Short description: Dell PowerEdge T300 logical drives keep disappearing about an hour or two after boot!
I've got a Dell Poweredge T300 server with 20GB RAM, 1.50TB storage, and running Small Business Server SBS 2011. The main function of this server is handling Exchange 2010. Roughly 1 to 2 hours after boot the server slowly begins to crash.
At first it looked like the SQL server database was full and something was possibly swamping the processes causing the server to freeze. While watching the disk accesses in the Resource Monitor I saw that the logical drives (C: and E:) would suddenly disappear . Once that happened all functions on the server would slowly crash and I would have to do a hard reboot. The reboot would take about 20 minutes before I could get to the actual desktop to view the event logs, task manager and resource monitor. Everything would run like normal then after about an hour or two the crash process would happen all over again (e.g. - logical drives would disappear, explorer freeze, need to do hard reboot, etc.).
This led me to check the RAID controller (Dell SAS 6IR). At times it froze while I was trying to go through the menu options. Having dealt with this before with another Dell server I suspected that the RAID battery might be failing. Looking at Array SAS1068E it shows a status of Degraded and and 0% Syncd. As I type this I'm about to return to the office to confirm which physical drive has failed.
On Friday afternoon I got in touch with Dell but they made it clear that I wouldn't be able to get real support until sometime on Monday 07/15/19. My tentative plan was to buy a battery for the RAID controller along with two replacement drives but it may two more than a couple of days to arrive.
Here are my questions:
(1) Is this behavior consistent with a failing RAID controller battery or failed drive in an array?
(2) is it possible to stabilize the server with one drive while waiting for the replacement hardware to get here?
I'm in a serious crunch since the company needs email plus payroll also happens on that server. Thanks in advance for your time and input!