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All Drive Lights Flashing Red RRS feed

  • Question

  • This has happened only twice in the past 5-4 weeks.  I happen to look up at my server and all 4 drive lights (HP Mediasmart Ex485) are flashing bright red.  That's a scary thing to see.  However, in both cases, the 3 status lights at the bottom are solid blue.  There is nothing in any of the event logs that would seem to have any bearing on the problem.  The last ntfs error registered was 3-4 days ago recommending I run chkdsk, which I did.  I have the Home Server Disk Management Add-in installed and it shows nothing - nada - zip.  All drives are "healthy" and the temps are normal.  I am not running any duplication and I'm currently at 51% free space.  Everything seems to function normally even though the lights are blinking.  In both occurences, only rebooting cleared the phenomena.  I don't recall from the 1st occurence, but this time I'm sure there was nothing going on with any client, no file copying, etc. and I noticed the blinking lights at a time of day that nothing has been scheduled that I'm aware of.  It's a real mystery.

    My server is a HP Mediasmart Ex 485 w/PP2 and all the latest MS updates.  I have four 1 TB drives installed.  Disk 0, 1, & 3 are 1 TB WD Caviar Black.  Disk 2 is 1 TB WD Caviar Green.  I spoke with HP Support.  Nothing they could think of would cause this, at least there is no error code represented by all 4 lights blinking red.  There was some thought that maybe the green drive spinning down might cause something weird.  But, this has happened so infrequently that I wouldn't believe this to be a likely cause.

    I have found nothing with Google here or anywhere that sounds like it might even be related.

    Has anyone seen this or have any idea what might be going on?
    Monday, August 24, 2009 1:50 AM

Answers

  • I don't know for sure, but I'm assuming my problem as been fixed.  HP has replaced my chassis for other reasons ("unexpected shutdown", file conflicts, etc.) and if the problem with the old chassis was also causing the red flashing lights, whatever was causing it probably went back to HP with the old chassis.
    • Marked as answer by Cedarcreek Tuesday, October 6, 2009 2:44 PM
    Tuesday, October 6, 2009 2:06 PM

All replies

  • Alone the fact, that there have been NTFS errors, would point to a problem - maybe the controller has an issue.
    Did this happen on specially hot days?
    I think you should contact HP with the description of the issue and hope to get some qualified and engaged supporter.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Monday, August 24, 2009 9:06 AM
    Moderator
  • I have contacted HP and they knew of no possible cause for the drive lights to blink red.  At least, there is no specific error code associated with this.  But, at least I am on record with the problem.  I may call again at a different hour and see if another tech has an idea.  As for a hot day, no it wasn't a particularly hot day.  In fact, it was cooler than it has been for several weeks.  And, as noted, the drive temps were normal (46-47 degrees C).

    One thing I noted in my chkdsk logs is it reporting as being in Read-only state because the /f switch was not set.  I used the /r switch instead.  Isn't that supposed to imply /f?  If it does, then chkdsk doesn't report it as such.  Incidently, no drives reported an error.
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 2:12 PM
  • There is an easter egg on the Mediasmart machines that allows you to change the colors of the lights. Does anyone else have the password to change settings in the console?
    If there is an error this won't alleviate the problem, but if someone changed the lights you can tell by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift and clicking the picture in the brightness control section of the MediaSmart Server tab. This allows you to change the light effects on the server. It should have Default Colors (Recommended) selected.
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 6:31 PM
  • No one here but me and the chickens.  I'm sure the light color setting has not been changed - plus they were blinking on and off.  But, thanks for the info.
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 7:07 PM
  • No one here but me and the chickens.  I'm sure the light color setting has not been changed - plus they were blinking on and off.  But, thanks for the info.

    The EX manual does not document any error condition the drive lights blinking. The only way I can explain the blinking drive ligths is the (hiden) Eastern Egg.

    Just to be sure: did you check out the Media Smart console tab?
    In standard mode the image of the MediaSmart Sever show the text "LED brightness control".
    If you click the image while holding the Ctrl-Alt-Shift keys it switches to "LED light show". Clicking again switches back to standard mode.

