Disk Enclosures
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Windows 2003 dynamic disk failures after firmware updates

Bill Kriner
Occasional Contributor

Windows 2003 dynamic disk failures after firmware updates

I've been encountering a consistent problem the last few months when upgrading firmware on Smart Array 6402 and 641 controllers. I've been upgrading firmware on these controllers to attempt to remedy array accelerator problems (battery issues and/or downshifting behavior).

What I'm finding is that each time I flash one of these disk controllers, some of the dynamic drives the server may have fail to initialize after the server is rebooted the first time. This has occurred on Windows 2003 servers running on a variety of Proliant DL platforms (DL380G3's, DL580G2's, etc.). I can get the drives back up either by rebooting again or reactivating them within the Disk Management utility.

I'd be curious to know why this happens and if it's preventable. This is a particularly nasty issue that can cause some big headaches if servers that contain databases attempt to start up without all volumes being present on the system. This seems to be prevalent only on systems running Ultra320 storage gear. I haven't seen this happen yet on any of our Ultra3 equipped systems.

Has anyone else experienced this? The errors that are thrown in the system log are:

Source: LDM
Event ID: 3
Description: A Dynamic Volume [\Device\HarddiskDmVolumes\ServernameDg0\Volume4] has failed."

Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Windows 2003 dynamic disk failures after firmware updates


Since you are upgrading firmware, can I assume you are also updating drivers for these Smart Arrays as well?

What about OS updates?

I can not say I have seen this issue before, but perhaps it is best to hold off on anymore updates until you find an answer. (You probably realized this already so my apoligies are extended if you you are offended).

Is there a specific need to update the firmware? Does new firmware contain a fix for something else that is/was "broke"?

Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
Bill Kriner
Occasional Contributor

Re: Windows 2003 dynamic disk failures after firmware updates

Good questions. Yes, in all cases newer drivers were installed prior to applying newer firmware. The experience I had today was a good example. We have a DL380G3 running Windows 2003 Standard (not running SP1). It's Windows drivers and Insight Agents were from the Support Pack v7.10A. I upgraded it to Support Pack v7.40B for starters. The disk controller is a Smart Array 641 (the internal 5i isn't being used) that was running at firmware revision 1.92B. The problem this server started having within the last month or so was the array accelerator changing state - flapping if you will between being temporarily disabled and enabled. It was reporting that the accelerator battery had failed. This sort of thing would happen several times a day. Lately it's been getting progressively worse.

In reading through various documents on the HP website it became apparent that the SA-641's are susceptible to the same issues SA-6400's have with older controller firmware that can cause accelerator batteries to overcharge and/or not accurately report their health status. The HP recommendation for this controller (SA-641) was to upgrade the firmware to the current revision 2.58A. Note that I verified that all the Ultra320 disk drives contained in this server met the minimum firmware requirements of the 2.58A firmware for the SA-641 (146GB drives - model BD14685A26, firmware rev HPB6).

So, after backing up the server's OS and system state I applied Support Pack 7.40B and rebooted. Everything was fine. Then I applied the 2.58A firmware upgrade to the SA-641 and rebooted. It came up fine except one of the volumes didn't appear within Windows Explorer and showed as failed within Disk Management. I reenabled it successfully and ran chkdsk. Since then it appears to be okay. Also, the array accelerator status flapping has stopped. So, I achieved the desired effect but not without having a volume fail to come up (which is something we've never seen until recently).

This describes what, why, and how. Enough detail?
Jorge Cocomess
Super Advisor

Re: Windows 2003 dynamic disk failures after firmware updates


I jutst had a similiar situtation last night with our Exchange server box right after I upgraded to SP1. The server was donw from 9:30 AM until 3:00 AM the next day. I contacted MS and forced the issue on them. Needless to say, they told me to back out of the SP1 and do an OS repair. After the OS repairs, I was not seeing any of my SANs volumes with an exception of the local (C:\) drive. More forcing to MS and and the Tech had to escalated to the top of the chain and they took care of the LDM issue.

I will post more results once I verified with MS on how they fixed the problem.

Just an FYI for everyone.