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How to replcae RAID 5 faulty disc of IBM Xseries 346

Posted on 2007-08-06
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Last Modified: 2009-12-16
Hi, I have a IBM eServer model Xseries 346. There are 6 Hard discs and all are under RAID 5. Suddenly one of the drives are showing yellow light (Red?). The server is running well (Just once it restarted with showing STOP MSG c0000128. I have tried to restart the server after unplugging that faulty(?) disk. it was OK. Now i need to replace the faulty drive. Whats the procedure? Should i just shitch off the server and then plugged in the new drive and then restart it?? Or i need to configure RAID manager? Oh, the OS is windows 2003.
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Question by:afaruq
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gurutc earned 500 total points
ID: 19637669
Hi,

I'm sure there's a 'recommended' procedure for this, but I've got the same server you have, and I've just powered down the server and put a new, identical disk in as a replacement for the failed drive and the RAID controller went to work rebuilding the logical array disk with the replacement member.  Your plan will work fine.

However, it's a good idea, AFTER the drive rebuilds, to install the manager utility.  I don't think it'll install properly if the array is degraded.  I may be wrong on that, but it's always a good idea to change ONE thing at a time.

And finally, but not last, before you add the new disk member it would be a great idea to get a backup of this server to another location.  I never mess with server arrays until I know I've got a good backup.

Do all this and I think you'll be A-OK!

- gurutc
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by:Arthur_Mino
ID: 19644020
G'day,

That's all hot swappable. Just pull it out (while on) count to ten and put it back in. Most probably the drive has gone out of sync. It'll rebuild the raid automatically and if it fails again then swap it, other wise leave it. The drive is probably fine.

Cheers,
Arthur
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by:gurutc
ID: 19644468
Hi,

If the drive is out of sync then it probably happened due to lack of array maintenance.  Once you get the array rebuilt, be sure to install the array management utility and to schedule array maintenance to check the state of the array.  Also, check for firmware updates for the controller and the drive.  Many new, fast drives are faster electronically than array controllers causing them to respond too quickly for the controller.  This makes them appear offline since the controller waits for a response that came from the drive too quickly.

If a drive goes offline, you can re-add it to the array as stated above, but it's important to then use the array management utility to check the drive and maintain the array.

Good Luck,
- gurutc
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by:Arthur_Mino
ID: 19644902
G'day Gurutc,

What kind of maintenance are you talking about? Apart from the physical maintanance of making sure there's a good flow of cool air. I really don't think hardware raids need maintence. The beauty of these system is muximum uptime.

If you can afford the down time to do firmware upgrades and in hope it all works, go for it.

Also for you to loose data you'll need 2 drives to fail.

Cheers,

Arthur
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by:gurutc
ID: 19644931
Greetings Arthur,

Hardware RAIDs are very nice about low maintenance, but array management utilities can be configured to periodically check the state of synchronization as well as run surface reliability tests.  You can get by without them, but I've found that periodically resyncing arrays helps both reliability and performance.

Best Regards,

- gurutc
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by:Arthur_Mino
ID: 19645171
G'day Guructc,

I'm really sorry about this but you'll really have to point me out some where a suggested maintenance surface scan is done on a hard disk that belongs to a group of hard disks configured to RAID number 5.
A surface scan on a drive will bring the drive out of sync and break the RAID. I just don't see how that kind of maintenance is any good?
Also what do you mean by re-syncing arrays help? do you mean break them and re-sync them? If it is then wouldn't that increase the chances of loosing two drives? which in turn defeats one of the main feaures of a RAID 5?

Cheers,

Arthur
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by:gurutc
ID: 19645417
No problem, Arthur.  

If you load the ServerRAID array manager on the server you can pull up a variety of operations on configured array-based logical drives.  And if you pull up help within this utility, you will find that a weekly synchronization of array-based logical drives is recommended.

Also, the surface reliability tests are passive and are based on the controller's observations of data read/write integrity as well as stripe parity degradation detected during synchronization operations.

The synchronization operation actively re-writes array parity info as it actually exists at the time of synchronization.  This corrects for 'parity drift' as well as undetected errors in writing of parity data during heavy realtime i/o operations.  It's best to run this when the server is at rest.

It's just dotting the i's and crossing the t's, but it ensures that when an array member disk does fail, that the other members and parity info can take up the slack.

Regards,
- gurutc
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Author Comment

by:afaruq
ID: 19645563
Hi gurutc!
Can you please tell me where can i find array management utility? Coz i have lost my CDs. :(
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by:gurutc
ID: 19646632
Hi,

If you go to this page, you'll find drivers, software and much more to help and maintain your server:

http://www-304.ibm.com/jct01004c/systems/support/supportsite.wss/supportresources?taskind=1&brandind=5000008&familyind=5178881

Good Luck,

- gurutc
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