Recreate new array

HP ML 350 G6 with 3 HDD (RAID5)
OS: SBS 2008
One of the HDD failed and HP has replaced the HDD but failed to join to port 2, shows as port 1 (other 2 drives are assigned to port 2), due to this raid failed to rebuild on new HDD. Now HP has advised to delete the array and recreate it as a new RAID5.
Could you please provide me the best way (step-by-step) to recreate array and load the OS with same config/Exchange mailboxes/data etc.
joyjohnAsked:
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CompProbSolvCommented:
Though this isn't step-by-step, it should help.

It sounds as if the server still boots SBS, but not as a RAID drive.  SBS has a good backup program (Server Backup) that will allow you to back up to an external hard drive (not all USB drives work, but most do) and completely restore the system to new drives.

There are just a couple of caveats here.  First, the new array must be at least as large as the physical size of the old array.  Actual space used is NOT the issue.

Second, I'd restore to a test drive first, confirm that it works, then restore to the (now working) drives.  I hate the thought of restoring over a working system when you don't have a working set of drives on hand.  In other words, trust the installation on drives that will boot and show your data instead of trusting a backup.

The basic procedure would be:
boot SBS
add an external USB drive of sufficient size
set up Server Backup and do a complete backup
Shut down
replace the hard drives with a test set that are at least as large as the original
boot to the SBS 2008 installation DVD
run the restore (you will likely need disk drivers)
reboot to the restored drive and confirm that it works (don't retrieve any email as this is just temporary)
shut down
replace the temporary drive(s) with the set you want to use for real
reset any RAID settings and recreate what you really want
boot to the SBS 2008 installation DVD
run the restore (you will likely need disk drivers)
reboot to the live drives and confirm that all is well

Just curious, are you sure you want to use RAID 5 (vs. 1 or 10)?  You'll find lots of comments on EE suggesting avoiding RAID 5 in most cases, with good reasons behind them.
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joyjohnAuthor Commented:
yes server still boots up SBS and the current 2 hard drive still functioning ok but its on RAID 5 so we don't want data loss if 1 out of 2 working HDD gets crashed.

- do full backup using the SBS 2008 backup on the usb drive.
shutdown
- Reset RAID and recreate (would like to test with test set but don't have it)
- boot to the SBS 2008 installation DVD
and run restore, Is this restoration is from USB drive, full backup done by SBS backup? I believe while running SBS 2008 DVD it ask for this.

I think I will leave it as RAID 5, original settings (could you please give me some link on avoiding raid 5)



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CompProbSolvCommented:
re: "would like to test..."
What type of drives are these and how large?  If they are SATA, consider purchasing a couple of drives to use as a test.  They are very inexpensive and can be reused elsewhere.

re: "and run restore"
You will select something such as "repair" and then "restore from backup".  Those are not exactly correct, but you should be able to get it find the options.

re: "Is this restoration.."
Yes, you will be restoring from the USB drive as backed up by Server Backup in SBS.

I'll see what I can find on RAID 5 for you.
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CompProbSolvCommented:
Here are some EE discussions of the issue:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/Q_24187461.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+10+30+5+raid

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Misc/Q_20542606.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+10+30+5+raid

A major issue regards the controller.  RAID 5 will have very significant performance issues with anything that is not a serious hardware-based controller.  The CPU will be called upon to do all of the XOR calculations which will create a significant performance problem.  A well-designed hardware RAID controller will handle these tasks and minimize the performance impact.

Similarly, the RAM cache on a well-designed hardware RAID controller will minimize the write speed performance deficit.

Though many on EE will argue against using RAID 1 without a well-designed hardware RAID controller, the issues there are far less severe.
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andyalderCommented:
Doesn't make much sense that it hasn't rebuilt automatically. Any screenshots showing what you mean, Disks don't join ports, they are plugged into ports but that's fixed where they connect because of the backplane. I would assume you've got a P410/256 since you have RAID 5 and that's a pretty clever controller. Also a report from the array dignostic utility **as attachment, not in body of thread** would help diagnose the problem.
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joyjohnAuthor Commented:
Compprobsolv: while restoring from USB drive is there any complication since I am restoring from USB HDD onto the raid managed storage/drive.
What's the best process to setup/create array, smartStart cd?

Andyalder, HP has already visited 3 times and tried to change Cache module, system board, backplane, cable kit etc and at last they said solution is to recreate and reinstall OS.
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CompProbSolvCommented:
As far as complications go, the most obvious one will be if the installation DVD doesn't recognize the RAID drive.  That will be pretty obvious.  If that is the case, you'll need to download the appropriate RAID drivers from HP's site and copy them to a USB stick or floppy disk.  Let me know if you need more help with that.

I"m not overly familiar with HP's methods for creating the array, but the usual thing is a keystroke while the system is in POST (there should be a prompt) that will get you into the particular setup routine for the RAID controller.  This is likely NOT the same as the standard BIOS setup.
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joyjohnAuthor Commented:
thanks, like in win2k3 while booting from CD it tells to press F6 to install third-party SCSI or RAID drivers. Does SBS 2008 has same process so that I can install the drivers from usb or floppy.

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CompProbSolvCommented:
It is a similar process.  The big advantage with 2008 is that you are not restricted to floppy only.

For future reference, you might want to know about nLite.  It allows you to create a new installation CD with whatever drivers and service packs you want to add.  On a new installation I try to create one of these and install from it.

The other thing I usually create is a Bart PE CD with the appropriate disk drivers installed.  That way, if there is ever a problem with the server not booting, I have a boot disk with proper drivers so I can at least look at the drives and see if they are readable.  It's not the sort of thing you want to try to create while your server is down.
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joyjohnAuthor Commented:
thanks, probably will do during weekend.
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