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Dell SC420 - RAID 1 Mirror question

Posted on 2006-06-18
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have a customer with a Dell SC420 RAID1 mirror, that last week had a “degraded” drive. I found out it was drive 1, and removed the drive and rebooted. Of course, that remove the array – The server started up fine obviously only running on the one good drive. Here comes my question – After installing the new drive, and getting into the “Adaptec RAID config utility” there are several menu items, 2 of which are "Manage Array", and "Create Array". If I go to create the array, it shows the (2) 80 gb drives on the left to be selected to added to the array. Basically you click on it to select it and it will move over to the right side as a “selected drive” – the thing is, only the NEW drive is highlighted, or able to be selected and moved – is this right? Does only the NEW drive need to be selected and moved to the right? I’m a little confused, and don’t want anything BAD to happen. Please help!

Thanks!

Matt
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Question by:hodgem
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cooledit earned 100 total points
ID: 16932505
hi, there

there is 2 options there I will give you the one from the BIOS.

CTRL-A
choose the second option "Configure view Host Raid Settings"

1.  From the main menu, press C to create a raid Array.
2.  Select the raid you want to build "Raid 1"
3.  Use the "Spacebar" to select the drives"
4.  Hit the "Enter". Select yes to quick build this array.
5.  Select or Disable the write cache



The option below is the Dell Array Manager tool....
http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=555&l=en&s=biz&releaseid=R72349&formatcnt=2&libid=0&fileid=94223

Cooledit
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by:hodgem
ID: 16933888
thanks for your answer - I just still need to know if this is the way it normally looks when you need to replace a drive thru the "adaptec configuration utility", I dont want to attempt to create the array, and lose the good drive. Also, is it normal for the new, unused drive to be the only one "available" to create the array? It only allows me to select the new drive to create the array -
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by:VortexAdmin
VortexAdmin earned 100 total points
ID: 16953716
Yes, it's normal. You can not create an array with a drive that is already part of an array (the original).  You would have to remove the original drive first before creating a new array.  HOWEVER, I don't think this is what you want to do.  You don't want to create a new array, that would wipe out your original. You want to rebuild (manage) the original.  Go to Manage and select your existing array and add the new drive to the existing array.

Good luck.
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by:hodgem
ID: 16953832
Thanks for your reply - The thing is, the original array is GONE. If I go to "manage array" there's no array there! Its only when I go to "create array" thats where I see both drives - the old one, and the empty one - what can i do? Am i not able to create another array?
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by:VortexAdmin
ID: 16953955
Ouch.  If it's gone, make sure you have the good drive backed up because when you create the new array, I think it will wipe the old one.  I know for sure it would on an R5 and I believe the same things happens on an R1.  You can check in the Adaptec help (probably within the config utility) to confirm that.  Maybe your card does things differently (I know on the Dell arrays, it works that way).
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by:hodgem
ID: 16954244
So essentially there's really noting I can do i guess - I guess the only thing to do is to keep both drives as separate drives, and just backup critical data from the good drive to the new empty drive, right?
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by:VortexAdmin
ID: 16954569
I wouldn't, I'd find a way to get my mirror back.  Do you have any other 80 gb drives (or however much data is on the drive) laying around to offload to temporarily?  (Perhaps at a computer store with a fair return policy)? If you have ghosting software like Acronis Trueimage it's pretty easy.  Did you delete the array, I'm still wondering where that went?  Imaging back to your new array would save time rebuilding it too.

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by:hodgem
ID: 16954662
I'm not sure what happened to the array - All I know is, one of the drives showed as "degraded", I removed that drive, replaced it with a new drive, went into the adaptec array config utility, and the array was GONE.

I have Norton Ghost - I'm sure that will work - So if I create an exact image of drive one, what would be the next steps?

Thanks!
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by:VortexAdmin
ID: 16954998
Do you have a spare drive?  I would be tempted to try recreating the array to see if the card would do it without wiping out the good data (my Adaptec RAID card would not), but I'd have a full backup or image of the good drive somewhere handy.  

Ironically, I've got two spare 80GB drives sitting on my desk in front of me that I just did something similar with.  I pulled them from old PCs.  I'd let you borrow one but they're hard to squeeze through the network cable.
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by:hodgem
ID: 16955061
By "recreating the array" you mean, make 2 ghost images of the good drive, one to use as part of the array (in union with the original good drive), and one to have as a backup - put 2 of the drives in the server, boot into the adaptec RAID utility and see if it sees the array?
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by:VortexAdmin
ID: 16955855
No, I'm pretty sure that won't work.  I just meant using the utility to create a new array with the two drives you have. But before doing so, back up your data to something else.  If the array is gone, you probably can not create a new one and maintain data from one drive.  The Adaptec utilities I've seen will create an array and then mount or activate the drive, a process which wipes the drives clean. You then partition and format them as needed.  I was saying I would see what happens by creating a new array (your only choice) with the good drive and the new drive but I'd have a good backup first (using ghost) and go into it expecting to replace the image onto the new array.  The process will most likely be as follows.

Make backup image of good drive to 3rd drive or somewhere else.
Put 2 good drives in system and create array.
Parition and format drives as needed.
Copy image back onto partition as desired (remember to keep enough space for it when creating partions on the array).

Good Luck!
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by:arnold
ID: 16957130
Not really sure why you saw the need to reboot the system.  When you rebooted the system, did you go through the RAID configuration at boot and sever the functional drive from the array?  In my experience removing a degraded drive and then installing a new replacement triggers a rebuild of the array.  This is all done while the system is running.  If your only option in the create array field is to select the newly inserted drive, it likely means that the new drive will be added to the current functional drive and made as an array.  You need to double check the GUI manual, but under no circumstances initiate an array initialization process.

Which Adaptec controler are you using and which Adaptec GUI is being used?
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by:cooledit
ID: 16957730
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by:VortexAdmin
ID: 16960830
In my experience with Dell Array Manager and the Adaptec utilities, if you have to create an array, it wipes the data from the drives.
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