    - Theo.


    No home server like Home Server
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 7:58 PM
    Moderator
  • I finally found the easter egg you were talking about.  The setting closest to my problem was "pulsing red", but still not the same.  The "pulsing red" was much slower than the blinking red I experienced, which, by-the-way, blinked fully off and fully on at a rate of about 1 blink per 1/2 second.
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 8:48 PM
  • Hmmm..  Then I realy have no idea what could cause this.....

    (I have an EX475. May be it is special to the 48x series. One would expect HP to be abled to explain the meaning of these pulsing lights?)
    - Theo.


    No home server like Home Server
    Friday, August 28, 2009 6:32 PM
    Moderator
  • To describe the blinking red lights a bit better, it is the same blink rate and intensity as the blue lights when a drive has been "removed" from the pool yet still plugged in.  In my case, all four drive lights were blinking including the system drive.  A real puzzle so far.
    Friday, August 28, 2009 10:11 PM
  • I just encountered the same blinking red on all four drives in my EX 470.  A reboot fixed it.
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 4:47 PM
  • A reboot fixed mine, too.  But, it still leaves me waiting for the next shoe to drop.
    Wednesday, September 2, 2009 2:03 AM
  • Stepping in to mention that my 475 has done the same thing twice now in the last few months. The most recent was within the last 30 minutes. A reboot cleared it. Nothing amiss according to the console, either. Nothing unusual in the Event Viewer.
    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare, Live Mesh, & MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator
    Friday, September 4, 2009 1:15 AM
  • I'll note that the lights are controlled by a service (I think, software anyway) that HP created, and which interfaces with the hardware via device drivers (probably supplied by the ODM). So this issue should be raised with HP. Really. Microsoft can't fix this, only HP can. And (cynically) they won't unless people complain.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, September 4, 2009 5:16 PM
    Moderator
  • I have a 475 and mine are all blinking red also.
    Tuesday, October 6, 2009 3:16 AM
  • I don't know for sure, but I'm assuming my problem as been fixed.  HP has replaced my chassis for other reasons ("unexpected shutdown", file conflicts, etc.) and if the problem with the old chassis was also causing the red flashing lights, whatever was causing it probably went back to HP with the old chassis.
    • Marked as answer by Cedarcreek Tuesday, October 6, 2009 2:44 PM
    Tuesday, October 6, 2009 2:06 PM
  • I encountered flashing drive lights on my ex470 last night, but mine were flashing purple, not red. I wasn't able to connect to the console, but I could ping the machine and access files on the shares. Today, the lights were still flashing. I remoted into the machine (remote desktop client, not the console), and took a look around. Nothing out of the ordinary. Launched the console, and everything looked fine. So I rebooted the machine. Lights stopped flashing. All seems fine. Still a mystery, but a reboot clears it, whatever "it" is.
    Thursday, October 8, 2009 4:04 AM
  • I have had the blinking drive lights issue on my EX470 s9ince I bought it.  A reboot will clear it but it seems to just go away on its own as well.
    Monday, October 12, 2009 5:59 PM
  • I've had it two more times since my last post and in each case a reboot resolves it. There is no apparent cause - no errors shown and I can access the console and remote into the box with no issue. It happened again early this morning. Strange.
    -steve
    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Wednesday, October 14, 2009 12:30 PM
  • I just had this happen for the first time last night. It was too late to play with it, so I left it. By morning, it had stopped. All file shares seem available and no issues found. Could it be some automated job that is running (i.e. duplication of data? defrag?)?
    Tuesday, June 8, 2010 2:57 PM
  • Just an update.  Since changing out my chassis, I have not experienced the blinking red lights.  Nor have I experienced file conflicts or any other form of drive error.  Since I still have the same drives, I'm speculating all the problems I was experiencing was caused by a drive controller or related hardware.
    Tuesday, June 8, 2010 3:29 PM