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Hard Drive Upgrade

Posted on 2010-11-17
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Hello Experts!

I inherited  a client with a HP Prolient ML110G4.  The current drive config is two Seagate ST30815AS - 80GB - 7200RPM drives in Adaptec Raid 1.  Want to upgrade to larger drives...say 1GB.  Is there any thing "special" about these drives?  Are they "server class" drives, or will any indentical 1GB - 7200RPM - SATA drives work?

Thanks in advance!

mjh
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Question by:snake454
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Expert Comment

by:Paul MacDonald
ID: 34159202
No, nothing special about the drives, but going from 80GB to 1GB might prove problematic.
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Author Comment

by:snake454
ID: 34159234
I'm going to rebuild the server from scratch with new drives, (new\fresh install).  Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition.   Still problematic?
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Paul MacDonald earned 500 total points
ID: 34159435
I don't think so.  I'm pointing out you're going from a larger-sized disk to a smaller-sized disk.  I'm sure you meant 1TB instead of 1GB, but...
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Author Closing Comment

by:snake454
ID: 34159469
Sheesh...I need to proof read my posts better!  Yeah...going to 1 TB not GB!!!!   :-)  THANKS!!!
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by:dlethe
ID: 34159553
these disks likekly have OEM firmware, modified for appropriate error recovery & timing behind the controller.

since this is a server, invest in the appropriate drives & firmware. any drive will work ... until you deal with error recovery and bad blocks.

get a qualified disk with the hp firmware, pay more, but sleep at night
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Author Comment

by:snake454
ID: 34161295
"since this is a server, invest in the appropriate drives & firmware. any drive will work ... until you deal with error recovery and bad blocks."
Point taken.  Unfortunately, from a financial standpoint, (client has 15 users), he will go for $ 400 in misc parts for an upgrade.  If we start talking $ 800 - $ 1000 + for the upgrade, he would be better off buying a brand new server.  Now way he will spend $ 2500 - $ 3500 for that.  Keep it simple and cheap for 15 users to store their My Docs, run the AV and one network printer.  Back it up to tape or external drives, make a Clonezilla image every once in a while, and hope for the best.

Any other Experts want to weigh in?
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 34161342
A brand new server still won't have the appropriate disk drives to run in this environment.  So nothing you can do but tell the buyer.  Maybe he will get lucky and the disks will not have any problems before the hardware is retired.   Maybe you will get lucky, and he'll have all sorts of problems, and have to spend lots of money.

My suggestion is to notify him in email of the concerns in such a way that it absolves you and your firm, and then just wait and don't lose any sleep over it.

The alternative, is to go with software-based RAID1 for whatever O/S you use and the cheaper drives.  windows, linux, solaris, and the other major operating system's software-based RAID work find on desktop drives and don't require disks with the specific timeout / retry firmware required by premium RAID controllers.  
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Author Comment

by:snake454
ID: 34161401
My suggestion is to notify him in email of the concerns in such a way that it absolves you and your firm, and then just wait and don't lose any sleep over it.
You are absolutely right!  I always speak to clients about trade offs, (and follow up with a CYA email), and even tell them that reworking old stuff may end up costing more in the long run.

So now it is time for me to show my inexperience  and ask a tad more advice from you if I may.  The Adaptec Raid 1 that in on the server now...is hardware?  I see it load at boot and, (probably stupidly), assumed that it was a software RAID.  I don't see anything on the mobo that looks like a controller other than the one for the tape drive. Can this be "built in" to the board? If it is hardware, and if I switch to a software solution, (I assume like Dell's Perc Controller), would I "bypass" the current hardware RAID when I delete the hardware array?
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Expert Comment

by:Paul MacDonald
ID: 34164052
The Adaptec controller is almost certainly built into the motherboard (if you look around, you might find a chip with the Adaptec logo on it).  It's going to be a hardware RAID controller.
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