Hard drive failure and adventures in ClearOS 7

(Last Updated On: October 11, 2015)

I woke up Friday morning to the wife, “hey wake, the computer in the closet is making noises” (I have the server in the family room front entry closet with the door open). Oh great, fantastic way to wake up. Sure as shit it was making noises, zzzzzzzz-click zzzzzzz-click. Thing is toast. Good news or bad news first? Good? It was only a 160GB SATA 3GB/s drive nothing massive, and it was not the OS so the intarwebs and therefor our lives are all still functioning. The bad… it was a storage drive, a rather old storage drive – that was not backed up as it was rarely used. It contained all of our digital family pictures for the last 15 years. From the birth of our first daughter to the camping trip we had this last July. Gone. I never did like digital pictures.

In the wake of the disaster I ran out to Fry’s and purchased a replacement drive. Wow, drives are cheap now. I haven’t bought a hard drive in ages it seems. I was able to snag a 3TB 7200RPM SATA 6GB/s for $99 (without shopping around). 1TB drives as cheap as $40 bucks, damn! Even the 2TB hybrid-SSD drive was only $100 dollars.

Here is where the fun really begins. Since I had a shiny new, and massive, drive should I just do a fresh install and migrate to the new drive? Should I just toss it in as storage and rock on. Or, should I do a fresh install of ClearOS 7 that just recently dropped? I opted for a clean ClearOS 7 install. Sadly I feel it still hasn’t come very far from when I tried it back in Beta. It installed flawlessly this time and in a fairly decent amount of time. No issues with the quad-gigabit PCI-e network adapter which was nice. The thing that I noticed overall that worked out of the box with zero issues was the server sending email. My ISP blocks port 25 and I found ClearOS 6 to be a pain in the ass to get it to send mail, in fact I was unsuccessful in my attempts (I do not want to use my ISP as a relay). With 7 I was able to change the settings very easily to use GMail servers with no problems. However but it was not by any means a smooth configuration process. In fact I write this from my ClearOS 6.6 network, I booted back into the old drive (I didn’t wipe it!). I had nothing but problems trying to get Flexshares to work over the network, mainly because Samba was being a bitch. OpenLDAP and Samba were not playing nice. I am gathering from all the research and tweaking conf files that I installed some modules in an “incorrect” order. I found a post somewhere that mentioned the SMTP module was required to get Flexshares working 100%. WTF?

Anyways after some thinking I decided what I was going to do. I am currently transferring all my Plex media to the new 3TB drive where it will live. I am going to use one of the 80GBs as a torrent scratch disk (to prevent future catastrophes), and the other 80GB or 160GB as the new ClearOS 7 drive. Then I’ll migrate whats left to the 3TB for storage and wipe the other drives. Seven in all, about 5TB of space. I am thinking of playing with ClearOS 7 as a virtual box to get it right before getting dirty. I have one year before 6 goes EOL for support/updates. No problem.


  1. March 14, 2016 / 10:53 am

    Did you lose your 15 years of photos? There is a company that can recover dead/fried drives.

    • justin
      March 15, 2016 / 3:11 pm

      I did, along with a lot of old MP3s. I still have the drive for the day I feel its worth the recovery cost.

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