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Change Drives back to factory fresh condition-Use of used drives in RAID 5 config

 
Chris Grubb
Occasional Visitor

Change Drives back to factory fresh condition-Use of used drives in RAID 5 config

Hello all. New here. I have a dilemma which if someone could shed some light would be appreciated.
We have 3 ML350's and a few months ago, had a drive failure. We are running three 18.2 GB in a RAID 5 config. We didn't have any spares so I used a 36.4 GB to use until the 18.2 drive was delivered. The 36GB throttled back to a 18.2 and ran fine. Now it's removed and I would like to use it in another unit as a 36GB. Question is, what process is used to wipe out a drive so I can put it in another or same controller to rebuild as a hot swap? I've purchased all new drives for the machines but some have been used temporarly in the same machine (a/c quit one summer and caused me chaos). Using the HP Array Config utility I've tried to create and delete from a spare controller that we don't use. When viewing in MS Disk Manager, one needs to be initialized, one has an EISA partition which I can't delete, and another I'm able to create and delete partitions. I'm worried if I try to replace a current drive with one that has been used before, I may go down in flames. Is there anyway to revert these drives back to factory fresh ready to pop in as a hot swap? Sorry for the rambling....
Any help is MOST appreciated!!!
Chris
4 REPLIES
Víctor Cespón
Honored Contributor

Re: Change Drives back to factory fresh condition-Use of used drives in RAID 5 config

If you have an spare server or one that you can stop for a few minutes, put all the disks you want to erase in it, boot with SmartStart CD, go to Maitenance menu and choose Erase Utility. Caution this will erase all the disks, do it with only the disks you want to erase.
Also, If you have a RAID where one of the disks have failed, and you insert a disk with the server on, it will be taken as a new disk and the new RAID information will be written to it.
Chris Grubb
Occasional Visitor

Re: Change Drives back to factory fresh condition-Use of used drives in RAID 5 config

Thank you very much for the info. So I assume that even though the drive has been used before, I can insert it into a hot bay and the present data will be replaced when the set rebuilds? My concern is that the 36gb drive that was throttled back to 17gb may still be showing up as a 17GB when inserted.
Also, is there any other way to safetly remove a drive (functioning properly) while the server is in operation? I've been shutting down the server, pulling the drive and rebooting. Then add the new drive and let it rebuild.
If the drives that were throttled back need to be wiped, I have one server with 2 controllers, only 1 being used. 6 bays but only 3 populated on the first controller. Is this easy to do with the GUI array config utility? Sorry for the long wind but before I do anything, I want to be sure!!
Again, thanks for the insight and help!
Chris
Víctor Cespón
Honored Contributor

Re: Change Drives back to factory fresh condition-Use of used drives in RAID 5 config

- In the case of a 36 GB disk in a RAID with 18 GB disks, the controller knows it's 36 GB, but will only use 18 GB as that's the way RAID works, equal amount of data on each disk.
- If you insert this same 36 GB disk in a RAID with 36 GB disks, all 36 GB will be used.
- A disk can only be removed when the red light is on and still, not blinking, or when the server is off
- If you remove a disk from a RAID and then hot-add any disk, that disk will be erased and RAID data copied to it.
- Do not mix disks that belonged to different RAIDs by putting them in a server while it's powered off, the controller will get very confused.
Chris Grubb
Occasional Visitor

Re: Change Drives back to factory fresh condition-Use of used drives in RAID 5 config

Once again, thank you for that quick response. Your last comment makes me nervous. You see, a replacement disk that was part of a raid setup (temporarly) would be getting inserted into a present raid config that had a drive removed while powered off. I'm concerned about the present raid config getting confused with the replacement drive that already has a raid config from another set.
Thus, my thought was to reset the drive to factory fresh condition. I tried to do that with the server with the free controller but one disk isn't initialized, one has an EISA partition on it which I can't delete. Thus my confusion (among other things :)
Thx
Chris