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How to Upgrade ProLiant ML350 G2 Hard Drives in RAID5

 
Wickwood
Occasional Advisor

How to Upgrade ProLiant ML350 G2 Hard Drives in RAID5

Hello,

 

Pardon my total noob question here, but I'm doing my best to help a friend out of jam and this is not my area of expertise at all.  I've also searched all over for this answer, to the best of my ability, but I have not found the answer.

 

So here's the situation:

 

My friend has a ProLiant ML350 G2 with 3x18.2 GB Hard Drives in what we believe is a RAID 5.  The ProLiant ML350 G2 has 6 bays, so 3 of them are empty. 

 

The array is full and we want to upgrade the drives to 3x72.8 GB Hard Drives.

 

And my questions are:

1.  How can we confirm that the original set of 3 drives are in a RAID 5?

2.  How can we confirm that the original set of 3 drives are hot pluggable/swappable?

3.  What is the procedure for upgrading the 3 drives to the new 3x72.8 GB Hard Drives and migrating the data from the original drives? 

 

Thanks for your help in advance!!!

 

All the best,

Steve

12 REPLIES 12
Goutham_Sabala
Esteemed Contributor

Re: How to Upgrade ProLiant ML350 G2 Hard Drives in RAID5

How can we confirm that the original set of 3 drives are in a RAID 5?

> If it is a windows system go to Programs and HP utilites and go to Array configuration Utility and you should find the type of Raid

    OR , you can boot to ORCA -F8 at start the server which is the bios of the controller to check what raid it is on.

 

How can we confirm that the original set of 3 drives are hot pluggable/swappable?

> Hard drive will have a Colored Tab - Red on the handle Or just google the spare part number of the hard drive

 

What is the procedure for upgrading the 3 drives to the new 3x72.8 GB Hard Drives and migrating the data from the original drives? 

> Best way is to backup data and install 3 new drives and create raid 5 { Recommended}

> You can also try installing one drive [ 72.8Gb drive ] at a time, once the rebuild completes on the new drive, you can move to the next drive and so on.. . Keep in mind it is very important that you have a backup before you do this , I say this because overtime hard drives are prone to get hard read/write errors and when you install a new drive , data may fail to rebuild from other two drives if they have hard read errors

 

* to check if they have any read errors - run HP Online Insight Diagnostics

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Goutham Sabala
Wickwood
Occasional Advisor

Re: How to Upgrade ProLiant ML350 G2 Hard Drives in RAID5

That was helpful, and I will click the star for you.  Thanks.

 

But I realized that I neglected to mention the operating system in my original post.  The server is running Windows 2003.

 

So if I understand you correctly, there are 2 ways to do this:

 

1. The best way is to install the 3 drives in the empty slots and create a new RAID5 out of them and then migrate everything from the old drives.

 

Questions about method 1:

a. What then is the best way to migrate everything from the old drives to the new drives and make them bootable C drive.  We would like to take the existing drives out and just store them as they are.

b. After we have migrated everything, should we move the the drives back down to bays the old drives are in.

 

2. The other way is to take out one of the drives and insert the new one.  Let it rebuild, and repeat the process with next 2 drives.  Correct?

 

Questions about method 2:

a. How do we know when the RAID system has finished rebuilding?

b. Wouldn't the hard read errors cause the same problems if we used method 1?

c. I have to say, method 2 sounds much easier and quicker, but riskier.  However, couldn't we try this method first, and if it failed, go back and try method 1?

d. I assume if the orginal drives are hot swapable, then we can do this without turning anything off.  That's kind of the point of being hot swapable isn't?

 

I already planned to have backup before we do anything!!!  But thanks for the reminder!!

 

Other questions:

1. Where would find the spare part number for the existing drives?

 

Thanks again (in advance) for your help!

 

Steve

Goutham_Sabala
Esteemed Contributor

Re: How to Upgrade ProLiant ML350 G2 Hard Drives in RAID5

- Now that I know you have windows Operating system , I would advise you to Install HP Array Configuration Utility which gives us all the information of the hard drives

1. The best way is to install the 3 drives in the empty slots and create a new RAID5 out of them and then migrate everything from the old drives.

