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Hard drive failure on HP Smart Array P410i

Hello, I was wondering if I could get some feedback/suggestions regarding a failed RAID hard drive.  I'm helping an office and they have the following configuration:

HP ML350 G6
Smart Array P410i controller
1 Array/ 1 Logical Drive - 6 TB
Drive configuration: 8 drives.  Bay's 1 - 8 have: HP 1 TB drives inserted

The drive in Bay 7 has recently failed (Red amber light).  The office believes the drive in Bay 8 was configured as a "hot spare" and automatically rebuilt (I see activity/green blinking light on the drive) when Bay 7 failed.

A replacement HP drive (same part #/size) has been ordered.   This is a production environment so I can't shutdown/reboot the server until this weekend.

Can I just insert the replacement drive into Bay 7 while the server is running?
Will the RAID controller automatically configure Bay 7 as the "hot spare"
Will the RAID Controller keep Bay 8 as an "active" drive in the array

Based upon the info provided, I'm basically trying to determine

1) What's the "best practice" on how/when to add the replacement drive into Bay 7
2) What actions will automatically happen when the replacement drive is inserted into Bay 7 (What would the RAID controller do?)
3) Do I need to reboot the server and make changes in P410i ORAC to get a similar setup as before (seven "active" drives in the array and one hot spare)

Thank you

Thank you
2 Solutions
Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information SystemsCommented:
"Can I just insert the replacement drive into Bay 7 while the server is running?"

"Will the RAID controller automatically configure Bay 7 as the 'hot spare'"
This post says yes.  So does this one.

"Will the RAID Controller keep Bay 8 as an "active" drive in the array"
See above.
Gregory MillerGeneral ManagerCommented:
Be certain to have a good backup before you start.
Robert OrnelasVP Operations at Cook's ComputerCommented:
You can swap the bad drive any time, but you will need to set the new drive as a spare. I have done this many times and have never seen a drive configure itself as a hot spare. At any rate you should be able to manage the array with the software within windows.
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AaronAuthor Commented:
Robert, do you have any supporting documentation regarding your claim "you will need to set the new drive as a spare"?  What state are the drives (Bay 7 and Bay 8) if no action is performed?  The reason I asked is yesterday I swapped the "bad" drive (Bay 7) with the HP provide drive (Bay 7).  It appears this morning that the replacement drive (Bay 7) has rebuilt and the "hot spare" (Bay 8) is back to being dormant (no lights activity on the drive).  Based upon a visual of light activity, the controller automatically reconfigured the array to it's original configuration.

This server was configured with VMware so it's not being monitored by HP Array Configuration Utility.  I will have to reboot the server this weekend and access the ORAC to verity the current array state/configuration.  Please let me know, thanks.
Robert OrnelasVP Operations at Cook's ComputerCommented:
My statement is from experience. It could possibly be as you say automatic but i always use the array config software to set the new drive. Again this is from experience. I will post documentation for you when i get to my office.
AaronAuthor Commented:
Paul, thank you for the links you provided above. This link was spot on:


I would like to clarify that the Raid Controller automatically reverted to it's original configuration (see below).  The replacement drive in Bay 7 did not become the new "hot spare".  It automatically rebuilt and became an active drive.  The drive in Bay 8 reverted back to being the "hot spare" drive.  I've been monitoring the drives using the ILO 2.  Please see attachment showing results.

Original Configuration:
ML 350 G6 with Smart Array P410i
1 Array
1 Logical Drive (Approx. 6 TB)
Hard Drives in Bays 1 -7 (each 1 TB in size) were assigned to the Array.  The Hard Drive in Bay 8 was configured as a “Hot Spare”

Steps Taken: Removed faulty drive in Bay 7 and replaced with same drive (no server shutdown/reboot/array reconfiguration required)

End Result: The controller automatically reconfigured everything to it's original configuration (Bay 7 rebuilt and became an active drive, Bay 8 drive returned to "Hot Spare")
AaronAuthor Commented:
See my results in previous comment and attachment
AaronAuthor Commented:
Just to clarify, when I stated "replaced with same drive", I meant to say "the same type of replacement drive from HP".  I did not use the faulty drive or "off brand" drive.  Don't want to confuse anyone.
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