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I have a hardware raid1 (mirrored) configuration. The controller is Intel. Intel Matrix Storage. The OS is linux/debian. On one disk, SMART is reporting exceeded threshold values: surface errors or ...
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    replacing faulty disk in hardware raid 1


    I have a hardware raid1 (mirrored) configuration. The controller is Intel. Intel Matrix Storage.

    The OS is linux/debian.

    On one disk, SMART is reporting exceeded threshold values: surface errors or head failures. "Hard Disk Sentinel" recommends replacing it immediately. The other disk is perfect, so no data is lost. I have several questions, as I don't want to make any mistakes.

    (1) I probably can't buy an identical disk. Does the replacement disk need to have the exact same geometry (cylinders, heads, sectors); or is it sufficient as long as its capacity equals or exceeds the capacity of the good disk?

    (2) Is the following replacement procedure correct? Have I omitted anything? What traps might I fall into?

    (a) BACK UP THE DATA. Make sure I have file/directory copies, rather than (or as well as) partition images.

    (b) Remove the faulty disk and install the replacement disk. (I know which physical disk is faulty, by its serial number.)

    (c) Start the system and Ctrl-I to enter the RAID ROM software.

    (d) Go to the recovery options and rebuild the new disk. Wait a while for it to finish. Complete the boot.

    Do I need to partition the new disk first? I assume not. If so, and if the geometry is not identical to the good disk, then the partitions won't be identical, as the partition sizes won't correspond with the same cylinder boundaries as the good disk.

    I have read the Intel Matrix Storage manual, but I need step-by-step instructions, which the manual doesn't contain.

    Can you refer me to any good, definitive documentation and step-by-step instructions?

    Thanks. Gerry

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    Your plan sound about right. Having similar drive nice, but as long as size is same or bigger will work. Important to use the RAID's control software/firmware to fail the bad drive then remove it from the RAID set. Then you can install the new drive, and brng it into the RAID set. Rebuilding the new drive can take awhile, but you should be able to bring the system back up during the rebuild, but check you RAID doc to confirm. I know one of the hardware RAID's has to rebuild before use, that's usless to me. I'm used to hot-swap RAID so system never has to be brought down just run the RAID software.



    Quote Originally Posted by gerrybutler View Post
    I have a hardware raid1 (mirrored) configuration. The controller is Intel. Intel Matrix Storage.

    The OS is linux/debian.

    On one disk, SMART is reporting exceeded threshold values: surface errors or head failures. "Hard Disk Sentinel" recommends replacing it immediately. The other disk is perfect, so no data is lost. I have several questions, as I don't want to make any mistakes.

    (1) I probably can't buy an identical disk. Does the replacement disk need to have the exact same geometry (cylinders, heads, sectors); or is it sufficient as long as its capacity equals or exceeds the capacity of the good disk?

    (2) Is the following replacement procedure correct? Have I omitted anything? What traps might I fall into?

    (a) BACK UP THE DATA. Make sure I have file/directory copies, rather than (or as well as) partition images.

    (b) Remove the faulty disk and install the replacement disk. (I know which physical disk is faulty, by its serial number.)

    (c) Start the system and Ctrl-I to enter the RAID ROM software.

    (d) Go to the recovery options and rebuild the new disk. Wait a while for it to finish. Complete the boot.

    Do I need to partition the new disk first? I assume not. If so, and if the geometry is not identical to the good disk, then the partitions won't be identical, as the partition sizes won't correspond with the same cylinder boundaries as the good disk.

    I have read the Intel Matrix Storage manual, but I need step-by-step instructions, which the manual doesn't contain.

    Can you refer me to any good, definitive documentation and step-by-step instructions?

    Thanks. Gerry

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    Good morning gregm and dochop. Thank you. From your replies, and from information I have gleaned elsewhere, it seems that the replacement will work as long as the new disk has equal or greater capacity as the old disk. It doesn't need to have the exact same geometry (cylinder, head sector). This was my biggest worry. The reference to "Replacing A Failed Hard Drive In A Software RAID1 Array | HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials" refers to a software RAID, whereas I have a hardware RAID (Intel Matrix Storage). The procedures are quite different, although the general principles are similar, and the reference was useful. Regards Gerry.

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    Linux Engineer docbop's Avatar
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    I prefer hardware RAID over software and my last boss and I would argue about it all the time. I like that hardware RAID is totally independent and OS know nothing about it just drives to the OS.

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