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Server Raid Ultra 160 Won't Recognize New Drives. Help.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Rick B., Jun 9, 2004.

  1. Rick B.

    Rick B. Guest

    Here's the problem, I have an IBM Netfinity 5100 with a ServerRaid 4x
    Ultra 160. I originally built the server with three drives in a Raid
    5, everything was fine, no problems. Recently I purchased three
    additional drives and fully populated the cage, the problem is when I
    run either the Mini Config or the Server Raid GUI config it only
    recognizes one of the new drives. Drives 1 (Bay #0), 2 (Bay #2) and 3
    (Bay #3) are the original and work fine, drive 4 (Bay #4) shows
    standby, drive 5 (Bay #8) is fine, and drive 6 (Bay #9) shows up as
    disabled. I looked everywhere and can't find a way to put these drives
    in "ready" mode. What the heck am I missing? Is there a way to
    activate these drives without losing the data I have on my original
    array? Help…

    Rick B., Jun 9, 2004
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  2. Rick, I'm not sure what RAID controller is being used in that machine. I
    would venture to say that you will have to do a complete backup, including
    system state, and reboot to get back into the RAID configuration. Once
    there, you will need to clear your old configuration and rebuild the array.
    Unfortunately, some of the low-mid class controllers won't let you increase
    array size on the fly. I know this isn't what you wanted to her, but this
    is about all you can do unless someone else that knows that machine better
    than I can help. Good luck and let us know how you make out.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Jun 9, 2004
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  3. Rick B.

    newB Guest

    I suspect He means the IBM ServeRAID 4Lx. It's no matter though,
    AFAIK all the IBM ServeRAIDs use a common BIOS & configuration tool.
    Before doing anything so dramatic rechek termination and SCSI ID
    conflicts and verify that the drives & cage are good using a different
    controller. Also make sure you wipe clean the boot sector of the new
    drives. I seem to remember once a loose molex conector and some MBR
    info giving me similar confusion a long time ago.

    yes you can add drives & volumes to a serveraid without having to
    reinitialize pre-existing volumes, and you can perform hotswap,
    failover, etc. It's not really such a low-end controller, just an
    older one (whose software is still being developed). Software feature
    wise the older Serveraids are barely distinguishable from the newest &
    most expensive ones.

    When you boot off the Serveraid support CD the new drives should be
    recognized and you should be prompted to create a new volume. there
    is an option to force discovery of new drives, but you shouldn't need
    to do that. Remember the configuration software you use must match
    the BIOS revision

    Of what I remember of ServeRAID's, once they designate a drive as
    defunct, it's not always so easy to bring it back online unless you
    move it to a different SCSI ID (I think it remember's the drive's
    serial number). If you know the setup to be otherwise good, and you
    have a complete backup on hand (trueimage & ghost work well with this
    controller) you could clear the controller's configuration, then on
    reboot use the mini-config to write the raid config from the drives to
    the controller, then boot into the serveraid CD and the insert the new
    hotswap drives and force discovery of them. They should be RDY at
    that point to configure volumes

    I haven't had to mess with the cofig of our ServeRAID based machines
    in some time, so sorry if my memory is a little rusty.

    Hope this helps.
    newB, Jun 10, 2004

  4. Thanks for the wonderful information. I'm curious, aren't these SCA drives?
    If so, these plug directly into a backplane and there shouldn't be a need to
    fiddle with SCSI ID and termination.

    Great news.

    I would think that it would be straightforward for him. The possibility
    does exist that he might have drives of questionable functionality.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Jun 10, 2004
  5. Rick B.

    newB Guest

    newB, Jun 11, 2004
  6. Rick B.

    newB Guest

    It was the molex power connector to the backplane which was the
    problem. Ended up making everything flaky.

    When you have a situation where the backplane allows you to manually
    configure SCSI ID and/or there are multiple backplanes on the same
    channel, ID can be an issue. I guess this isn't really relevant for
    his netfinity though. With the Netfinity EXP racks, you do sometimes
    have to give a little thought to their "auto" configuration.
    Agreed. I just think he should try a few more things before
    RMAing/scrapping them. Sometimes it's the stupidest things that cause
    the most downtime/frustration.

    On rereading the original post it looks like he needs to remove the
    hot spare from the config to chage drive status in Bay #4 and test the
    functionality of the drive in Bay #9 by moving to a different bay or
    computer. Again if all the drives and bays work correctly my
    suggestion re clearing and restoring the raid config should force
    things to work without loosing any data on the original array.
    newB, Jun 11, 2004

  7. OK, I understand now. I wasn't sure if you were talking about a Molex on
    each drive. Yes, this can be a problem if power is lost to the backplane.

    The only experience I had with Netfinity was with their older EXP15 racks.
    What I remember from years back they didn't have any options for selecting
    individual drive IDs, but had a micro dial switch on the rear to select rack
    ID and a DIP switch to select a few options as well as separating the
    backplane into two electrically isolated units. Again, I'm going by memory
    on this.

    Absolutely, I agree since these units are so straightforward that they leave
    little room for user error.

    It's a long shot that might pay off for him. Generally, from a time,
    manpower, and economics standpoint I would weigh the benefits of just
    backing up and blowing away the old configuration instead of monkeying with
    an option that might involve too much resources for his learning curve.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Jun 11, 2004
  8. Rick B.

    Rick B. Guest

    Thanks for all the followup, I did try using different drives in
    different bays before I posted this message. It made no difference
    whatsoever which bay the drives were physically located, the
    configuration utility always reported the exact same status for the
    drives in question. I'll check the backplane and all the cable
    connections, if that fails I guess I'll ghost it and blow it away.
    Fortunately the server is not yet in full production, thus giving me a
    little wiggle room to do this.

    Thanks Again,

    Rick B., Jun 11, 2004

  9. Good luck. One suggestion is that you might also want to do a full backup
    using your backup/tape utility to be 100% sure that you have some redundancy
    before you proceed. I was never fully confident with Ghost.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Jun 11, 2004
  10. Rick B.

    newB Guest

    On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 06:57:57 -0400, "Rita Ä Berkowitz"

    I sort of agree with your basic philosophy but clearing and restoring
    the controller configuration would have the same effect without the
    extra step & time & inviting potential for error/loss in completely
    destroying and restoring all data. The solution could come even
    faster if he could just determine a drive to be bad &/or simply
    correct a controller configuration error. I find nondestructive
    solutions often preferable and less time and resource intensive.
    Regardless we both agree he needs comprehensive, up-to-date backups to
    fall back on. Sidestepping the 'learning curve' wont help the next
    time it or something similar needs to be serviced or upgraded when it
    is in full production.

    Rick, since you have some time and are interested in taking time to
    blow away & restore the array, why not also get the latest support CD,
    upgrade the BIOS and use the most recent tools? I'm happy enough with
    6.11 but 7.0 came out 2004/05/05.

    newB, Jun 11, 2004
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