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Replace failing disk WHS

Posted on 2011-03-15
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I have a freshly rebuilt HP WHS. I just checked the event logs and am finding warnings about Drive1 failure being imiment. This appears to be a data only drive. I am wondering how I can identify which physical drive it is with certainty (I think I know) and what the correct procedure would be to replace the drive before it fails. I would think that I should first remove it from the drive pool (tons of empty space right now) and allow WHS to remove the files from the disk. I could then replace the disk and add the new one back into the pool. Would this be the correct way to proceed?
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Question by:pmckenna11
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This sounds like a SMART failure. These failures should show up on any PC provided SMART is enabled within the BIOS.

I would attach each disk into another PC, make sure SMART is enabled in the BIOS, and if the disk has a SMART event triggered, it should show an error message when you try booting. That way you will know which disk it is.

As I don't know WHS nor the HP boxes that OS gets sold with I'm not sure how to handle an HD replacement there. But I would expect the disks to be in some RAID array, probably RAID 5. If the RAID controller used is worth anything you should normally be able to just replace the drive with an identical good one, and the array should be automatically rebuilt, but you should probably better check the manual for confirmation.
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by:pmckenna11
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Yes it is SMART failure. WHS does not use RAID but instead something called Drive Extender which duplicates data across drives to add a degree of fault tolerance and the ability to add and remove storage on the fly. What I ended up doiing was simply using the storage control in the server control console to remove the questionable drive from the storage pool (could be tricky figuring out which physical drive was causing error). This copies all data off the drive onto the remaining drives in the pool. Then I simply pulled the drive.

Apparently without first removing a drive using the control panel runs the risk of data loss depending on how much data is on your storage pool. From my reading it seems that usually the data is duplicated on more than one drive but that does not seem to always be the case. It would appear that loosing a disk due to hardware failure could put a portion of your data at risk if the storage pool is very full. It is not clear to me how the data duplication works and how much protection it gives you.

Also one disk contains an OS partition. My understanding is that the OS partition is not duplicated and the disk can not be removed from the array.
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Also you can not simply pull a drive and copy the data off onto another machine. You may see your directory tree on the drive but it does not necessarily contain all of the data. Apparently some is buried in other folders on the drive (part of drive extender way of doing things).
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