Dell Poweredge 2500 drive issues

I'm not very familiar with servers so I'll try to explain this the best i can.  The server has 2 local drives and 5 drives on a Raid-5 configuration.  These 5 drives are associated with the 2nd virtual disk.  The other day I noticed that there were amber lights flashing on the physical drives 0 thru 3 (4 still had the steady green light).  Then I went under my computer and couldn't see the drive that was associated with these 5 disks anymore.  

The first step I took was to simply restart, which of course didn't work.  Next I checked out the event log and it contained errors like:

adpu160m didn't respond within the timout period   Event ID: 9
Drive 1:2:0 returning error                                    Event ID: 1
Drive 1:1:0 offline on container 2                           Event ID: 1

I then went to the Dell OpenManage Array Manger and saw a bunch of warnings.  Under

Arrays  (fail)
   Perc 2 Subsystem (fail)
      Logical Array  (fail)
         Array Group 0  (fail)
              Virtual Disk 2  (fail)
                   Array Disk 1:0 (warning)
                   Array Disk 1:1 (warning)
                   Array Disk 1:2 (warning)
                   Array Disk 1:3 (warning)
                   Array Disk 1:4 (warning)

When I click on an array disk the status says offline, sometimes when I restart it will say degraded.  The status seems to very every time I restart.  One time it only had warning for 1 thru 2 and only 3 was degraded.  Typically they've been having warnings for all though.  I went into controller manager by hitting <ctrl> 'a' on the restart and it said that container 2 was dead (I only tried this once).  The server is backed up using a Dell Powervault tape drive.  

I really have no clue what to do.  Initally when the server is restarting the physical drives all have steady green lights.  It seems like once Windows 2000 Server starts up the amber lights will go on.  They will go on one at a time, not all at once.  

Like I said, I really don't know too much about servers so I'm not sure what's wrong or how to fix it.  My only guess is that one of the drives went bad, even so I wouldn't know which one or how to replace it without losing data.

Any help very much appreciated.......



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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Reboot the computer and go into the PERC controller's BIOS.  Try forcing the drives online - ALL of them.  DO NOT REBUILD the RAID, DO NOT do ANYTHING but FORCE them Online.  Then reboot.  PERC controllers in my experience sometimes throw all drives offline for no apparent reason (though it's possible one drive is behaving badly, it could also be a freakish one time thing).  If the RAID comes back up, you should be ok - BUT MAKE SURE YOU MAKE A GOOD BACKUP, JUST IN CASE.
I have a Server with 3 Raid arrays across 2 containers (10 disks). 2 x RAID 10 sets and 1 x RAID 1.  I experienced huge issues after 6mths with drives dropping off for no reason and sometimes even a container would go offline. It was under warranty and the experts could not figure it out after months of chaging cards, disks etc. So when the warranty expired the first thing i tried was replacing the Power Supply to a bigger unit 460W to 550W and the Server has run faultlessly since.

Moral is : check / change your Power Supply as it may well be the culprit.
bwagz77Author Commented:
How do I get to the PERC controller's BIOS and force them online??
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
It's been a while since I worked on one so I can't give step by step directions, but as it boots it should tell you, I THINK it's CTRL+M
bwagz77Author Commented:
Ok, I was able to get into the BIOS and it gives 3 options:

Container Config Utility
SCSI Select Utility
DIsk Utilities

Under Container Config Utility, I have 3 options:

   Mange Containers
   Create Container
   Initialize Drives

Under SCSI Select Utility, 2 options:

   Controller Config
   SCSI Config

Under Disk Utility
   Channel 0
   Channel 1

Do you know where I should go to Force them?  I didn't see any type of "FORCE" options under these.  Is there a different name for it?


Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Fairly certain it's under Manage Containers.
bwagz77Author Commented:
Under there it gives me a list of the current containers.  When I put the cursor over the bad container, I have the following options:

Ctrl +S Manage fail over drive assignments
Ctrl +D delete container
Ctrl +R Restore/Enable Raid 5

When I hit Ctrl +R it gives me a warning saying that I may lose all of my data...
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Which PERC controller do you have?

I'd love to help you further, but I think you might be better off calling Dell for support at this point.  Of course, someone else here may be able to tell you how to do it, but it could take considerably longer than a phone call to the maker...
bwagz77Author Commented:
Ok, thanks for trying though.  I'll try giving Dell a call.
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