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Author Topic: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!  (Read 17483 times)

bigclaw

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2009, 08:51:07 AM »

I don't really mind a 6-8 month firmware release cycle... But given that the DNS-323 has been on the market for several years, the serious bugs should have been long gone by now and the updates should be for minor issues and enhancements to support newer disk drives.  The basic OS functionality and drive management code should be really stable and functioning properly.
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Scottk

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2009, 07:49:53 PM »

Whilst I agree it shouldn't happen - I invite any one of you to see if you can "provoke" it - in other words, can you identify what conditions will reliably cause it to occur (this is the first step into fixing it).

I know some of you are going to respond saying you didn't pay your money to beta test, etc., etc., I hear you and I've heard it before, so save your breath unless you have something meaningful to contribute.

For my part, I've owned a DNS-323 for over two years, I've swapped drives in and out and generally done a lot of things that I would not recommend people do, and formatted disks - I'd guess at a few dozen times - I have seen this bug once, and that was doing one of the things that I would not recommend - putting a disk with existing data into the unit.

I learned, back in the early '90's, that anytime you use a disk with data as a replacement on a device that is expecting a new disk, which this unit does - check the FAQ, there is a possibility that the unit will format the wrong disk.

Soooo.... do you want to help or do you just want to gripe?

If it's the first then document the conditions under which your mishap occurred - that will at least give D-Link some details to work with - and for the guy who's not going to buy another D-Link product - good luck with that, these are commodity items, you can buy what you want, but don't expect any better service anywhere else.

I've got another linux based NAS - and I don't get anywhere remotely near the support I get for this unit out of that brand.

just my $.0.02  ;)

Fordem,

As I am the OP on this one, I gave the exact procedure on how to do it!  Or at least one of the ways.
I am absolutely sure if I were to do the same thing again, I would get the same result.

ie, have 2 (1 1T, 1 500G) disks in there, set up as 2 distinct drives.
Take the 2nd one out, format it as ext3 in my Popcorn Hour.
Then return the 2nd one back to the unit.
Watch it tell me it wants to format the ext3 (Popcorn formatted) drive, but instead it will format the ext2 (DNS 323 formatted) one instead.

Am I going to try it again?  Heck no!
I already lost too much stuff to see it happen again.

At least, not unless DLink wants to send me a 2nd "loaner" 1T drive that I can use to backup the original 1T drive that it will incorrectly format during this bug.

In that case, I would be more than willing to let them play and fix the bug based on my setup.

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ponnani

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2009, 06:23:04 AM »

I agree with the  customer support, we have to think twice to buy a D-link product in future. :)

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fordem

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2009, 07:39:45 AM »

Scottk

Based on your experience - how many times out of how many tries will the unit incorrectly format a disk if a "new disk" with data is introduced?

I've seen it happen once and I've swapped disks in and out repeatedly trying to force it to happen.

The point I am making - primarily to all those jumping up and down about how long it is taking - is that intermittent problems, which cannot be easily reproduced, are very difficult to fix because the cause is difficult to determine.

You feel that you know one of the causes, based I believe, on a single bad experience, and I'm telling you, after repeated attempts to simulate the problem, that using a disk with data will not cause an incorrect format every time it is done.

I'm not going to suggest that the incorrect format will not occur if a new or clean disk is used, but I will suggest that using a disk with data as you did is something to be avoided - it takes me less than 5 minutes to delete the partitions from a disk before reusing it.

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RAID1 is for disk redundancy - NOT data backup - don't confuse the two.

Scottk

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2009, 05:36:37 PM »

I'm not going to suggest that the incorrect format will not occur if a new or clean disk is used, but I will suggest that using a disk with data as you did is something to be avoided - it takes me less than 5 minutes to delete the partitions from a disk before reusing it.

Hi Fordem,
I admire your posts at the other Forum, so I don't want to annoy you or anything...  ;)

But it makes no sense the bug could be fixed just by blowing away the partitions before using the disk again...

