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Any way to "preclear" without unRAID?


onyx00

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I'm trying to expedite my setup a bit, and with parts on order from NewEgg, I've got two WD Black 1TB drives I'd like to try and "preclear" without having my unRAID box yet.  I plan to run the two WD 1TB Black drives initially (one as parity, the other as data), and eventually add another same drive that I would go and add.

 

Could I use something like a boot CD with Parted Magic (Linux disk utility package) to do an Internal Secure Erase on the drives?  If I recall these drives support enhanced internal secure erasure, and it will write 0's to all of the sectors.

 

Is there any disadvantage to trying to do this ahead of time, or should I just suck it up and wait until Wednesday when I get the parts and do the normal unRAID pre-clear?

 

Any other tips greatly appreciated.  I'm mainly trying to make use of the preparation time I have now.

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One of the critical things that happens during preclear is that a signature is written to the drive that unRAID recognizes indicating the drive has been processed and been thought to be good.  No other application is going to do that for you.

 

The truth is, preclear has to read every sector, write to every sector and then read those sectors again in order to find issues.  That's the only proper way that I'm aware of to fully test a drive...and that takes time.  If you want to trust your array completely, just bite the bullet and take the time to do it right.

 

You can skip the initial read with the preclear script, but that process detects initial SMART errors and it's important to have a baseline to compare your final results to.  Besides, this is the shortest of the three major steps that occur during preclear and it won't save you tons of time.

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if you have another PC that you can connect those drives to, you could boot that PC with your unRAID flash drive then perform the preclearing.

Of course, you won't be able to use that PC for something else while the preclear occurs.

 

Also make sure you are preclearing the right drives, not your PCs boot/data drives

 

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if you have another PC that you can connect those drives to, you could boot that PC with your unRAID flash drive then perform the preclearing.

Of course, you won't be able to use that PC for something else while the preclear occurs.

 

Also make sure you are preclearing the right drives, not your PCs boot/data drives

 

 

You can use a second flash drive with the free version of unRAID.

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I thought of another idea.  You could run a couple drive test passes using a number of alternate applications, so long as the application will write and read every sector on the drive.  Many drive test applications won't report sector reallocation though (since that can be somewhat normal, and OK within reason) and you may not get the "big picture" of your drive's health without looking at the raw SMART data.  But, with the drive's reasonably tested elsewhere, you could then run a single preclear when you get your system up and be fairly confident your drives are healthy.  I'd still suggest running the preclears through unRAID though since it's one of the better drive tests I've seen.

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