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I have a server with a potenially faulty 3ware 9650SE-8LPML. I can log in to the server but the interface keeps reseting causing the whole system to lock down for minutes.

My host suspects its the raid card causing the problems.

They dont have a 3ware 9650SE-8LPML on stock and now they are asking me if they can put in a 3ware SAS 9750-8i instead.

What it the potential risk of data loss? If it does not work can they put in a 3ware 9650SE-8LPML at a later date or will the data forever be corrupted?

The server is using Freebsd 7.3 and across the raid is also a ZFS cluster.

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Are you actually using the 3ware card for raid? Or is it setup as JBOD with raid handled by ZFS? –  Grant Apr 26 '13 at 17:59
    
It is used in Raid 5. LSI said 50% chance of data loss when my host talked to them. My host thinks it is closer to 100%. Is there any good way to backup the data before making any attempt on change the card? We can access the server but its very difficult to do anything because of the interface resets. The data is still there and intact by the looks of it though. –  Kaah Apr 26 '13 at 20:54
    
Restore it from your backups...you HAVE backups right? Also when setting it back up ditch the raid5 and just use ZFS. It works faster and more reliably if it can see the real disks instead of an array. –  Grant Apr 26 '13 at 23:20

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Newest controllers usually support metadata from previous controllers of this vendor. If you recover all connection topology on newer controller, i think it could use metadata from disk to construct the raid back.

Common problems could be found, if you have old drivers, wich don`t understand newer controller, but in you case i think it could be fine.

You may try to replace controller, just dont do anything with raid and disks (like recreation raid, initialization of disks, etc), if it could not find/understand their metadata, cos if you do that, you cant simply get back disks to work on old controller. If controller understand metadata, its starts raid automatically or ask you to store configuration(metadata) from disks.

ps: zfs on controller raid is evil. :)

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Thanks for the answer. I have since then upgraded Fredbsd to 8.3 and ZFS to the latest supported version in Freebsd. It works a lot better now. From being almost unusable to working better than before the issues. Moral of the story: Make sure you use the latest available ZFS version ;) –  Kaah May 16 '13 at 16:55

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