PowerEdge, PowerVault, and Linux

Rechenberg, Andrew arechenberg at shermfin.com
Mon Nov 18 09:57:00 CST 2002

Check your SCSI cables.  

I know that sounds cliché, but we had almost half of a PowerVault 220S go offline recently (5 of 7 drives were flashing orange).  Only one of the drives had to be replaced, the rest were fine once we replaced the SCSI cable to that side of the Vault and brought them back online with the PERC BIOS.  Luckily we were running RAID10 so we didn't lose any data :)

If you have the cable pinched or crimped somewhere, or a pin in the connector is bent it can cause all kinds of havoc.

Good luck,

-----Original Message-----
From: Jimmy Henson [mailto:jhenson at connecterra.com] 
Sent: Monday, November 18, 2002 9:35 AM
To: linux-poweredge at dell.com
Subject: PowerEdge, PowerVault, and Linux

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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