The firmware *KNOWS* which disk it needs to reformat, it even shows the correct disk in the Web UI of the unit!

Heck, if it had the wrong disk listed for what it wants to reformat, that would be a whole different ballgame completely, and would actually be a whole lot better, because at least I would KNOW something was about to go wrong, just by the mere fact that it SHOWS me that it wants to format the wrong disk!

But holy cow, the fact that it shows the correct disk that it wants to format, and then proceeds to format the WRONG disk 2 seconds later... That is just plain horrible!

If my company got a report of something like that with drivers that I write, we would have put a "Stop ship/Hold" on my driver, and we would have found/fixed the bug before allowing my driver to ship again.

But you can see that this bug has been there for years, I see reports of the same issue in 1.04, 1.05 and 1.06!

Its one thing to have a bug here or there thats inconsequential... But this bug is just about the worst bug you could have...

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bigclaw

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2009, 08:03:14 AM »

I agree that the original bug may be elusive. Just out of curiosity, I downloaded the 1.06 source and took a brief look at the C code that initiates the various disk format operations. It's pretty much a giant state machine that can be coded a bit more clearly.

Regardless, I find it interesting that D-Link considers supporting one brand of HDD (Hitachi in this case) with a known workaround higher priority than tracking down a bug that formats the wrong drive regardless of brand. I guess part of the reason is that the Hitachi bug is some low hanging fruit that can be reproduced with consistency and thus fixed more easily. Regardless, in my opinion, all other work should be stopped and all resources should be devoted to fixing the format bug instead.

Even if the bug is not that easy to fix, how about some CYB check to see if the disk about to be formatted contains existing partitions. If so, explicitly require the user to delete these partitions before inserting it into the DNS-323?

Silently formatting the wrong disk, even if the user is partially at fault because s/he didn't wipe the disk clean, is not good software behavior. Consider the target audience here. It's a SOHO/Home product. What percent of users don't even know there is a difference between partitioning and formatting? The last thing an ordinary consumer wants is a rude awakening because of some technical detail and D-Link's lack of graceful degradation in handling such details.

In the end, this hurts D-Link's image and credibility, not to mention loss of business. I'm pretty much the first one (both in the family and at work) with a dedicated NAS unit. People come to me all the time asking for NAS recommendations. Guess how many people have heeded my advice of steering clear of the DNS-323 for now?
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mig

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2009, 08:09:29 AM »

I agree that the original bug may be elusive. Just out of curiosity, I downloaded the 1.06 source and took a brief look at the C code that initiates the various disk format operations. It's pretty much a giant state machine that can be coded a bit more clearly.

Just curious (I have downloaded the 1.06 source, too) which C code files did you look at?
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bigclaw

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2009, 08:20:44 AM »

Just curious (I have downloaded the 1.06 source, too) which C code files did you look at?

The one I looked at was in the goahead module, I think. Something called format_disk.c, maybe? Sorry I've deleted the source so can't recall exactly. I'm not saying it's the right place for the bug though...
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mulder

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2009, 06:01:17 PM »

Hi ttmcmurry. You are correct regarding being harsh with D-Link. I'm disappointed with the lack of movement with the issues presented in this forum. I'll update my 323 to the newest firmware and put it up for sale on eBay. Hopefully, the next person who owns my 323 will not be as demanding or picky as I am with customer support.

I've just ordered the Synology RS407 http://www.synology.com/enu/products/RS407/index.php as a replacement for the 323 due to the numerous features I wish D-Link had incorporated. Granted, as an entry level NAS one cannot expect the 323 to have as many features as a high end model.

As the old saying goes, 'the grass is always greener on the other side'. I may run into issues with this new appliance, but I'm willing to take the chance of giving another company my hard earned money and seeing if customer service is number one. If customer service is number one, Synology can expect more business from me in the future.

D-Link has lost me as a customer forever :(
« Last Edit: April 18, 2009, 07:12:13 PM by mulder »
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mulder

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2009, 05:23:56 PM »

As an update to my post below I've transferred my files off the 323 (2 x WD 1TB drives formatted RAID1) and updated the firmware to 1.07 as I'm selling the 323. All went well with the firmware update. I reset the 323 to the default settings, rebooted and proceeded to reformat the disks.

