Upgrading storage on HP DL360 G5 Raid 5

Posted on 2013-01-28
Last Modified: 2014-04-14
I'm trying to upgrade the storage in a HP DL360 G5. It currently is running 4 physical SAS drives at 73GB running in RAID 5 using a P400i Raid controller. We have bought 4 300GB SAS drives to eventually replace all drives.

From my knowledge of RAID 5, if you replace one drive with an existing drive the data from the current drives will replicate across the replacement drive. However I have tried this and I'm getting an error.

I powered down the server and replaced one SAS drive, however when I boot the server I get the following error:

Slot 0 HP Smart Array P400I Controller (256MB, v7.18) 0 Logical Drives
1785-Slot 0 Drive Array Not Configured
Drive positions appear to have been changed.
Run Array Diagnostics Utility (ADU) if previous positions are unknown.
Then turn system power OFF and move drives to their original positions.

**** Boot Logical Drive is configured but is Missing or Offline.

I can boot into the array configuration utility, it detects the drive, however there is not an option to rebuild the existing array.

I removed the drive and left 3 drives in and booted the server to put the server in recovery mode, however putting the new drive in causes the same error.

I have been researching the issue and have come across the suggestion to Hot Swap the drives whilst in the operating system, however I thought it would be safer to do this whilst the server is off preventing the risk losing any data.

Any help would be greatly appreciated
Question by:tech_tonic

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I have not done it with the SAS controllers, but the HP server disk upgrade works as you are trying.

If the server will boot off 3 drives then boot it and hot plug the new drive.

you will need the Drive management software to add the drive back in to the raid.

You will need to do this 4 times and once ALL the drives are replaced you can extend the array.


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I suspect these are second hand disks with metadata on them.

The proper procedure is to power down and remove one disk, power on, then fit the replacement. That way the controller knows to treat the hot-added disk as scratch.

Be warned that rebuild will take a long time and that you will be without parity diring that time, a single bad block on one of the remaining disks will cause the rebuild to fail so be prepared to restore from backup should it fail.

IMHO you'd be better off leaving the current RAID intact and adding another two disks as an additional RAID 1. You may need an additional cable for that as bays 5 and 6 aren't always cabled up.

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Thanks for your answers,

If I pull out one disk and boot the server, it still finds one logical disk which means it should theoretically boot into the operating system with 3 left over drives in given that I choose to put the array into recovery mode. Should I replace the disk immediately after I choose this option? or before this option appears ie as soon as the server is powered on?

The 300GB SAS drives are brand new and the server is running VMWare ESXi.

I'm not sure how ESXi would respond with hot swapping drives.

Thanks again.

Assisted Solution

The_Old_Rock earned 500 total points
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I have recently increased the drive capacity on my M150 G6 with a P410/256 Array Controller. I replaced the original 250GB SAS disks configured as a RAID5, fault tolerant array, one by one, with 2TB disks. The operation worked as expected but I found afterward that my controller model did not allow me to increase the size of the original 750GB logical drive (my bad). I had been cautioned to use HP disks, that had not been previously used, for the replacement disks. I'm not sure that this had anything with your error message,

I apologize that this didn't provide any sort of answer to your question, since I didn't experience any errors, but I did perform the disk swap over a weekend when the server was not engaged in any other activity.
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Alright I plan on Hot swapping one drive while the server is running. According to the documentation on the array controller, this should theoretically work. I'll make a backup of course.
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>Should I replace the disk immediately after I choose this option?
Yes, after you tell the controller to leave the logical disk enabled you can fit the replacement.

>Alright I plan on Hot swapping one drive while the server is running
You can do that instead, only downside is that it adds 1 to the hotswap count of the removed disk and that can lead to it reporting itself as bad if you do it too often.

@The_Old_Rock, your controller supports online capacity extension but a battery is required, they cost about $120. Same applies to tech_tonic's server. You can check if it has a battery under more information button with the controller highlighted in the ACU.

Accepted Solution

tech_tonic earned 0 total points
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I successfully replaced the drive by hot swapping it, I had no issue whatsoever. I checked vSphere and the RAID 5 was rebuilding. I checked again this morning, and the RAID is now normal. I will go ahead and repeat the process until it is finished.

Thanks all.

Author Closing Comment

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I successfully hotswapped the drive and had no issue.

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