Dell PowerEdge 2850 - Replacing failed drive in RAID1.

So I think I have a pretty good grasp on what I need to do here, but I thought I'd double check because I'm not as used to dealing with RAID1. I'm dealing with an old Dell PowerEdge 2850, PERC4e/di RAID controller here.

Two virtual disks:
Virtual Disk 0: RAID1 (physical disk 0:0 and 0:1, these are both 73GB Seagate Cheetah ST373307LC drives).
Virtual Disk 1: RAID5 (physical disks 0:2, 0:3, 0:4, 0:5)

OS (server 2003 R2) is on the RAID1, data is on the RAID5. Noticed the other day that drive 0:1 was blinking amber. Looked that up, and that apparently means the drive has failed (a "predictive failure" would've been blinking amber+green, while this was a straight amber light that blinked rapidly).

Dell OMSA shows Virtual Disk 0 with a status of "degraded" and Virtual Disk 1 with a status of online. So virtual disk 0 has issues because that drive failed, but virtual disk 1 is happy.

Virtual Disk 0 only shows one disk as a member (there is no "missing" or "failed" listing for the other drive...it's just not acknowledging that the second drive in that virtual disk ever existed at all).

I went ahead and pulled the drive with the blinking amber light. Server still runs fine and boots fine (just with the blinking amber lights and degraded status on that one virtual disk). Am I correct to assume that I can just replace the failed drive with an equal or greater capacity drive, give it some time, and let it do its thing since this is RAID1?

We run regular backups, and the important data is on the RAID5 set (which, again, is virtual disk 1, the "happy" one). The OS + one important application are the only things on the RAID1 set. I'd still like to avoid being forced into reloading the OS if possible. I'm assuming that just sticking a good drive in that slot will work (and most documentation I've been able to find seems to indicate that as well), but I thought I'd see if anyone else has opinions on that first.
jhighwindAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Yes, you can just insert a new disk in that slot and it should rebuild. Just be sure to insert the disk "hot" (while the server is on and running). You can monitor the status in OMSA (OpenManage Server Administrator).
1

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Wayne88Commented:
I had to do the same on a DELL PE2900 last week.  After replacing the drive "hot", the replacement drive didn't auto rebuild.

I had to go to the OMSA (OpenManage Server Administrator) and mark the drive as a Global Hot Spare then the status changed to "rebuild" from "ready".
1
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
The PE2900 is different ... it takes SAS/SATA drives, and the SAS controller (PERC 5/6) does not handle replacements/rebuilds/hot-spares the same way. Sometimes disks do rebuild automatically, but there are many more instances where they don't, so you add them as a hot-spare.

On the 2850 (takes SCSI drives), the PERC 4 controllers will usually start a rebuild on any valid disk inserted "hot" when a disk is missing. In the rare case that it does not rebuild automatically, it is usually because the drive is showing as failed, so Rebuild must be selected. In some cases, a disk might show as Ready, so assigning as a hot-spare would be valid in that case.
1
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

jhighwindAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick responses. I'm going to be on site again (hopefully before end of the week) with a replacement drive. I'll try plugging it in first and just check the status in OMSA, then we'll go from there. Will post results here.
0
jhighwindAuthor Commented:
Looks like PowerEdgeTech was correct. I plugged a replacement drive in the empty slot. For the first few seconds, it blinked amber, then it switched to blinking green. Dell OMSA shows a status of "rebuilding" for that new physical drive, and all the lights on this server are now blue or green.

Virtual Disk 0 still shows a status of "degraded" but I imagine that should go away once the rebuild finishes, assuming nothing else on this server blows up before then.

No idea how long it's going to take (it's at 4% after about 5 minutes, and these are 73GB drives), but we're looking good so far. Looks like we're going at around 1% per minute. I'll post another update once that's complete, but since things are looking like we're on the right track, I'm going to go ahead and mark PowerEdgeTech's response as answer.

Thanks!
0
jhighwindAuthor Commented:
Final update: the rebuild finished a couple of hours later with no hiccups. OMSA is griping because of outdated firmware on the RAID controller (something I'll worry about another day), but aside from that, all is well now.
0
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
When you do update the firmware (and I strongly recommend that you do), update the BIOS, then ESM, then RAID driver (if needed), THEN the PERC firmware.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Storage Hardware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.