First problem after logging in was the error stating I had a disk failure. I rebooted the 323 yet again and logged back in. After logging in I got to the screen asking if I would like to format my drive (just my luck it did not see the other drive due to a disk failure after updating to this firmware.....sheesh). What the heck, I said yes to format the single disk (the second disk was still in the 323)

Second problem now is the 323 sitting at 94% formatted for the last 20 minutes. This is ridiculous! >:(

Of course because it's sitting at 94% formatted I can't login with another session. I pull the powerplug and wait for the drives to spindown then power up the 323 again. Was able to log in and now I'm given a screen asking if I would like to format both my drives. After saying yes it started formatting then gave the error 'Hard Drive(s) Formatting Failure'. God I hate this piece of junk

After again rebooting and resetting the default settings it only shows one hard drive not two after logging in. I skipped over the formatting request upon log in and go straight to the tools -> raid and both drives are showing. From this menu I select to format both drives as RAID1. I get the warning 'You are about to re-format the hard drive(s).  All data will be erased.  Do you wish to continue?' and chose yes. I disable auto rebuild and click next. I put in the full disk space as the RAID1 partition and click next. At the moment the 323 is formatting both drives and.....success! I'll pack up the 323 now.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2009, 06:59:42 PM by mulder »
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Scottk

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2009, 06:54:32 PM »

The one I looked at was in the goahead module, I think. Something called format_disk.c, maybe? Sorry I've deleted the source so can't recall exactly. I'm not saying it's the right place for the bug though...

Oh, I think you very likely found the right section of code.
Just looking at the code, it definitely is the code that does the formatting, and the bug is very likely lurking in there somewhere.

It would be trivial to find/fix the problem, its more or less a matter of adding some debugging and printf's while the code runs.

I would attempt to fix the problem myself, if I had enough disk space to create a triplicate backup, so when I lose my data trying to fix the problem, that I wouldn't be out of all my data.

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D-Link Multimedia

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2009, 06:10:49 PM »

Can anyone who has experienced this issue tell me exactly what firmware they formatted their FIRST drive on?

Side it was installed from looking into the drive bays, "left" or "right".

Was it a clean drive when it was installed (new or deleted partitions)?

When you installed your secondary drive, was it new/deleted partitions or did it contain data?

If it contained data what formatting was it? ie did it come out of Windows PC, was it in another NAS or Linux based device?

This topic has been derailed so badly I am almost tempted to spilt off the OP into a new thread =P.
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peter_m

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2009, 03:43:44 PM »

The DNS-323 is the second Dlink product to burn me. Anyone had a wireless router Di-624 rev C???

I am afraid to upgrade my HDs so I will probably keep it as it is for now. When I need more space, I will simply get the cheapest Dell Vostro 220 or 220s, install two aftermarket drives and fool around with Linux... I can even add external USB at that point and get a print server that will actually work with my dumb HP printer... Goodbye Dlink!

Peter M
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 04:35:05 PM by peter_m »
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Scottk

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2009, 06:44:06 PM »

Can anyone who has experienced this issue tell me exactly what firmware they formatted their FIRST drive on?

Side it was installed from looking into the drive bays, "left" or "right".

Was it a clean drive when it was installed (new or deleted partitions)?

When you installed your secondary drive, was it new/deleted partitions or did it contain data?

If it contained data what formatting was it? ie did it come out of Windows PC, was it in another NAS or Linux based device?



Hi!
I am the OP, and can give you exactly what my setup is, and how I caused it!

The setup started, (and worked great!) with 2 disks.

Disk 1 is a 1T "Black Western Digital" drive:       WD1001FALS-00J7B
Disk 2 is a 500G "Caviar Western Digital" drive:  WD5000KS-00MNB0

Disk 1 is in the right hand side bay when looking at the front panel of the DNS-323.
Disk 2 is in the left hand side bay when looking at the front panel of the DNS-323.