Questions about method 1:
a. What then is the best way to migrate everything from the old drives to the new drives and make them bootable C drive. We would like to take the existing drives out and just store them as they are.

>>> I meant copy the data from current drives  Usb drive whichever is convinient to you , and then install the three new hard drives ( raid 5 ) reinstall the OS and copy the data back.


b. After we have migrated everything, should we move the the drives back down to bays the old drives are in.
>>> I did not understand this


2. The other way is to take out one of the drives and insert the new one. Let it rebuild, and repeat the process with next 2 drives. Correct? Yes

Questions about method 2:
a. How do we know when the RAID system has finished rebuilding?
Array Configuration utility will tell you.

b. Wouldn't the hard read errors cause the same problems if we used method 1?
No, only when a rebuild starts that is when read errors are copied

c. I have to say, method 2 sounds much easier and quicker, but riskier. However, couldn't we try this method first, and if it failed, go back and try method 1?
Yes definitely , much easier but riskier, each Gigabyte will take about 15mins to rebuild, but before you start anything just keep a backup [ data is not at risk but always keeping a backup is recommended ]


Other questions:
1. Where would find the spare part number for the existing drives?

Array Configuration utility :) , look on the hard drive and the part number will look like ******-001

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Goutham Sabala
Wickwood
Occasional Advisor

Re: How to Upgrade ProLiant ML350 G2 Hard Drives in RAID5

Thanks for your help on this, Goutham. I really, really appreciate it!!!  My friend runs a non-profit agency for family and kids in need, and they don't have the money to bring in an expert right now.

 

I'm not sure what ports are on this machine, but I'm assuming it has some empty USB ports.  I plan on taking an external USB hard-drive with me today to backup to.  However, it was used for a mac and needs to be reformatted.  Do you know if I format it to MS-DOS FAT if this will be correct for backup?  I assume also the Windows Server 2003 OS should be able to reformat this drive with some kind of utility.

 

Also, I've been looking around, but I haven't found the answer yet as to what the best way would be to backup to an external drive.  I would like to make an exact duplicate of the data on the current RAID, preferrably a bootable backup.

 

And to clarify what I meant by my questions from before:

 

What I thought you meant for me to do is install the 3 new drives in the 3 empty bays (there are 6 bays for the RAID drives, but only 3 of them are being used).  Then create a new RAID5 with 3 new drives and copy everything from the existing 3 drives.  Then when this is complete, we would move the 3 new drives down to the bays that existing drives are in.  

 

I hope that makes things clearer.  Since I really don't know if these 6 bays work independently or not, that may be the source of the confusion.  I was thinking that did and I could in fact have 2 different RAIDs operating in this machine.

 

The system does already have backup tape system, for the data, but I'm concerned about creating a situation where the system fails to boot.  I don't know if my friend has the disks to reinstall the OS.  They lost their IT guy a few months back, and things are a bit of mess.

 

Frankly, if I can figure out how to get a good bootable backup of the system on an external drive, I think I will go with method 2.

 

Thanks again for your help!  It's been invaluable!

Steve

 

Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: How to Upgrade ProLiant ML350 G2 Hard Drives in RAID5

1st and foremost, backup all your data.

 

While much information here is good, for someone not faimiliar with ProLiant servers and Smart Array controllers this can all be very confusing.

 

If you just want to add more space, the easiset and safest method is to leave the curent disks intact and to add another RAID set. Using the Array Configuration Utility (ACU) or the embedded ORCA utilty you can add the 3 new drives in the empty bays and create another RAID array and logical drive. Once that task is complete from within Windows Disk Manager you will see the new free space. Parttion, format and add a drive letter and your ready to use the new space.

 

If you want to replace the existing drives with the new disks using array expansion is an option, it can take a long time and the extra space ends up as a new drive letter so your not really better off than just creating and adding a new RAID set.

