Resolved Question

Need hand debugging an odd behavior

A few days ago, I noticed the the power LED on the computer case started to flicker. It looked almost like it was a HDD indicator and would sometimes be 100% bright and other times only a fraction of normal brightness. At the same time this started occurring, I started getting random error emails that a ZFS RAID array could not be found. This is an Ubuntu 16.04 file server.

The two culprits that come to mind first are the motherboard or the PSU. The motherboard is ~1 year old Asus M5A78L-USB3/Plus and the PSU is a brand new Seasonic 550W G series. I also recently upgrade the CPU to an new AMD FX 8350 I picked up for cheap. Can anyone recommend either good articles, or procedures to do some troubleshooting to see if I can determine the cause?

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Clarification Request
A loaded question.

Any Seagates in there?

Also, what does the S.M.A.R.T. values tell you?

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No Seagate

Hehe, nope. I only buy HGST or Western Digital anymore. There are 8 spinning disks and one SSD. I used to make sure I didn't under purchase the PSU when I replaced it. None of the drives report S.M.A.R.T. errors.

Best Answer

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How Many Hard Drives On This Server?

To me, it sounds like one of the hard drives is losing a connection, or possibly dying. Open the case and re-seat all connections to the hard drives. Try running drive tests using the manufacturer's testing programs. Either way, be sure you've got redundant backups of the data on your server.

Of course, if you're right, it's easy to swap in a known-good power supply or at least, check the PSU connections to the motherboard, GPU, etc.

Hope this helps.


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This was the ticket

I went back through and double checked all the connections again, though a more thorough this time. It turns out that I missed a HDD that had the power cable work loose. I've noticed (on accident) that SATA drives can run off of the just SATA cable hooked up, and none of the drives reported they were offline in the RAID array, so I didn't pay close attention. I bet when the HDD was running full speed it was pulling too much power through the sata connection and it was starving the mobo and causing the power LED to flicker. I hope I didn't damage anything.

Thank you for all the answers!

Post was last edited on March 6, 2018 8:22 PM PST

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