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RAID 5 not synchronising with WD 160 or 320 gig hard-disk

I just bought 4 new server Intel Sr2520saxsr with 4 Western digital 320 gig hdd.

I did the raid 5 config and the start the Windows 2003 server enterprise installation.
The hdd are sychronising in the background. But after a while one on the hard disk light goes off.
If i reboot the system i get a degrade raid 5. Even in Windows i get a degrade raid.
I let the system run for 12 hours to see if the raid will sync. Same error.

Spec of this system at: http://www.intel.com/design/servers/platforms/sr2500saf/316261.pdf

Please help
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reseautica
Asked:
reseautica
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1 Solution
 
marcwexCommented:
Hate to say this but I think you possible have a bad drive in the array. If you are still in the installation phase, you might want to consider reinitiallizing (on the physical level) the drive in question, tear down the RAID and reconfigure it. If it fails again, you have a bad drive. I know this seems like a royal pain, but better now than when the server is in production. Most failures occur as "infant mortality", which is why it is always good practice to burn your system in before going live.

Hope this helps
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marcwexCommented:
When I re-read your question I am left wondering. Are all the drives in your RAID the same size and type?
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reseauticaAuthor Commented:
The drive was change many time. We replaced the error one so many time without success. We even try with 160 gig instead of 320 gig.
And yes they are all the same size. The funny thing is, i was able to prepare 2 servers out of 4 with no errors. The only problem is the reliability of those 2.
I'm also wandering if this is not an incompatible drive to put in a raid. They are all Western Digital.
the 160 gig are wd1600aajs and the 320 gig are 3200aaks.

I'll will ordered some Seagate today to see.

Last year we had a problem with 8 servers running Western Digital 250 gig. The second drive in a mirror config was getting off the raid once in a while without notice.
All we have to do in reconfig the raid an forcing the drive online. We just find this weekend that there is a patch from Western to fix this. The only thing is we have to pull out the drive one by one to another system to change the firmware.

I'll keep you posted with the result of the new drive.

Thank you
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marcwexCommented:
Well, Make sure firmware is up to date on the drives and the raid controller and the raid backplane. Just forcing a drive back online can corrupt your RAID. I've had RAID's running for years and years without problems. Drives die normally, but it sounds like you have had a lot more failures than would be considered normal.  You MUST use the same type and size of drive in your raid. Mixing a 160 G drive with three 320 G drives won't work. The drives MUST have the same RPM rating (7600, 10000, 15000, etc). You really want to have the same firmware versions on all of the drives in your raid.

Can you give me very specific info on your setup please?
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_Mr_LimoCommented:
It's not the drives, I don't think, sounds like its the controller card and/or the backplane.  

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reseauticaAuthor Commented:
Guest what?

We bought a new set of 4 seagate yesterday. Put them in raid5. The drive dont degrade. But if you reboot windows, it try to reboot and then we get a blue screen and it restarted and it worked ok. Sometime it restart twice and the the third time, it's ok.

This morning we spoke 90 minutes with Intel.  God i'm really mad.  They don't support our seagate or Westtern Digital  in their list. They don't support shit. Everything in their list is discontinued. The best part is that they don't support our Windows Enterprise server 2003 R2 SP2 yet.... Can you imagine Windows 2008 is at the door soon.

The only thing good is the first server we installed with Western Digital disk is working. We did'nt upgrade every bios on this one. But the fan was at full speed. Right now we change the fan setting for acoustic to see the difference. We did so many test with this one, without any fail. The 3 other one are wasting my time. We even try raid1 with Seagate and Western with no success. Western degrade and seagate have reboot problems.

The tech at seagate did not know how to put back the raid controler to a previous bios.

So fustrating.

Thinking of returning to Intel all this stuff.

Any help or tought will be apreciate.

A tired man from Montréal..
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marcwexCommented:
This sounds very frustrating! I would seriously consider returning these servers. I have had great success with Dell, IBM, and HP servers. All quality boxes and their support is very good.

A few more questions though...just in case you decide you haven't had enough grief from poorly supported, poorly implemented servers!

When you installed windows, did you install special drivers using the f6 option during the server install process. It might not me needed as the generic Windows drivers might do the job, but then again....

Why did you choose these? Just curious.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
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reseauticaAuthor Commented:
Ok all, here's the status.

After degrating all system's firmware to before last version and changing a few hard-disk not sync. Everything is OK finally.

No real solutions were acceptable. Just helpfull hints was used to direct me.

Thank you all

Keep up the good work and this post working.

Reseautica, third year member
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