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RAID Card / Info Quick Question

Posted on 2005-04-08
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Hello,
Quick question on RAID...
I have a drive bay with a split backplane. One part is connected to on NT server with RAID-5. The second part is connected to a Win2k3 server Raid-5.
The management utilities say that the fans on the second are not running, but i can physically see that they are... I have been in contact with Dell and tried everything they can think of except for replacing the Raid card.

My co-worker says that if we replace the RAID card, we will have to do a complete restore of both servers from tape because the drive data is contained on the RAID card.

I do not believe this to be true, but have not been able to find information to 'prove' that it isn't true.
All my knowledge of RAID tells me that al the RAID data is contained ont eh drives themselves... fault tolerence... if what he said is true, there is no fault tolerence because if just the card goes bad, you would have to resotore the entire system.....

Can anyone tell me who is correct here?

Thanks ahead of time,
Christopher
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Question by:hudsonbeck
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by:pgm554
ID: 13743989
All RAID info is contained on the firmware of the drives themselves.
If you were to go into the RAID setup utility ,you can initialize the hard disks one at a time.
This step needs to be done when replacing drives in a RAID array.

That is how the controller knows drive ID assignments in the RAID array.

IE> Let us say you were to swap the order of the drives in the backplane,the RAID controller looks a the firmware on the drives and says that the drives are not in the correct order.
That is why whenever you are replacing drives or moving from one system to another ,it is very important to label the disks(0,1,2,3,etc).
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by:pgm554
ID: 13744012
However,moving to different controllers or different manufacturers,can cause issues.Even a different REV of firmware on the RAID controller itself can cause issues.

So always CYA with a known good working backup before any major surgery.
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by:hudsonbeck
ID: 13752377
So, If I were to swap the RAID card with another that is the same make/model, I should be ok? Meaning I wont have to restore the entire system from backup simply because i have a new RAID card?

If tahts the case... when I replace the card and bring the system back yo, I should  go into the RAID setup and set the drive order? Or will it prompt during boot that i need to configure it? Or will the new card read this info from the HD firmware and simply boot fine?


Thanks for your help,
Chris
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pgm554 earned 500 total points
ID: 13753810
>So, If I were to swap the RAID card with another that is the same make/model, I should be ok? Meaning I wont have to restore the entire system from backup simply because i have a new RAID card?
Yes

> Or will the new card read this info from the HD firmware and simply boot fine?
That's correct.
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by:hudsonbeck
ID: 13753865
great...thanks a lot.
I will make sure to CMA just in case...

Chris
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by:pgm554
ID: 13753888
If your RAID controller is working fine and all that is at issue is the integrated management software from Dell says it isn't ,but it is,the Dell software is at fault.
I have had Dell servers telling me that I have a memory pre-failure with a DIMM for years and the folks at Dell said it to replace the DIMM.
Well I did ,and guess what ,it's still there.
Then they said upgrade the firmware and the integrated management software.
Well I did ,and guess what ,it's still there.

Sounds like another bug in the Dell management software.

I would ignore it.
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