Portlock Support

Novell NetWare File System Errors

This document provides information regarding file system errors that NetWare reports. The goal is to provide knowledge about these types of errors and possible solutions.



Related Novell TID: "Error Reading File.." on Server with All Dev (04JUL1995)

On some of our test servers, which get quite a workout, we have noticed error messages similar to the following on the NetWare console:

4-20-2001 9:26:56 am: FILESYS-5.10-178 [nmID=60017]
Error reading file NWDIR.JAR.
Offset 000315AEh data stream 0.
Read was requested by user ADMIN on station 6.

This error message means that a user attempted to read data from this file. The disk read returned "Media Error" and the read could not be completed. For some reason NetWare does not Hotfix this data block. We recommend backing up this volume, replacing the disk drive and then doing a volume restore.

The key problem here is that NetWare did not do something with this error. A possible reason is that this is only a temporary error and the read may succeed at some time in the future. However, at this time, NetWare just returns garbage to the user.

How can you detect that this problem might be happening on your server?

  • Review the console logs located at SYS:/etc/console.log. Look for error messages of this type.
  • Attempt to read all of the files on the volume. This will force NetWare to actually read the file data off the disk. Read errors will be detected at this point. One problem with this strategy is that compressed files may be decompressed at this point. You might run out of disk space.
  • Run a disk verify periodically. Keep track of the number of errors that are reported. If the number of errors increase, then the disk drive if failing - replace it.
  • Run MONITOR.NLM and keep track of the number of "Used hot fix blocks". If the number of used hot fix blocks increase, then the disk drive if failing - replace it.
  • If there are "Used hot fix blocks" on RAID-5 drives, this is a problem. RAID-5 supports fault tolerance, and should not report media problems to NetWare. When this happens, usually an old driver is at fault. Contact the vendor (not Novell) to diagnose why this is happening.

How to correct this error:

For each file that NetWare reports this problem, rename the file to something else. An idea would be to create a root level directory called "badfiles". Rename the file specifying this directory as the destination path. Do not delete the file. Deleting the file will move the file and its data blocks to the deleted file list. Later when you purge the volume, the bad disk block will then be available for another file. The problem will then repeat later on. Now recover the defective file from your backup or other sources.