PowerEdge, PowerVault, and Linux

Jimmy Henson jhenson at connecterra.com
Mon Nov 18 08:35:01 CST 2002

Our company recently acquired a used PowerVault 200S, loaded with brand new 18.2 GB Cheetah drives.  This past weekend I connected the unit to our Dell PowerEdge 1400SC server, which has been our main file server for a little less than 1 year.  The server is configured with a PERC3/DCL SCSI adaptor, and the server already has 4x18.2 GB drives configured as a RAID 5 with one hot-standby drive. 

In order to successfully partition the new PowerVault array, I updated the firmware/bios on the PERC card to the latest, and I also updated the OS on the file server to RH 8.0.  With these upgrades, I had no problem formatting the PowerVault with fdisk, and no problem with creating ext3 filesystems, using mkfs.  The new array is configured as a RAID5. 

Now here's where it gets interesting.  About 9 hours into a copy (copying files onto the new array), 2 of the 8 drives in the PowerVault crashed.  I say "crashed" meaning that their LED status lights turned from green to orange. I was able to bring the drives back online using WebBIOS, but I have no idea why they would have crashed in the first place.  

Obviously the crash is troubling.  Can anyone advise on potential work arounds and/or tests that I could conduct to isolate the problem(s)? 

Many thanks, 

Jimmy Henson
ConnecTerra, Inc.
100 Cambridge Park Dr.
Cambridge, MA 02140
617.492.5837 fax

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