Dell PERC 3di RAID Problem

antsman65
antsman65 used Ask the Experts™
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We have a Dell PowerEdge 2650 server with a buil-in Perc 3di RAID controller.  It had two 36 Gb disks in a RAID 1 configuration.  Each server has current firmware for all integrated hardware.  We have another server identical to this one - as well as another 2650 that is offline and has 4 73 Gb disks.  Two identical servers and one donor server.  The donor server is going to be converted to another purpose where disk space is not that important so we had planned on taking its 4 disks and replacing the two in each of the other servers with 2 larger disks.  We would then take the smaller disks from the other two servers and put them into this server.  Let me say that I am no expert when it comes to RAID.

I booted the donor server and went into the RAID BIOS.  I deleted the container with the disks in it.  It was a RAID 5 array.  I then shut this server down.  I removed one 36 Gb disk from one of the identical servers.  I took one of the 73 Gb disks from the donor server and put it into the other server.  It immediately started trying to do something.  After some time, I could open Dell's Array Manager and see that it had a problem.  It said something like redundancy check failed or something along those lines.  Anyhow, now I went to the Virtual Disk and broke the mirror.  My next step was to Reconfigure the disk.  I selected the smaller disk and the larger disk and created a RAID 1 being the size of the smaller disk.  It started its process and ran for a couple of hours at which point the server (this happens to be a terminal server) locked up and kicked everyone out of their terminal server sessions.  The front of the server started flashing amber and it said there was a problem with the smaller disk.  I did not get a chance to see any error message.  Another admin powered off the server and powered it back on.  It came back up ok, but I'm positive it was not finished mirroring the smaller drive.  At this point there were messages in the event log saying that a CHKDSK needed to be ran on the C: drive.  After some talking, it was decided that at 5 we would take the larger drive out and run a CHKDSK on the C drive.  We did that and it did find some bad files/sectors and fixed them.  We also decided to update the OpenManage software then try to recreate the RAID stripe.  We had no option to reconfigure the disk.  In the RAID BIOS, it says RECONFIG under array type.  In OpenManage it says that the Array is CONCATENATED but there is only one drive in the array.  The other disks have been initialized as a last resort so we cannot get anything from them now.  We have no option to reconfigure the array, it just isn't there.  I'm wondering at this point what we can do.  There is NO redundancy in the disks at all.  We do have a corporate license for Ghost, but have never imaged a server before let alone a RAID array.  What can we do?
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Commented:
sounds like a very messy situation.  I would delete the entire array, remove the smaller drives then install the larger drives then rebuild the array.  This way the configurator will sync up.
imag the first drive or ghost the small drives to the larger drives then build the array.  At this point you should have a working array, then you will have to verify the sync mirror.
Good Luck !!
This is going to be a time consuming process.

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Commented:
As a test, I setup the donor server with one drive.  I created a RAID 0 array on the one drive and loaded Windows on it.  I then Ghosted this to an image.  After that, I destroyed the array and created a new one with 2 disks in a RAID 1 mirror.  I then Ghosted the image back to that server and everything worked fine.  I think this will be how I have to fix this.  It will have to wait until next week though.  I'll keep you posted.

Commented:
Exactly.... this is because you are recreating the array each time as I indicated.  I've found that modifying arrays on the fly, although indicated to be possible, don't take to kindly without a pile of problems.  I've always found it better and cleaner to recreate once the entire configuration is determined.
Good Luck !!
Keep me posted !!

Author

Commented:
I don't know if this has any bearing on the situation or not, but when I created the new stripe, it said that complete redundancy would not be available until it had finished "scrubbing."  I restored the image anyway.  It seems ok now, but should I wait until it is done scrubbing the next time, or is it ok to restore the image anyway?
Commented:
you can restore the image anyways, the scrubbing is a secondary rocess that should have no bearing on the restore.  However, to be safe and to ensure you don't restore data being scrubbed, I'd wait.  Cleaner that way.

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