Swapping raid controller cards.

Posted on 2007-08-03
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have a server which was freezing up frequently.  I determined that the Raid controler was going bad.

The Raid controller that was in the server is an  Adaptec SCSI RAID 2120S.  There are 5 hard drives in the server setup in 1 Raid 5 array.

I looked for a replacement controller, and got pretty desperate.  Found a HP Smart Array 6402 laying around.  Decided it should not harm anything to plop that in place of the 2120 to see if the array would show.  

The array did show as a raid 5 array, but I can not see any drive letters.

After playing with it for a while, figured I would put the old controller back in and now the Drive letters are not coming back, but the array is still detecting as  "raid 5 optimal"

Anyone know if the data is wipped out now that they were hooked up to the 6400?  I am ordering a new 2120 and hoping the controller just died.


Question by:zipler
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Erik Bjers
    When you get the new controler you may need to bring the drives back on line, see the raid config tool for instructions.
    LVL 55

    Accepted Solution

    It's a completely different controller, there is no chance of a smart array 6400 picking up the data from an array made with a different make of card.

    The array shouldn't have shown up so I suspect you let it create a RAID 5 array during POST which is the default proceedure the SA6400 will do with disks that do not have a HP RAID Information Sector (RIS) on the disks. HP's RIS is proprietory, it is consistent between all HP controllers but not with other makes.

    It's unlikely a replacement controller of the same type will now work now although if you're lucky RAID reconstructor can reconstruct the data and then getdataback from the same site will let you pick the files off it, after all it's only the first couple of sectors on each disk that has been overwritten. Either that or send the disks off to a recovery company like OnTrack or of course restore from backup.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the site.  Turns out that when the new controller arrived, the raid reconstructed its self again.

    I did not need to use the RAID Reconstructor program since there was already an array created.  I did however have to use another utility called GetDataBack (Or Active Undelete) to restore the lost files.

    Thanks for the help, and now I know never to "Test" a new controller in a pinch.


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