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Win2003 server recovery when raid is broken

Posted on 2006-10-20
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
I've got a server (Dell Poweredge 2600)with three drives in a Raid 5.  I went to add another drive and noticed in array manager that the logical array had an exclamation point next to it.  Called Dell and they said the three drives should not show a status of "Ready".  We both figure that if it reboots (it is currently running just fine with drives storing data and no errors) it will dissolve the array and be at zero.  Maybe not but I'm preparing to rebuild the server tomorrow morning in case it doesn't come up.  Dell says we might be able to restore the array config on the reboot and not have a problem.

So, here's the scenario.  I've got Veritas installed (going to check on Open File Agent.. not sure if that option is there) and am getting good backups on DLT4 tapes with a Dell tape deck.  I've got two fulls from the past two nights that are error free.  I've got one night to set things up to be optimally positioned if the arrays break.  I've got the Dell build disk and Veritas software.

Ideas?
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Question by:william_schubert
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Pber earned 500 total points
ID: 17774786
You should be OK even if the array dumps.  I really don't think it would as you would probably be having issues now.  But hey, it's a DELL so you never know.

If it does, you can rebuild the array config in the array setup if you are familiar with it.  Just don't initialize it.


If the array doesn't come back up,
Reboot, go into the Array config (CTRL-M).
IMPORTANT: DO NOT INITIALIZE THE DISKS OR CLEAR CONFIGURATION
Select View/Edit config.  It might ask if you want to look at NVRAM or Disk Configuration.  I usually pick Disk.
Once it scans the drives, it will display any arrays.
If it looks ok, just step through the steps and re-save then reboot.

If it doesn't exist then:

Press space to select disks in Array
Press enter when done
Press Space to select the array (will display SPAN-1)
Press F10
Leave the options at default and then move to Accept and press Enter, then Yes to save.
Do not initialize
exit and reboot, you should boot back into the OS.

Hope that helps.


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Expert Comment

by:Don S.
ID: 17775097
In cases where I suspect my server is about to blow up but I can still get a backup, I often do the Veritas backup AND turn off the Backupexec services and then do a Full backup using the MS backup Backup Everything wizard.  I recently blew up an array and did just that and the restore following the MS restore procedure went like a breeze.
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Author Comment

by:william_schubert
ID: 17775920
Final answer and points to follow in the morning.  At least I have a little hope.  The server is in a bathroom.  Actually sitting on the comode while I work on it.. . . really.  Not where I want to spend my Saturday rebuilding a server.
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Expert Comment

by:Pber
ID: 17775993
Get as many backups as you can and good luck.  Unfortunately I think the open files component is a reboot to activate, but I might be wrong.
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by:AdamRobinson
ID: 17777024
Muchos good luck.  Had one go bye bye myself, with a whole library of tapes incorrectly set up.  Good first weeks on the job.  :)
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Author Comment

by:william_schubert
ID: 17781167
Turned out the reboot didn't kill the array and maybe a drive going bad as I was adding a new one was the cause of the problem.  As soon as I tried to add the new drive as a hot spare (just in case) the array sucked it in and is rebuilding.  Dell is sending a replacement drive for the one that is now showing bad.

If I could split the points:

460 to Pber for the great answer
30 to Don6718 for the recovery advice
and
10 to AdamRobinson for the muchos good luck.. that might have actually made the difference.

Bill
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by:Pber
ID: 17795560
Be careful with hot spares and Dell Array controllers.  Once the Hot Spare comes online, then you replace the bad disk.  You have to go back into the Array controller setup in Server Administrator and assign the new drive as a hot spare again.  It is not automatic.
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by:Pber
ID: 17795604
I noticed you gave me all the points, If you want to split send a message here http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/ and leave a like to this message and ask for them to re-open so you can split the points.  Then split the points as you see fit (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Windows_Server_2003/help.jsp#hi19)
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