the 'right' way to rebuild a container

Glenn L. Wentworth gwentworth at
Fri Oct 15 15:29:01 CDT 2004

I am sure this has probably been answered before but I don't remember
seeing it so I'll just ask it again.  Also the answer may end a
discussion we are having internally about the problem.

We have just installed some new 2650s. The systems have 4 drives setup
in a raid-5.  The systems are in disparate locations so they are managed
by different people.  

Two of the machines (1 in each location) lost a drive.  At one site the
admin got the new drive popped the failed drive out, put the new drive
in and walked away letting the system run and rebuild at the same time. 
That system seems OK, continues to run and best of all was 'up' the
whole time.  

The other group called Dell and followed the directions of a Dell tech.
The process was: take the system down, replace the drive, come up into
the ctrl-a raid manager and rebuild the container.  Then bring the
system back up.  

Both methods seem to work.  Except of course the second system was
off-line for some 4 hours while the container was rebuilt.

If there is not a downside to hot swapping a failed drive while the
system is running why does Dell have the support techs tell customers to
rebuild the raid array with the machine off-line?  And other than being
off-line for 4 hours are there other pros and cons to the two ways of
fixing a raid array with a failed drive?


Glenn L. Wentworth <gwentworth at>
Acquire Media Software Development Group

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