Dead Hard Drive and Degraded RAID/Crashed Server

We are replacing a dead hard drive and degraded RAID in a Dell Poweredge T300. It is not hot plugged. The last time we attempted this, it crashed the server. What is advised to avoid this from happening again as we move forward with the replacement?
Jason KidmanIT Consultant & CEOAsked:
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Andrew DavisManagerCommented:
Have a good backup, and follow the instructions of the raid that you are using, hardware or software.

noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
First of all backup. But I guess you have already backup. Then check the status of the failed drive via ACU (array configuration utility). If you right click on bad drive - do you have there any option?
If yes, then remove the drive via ACU or deactivate it, turn off the server, connect new drive - reactivate the drive.

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John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
Well the advice would always be a good backup...personally backup == full image...anything goes wrong you restore you system...
If you have the resources you can do a P2V of your problematic server so that you minimize the downtime.....if anything goes wrong
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Jason KidmanIT Consultant & CEOAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the insights. So let me be a little specific:

1, It will be backed up
2. The bad drive is removed and out of the system, so its running on 2 drives
3. We will need to turn the server off, plug in/install the new hard drive

4. Heres my question:
 a) Just boot and let it "rebuild" on its own?...  or
 b) Boot directly into the RAID manager on POST and start the rebuild in there?  And if so, what is the proper method.

That is my specific question(s). thanks!
Andrew DavisManagerCommented:
As i originally said you have not mentioned how your raid was originally configured (via hardware perc controller, of via software Operating system) but as you mention about going straight into the RAID manager at post, i am going to assume that it is configured via the Perc controller.

simply replace the hard drive and reboot normally. You should then be able to monitor the raid state and see it rebuild the raid. Once this is complete you still may need to confirm the rebuild to clear the degraded state in the reporting/monitoring app.

noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
a) Just boot and let it "rebuild" on its own?... - For the hardware RAIDs the rebuild process starts itself automatically when the drive is replaced.
Jason KidmanIT Consultant & CEOAuthor Commented:
Thanks! I have created a full backup of the server, and I will follow those steps and hope for the best. Thanks for your help!
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