 

If you want the new disks to replace the old disks. Backup your data, shut down and pull the old drives. insert new disks and create array, install Windows, install apllications, restore data

 

 

No support by private messages. Please ask the forum! Accept or KudoI work for HPE
Goutham_Sabala
Esteemed Contributor

Re: How to Upgrade ProLiant ML350 G2 Hard Drives in RAID5

I'm not sure what ports are on this machine, but I'm assuming it has some empty USB ports. I plan on taking an external USB hard-drive with me today to backup to. However, it was used for a mac and needs to be reformatted. Do you know if I format it to MS-DOS FAT if this will be correct for backup? I assume also the Windows Server 2003 OS should be able to reformat this drive with some kind of utility.

1.  you do not need any special utility to re-format , just connect the USB hard drive to one of the windows system or for that matter windows server 2003 right click and format it to NTFS or Fat32 ( Keep in mind that if the hard drive is in Fat 32 format you would not be able to copy a file that is 4gb in size, so it is better to keep it in NTFS ) .


 

Also, I've been looking around, but I haven't found the answer yet as to what the best way would be to backup to an external drive. I would like to make an exact duplicate of the data on the current RAID, preferrably a bootable backup.

2. Bootable backup to a USB drive ? With my experience I do not think it is going to work and we may end up wasting too much of time in tyring to do that. Making an exact duplicate is possible however you may need some softwares which would allow you do to that [ any paid back up softwares or if you google for free back up softwares their is possbility to get it to work - but needs lot of time in testing , if it doesnt work then again you may have to try another software ] . I would say copy the data ( like the files that you have in the system - I do not mean operating system files, files that can be used any content that you need once you reinstall the OS )

 


And to clarify what I meant by my questions from before:
What I thought you meant for me to do is install the 3 new drives in the 3 empty bays (there are 6 bays for the RAID drives, but only 3 of them are being used). Then create a new RAID5 with 3 new drives and copy everything from the existing 3 drives. Then when this is complete, we would move the 3 new drives down to the bays that existing drives are in.

3. Allow me to explain - server has 6 bays, currently three hard drives in the 1st three bays, copy the content to the USb drive from the 1st three drives and then remove those from the server and then install the new drives at the first 3 slots and then reinstall the OS and then copy the data back and the old hard drives can be installed in the next three bays . """ Their is also another way to do it , if you dont want to touch the 1st three hard drives[current drives] on raid 5 which has OS and data , then just install the three new hard drives that you plan to on subsequent bays create another raid 5 or a raid 0 which will be subsequent logical drive and you can use it for data. This way OS will continue to be on the current drives """.

 

 

I hope that makes things clearer. Since I really don't know if these 6 bays work independently or not, that may be the source of the confusion. I was thinking that did and I could in fact have 2 different RAIDs operating in this machine.

4. Yes as mentioned ( answer 3 ) above you can independent raids and independent logical drives.

 

The system does already have backup tape system, for the data, but I'm concerned about creating a situation where the system fails to boot. I don't know if my friend has the disks to reinstall the OS. They lost their IT guy a few months back, and things are a bit of mess.

 5. I agree , if you dont have the disks I would say stick to answer 3

 

Frankly, if I can figure out how to get a good bootable backup of the system on an external drive, I think I will go with method 2.
6. Instead if it is feasible, give it a though about creating a separate raid 5 on the new hard drives ( answer 3 -read underlined )

 

 

Hope this was helpful

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Goutham Sabala
Wickwood
Occasional Advisor

Re: How to Upgrade ProLiant ML350 G2 Hard Drives in RAID5

OK, so below is what I did yesterday and where things stand with upgrading the RAID5 Drives in this ProLiant ML350 G2.  I have not yet successfully finished the job the way we need and want it to be.

 

To recap the problem:

This ProLiant ML350 G2 is running Windows Server 2003 and had 3 18.2 GB Hotswappable drives in bays 0, 1 and 2 working as RAID5, known as Logical Disk 1.  The system has a total of 6 bays for drives, but only 3 were being used.

 

This old RAID5, as it turned out, had 2 partitions:

1) A system bootable partitioned, labled as C: drive, that was using 42% of the usable space on the RAID5 and was almost completely full.  It only has about ~500MB of free space out of ~14.2 GB.

