Trouble with SATA Harddisks ...

These messages are logged in vmkernel.log with WD SATA Harddisks attached to the mainboard-SATA-controller:

2013-06-30T06:15:01.293Z cpu2:2572)<3>ata5: exception Emask 0x10 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x4090000 action 0xa frozen

2013-06-30T06:15:01.293Z cpu2:2572)<3>ata5: irq_stat 0x00400040, connection status changed

2013-06-30T06:15:01.293Z cpu2:2572)<3>ata5: SError: { PHYRdyChg 10B8B DevExch }

2013-06-30T06:15:01.294Z cpu2:2572)<6>ata5: hard resetting link

2013-06-30T06:15:06.251Z cpu2:2572)<6>ata5: SATA link up 1.5 Gbps (SStatus 113 SControl 310)

2013-06-30T06:15:06.319Z cpu3:2572)<6>ata5.00: configured for UDMA/100

2013-06-30T06:15:06.319Z cpu3:2572)<6>ata5: EH complete

Those message repeat several times per hour.

As a consequence,..

- sometimes the harddisk in question gets "grayed out" in vpshere client

- copy processes like migration with veeam fail

- sometimes the whole ESXi becomes unaavailable

- sometimes the HD recovers and is available again for some time.

- in fact the HD is unusable

I have been googling a lot about this  and found out, that this probably comes from from libata-driver, but also found something that perhaps this is a problem triggered by the HD itself.

BTW the mainboard is an GA-H55M-USB3; the SATA-controller is listed as "IBEX Peak 6-port SATA-AHCI-controller"

I have been testing with several WD SATA HDs (2x1TB, 1x1,5TB) They all are capapbla of SATA 3Gb/s.

Changing cables and/or SATA-Ports did not change the behaviour, also jumpering the HD to 1.5Gb/s.

On the same ESXi are other HD attached to SATA:

- 1 Intel SSD on vmhba0

- 1 300Gb Samsung SATA (older model)

- 1 500Gb Samsung SATA (2008)

- None of them has problems

The brand-new WD-HD were intended to replace the older HDs.

Yesterday, I simply replaced the WD 1TB by another SAMSUNG 500Gb and the messages did not showup again.

Can anybody help me ?

I cannnot imagine that this should be a problem of  newer WD-HDs, but it sounds as being a problem of some HD

Otherwise: Which brand/model is known to work well ?

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2 Replies

sata-disks are generally not best suited for enterprise use, but if you want to stick with them, use at least some designed for 24/7 operation, sometimes marketed as "enterprise edition", or "raid edition". These have generally higher reliability, time-limited error recovery and a few other useful features. I have used seagate constellations and hitachi travelstars (2.5") with good results.

If possible stay away from various "green/blue" or "eco" editions. Those have very agressive power-saving routines (i.e. variable speed), frequently putting them to sleep/offline mode, and some controllers might represent this as drive being disconnected.

_____________________________________________ If you found my answer useful please do *not* mark it as "correct" or "helpful". It is hard to pretend being noob with all those points! 😉
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Thank you for your answer.

I tried with 2 HD - one is from green line, the newest is from "Enterprise storage". The only Thing they have together is that they both come from WD.

I am a Little bit surprised, that there are some similar Topics about this Problem.

May be downgrading to 5.0 solves the Problem. I have 5.1 with the newest Upgrades from end of April.

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