help

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Linux RAID issues are discussed in the linux-raid mailing list to be found at You do not have to be subscribed to the mailing list to post. Please note that you should "reply all" to any email - not everyone is subscribed to the list. Feel free to post requests for help to the list - just remember that many of us are users of raid who are happy to help other users, so do not expect a prompt reply, although a reply will probably be forthcoming eventually.


Asking the mailing list for help

There is a whole bunch of stuff you need to do first, before asking the list, however. And, studied carefully, this will hopefully enable you to solve your own problem.

How to ask Smart Questions

While opinions are divided on ESR, he is a good psychologist and this is good advice. Remember you are asking for help, and the easier you make it for us, the more likely we are to respond. Also, remember that if we waste a bit of your time, it's just one person so it's not much waste. But if you waste our time, it may only be 30 seconds but, multiplied by the number of people who's time is wasted it's easily hours, and could be months of wasted time!

What is your system running?

uname -a
mdadm --version

We need this information because there are several well known problems for which the advice is "upgrade" or "use a rescue disk". Especially if we see "mdadm 3.4.x" or an old Ubuntu.


smartctl --xall /dev/sdX

Run smartctl on all drives. Most requests for help to the list turn out to be because the drives do not support TLER or SCT/ERC. This is easily fixed. --xall is rather verbose - for a shorter report you can use "-H -i -l scterc" instead.


mdadm --examine /dev/sdX
mdadm --examine /dev/sdXn

Run --examine on all drives and partitions. This scans the drive for information about what arrays are on the drive.

mdadm --detail /dev/mdN

Run --detail on all arrays. This scans the array for information about the drives or partitions which make it up.


Download Phil Turmel's lsdrv utility with

git clone git:// lsdrv

It uses Python 2.7 so if your system defaults to Python 3 you will need to edit the shebang line, and then it should work fine. Run it and then save the output!


cat /proc/mdstat

What to do next

Check all the following sections to see if they solve your problem for you.

If they don't, post a description of your problem, accompanied by the output of all those commands, to the mailing list.

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