The DNS-323 reports the following info on the Status page for the 2 drives:

HARD DRIVE INFO :
Total Drive(s):  2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Volume Name:  Volume_1
Total Hard Drive Capacity:  983454 MB
Used Space:  668240 MB
Unused Space:  315213 MB

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Volume Name:  Volume_2
Total Hard Drive Capacity:  491203 MB
Used Space:  380944 MB
Unused Space:  110259 MB


PHYSICAL DISK INFO :
Slot Vendor Model Serial Number Size
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 WDC WD1001FALS-00J7B WD-WMATV0229484 1000 G 
2 WDC WD5000KS-00MNB0 WD-WCANU2014839 500 G


The scenario that caused the problem is as follows:

I took the 500 G drive out, (which the DNS-323 has formatted as ext2), and put it into my Popcorn Hour Media Player.
The Popcorn Hour took the drive, and reformatted/repartitioned the drive as ext3.
I then copied a bunch of my media files to it.

A few days later, I put the 500G drive back into the left side of the DNS-323, and powered the DNS back up.

I did *NOT* wipe the disk before hand, so it would still have an ext3 paritition on it.  As to the actual partition table, that I can't be sure of.  Its possible that the Popcorn hour creates a couple partitions for itself on the disk...


BTW, During the whole time the 500 G drive was out, the DNS-323 was *NEVER* powered on, and had never seen itself booted with just 1 drive.

When the DNS came up, I went to the Web UI of the unit, and it told me that it found a new drive, and that it needed to format it for use in the DNS.
I completely expected this, since the drive HAD been formatted ext3, and so it was no shock to see this message.

I can absolutely guarentee that it said the 500G hd, and NOT the 1T hd, because I actually KNEW about this possible issue, so I was being very careful... (Or so I thought...) =)

So I said yes, and allowed it to format the drive.
However, I knew something was wrong pretty quick, as I watched the LEDs on the front panel, and I could see it was blinking the right LED rapidly, which is my 1T drive.
I let it do it for awhile, crossing my fingers that it was doing something else to that drive first, before it would start chunking away at the left/500G drive.
However, as the percent finish kept climbing up, it never blinked the left LED, but instead kept blinking the right LED...
This is when I panic'ed, knowing I might be able to save SOME of my data, so I slammed the unit off, and yanked both drives from the DNS.
I mounted them under Linux, and BOTH drives were messed up!
Howver, it was very bizarre looking...
The 1T drive was completely wiped, no files at all.  It was definitely the one that was being formatted...
However, the 500G drive was in a very weird state too.
It has directories and files, some of which should have been on there because of what I had copied over for the Popcorn Hour before this whole problem.  However, it had some files that should NOT have been there!  Things that were either deleted before the ext2 -> ext3 format that the Popcorn hour did, OR perhaps some files from the 1T drive was was being formatted...
However, almost every one of those files/directories were completely corrupt.  I would get weird read errors, or weird directory errors.

The only speculation I had about this bizarre behaviour, is that is we assume that the setup of a disk under the DNS-323 is a 2 step process... ie, 1) Wipe the partition table and repartition, and then actually format the disk....

Perhaps whats happening is that the DNS-323 partitioned the correct disk (500G), but formatted the wrong disk (1T).

This could explain why the 1T disk had nothing on it (formatting wiped the actual data), but the 500G just had weird corruption on it... Since ext2 and ext3 are very very similar in structure, just doing a repartition of the drive, but not actually formatting it could leave the directory/file structure in this weird corrupt state...

Anyway, this is the complete setup of how I got the problem to occur.

If you have ANY questions, please just ask!  I am more than willing to help in any way possible to help fix the problem!

Scott
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D-Link Multimedia

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Re: ARGH! It formatted the wrong disk!
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2009, 09:35:45 PM »

Thanks for the details Scott. Do you know which firmware you first formatted your primary drive with? Which version #?
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