Gavin, I'd a very long weekend one time after a RAID5 array shat itself
when I plugged in a new drive. Turned out the RAID5 drivers really didn't
like drives with different firmware revisions. There was no possibility of
recovering the data.
I've seen RAID controllers fail (hardware bugs), and when the new one
arrived on site, it had a newer firmware revision so couldn't recognise the
old disks. We tried to reflash it, the controlled died completely (different
hardware, didn't support old software) and ended up cannabilising old
hardware to just get the data onto a tape while waiting for a second new
card to arrive.
So yeah, it's a real problem. Like anything in IT, it's just a matter of
probability of how often it'll happen to you.
Interesting statistic; I think about one in 2000 drives run at less than
20% max speed for all of their lives. I wonder does anyone notice ?
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