Why doesn't the degraded RAID 5 array rebuild after replacing a failed drive?

Posted on 2008-10-12
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Came in tonight and our Windows SBS 2003 server was beeping, and had errors about a missing RAID member.  Attempted to access while in Windows, and the system locked up.  Replaced the failed ("missing") drive with an identical spare, and the degraded (not failed, yet) logical RAID array would not accept the drive and rebuild.  I formatted, initialized, assigned hot spare, to no avail.  I am unable to boot into Windows at this time.
Question by:wega1985
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Expert Comment

ID: 22700542
You can usually access RAID controllers while POST (during boot up, there is a message "press F# to..."), so see what you can do from that menu...

Author Comment

ID: 22700557
Yes... you hit Ctrl + A to get into the CERC BIOS.  That is where I am able to see that it's not accepting the new drive into the array, and rebuild from there.  It just maintains that an array member is missing.

Accepted Solution

wega1985 earned 0 total points
ID: 22703070
OK... The reason is, according to Dell Support, that there are tiny variations in drives.  Even though this is an identical drive, down to the chipset revision, for whatever reason, the CERC card didn't see the new drive as having enough space to rebuild onto.
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Expert Comment

ID: 22703579
DOuble check that it is indeed a identical SIZE - even identical model numbers may not be the same size if manufactured in different locations.

If it is even slightly smaller, it will not work.

Also double check the cabling, and try to see that it is spinning up.

I hope this helps !

Author Comment

ID: 22703598
Yeah, identical size according to the specs, even the CERC card!  It was spinning up and detecting, the rebuild just wouldn't "kick off" no matter what we tried.
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Expert Comment

ID: 22704000
Then put in a bigger drive and see if it starts rebuilding.

In the meantime consider  a windows install on a separate drive , just to get things up and running.

I hope this helps !


Author Comment

ID: 22704056
I did!  And it nearly wrecked the array... We have 74 GB 10K RPM raptors in there, and I popped in a 80 GB 7200 RPM drive, and although it immediately started rebuilding, it caused the array to eventually go into failed state.  Luckily, we were able to remove that 80 GB and get the 2 remaining 10K drives back into an optimal state.  Right now running on the two drives awaiting replacement that it hopefully accepts...

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