Preclear plugin


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1 minute ago, Squid said:

Except that adding a drive to an existing array or rebuilding the drive involves writes to every sector.  A SMART self test after that effectively does what preclear did.

 

Except that by the time the disk has been cleared it has already been inserted into the array. A SMART self-test is then too late. What I want is something that does a read test before adding it to the existing array.

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Hi guys, this is a simple plugin that allows users to clear their disks before add them to the array.   The main characteristics of this plugin are: Modularity: can be used standalon

I think Thanks should be directed at all those members that have been dealing with the mess the last few months. @dlandon and @Squid have been working behind the scenes to try and clean up, and o

Dontlookoverthere over on the unRAID subreddit figured out how to get the plugin running again with a simple edit to the plg:   https://www.reddit.com/r/unRAID/comments/7wjpus/preclear_worki

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Except that by the time the disk has been cleared it has already been inserted into the array. A SMART self-test is then too late. What I want is something that does a read test before adding it to the existing array.
Can't you do a SMART test using Unassigned Devices? Genuine question, I'm not sure....

Sent from my LG-H815 using Tapatalk

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18 minutes ago, John_M said:

 

Except that by the time the disk has been cleared it has already been inserted into the array. A SMART self-test is then too late. What I want is something that does a read test before adding it to the existing array.

I don't want to start anything, but I'm genuinely curious about something.  Do you run whatever tests etc on a drive before you use for a computer other than unRaid?  

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2 minutes ago, Squid said:

I don't want to start anything, but I'm genuinely curious about something.  Do you run whatever tests etc on a drive before you use for a computer other than unRaid?  

 

Actually, yes. I do. Since you asked, I have an old PC dedicated to the task.

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5 minutes ago, John_M said:

 

Actually, yes. I do. Since you asked, I have an old PC dedicated to the task.

There's your answer.  Use it to prepare your disks for unRAID.  You would not have to stop the array, insert the disk, start the array to run a preclear and then find out the disk is not suitable for the array and have to shut down the array again to remove it.

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What I find very strange is that if you look back at postings to this board the wisest of advice to anyone asking has always been to test your disks before adding them to your array. I've had discussions with people who insist on a minimum of three pre-clear passes to get them away from the beginning of the "bath-tub" curve. So, while I understand that emotions are running high, why is it such an outrageous suggestion that a simple plugin to check disks before committing them to the array might be useful to many users?

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2 minutes ago, dlandon said:

There's your answer.  Use it to prepare your disks for unRAID.  You would not have to stop the array, insert the disk, start the array to run a preclear and then find out the disk is not suitable for the array and have to shut down the array again to remove it.

 

I do and I will, Dan. But I'm not asking for myself.

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3 minutes ago, John_M said:

What I find very strange is that if you look back at postings to this board the wisest of advice to anyone asking has always been to test your disks before adding them to your array. I've had discussions with people who insist on a minimum of three pre-clear passes to get them away from the beginning of the "bath-tub" curve. So, while I understand that emotions are running high, why is it such an outrageous suggestion that a simple plugin to check disks before committing them to the array might be useful to many users?

Feel free to fork the preclear plugin yourself, make it work, and support it.

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When that day arrives that the plugin does not work in my simple NAS setup, I guess I will go back to using the old modified preclear script that Joe.L wrote those many long years ago.  Plus, I could use a bit of refresher ins-and-outs of the Linux Command Line beyond a few simple directory and file management commands...

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2 minutes ago, BRiT said:

I'm sure the current advice would be different if the plugin wasn't such a state of being FUBAR -- causing issues for others because it's in state of abandonment all while doing naughty things to the system.

 

I'm not quite so sure to be honest, although I don't doubt for a moment the state of the plugin has made us all take a long look at the whole process.  For those of us that remember the v4-v5 days when adding a disk to the array without preclearing would take the array offline until the disk was cleared it was a godsend, and probably what made it so indispensable.

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1 minute ago, dlandon said:

Feel free to fork the preclear plugin yourself, make it work, and support it.

 

Sadly, I don't have that skill. If I did have the skill, it would hopefully come with the sense to avoid this plugin like you and Squid and everyone else. Instead I would try to write the simple disk test plugin that I suggested earlier.

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7 minutes ago, John_M said:

why is it such an outrageous suggestion

Because based upon the history of the current plugin (which was a simple plugin designed to be a wrapper around the script which worked 100%) no one wants to go down that road for something that is "nice to have", but hasn't been a "requirement" for quite a while.

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1 minute ago, John_M said:

 

Sadly, I don't have that skill. If I did have the skill, it would hopefully come with the sense to avoid this plugin like you and Squid and everyone else. Instead I would try to write the simple disk test plugin that I suggested earlier.

