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Adding a drive that came from another HP Smart Array array to replace a failed drive

Posted on 2011-10-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Have a Proliant ML350 G5 with embedded E200i Smart Array controller.  Server has 3 72GB SAS drives configured in a RAID5.  One drive failed and the array continues to run.  I don't have a new, clean spare on the shelf and I don't want to wait until Tuesday to get a third drive back in this -- and Tuesday's probably the earliest I'm going to be able to get a new replacement.  However, I have three drives of the same type that were pulled from another server.  They weren't erased; they were working when pulled.  I'd like to take one of those drives and plug it into the slot where my drive failed and rebuild the array NOW.  

However, it seems like the last time I tried something like this, the array controller knew that drive I was trying to use was part of another array, wouldn't let me use it, and wouldn't let me erase or change it from inside HP Array COnfiguration Utility.

Can't afford to kill the array that's working... So, before I try to plug one in, I'm looking for guidance on whether or not I can expect this to work, or am I going to have find a way to erase that drive before attempting to use it....  Thanks.  
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Question by:mweaner
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by:John Hurst
ID: 36974250
You can put a "clean" drive in, of course, but the working drive will not work because it thinks it belongs somewhere else. So I would not attempt this. ... Thinkpads_User
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by:Jelcin
ID: 36974309
Use some tool that will overwrite the whole disk with data. No metadata can survive this. In Linux you just can "cat /dev/zero > /dev/hd<target>" to achieve this.
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by:hvillanu
ID: 36974377
Hi,
This is a risky way to work but...
On BOIS Array Setup
Perform a low Level Format of the disk that want to use (perhaps you need to put in offline)
Replace the damage disk with this one

Other way to do this (less risky)
Remove the damage disk and put the replacement
On BIOS Array Setup
Perform a Synchronization of the array.

Notice: Working with arrays on Production environment could DESTROY all your information.

-hope helps-
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by:andyalder
ID: 36975799
All you have to do is add it hot, then the controller ignores the metadata. You must have added it with the server turned off last time.

You cannot easily clean the metadata off it without removing it from the controller although you could remove your current disks, put this one in and delete any arrays on it using the ACU. A lot of messing about for nothing. The ACU and ORCA don't have an option to erase a disk.
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by:JRoyse
ID: 37017550
andyalder is right - if the replacement drive is the same type, just swap it with the failed drive "while the system is running".  It will rebuild.  I have done this a number of times with "dirty" disks.
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mweaner earned 0 total points
ID: 37018210
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.  I was able to find a clean drive and rebuild with it.
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by:mweaner
ID: 37018397
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for mweaner's comment http:/Q_27398683.html#37018210

for the following reason:

Appreciate all the comments on the advisability of using a &quot;dirty&quot; drive and how (or why/how not to), but at the end of the day, was able to find and use a clean drive faster than I'd expected...and that resolved the issue
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by:andyalder
ID: 37018398
I can't see how you can accept your comment that you found a clean drive as being the answer to "how do I use a dirty drive".
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by:andyalder
ID: 37052957
No worries, I'll just add them to my blacklist.
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