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Lost Configuration/Unsupported Drive movements

Ayman Altounji
Valued Contributor

Lost Configuration/Unsupported Drive movements

We've recently had a number of incidents where after a building power down, a number of servers loose their drive array configuration. Most of these servers are Compaq 1600Rs, installed with 3200 array controllers.

There are no warnings regarding array controller batteries in either the NT event log or insight manager. Additionally, as the array controller records array information on the drives, this should not matter as the array should be able to read the correct configuration off the drives. The last incident had 11 failed servers out of a total of 90 in one building, and this seems an excessive failure rate to me.

Recovery was made by running Smart Start off the CD, and manually recreating a new array and logical drives with the same settings that were originally present, which seems a hazardous way of doing this. A system erase with the disks out does not work, unfortunately, as the array controller is still unable to read the correct configuration off the disks. Same goes for installing a replacement controller.
5 REPLIES
Ayman Altounji
Valued Contributor

Re: Lost Configuration/Unsupported Drive movements

I've had a similar problem with a Proliant 7000 and a smart Array 3100ES controller. The server locked up and had to be power cycled. When it re booted the following error occurred - 1783-Slot# Array Controller Failure. I tried replacing cables, a new card, different slots, etc, but with no luck. On the Compaq support site I did find the following document :

http://www.compaq.com/support/techpubs/customer_advisories/EX010306_CW01_0.html

I tried the fixes suggested in this but with no success, it looks like a re installation.
Ayman Altounji
Valued Contributor

Re: Lost Configuration/Unsupported Drive movements

Hi TG,

Thanks for your reply, but unfortunately the article is not relevant to the problem we experienced.

Cheers,
Mike.
Ayman Altounji
Valued Contributor

Re: Lost Configuration/Unsupported Drive movements

We had the same problem with two 1850R+3200 machines. Same problem same resolution. Both controllers had firmware 4.44.
Compaq told us that this was an unknown problem but that it was probably solved with a firmware upgade.....mmmmmh smart answer... just doing a firmware upgrade on 250 servers all over the world while the supplier THINKS it COULD be solved with a firmware upgrade...... no way!

Unfortunately we were unable to re-produce this in our test lab.

What firmware version have you running on your controllers?
Ayman Altounji
Valued Contributor

Re: Lost Configuration/Unsupported Drive movements

Hi Dennis,

Most of the controllers had 4.44, but others had 4.32 or 3.08. I agree completely with your assessment of the Compaq Support answer - it's not acceptable. I don't think we are going to run upgrades because it MIGHT solve the problem while the firmware revision history does not mention a fix being included in the new revision. Had the support staff backed up the upgrade rationale with details of an included fix, and some reasonable logic as to why they felt that the upgrade would solve the problem, that would have been a different matter completely.

The support staff also enquired as to whether the computers were on a UPS - firstly they are in a large power conditioned computer suite with plenty of backup power, and secondly what relevance does a UPS have to servers that lose array settings when switched off during a power down?

Thanks for your information, anyway - it's useful to know that we're not the only ones experiencing this problem.

Cheers,
Mike.
Ayman Altounji
Valued Contributor

Re: Lost Configuration/Unsupported Drive movements

Hi Mike,

Please keep me informed if you have some more information.

Thanks in advance,

Dennis (dennis.rietvink@dsm.com)