Replacing SAS drives in Proliant ML350 G6

I have two drives in a Raid 5 three drive array that are flashing amber.   I have two extra identical drives from another server that are no longer in use.  

Would replacing the drives as easy as installing the replacement drive one at a time and rebooting the server?    Do I need to do anything to the replacement drives?  They were once part of another raid 5 configuration.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Replace one at a time - but you shouldn't have to reboot.

Once you have replaced one drive - monitor the RAID Array using the HP RAID Array Software to make sure the drive has rebuilt the information on it and once completed, replace the second drive and repeat the monitoring.  This can take a few hours, so be patient.

It might also pay to add a 'Hot Spare' drive so that a single drive failure doesn't cause you problems.

With 2 drives failed in a RAID-5 Array - the array is history, so you are close to losing the lot.

clyde30152Author Commented:
I'm assuming an "hot spare" would be adding a 4th drive to the raid-5 array.   Is that as simple as adding another drive to the next drive bay?
VB ITSSpecialist ConsultantCommented:
Not exactly. You still have to enable the drive so it acts as the hot spare for the array in the HP software. As Alan has said above though, be very careful when you have two drives that are currently flashing amber.

I hope you have valid backups as there's a very real possibility of one of the amber drives failing while the array gets rebuilt.
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
if there are 2 drives in that state then either both are predictive failure or one is predictive and the other is failed
suggest you verify this first else if you happen to remove a predictive failure drive and the other is already failed - you lost the array
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
If you run the Array Diagnostic Utility and upload the report as an attachment one of us may be able to tell which of the drives is the worse of the two and so the one that should be replaced first.
clyde30152Author Commented:
The report is attached.

I'm pulling the replacement drive(s) from an identical server that is no longer in use.   Those drives were part of a different array while they were in use.  Do I need to do anything to clear off those drives before putting them in the live server?
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
No - the drives will have their info overwritten happily.

Both drives are predicted to fail, so either one is good to start with (unless someone can interpret more info from your report than I can which wouldn't be impossible):

Physical Drive 1I:1:1              Warning  Physical Drive State: Predictive failure. This physical drive is predicted to fail soon.
Physical Drive 1I:1:2              Warning  Physical Drive State: Predictive failure. This physical drive is predicted to fail soon.


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clyde30152Author Commented:
Here's what I did:

1.  Made a backup image
2.  Using the ACU, I set the Rebuild Priority to High and enabled cache (wasn't sure about enabling cache, but thought it would help speed things up)
3.  I decided to remove drive #2 (of 3) because the ADU said it had about 20% more predictive failures than drive #1; I removed the drive hot.  Server still functioned.   ADU indicated drive #2 failed
4.  I inserted a brand new drive (never used).  ADU indicates #2 is rebuilding.

I was a little taken back by blue lights on all three drives.  Drive #1 alternates between blue and amber.   #2 and #3 are solid blue.    I'm assuming they will go to green when rebuild it complete (hopefully by morning).

If all goes well, I plan to replace #1 this weekend.
clyde30152Author Commented:
Finished rebuilding.    The error message for drive #1 is now "Predictive Failure", but the new #2 and #3 are fine.   The weird thing is I'm getting all green lights now.   Even the amber light on #1 is gone.   I'm going replace it anyway tomorrow night.

Thanks for your help.
VB ITSSpecialist ConsultantCommented:
I actually used to do that as a first step with the older HP Gen5 and Gen6 servers, as sometimes it would fix the issue.

With that being said, it's probably best you replace it anyway if you have a spare. Remember to assign a hotspare through the HP Array Configuration Utility if you can spare another drive.
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
The blue lights are because you are accessing the Array via the software.  If you had closed the software, the blue lights would have gone out!

Sounds like you have a happier array now :)

andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
I preferred the old SCSI indicator LEDs that flashed the fault LED when selected in he ACU, you could scare customers with them ;)
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
That's just cruel - but I like it :)
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