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Transferring 4 disk RAID array to different bays in Dell PE2800

JonYen asked
Hi Experts,

I currently have a Dell PowerEdge 2800 which has a 4 x 146Gb HDD configured in RAID5.

The disks are in the bays 4,5,6,7 (the bottom row).   I experienced a problem where disk number 6 failed and the drive became degraded.   After a couple of days of watching the orange light flashing and thinking it was repairing nothing happened and I decided to swap the disk for a new one.   Still it did not repair so I tried recreating the array, formatting the drive and then restoring the image back to the drive.   This time even with the disk in a different order the number 6 disk was still flashing an error.

What I would like to try now is to move all 4 disks into bays 0,1,2,3 - is this possible and can anyone point me in the direction of a good technical document describing the procedure?

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Gary ColtharpSr. Systems Engineer

PERC controllers are adaptive... move them in order and controller should pick it up. But you may have a bad backplane.


that's what I feared but I do remember that there were 4 disks in the top enclosure only 3 months ago and that was working fine
I would caution about trying to move the drives to new bays if they contain live data.

Dell possibly has the steps to do this if you contact their technical support as they've helped me through fixing broken drive arrays before but I would suggest a safer (and unfortunatley more expensive) option of putting new drives into bays 0-4, building the raid array and then moving the data.

Top Expert 2009

At this point, you say that you can reload the image at will, so you can move the drives to 0-3, the controller will read the array from the drives. If you run into issues, you may need to clear the array configuration from the controller (all drives must be out) and restart, you will get an NVRam mismatch, boot to the controller, go to view/add and save the current configuration.
I had a similar problem with one drive bay on the backplane going bad. It is not necessary to move all the drives, just place a NEW drive in the next available drive bay, use the Dell Server Administrator software to make the new drive a hot spare, and immediately RAID5 will start to rebuild.

The original drive that was in bay 6 may still be good (mine is good) because it may not have been affected by the interface on the backplane going bad. However, before you can reuse it you will need to get it wiped because it contains info pertaining to bay 6 that will cause boot errors if you try to try to reuse it without wiping first.

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