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There is an amber light on the server... Any suggestions?

Posted on 2008-10-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
Hi,

I have reviewed this link:  http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Misc/Q_21737752.html
and the issue appears to be the exact same as ours.  The 2nd hard drive is flashing between green and amber.  I re-seated the hard drive and it actually worked, amber light on the main display turned blue again, however, after a brief period of time it turned amber again.  What can I do here?  Is the hard drive bad?
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Question by:Jscott82305
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Expert Comment

by:Slawomir Malinowski
ID: 22798201
Go to support.dell.com and click on Drivers and Downloads, select your specific server model and click on the Diagnostics link to download the corresponding DELL Diagnostics Tool.
It should show you what is wrong with your server.
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Expert Comment

by:knoxzoo
ID: 22798297
Look for dust, corrosion and fluff in the connectors for the drive.  Pop the drive out, use some canned air and blow out the slot and port.  Also check the slide pins to see if any are out of alignment, bent, etc.  

And, see if the drive feels excessively hot after running for a while - right after it switches from blue to alternating amber/green.
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Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 22798339
If you have Dell server administrator installed check the hardware logs this will show why the ESM light is amber. It's most likely a predicted drive failure(SMART) on the second hard drive, as that's what flashing between amber and green hdd status led usually indicates. I would still check the logs to verify.
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by:knoxzoo
ID: 22798966
If ever there was a misnomer in the world of acronyms, it's SMART.
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by:arthurjb
ID: 22810021
You are a very, very lucky person.

Unless you know the drive layout, you should never just pull out a drive.

Before you do anything else with this server, you must make sure that you have a full and complete USABLE backup.

Whatever you do, don't pull out any of the other drives.

It sounds like you have a raid set of drives and that #2 is bad.  If the server is under warranty or contract, you should call it in.

The fact that you pulled the drive  and put it back in and it worked for a while, just means that the drive is not completely dead.

Unless the server is in a bad environment, the advice about the corrosion and bent pins and such is probably not valid in this case.

It is important that you not pull and reinsert the drive again.

If I am correct and you have a raid set, you are in extreme danger of loosing all your data on that machine, since if another drive fails it will be toast.

You have averted disaster, but pulling any other drives or waiting any longer to fix the machine, could be a RGE  (Resume Generating Event) because that server is ready to fail, and if you don't have a backup......
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Author Comment

by:Jscott82305
ID: 22832622
Well i didn't just pull it out.  I took it down first.  Dell suggested it was a memory issue so I re-seated the RAM and while it was down I re-seated th hard drive as well.

if you are referring to me just pulling out a hard while the machine was on that is an incorrect statement.
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by:arthurjb
ID: 22836829
It is much better that you powered down the machine before taking it down.

You said that the drive light was flashing, so I am not sure why they would think it is a memory issue.

My panic was because a friend of mine was silly enough to pull the drive while the server was running.  The system was (stupidly) running raid 0 (I rant rather regularly that raid 0 should not be used)  BOOM, no data, no backup, no job...


And there are many other questions here where some poor guy went to work on a raid, and pulled the drives without marking them, and is now begging for help to make it right.

If the drive light is now normal, then the amber light is for something else...
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Author Comment

by:Jscott82305
ID: 22840227
Haha.  Well I am definitely smart enough to know not to pull hardware out of a running server, especially hard drives :)  .  When I turned it back on after re-seating it, the light stayed green.  However, I had to do an upgrade of software and as soon as I restarted the amber light came back.  If I re-seat it again it will go away until the next restart for some reason.
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knoxzoo earned 500 total points
ID: 22842606
Oooooo!  More info!!!  

That sounds suspiciously like a RAID controller issue, if it's not what I suggested before.  
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Expert Comment

by:arthurjb
ID: 22846612
I think it is a drive issue.  The controller would not likely do that for just one drive...
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Author Closing Comment

by:Jscott82305
ID: 31509726
Looks like what the issue is. Dell suggested to upgrade our RAID controller.  Lokos like it will work.

Thanks!
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