2) A second partition, labled as E: drive,  that had both programs and user data on it and was using 58% of the usable space on the RAID5.  It has about ~7 GB of free space out of ~17.6 GB.

 

The Array Configuration Utility (ACU) was not installed on the machine.  I don't know why and I could not find anything called ORCA either. (However, I did find the ACU to download and installed it.)

 

What I Did:

  1. I found software called EaseUS Todo Backup Server 4.0 at http://www.todo-backup.com/business/server-backup.htm.  And I used this to backup the server to a Western Digital 1TB Passport SE Ultra External USB drive.  As it turns out finding a USB drive that is compatible with this machine is very difficult, and I'm not sure this Western Digital 1TB Passport SE Ultra Drive is the best, but it seemed to work.
  2. As per instructions from EaseUS Support, I created a backup of the orginal RAID5 to the external drive.  I then attempted to create a bootable WinPE disk on a flash drive with EaseUS Todo Backup Server 4.0, but I could not get the system to recognize the USB drives to boot from this.  I have a support ticket out to them regarding this.
  3. I had to find and install HP Array Configuration Utility (ACU).  I found that this link:  HP Array Configuration Utility for Windows 2003.  With the HP ACU I created a new RAID5 with 3 new 72.8 GB Hard Drives from Global in bays 3, 4 and 5 (now known as Logical Disk 2).
  4. My friend found some old system disks that we think were the orginial intall disks for this server, but they said Compaq on them and not HP.  Since all the software on the machine says it is HP we know that some kind of upgrade was done to the machine at some point, but we didn't know how or where to get that system software that is running on the system now.
  5. Since we were unsure of the how we might install the system software as per instructions given in replies in this message board, we decieded to clone the old RAID5 to the new RAID5 and adjust the partitions so that we have more space for the 2 partitions on the new RAID.  I followed the instructions provided by the support pages for the  EaseUS Todo Backup Server 4.0 software, which can be found here: http://www.todo-backup.com/support/tutorial/clone-hard-drive.htm  We created 2 partiotions this way, roughly sized 25%/75% of usable space on the new RAID5 for the system and user data partitions.
  6. After successful cloning, I labeled new user data partition on Logical Disk 2 to be the E: Drive so that mapping of the drive from all the workstations would see it properly.  The orginal E: partition on the old RAID5 Logical Disk 1 was relabled N: drive.
  7. The system at this points still boots from the C: drive partition on Logical Disk 1, and there is a copy of this on a larger partition labled H: on Logical Disk 2.

Where we stand and the Problem Now: 

I could not figure out how to get the system to boot from the new system partition created on the new RAID5.

Ultimately what I would like to do is:

  1. Have the server running from the new system partition on the new RAID5 Logical Disk 2 (currently in bays 3, 4 and 5)
  2. Remove the old RAID5 Logical Disk 1 set of drives (currently in bays 0, 1 and 2) and put them aside for storage as an archive for the data was on there as of this backup for accounting purposes.

So is this possible?  If so, please tell how in as much detail as you can.  (As I said in my other posts, I just trying to help a friend out who runs a non-profit for kids and familes in need.  This far from my area of expertise, obviously.)

 

If this is not possible, please give me some detailed guidance on how to fix the situation.

 

If I sound desprate, it's because I am!

 

Thanks for all your help in advance!!

Steve

Goutham_Sabala
Esteemed Contributor

Re: How to Upgrade ProLiant ML350 G2 Hard Drives in RAID5

Hi Steve,

 

I could not figure out how to get the system to boot from the new system partition created on the new RAID5.
Ultimately what I would like to do is:

Q : Have the server running from the new system partition on the new RAID5 Logical Disk 2 (currently in bays 3, 4 and 5)
A : I doubt if this is possible, their is no option where you can set a logical drive to boot from , because their is no boot order that you can set for logical drives , having said that it is very important that we need to check if we remove the first 3 drives(0,1 and 2 - 1st logical drive- raid 5 ), does the server boot to OS using the next three hard drives ( 3, 4 and 5 - 2nd logical drive - raid 5 ) ?


