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I have an HP Proliant DL380 G4 with a Smart Array 6i controller and 6 hard drives. 5 of the drives are configured as a RAID 5 array, and 1 is designated as a hot spare.

The server has just given me a S.M.A.R.T. error for one of the drives. The drive has not actually failed yet, it's just telling me that it plans on failing at some point in the near future.

I could just remove the failing drive and let the array rebuild itself using the spare, but this would leave the array vulnerable to further drive failure during the rebuild process.

What I would prefer to do is bring the spare drive online before the failing drive fails or is removed, then remove the failing drive once the array is fully rebuilt.

Doing it this way would mean that there are 5 operational drives in the array at all times and it will be less vulnerable to a further disk failure.

Is this possible? And if so, how would one go about doing it?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can't do that sorry, perhaps consider converting this array to RAID 6 at some point.

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Thanks! It was wishful thinking I guess. I actually plan on converting it to RAID 10 as it no longer needs as much storace space as it once did. – samuelkf Nov 28 '11 at 12:59

You don't have any way to force the drive offline other than removing it. I wouldn't do that alone. I'd get a new (probably refurbished) drive and just swap the failing drive with it.

Why wait for the rebuild onto the spare (which has been spinning and running in the same environment) when you can replace the bad disk outright?

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