How do I replace a drive that has failed on a PowerEdge 2950?

I am getting an error on drive 6 of a Dell PowerEdge 2950 that says E1810. The drive is not showing up in Dell OpenManage. It is part of a RAID. I have been reading Dells documentation on replacing the drive and they want me to install a long list of drivers and firmware updates. This server cannot go down so I really cannot restart the server. What will happen if I place a new drive in the server without installing all of the updates?

What steps would I take to replace the drive?

The spare drive that I have is from a non critical server. If I use that drive will it rebuild the drive for me?
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varesourcesAsked:
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Darius GhassemCommented:
If you place the new drive into the system you should be able to rebuild the RAID system without any issues it is just best practice to install the lasted updates.
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varesourcesAuthor Commented:
Does it matter that the "new hard drive" may have information on it already? Will it erase the information on it?

Since the bad drive is not showing up in OpenManage and I cannot take the drive offline will matter if I just remove the drive?
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DavidPresidentCommented:
I would talk to somebody at Dell's level2 support ... why they are telling you to upgrade drivers and firmware when the system is degraded is a major concern.  One just does NOT update firmware, or rock the boat, so to speak, in a degraded RAID, unless this is an absolute necessity due to firmware bugs or some incompatibility reason

So either the Dell support person is a rookie and is giving you a stock answer because he has nothing in his knowledge base about how upgrading is dangerous in this mode

Or, he knows what he is talking about, and the upgrade will not work, or worse, cause data loss.

Call Dell to get the definitive answer.  They know what firmware you have, the specifics, and access to unpublished bug reports. You have to give them the benefit of the doubt, but talk to somebody higher up at Dell for confirmation.

Meanwhile, kick off a full backup, just in case.  One more drive failure and you'll wish you had a current backup!
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varesourcesAuthor Commented:
I have not talked to a tech. I was following a support doc.

Luckily we have backups in place already.
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JustenCCommented:
I would put the drive in another system and initialize it via the PERC BIOS or OpenManage, to remove the existing data, before you put it into the 2950. Otherwise you might get a whole new disk you didn't plan on. Once it is initialized, just inserting it should kick off the rebuild, You can tell as I believe the disk lights will start to flash yellow AND green after a minute or 2

I apologize in advance for any duplicate posts that our proxy inserts.

Justen
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JustenCCommented:
I would put the drive in another system and initialize it via the PERC BIOS or OpenManage, to remove the existing data, before you put it into the 2950. Otherwise you might get a whole new disk you didn't plan on. Once it is initialized, just inserting it should kick off the rebuild, You can tell as I believe the disk lights will start to flash yellow AND green after a minute or 2

I apologize in advance for any duplicate posts that our proxy inserts.

Justen
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Darius GhassemCommented:
It would remove the data off the drive.
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varesourcesAuthor Commented:
Who's advice do I take?
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Darius GhassemCommented:
Call Dell it is free phone support.
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varesourcesAuthor Commented:
OK
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Call Dell - it is free, you will speak to a tech in the states, and it is much easier to communicate on the phone than in a forum.  BUT, As long as you replace the disk "hot" (don't power down), it will simply ignore existing data on the drive.  It will show as Foreign in the controller ... just clear the foreign, then assign as HS to begin a rebuild.  Updates are not required for this process, but it would be wise to plan on them during this server's next maintenance window.
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varesourcesAuthor Commented:
Thank you for all of your help. I am chatting with a technician now.
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