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We have a server that was being decommissioned and it was thought that all the data and services had been migrated to new systems. Instructions to our tech was to remove drives and prepare the system for recycling. Just before this was done it was discovered that one of the virtual instances hosted on this system had not been correctly migrated and now we need to spin up the server again. This system was built by a previous tech who didn't document the system well and therefore we are left with little information to go on, other than the HOST OS is some form of Ubuntu hypervisor and the guests are in separate partitions managed by the host in a software RAID configuration. - There are 10 SATA disks … we don't know the original order as the system was slated for decommission.

Question : Can we just plug in the drives and hope it boots? Do we need to find the drive with the OS on it?

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If each SATA header you attach your drives to is a valid boot source in the BIOS, you should be able to just plug the drives in and boot, the BIOS will find the boot drive, and the OS should be able to reassemble the RAID on the other disks. If you're using RAID cards or something not purely OS-based software RAID, you might be out of luck on getting the RAID back but it should still find the boot disk.

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If the RAID is md software RAID, then the RAID should automatically be reassembled regardless of the order of the disks.

The tricky part may be to get the system to boot in the first place. It would be possible (but not a good idea), to have 10 different boot loader configurations on those 10 disks causing different systems to be booted depending on which disk goes first.

If /boot is replicated as a RAID 1 across all the drives you can usually boot from any of them. If it is not done like that, there may be a risk that some of the drives contain a boot loader with older kernels that won't work with the current install.

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