Q: Remove the old RAID5 Logical Disk 1 set of drives (currently in bays 0, 1 and 2) and put them aside for storage as an archive for the data was on there as of this backup for accounting purposes.
A:  If the second logical drive boots to windows when the first three hard drives are removed , we can simply delete/recreate the 1st logical drive and use it for storage


*** It is extremely important to remember from which slots the drives are being removed so that they are put back in the same slot, otherwise we may end up breaking the raid

 

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Goutham Sabala
Wickwood
Occasional Advisor

Re: How to Upgrade ProLiant ML350 G2 Hard Drives in RAID5

Hello Goutham,

 

Thanks again for your help.  

 

I failed to mention it before, but I already tried removing the first 3 drives and (old 18.2 GB drives in bays 0, 1 and 2) and tried booting with new drive array in bays 3, 4 and 5.  I also tried it with new drives in bays 0, 1 and 2.  I did this before I tried changing the labels on the partitions.  (I successfully changed the label on the user data partition, but not on the system boot partition.)

 

So I think you are correct in thinking that there is no option to set the a logical drive to boot from, but I don't understand why we can't set which partition to boot from.

 

I understand that the drive order is important, and I have take care to keep in the right order to preserve the RAIDs.

 

I also heard back from the EaseUs software people about not being able to boot from USB recovery disk I created with their software.  They tell me I need to "change the bios to boot from USB flash drive".

 

They have also told me that I need to add drivers to the WinPE bootable USB flash drive.

 

Here are there instructions, which don't yet make any sense to me:

"You can access your computer's BIOS by pressing a specific key immediately

after you turn the PC on. The key varies, but it is usually either [F1],

[F2], or [Delete]. Next, find the section on boot device priority.

Normally, a USB flash drive (which is usually listed as USB-HDD, but may

be listed as a removable device) will have a very low boot priority. If

the USB flash drive's boot priority is lower than the hard disk (listed as

HDD) then the only time the computer would ever boot off of the USB flash

drive is if the system were to fail to boot from the hard disk. You must

therefore rearrange the boot device priority so that the flash drive has a

higher priority than the hard drive.

 

When you boot into the WinPE bootable disk, you can see the "Tools" option

in the main interface. Then you can select "Device Management">"Driver

manager" to add driver."

 

They have also directed me to this webpage on their site:

http://www.todo-backup.com/support/help/device-management.htm

 

Does any of this make sense to you?  They are not ProLiant ML350 experts and I suspect there is some missing information here in order to make this work.

 

Here's what I think I need to do, but I don't know exactly how to do all the steps:

  1. Backup both partitions on the old and new RAIDs to WD USB Passport Drive.
  2. Copy User Data information that has been updated over the past few days on the User partition of the New RAID back to the User Partition on the Old RAID and reset that Drive Label back to E:.
  3. Backup everything again to WD USB Passport Drive.
  4. Create WinPE Boot Disk on USB Flash Drive with Drivers for USB and RAID.  (I have no idea where to get these drivers or where to put them on the USB Flash Drive.)
  5. Change BIOS to boot from USB flash drive so I can use recovery USB Flash Drive.
  6. Backup everything again to WD USB Passport Drive.
  7. Destroy the New RAID, and some how recreate it to run in Bays 0, 1 and 2.
  8. Shut down the machine, remove the Old RAID from the machine and replace with New RAID.
  9. Boot the machine from EaseUS WinPE Recovery and use software to recover to "Dissimilar Device" using instructions on http://www.todo-backup.com/support/tutorial/redeploy-system-to-dissimilar-hardware.htm.
  10. Shut down the machine, remove the WinPE Recover USB flash Drive and reboot the system with new RAID and recovered partitions running in Bays 0, 1 and 2.

Does this make sense to you?

 

Do you know how I can:

A. Change the BIOS to boot from WinPE Bootable USB flash drive?

B. Find the Drivers I need to put on the WinPE Bootable USB flash drive?

C. Create a the new RAID to be recognized instead of the old RAID in Bays 0, 1 and 2?

 

Thanks again for your help.  I know all of this sounds totally crazy, but my friend's system is a mess and I'm no expert in this stuff!

 

Steve