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I am having an issue with a failed disk in a HP DL380 G5 smart array p400. The array setup is RAID 5, 7 disks + hot spare.

One disk failed some weeks ago and the hot spare automatically took over, so long so good. I replaced the failed drive but I am not sure if the array is in an ok state.

If I run hpaducli (OS is RHEL 5), the output states:

Consolidated Error Report:
   Controller: Smart Array P400 in slot 1
       Device: Logical Drive 1
      Message: Background parity initialization is currently queued 
        or in progress on this logical drive.  If background parity 
        initialization is queued, it will start when I/O is performed 
        on the drive.  When background parity initialization completes, 
        the performance of the logical drive will improve.

(Its been reported like this for over a month, nothing actually seems to happen with the "queued" background parity initialization).

Checking with hpacucli:
# hpacucli ctrl all show config

  physicaldrive 1I:1:5 (port 1I:box 1:bay 5, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
  physicaldrive 1I:1:6 (port 1I:box 1:bay 6, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
  physicaldrive 1I:1:7 (port 1I:box 1:bay 7, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
  physicaldrive 2I:1:1 (port 2I:box 1:bay 1, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
  physicaldrive 2I:1:2 (port 2I:box 1:bay 2, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
  physicaldrive 2I:1:3 (port 2I:box 1:bay 3, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
  physicaldrive 2I:1:4 (port 2I:box 1:bay 4, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
  physicaldrive 1I:1:8 (port 1I:box 1:bay 8, SAS, 72 GB, OK, spare)

The original hot spare was in bay 8, the failed disk was in bay 5.

My hope was that the replaced drive in bay 5 would automatically kick in as the new hot spare, but it does not seem to be the case.

  • Do I need to do something about the "queued background initialization"?
  • Do I have to actively change the hot spare configuration?
  • Is the array in a "safe" state or will it fail when the next drive fails?
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2 Answers 2

Once you have replaced the failed drive, the hot spare will revert back to being the hot spare again. This is the expected behavior on the HP SmartArray.

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JS is correct. Inserting a new drive will re-build that drive and return the drive in bay 8 to being a hot spare.

You do not need to do anything about the background parity initialization message. This process happens on RAID 5/6 volumes when they are created, expanded, or in some cases (like this one) recovered. The reason you have seen the message for so long is because the time it takes to complete is dependent on the I/O load of the controller. If you are doing a lot of I/O it can take a long time to initialize, but if you leave the controller idle for a while it can complete much faster (initialization must happen in the background).

If the results of your hpacucli command shows "OK" in the "logicaldrive #" line matching that particular RAID volume, then yes your drive is safe and can tolerate a drive failure. This should only happen after the drive you inserted has been completely rebuilt.

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