Label RAID Drives With QR Codes
I knew this day would come. One of the drives in my RAID array has died and now I need to figure out which one and remove it. Unfortunately, I have not labelled any of the drives, and I am not using any kind of hot swap hard drive cage with activity lights.
This means the best course of action I can take (after recovering the BTRFS RAID array) is to keep unplugging one drive at a time before rebooting my computer. When the computer manages to boot the array successfully, I know I have found the failed drive.
A Real Solution.
Going forward, I'm going to use
sudo btrfs fi show to list all of the devices in my array.
Label: none uuid: 7c95ba2a-deb8-4163-aa3c-299667bfcb43 Total devices 2 FS bytes used 2.00TiB devid 1 size 2.73TiB used 2.04TiB path /dev/sdc1 devid 2 size 2.73TiB used 2.04TiB path /dev/sda
Then I am going to cross-reference the
/dev/sd* items against the output of
/dev/sda: UUID="7c95ba2a-deb8-4163-aa3c-299667bfcb43" UUID_SUB="8d0f5b96-2f93-4afe-b602-c3a8e0497111" TYPE="btrfs" /dev/sdb1: UUID="D1AC-53DB" TYPE="vfat" /dev/sdb2: UUID="69cdbe20-9773-4036-9e84-d6a48faf4c4b" TYPE="swap" /dev/sdb3: UUID="3e81667f-9ed3-417f-816d-d64dd11f2a69" TYPE="ext4" /dev/sdc1: UUID="7c95ba2a-deb8-4163-aa3c-299667bfcb43" UUID_SUB="b9371f1c-33ea-4ceb-9fc8-fe374cf9fc8f" TYPE="btrfs"
... to find the UUID of each of the drives in my btrfs array. So for the example above, I want:
/dev/sda: UUID="7c95ba2a-deb8-4163-aa3c-299667bfcb43" /dev/sdc1: UUID="7c95ba2a-deb8-4163-aa3c-299667bfcb43"
I will then use a QR code generator to print QR codes which I will then stick on the appropriate drives for in future. These QR codes only need to tell me the UUID of the drive, and not bother with the
/dev/sd[x] part which would confuse things. We don't record the
/dev/sd[x] because these can "move around" as you unplug and re-plug in your drives. However the UUID will always remain the same.
In the future, when a drive fails, I can use
btrfs fi show again to list all of the working drives. I then cross reference all of the
/dev/sd[x] against the UUIDs from
sudo blkid to find all the working UUIDs. Then I can just scan the QR codes on each drive and remove it if it is not in that list.