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RAID 5 Multiple Hard-drives failure



Hello,
First, I apologize if this is rather OT. 

I had multiple hard-drives failure yesterday on a RAID 5 array. Two out of 
three drives died almost at the same time, rendering the RAID array useless. 
I tried to recover by doing --assembly and even --assembly --force but it 
failed. The raid device /dev/md0 run with damaged fail system after that, and 
fsck would not fixed it, and message scrolled on the screen and log files 
indicating that writing to the two drives were really failed. SMART reported 
the same thing. So I lost all data. 

There is a very very small probabilities that something like this can happen. 
However, in the last two years, I've had a strings of bad luck with these 
hard drives: all Maxtor DiamondMax 250 GB IDE HD. In the last two years, I 
had 4 drives failure with these drives (including the ones yesterday). The 
two failures in the past, I had a replacement drives sent for both of them 
since they were under warranty and it indicated a fail drive with Maxtor's 
diagnostic software.

I am using these consumer level drives thinking that I could build a rather 
cheap backup system. The machine, running RAID 5, did backup for some 
machines in the network using rsnapshot, twice a day. The size of data being 
backed-up is about 250~300GB. The hard drives is on a Promise controller 
running software RAID 5

So my questions having said all that, is there any thing else other than a 
real hard-drive problem that would cause something like this ? 
In other words, could the problem be in the controller, motherboard, etc other 
than the hard drive itself that would cause hard-drives to fail like that ? 
Or is it just Maxtor makes bad drives ? 
Or is a consumer level hard-drive just cannot be used for this kind of work 

I am hoping for comments, etc. Thank you in advance.

RDB
-- 
Reuben D. Budiardja
Dept. Physics and Astronomy
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN


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