Lost a Raid 5 hard drive, Can I use any hard drive the same size and speed

Posted on 2011-10-06
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a Windows 2003 Server SP2 with a failed hard drive.
The Intel matrixx storage console 7.5software is showing me this.

The hard drive is a Seagate 9CA152-302   ST3250310NS
It is a 250Gb Sata 7200 RPM drive.

Do I have to replace with the same exact same brand hard drive including firmware or will any 250Gb 7200rpm SATA drive work?
I did an online chat with Seagate & they said that it was dependent upon the controller.  I couldn't find anything specific within the Intel Knowledgebase.

Intel ICH8R/ICH9R SATA RAID Controller
Bad HD is on Sata port 2.
Also wondering if it would mess up the RAID if you changed ports to rule out a bad port.

additional RAID controller info from the Hardware Device Manager.
driver iastor.sys
Question by:sgt_best
    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    Possibility 1
    Make a Backup and try it with a new HDD

    Possibility 2
    The support you've contacted is right - it depends on the controller...
    You said its an Intel controller - i think any seagate drive will work (WD and other 'famous' brands too...)
    but remember - the raid is as fast as the slowest hd...

    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution

    You can use even a bigger HD, but it will only use 250GB of it - since the raid information will come from the other discs there should be no harm rebuilding it. Same speed 7200rpm is the right way, but i have several Raids with mixed Disks from different vendors, running with no problems.
    LVL 15

    Assisted Solution

    Try to aim at the same model and brand, if possible :)

    Also wondering if it would mess up the RAID if you changed ports to rule out a bad port.
    Don't mess with the ports :) Just plug the disk and let it rebuild.

    LVL 18

    Assisted Solution

    Get a backup of everything first.
    Plug a new drive into the old port and see if it rebuilds
    If not, then try using another port on the controller.
    Make sure you have a known good backup.  It is quite expensive having to do a recovery from a failed raid array.
    LVL 3

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for the lightning fast responses.

    Glad that some have experience with mixed drives in a raid which was the heart of my question.

    All great comments.  Didn't know the raid is as fast as the slowest hd.

    A little bit of difference between whether to use the exact drive  brand or not and to change ports or not.  I'm attributing these differences to the capability of the controller.

    I'm going to buy a Western Digital and see what happens.
    I'll post my experience.
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    I installed a Western Digital hard drive.  Had to press F6 for the RAID utility.  I had to click on something to tell it to include it in the existing RAID but I think this was set up as the defaul action.
    It said the Operating System would rebuild the drive.  When Windows 2003 Server started the login stayed gray for a while.  I came back and the drive was rebuilt.
    So, at least on this Intel ICH8R/ICH9R controller, you can mix drives from different manufacturers.
    Thanks for the Exchange.  

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