Home > Data Recovery > Preventive recovery action in hard disk drives

Preventive recovery action in hard disk drives

May 19th, 2009

1. A method in a data processing system for minimizing read/write errors caused by impaired performance of a hard disk drive during runtime operation of said hard disk drive, said runtime operation including an active mode during which read/write operations are performed and a standby mode during which no read/write operation is underway, said method comprising the steps of: monitoring at least one performance parameter of a hard disk drive during said standby mode of operation; and in response to detecting a degraded value of said at least one performance parameter during said monitoring, performing preventive recovery action only during said standby mode of operation, wherein said preventive recovery action includes restoring said performance parameter to an acceptable value without interfering with hard disk drive operation during an active mode.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein said performance parameter is signal resolution, and wherein said step of performing preventive recovery action comprises the step of adjusting a fly height of a read/write head within said hard disk drive, such that said signal resolution is maintained at an acceptable level.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein said data processing system includes a disk drive controller associated with said disk drive, said method further comprising the steps of: during said step of monitoring at least one performance parameter, detecting a degradation of said performance parameter beyond a pre-determined value; and in response to detecting a degradation of said performance parameter, performing preventive recovery action during said standby mode, wherein said preventive recovery action instructs said disk drive controller to undertake corrective action to rectify the degraded performance parameter.

4. The method of claim 1, further comprising the steps of: detecting a read/write error during said active mode of operation, said error having a cause that is correlated to said performance parameter; and in response to detecting a read/write error during said active mode of operation, examining said performance parameter during said standby mode, such that said cause may be diagnosed and further read/write errors prevented.

5. The method of claim 4, further comprising the step of correlating said preventive recovery action to said cause of said read/write error, such that said cause may be corrected.

6. The method of claim 4, wherein said step of examining said at least one performance parameter is preceded by the steps of: initiating a data recovery procedure during said active mode; and upon completion of said data recovery procedure, initiating preventive recovery action during said standby mode, such that a subsequent read/write error may be prevented.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the step of initiating preventive recovery action during said standby mode is followed by the steps of: determining whether said cause has been corrected by said preventive recovery action; in response to said cause having been corrected, continuing said runtime operation of said hard disk drive; and in response to said cause having not been corrected, utilizing predictive failure analysis to issue a warning, such that said hard disk drive may be taken off-line.

8. A system for preventing read/write failures within a hard disk drive during runtime operation of said hard disk drive, said runtime operation including an active mode during which read/write operations are performed and a standby mode during which no read/write operation is underway, said hard disk drive including a controller for providing electromechanical control of said hard disk drive, said system comprising: means within a disk controller for monitoring a performance parameter of said hard disk drive during said standby mode of operation; means responsive to a detected degradation of said performance parameter for producing an error signal indicative of a potential hard disk drive failure; and means responsive to receiving said error signal for initiating preventive recovery action only during a standby mode of operation, wherein said preventive recovery action includes restoring said performance parameter to an acceptable value without interfering with hard disk drive operation during an active mode.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein said means for monitoring a performance parameter of a hard disk drive and said means for producing an error signal in response to detection of a potential hard disk drive failure, are predictive failure analysis instruction means.

10. The system of claim 9, further comprising: a controller for providing electromechanical control of said hard disk drive, said controller receiving and executing said predictive failure analysis instructions.

11. The system of claim 9, wherein said means for initiating preventive recovery action only during a standby mode of operation are preventive recovery action instruction means included within said controller.

Comments are closed.