What;s involved with replacing / eliminating a failing hard drive in a RAID 0 ? Hours??

Taking on a new client that has a Dell PowerVault MD1000.

(see http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Storage/Hard_Drives/Q_28555938.html for another question on general administration of that device).

1 of the drives is flashing green / amber.  That seems to mean that SMART has been triggered.

So what to do?!

It's 6+ years old.  

1) replace that drive, but they are not using hardly any of the storage capacity, so I say no to that.

2) Just say screw it and eliminate that drive. But the array is RAID 0 (yeah, stupid, right?  it's raid 0 across 12 drives. they couldn't afford to do raid 5 and lose one drive to parity?

Anyway, I think this is an issue of backup the 40GB of data on the several TB of storage (told you, they aren't using much of the storage), remove the failing drive and recreate an array (this time raid 5?!), then restore the data.  Right?

any thought on the time involved on-site for this to be on site for billing?  Backup the data remotely to another share, then be onsite to turn off the box, remove the drive, turn back on and create a new array?  time to initialize that?  Then restore the data remotely?

  I just want to know if initializing / formatting 3TB of empty drive takes minutes or hours.

thanks!
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robocatCommented:
Creating a RAID can take may hours, sometimes even 24h.

Depending on the RAID controller, you have the option of "fast initialization". This will only take a few minutes, the rest of the process is done in the background. Of course a full initialization is safer because the virtual disk will only become available after everything is checked for errors.
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Michael-BestCommented:
"  I just want to know if initializing / formatting 3TB of empty drive takes minutes or hours."
Depends on the formatting method used,
If the 3TB of empty drive is quick formatted, then it takes minutes.
Full formatting takes a lot longer than a quick format.
Full formatting takes hours.
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
creating the array shouldn't take 24 hours
i would expect the initialization to be a couple hours based on some TB sized arrays i've worked with before
as michael said, the formatting shouldn't take long either if you do a quick format

i would backup to usb drive; would take longer doing it over the wire
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rindiCommented:
As has already been mentioned, creating the new array can take very long. But you don't have to be there while it is doing that, or you can do other things not specific to that customer.

But why setup an array the same way as it already has been done, using all available disks in RAID 0?

I'd setup a RAID 10 with hot-spare, and then just restore the data to that, as he's got enough disks and doesn't even come close to needing all that capacity he's got now. I also would run the backup on site, using an image backup to a USB disk. That doesn't take long.
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