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Replace drives in RAID 5

Posted on 2014-09-15
Last Modified: 2016-12-08
I have a Proliant ML310e Gen8 setup with a RAID 5 array with 5 300Gb SAS Dual Port 10k drives. Two of the drives show imminent failure and I want to replace them. Would this work as hot-swappable drives or do I need to shutdown the server and rebuild the array? I'm just worried that if it forces me to reinitialize the array, it will wipe out everything out.

Question by:Alan Dala
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Assisted Solution

by:Natty Greg
Natty Greg earned 100 total points
ID: 40324263
Hot swappable should be fine since each drive as an exact copy of the data, if you're still unsure please take a look at the link below
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Assisted Solution

dlethe earned 100 total points
ID: 40324292
Hot swap LITERALLY means hot swap .  It is the correct thing to do.  Replace them with system turned on  and running.

But best practice is to take a full backup first.  Rebuilding RAID is quite stressful and if all the disks went into service at the same time, then consider that they are all likely in the same shape and risk of failure.

(Shut down as many services and jobs as possible to speed up the rebuild)
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Expert Comment

by:Natty Greg
ID: 40324309
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Assisted Solution

by:Seth Simmons
Seth Simmons earned 100 total points
ID: 40324348
Two of the drives show imminent failure...

you need to be very careful here
raid 5 can only sustain 1 drive loss
when you replace the drives, ONLY do one at a time; don't pull both and replace both or your raid array is gone
i would do a full backup first in case the second drive fails before the first one finishes rebuilding
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Expert Comment

ID: 40324383
No, do what I wrote earlier, a full backup FIRST.   A rebuild is the most stressful thing you can do to a  HDD other than a burn-in.   You are in high risk of data loss with 2 drives showing IMMINENT failure.

Your #1 priority is a backup first, while all disks are online.  If a drive dies during the rebuild, you have 100% data loss.
LVL 55

Assisted Solution

andyalder earned 100 total points
ID: 40325684
Default the ML310e gen8 only has the "dynamic smart array controller B120i" which is the Intel chipset plus HP's RAID stack and doesn't support RAID 5, you must have an addin card. Assuming it's a proper Smart Array controller you could upload an Array Diagnostic Report as an attachment, then we may be able to tell which drive is the worse of the two and hence the one to replace first.

Author Comment

by:Alan Dala
ID: 40325838
Thank you all for your responses.

How long do I have to wait before replacing the second hard drive? I don't see any messages in the Event Viewer or Disk Management...
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Expert Comment

ID: 40325912
Use the Array Configuration Utility to monitor the status, also once you remove one drive the "do not remove" lights should come on on the others as they should be in Gen8 caddies.
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Accepted Solution

Greg Hejl earned 100 total points
ID: 40325970
I would buy another drive and reformat your array into a RAID 10.

then going forward, look with suspicion any one who suggests implementing any RAID that requires Parity Striping - Parity Striping requires that ALL drives get rewritten after a drive failure, further endangering the Array (if another drive is near it's MBTF, this is when you will find out with disastrous results

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