Raid without Initializing the Disks...fatal mistake?

Posted on 2013-10-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-12-08
I deleted the raid setup on my server. I have 4 drives and created a raid 10. I saw an option to initialize the disks. I ignored it. I was able to restore my operating system fine and everything looks good. Did I make a fatal mistake?

I read you are supposed to initialize the disks and wait 24 hours for them to sync up or something like that. Should go back and start over?
1 Comment
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Accepted Solution

David earned 2000 total points
ID: 39559453
Well, here is the downside.  Decide for yourself if it is worth fixing the issue
1. Initialization is a burn-in.  Better to have a HDD die in testing/setup then while there is data.
2. Initialization makes all blocks consistent.  If you have a HDD failure, and have junk on blocks that were never zeroed out, then IF you lose a HDD you have higher risk of unrecoverable read errors and data loss.  Also you have near zero chance of ever getting anything back by professional recovery should you have a 2nd failure.

So if it was me, I would do a full bootable disaster recovery backup, initialize the RAID, then restore over the weekend.

Now MANY controllers will do background initialization, (HP SMARTArray, LSI / Dell MegaRAID to name a few). They will do the full initialization during idle time.  It will take a day or longer depending on the load, but at least you will be able to use the system.

For all I know and for all you know, you have such a controller, and it DID a full initialization w/o you being aware of it.

As they say, read the manual. You might get lucky ;)

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