If it were that simple, it would have already been done.  The script still works and requires a little command line work, but from what I remember it's not that bad.

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1 minute ago, dlandon said:

If it were that simple, it would have already been done.

 

Thank you. I appreciate your answer. As I said, I don't have the skill so I didn't know how difficult it would be.

 

I have the patched version of Joe's script. The same patch also works on Brian's modified script. I've used both in the past.

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1 minute ago, John_M said:

I have the patched version of Joe's script. The same patch also works on Brian's modified script. I've used both in the past.

Speaking for the group, that's our recommendation.  Use the script.  Forget the plugin ever existed.

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2 minutes ago, John_M said:

 

Thank you. I appreciate your answer. As I said, I don't have the skill so I didn't know how difficult it would be.

 

I have the patched version of Joe's script. The same patch also works on Brian's modified script. I've used both in the past.

 

TBH, it's not difficult to preclear from the command line, I managed it when I first started using Unraid, and at that point, I'd never touched a Linux system before.

 

This plugin makes it easier, but doesn't do anything other than that.

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1 minute ago, Squid said:

Speaking for the group, that's our recommendation.  Use the script.  Forget the plugin ever existed.

I happen to agree with this.  If someone feels like they'll explode if they can't preclear a disk a gazillion times, the script works fine.

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4 minutes ago, Squid said:

Because based upon the history of the current plugin (which was a simple plugin designed to be a wrapper around the script which worked 100%) no one wants to go down that road for something that is "nice to have", but hasn't been a "requirement" for quite a while.

 

3 minutes ago, dlandon said:

If it were that simple, it would have already been done.  The script still works and requires a little command line work, but from what I remember it's not that bad.

 

All of this is true from what I remember. Using the script is not that difficult if you follow the detailed instructions that JoeL. provided.  One has be be meticulous and play attention  to the details.  It could be run from either the console or using a Telnet  (SSH today) session.  One had to install screen on the server in case the remote session was interrupted.  (Interrupting the session would terminate the script.)  

 

What the plugin did was to allow folks with no command line experience (I would say that 70% of the unRAID users today fall into that category and and another 20% are very rusty in its use---myself included)  to prelear and stress test a disk to get rid of any marginal or early failure disks before they are mounted in to the array.  Folks kinda like how easy it was to use and that ease of use made a part of the 'ritual' to the adding a new drive to the array.  

 

There are those who say this may not be necessary, but as one who can remember when Computer builders/assemblers always burned their system for 72 hours before shipment, I want that little extra bit of insurance...

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18 minutes ago, John_M said:

I seem to have unwittingly offended a number of you with my stupid suggestion. I don't really understand why but I sincerely apologise. I will make no further contributions to this particular thread.

No need to apologize.  You haven't offended anyone.  Many of those posting here have had to put up with a plugin that is barely functional at times and has caused too many support requests for a "nice to have feature" and not a "required" feature.  We in general feel the script to do a preclear is fine, but the plugin has too many issues to be worthwhile and the developer has not been available to sort out the problems.

 

Unfortunately, you are seeing a lot of frustration coming out that was not intended towards you, but at the situation.

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1 hour ago, BRiT said:

Pay heed to the distinction.

Plugin bad.

Script good.

 

The only thing that scares me about this series of statements is that the preclear script is basically unsupported also.  It has already requires a  patch to the last supported release and any user who wants to use it has to do his own patching!  (There are a number of folks who could make the patched version available but after what happened the last time when a modified script was released, I don't see that happening.)  Luckily in the last change that broke the script, the kernel change was one that was documented with the solution to fixing any  problems caused by the change.  It may not so simple the next time.  Everyone should realize that we may only be a kernel change or two away from it being broke again.  

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9 hours ago, Squid said:

I don't want to start anything, but I'm genuinely curious about something.  Do you run whatever tests etc on a drive before you use for a computer other than unRaid?  

Yes I do - I specifically use Unraid preclear (historicaly preclear script, more recently the plugin)  to stress test all HDD prior to using in any other computer... And use preclear to wipe any disks going out of commission... Both in my personal life (friends & family) and at work.   It has saved us from a couple handfulls of early bathtub failures. 

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I may be missing something but with this plugin i am able to easily see and get notifications on the pre clear progress.

I can also see the progress on UD with this plugin installed (still on 6.3.5)


If i used unraid for the preclear all i see is "formatting" and i have no idea on the progress of the preclear.

Does unraid's built in preclear show progress and notifications on progress?

Really useful when preclearing large drives and you are an unpatient person :D

Sent from my LG-H990 using Tapatalk

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6 minutes ago, ars92 said:

If i used unraid for the preclear all i see is "formatting" and i have no idea on the progress of the preclear.

Incorrect, you'll see clearing and the progress is shown in the same place as a parity check, and you'll get a notification when complete.

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