ProLiant DL380 G5 amber disk light

greetings,

2 of 3 disks in a RAID 5 are blinking amber. what's up? running ESX4. no insight agent. iLO shows nothing in the logs. History, noticed 1 disk had a steady amber light yesterday. overnighted a replacement disk. went to remove that disk this morning and when I pushed the drive the light turned green so I left it alone. now 2 of the 3 disks are blinking amber, rather than steady.

any ideas greatly appreciated.

I edited the zones and added VMware as these disks contain a datastore storing 2 VMs. I also found out that blining lights are essentially failure warnings while a steady light is drive failure. I am just unsure of how to go about swapping the drives out now that 2 are blinking, rather than solid.

thx again for any help
LVL 7
king daddyAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
if two are failing, or failed, the array will be broken. yes you could pop in a known working disk, and it should rebuilds if the disk is faulty.

once you have the data off the failing datastore, personally, I would schedule emergency downtime, and check with ACU (Smart Start CDROM).
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Do you have Insight Manager Software Installed?  What does event viewer say?
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andyalderCommented:
Can you aford the time to shutdown and boot SmartStart CD to get an ADU report?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Make sure you have good valid backups NOW.
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king daddyAuthor Commented:
thanks all. you three were instrumental to my setting up my ESX installs and subsequent troubleshooting.

from the bottom up:

I do have valid backups as recent as 2 hours ago.

I can't shut down the server. not sure when. we have a trial going on and that server hosts other VMs.

no insight manager.

I can shutdown the 2 VMs on the faulty disks andmove them to another datastore if that is a viable option until I can shut the server down and run the ADU report or swap out he disks. SInce I can move the VMs, would it be safe to just hot-swap the disks? I have replacements.

thx again
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
you could have a faulty backplane!
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Login via ilo and check system status with logs
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king daddyAuthor Commented:
could the backplane cause just 2 disks of the 8 installed to blink amber?

iLO ILM shows POST Error: 1779-Drive Array Controller Detects Replacement Drives as the last post but from December of 2010.

 iLO 2 Event Log shows server reset as last post but from Feb 2011.

any ideas regarding moving the VMs to other storage (just a copy though, no storage vMotion) and then hot-swapping the disks?

thx
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
You could vmware converter to convert to a vmware workstation VM on the fly adn have a copy of the VM on a windows share
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king daddyAuthor Commented:
paulsolov: what would that do in this situation? how would I utilize the converted machine? with being able to shutdown the VM, couldn't I just copy to another datastore before messing with the faulty disks? please excuse my ignorance on this solution.

thx
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, we had a backplane fail, with three disks indicated as faulty!

Backplane changed, and the disks were okay.

Download VMware vCenter Converter here
http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/datacenter_downloads/vmware_vcenter_converter_standalone/4_0

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.x Documentation
http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/converter_pubs.html

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/convsa_43_guide.pdf

If you have issues, you may want to consult the following guides

Read fellow Expert Bestway's article.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_3639-VMware-vConverter-P2V-for-Windows-Servers.html

Best Practice Video Guide here
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1004588

Check the video here I created earlier, and you can see the process.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_27232719.html?cid=1572#a36291208
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king daddyAuthor Commented:
thanks for the links - great info. However, I am familiar with vConverter. I am just not sure how / why it is useful in this situation. The 2 VMs on this datastore can be shut down and copied to another datastore that reside on non-faulty disks during non-business hours. why would I use vConverter to move them? just to keep them powered on during the move? again, excuse my ignorance regarding using vConverter for this issue. I really just want to get the VMs off of these drives and then deal with swapping the disks without worrying about the VMs being affected.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
if you know how to move VMs, that are powered down to a new datastore - vConverter no requirement.
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king daddyAuthor Commented:
great. thanks for confirming. just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

now back to the matter at hand regarding the faulty disks cause it is stressing me out. Any reason I shouldn't, after moving the VMs to another datastore, just pop out one of the faulty disks and replace with a new one? From what I understand, barring any other server issues (backplane, etc.), it should begin to rebuild the array. although, I now have 2 disks blinking amber so not sure if replacing one will do it, but I definitely can't replace 2 simultaneously, so one then the other... anyway, pardon my rambling. just thinking out loud so-to-speak looking for insight into my ideas from trusted experts

thanks again
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king daddyAuthor Commented:
thanks hanccocka - that is what I'll do

fellas, just asked these questions

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_27346849.html

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_27346851.html

thanks
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king daddyAuthor Commented:
so I moved the VMs to another datastore. I was out yesterday but this morning, rather than 2 blinking amber lights on 2 disks, I have one solid light on the original disk I posted about. I guess I a going to swap it with my replacement disk and see what happens. Is that safe being that I have 2 other datastores (on other disks in the server of course, one of which is my ESX install)? I will eventually down the server and check the ACU reports.

thanks again.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay, so it sounds like disks are in predictive failure, and one has now failed.

Yes, safe, it should start to rebuild, as soon as the new working disk is inserted.
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king daddyAuthor Commented:
i was just abut to swap disks but my current disks are 3gb sas and the replacement i was sent is 6gb sas. notwithstanding performance, is it ok to add a 6gb sas disk to a raid 5 set with (2) 3gb sas?

thx
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king daddyAuthor Commented:
nevermind. it worked. thx
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