Two weeks ago I installed 6 new hard disks (HP 500GB 6G 7.2K SFF 2.5-inch 2-ports SAS DualPort Midline, 507610-B21) in a "HP DL 380 G5" with a "Smart Array P400" (RAM Firmware Revision 2.08, ROM Firmware Revision 2.08).

I created a new logical disk with 5 physical disk in RAID 5 and a spare drive (array B):

[...] => ctrl all show config

Smart Array P400 in Slot 1 (sn: P61620D9SUKHBP)

array A (SAS, Unused Space: 0 MB)

  logicaldrive 1 (136.7 GB, RAID 1, OK)

  physicaldrive 2I:1:1 (port 2I:box 1:bay 1, SAS, 146 GB, OK)
  physicaldrive 2I:1:2 (port 2I:box 1:bay 2, SAS, 146 GB, OK)

array B (SAS, Unused Space: 0 MB)

  logicaldrive 2 (1.8 TB, RAID 5, OK)

  physicaldrive 1I:1:5 (port 1I:box 1:bay 5, SAS, 500 GB, OK)
  physicaldrive 1I:1:6 (port 1I:box 1:bay 6, SAS, 500 GB, OK)
  physicaldrive 1I:1:7 (port 1I:box 1:bay 7, SAS, 500 GB, OK)
  physicaldrive 2I:1:3 (port 2I:box 1:bay 3, SAS, 500 GB, OK)
  physicaldrive 2I:1:4 (port 2I:box 1:bay 4, SAS, 500 GB, OK)
  physicaldrive 1I:1:8 (port 1I:box 1:bay 8, SAS, 500 GB, OK, spare)


After that I could create the filesystem on It, mount It and use It without any issue.

My problem is that One week later the controller still was initializing parity.

[...] Array: B Interface Type: SAS Unused Space: 0 MB Status: OK

  Logical Drive: 2
     Size: 1.8 TB
     Fault Tolerance: RAID 5
     Heads: 255
     Sectors Per Track: 32
     Cylinders: 65535
     Stripe Size: 64 KB
     Status: OK
     Array Accelerator: Enabled
     Parity Initialization Status: In Progress
     Unique Identifier: 600508B10010443953554B484250000C
     Disk Name: /dev/cciss/c0d1
     Mount Points: /buzonesdir 1.8 TB
     OS Status: LOCKED
     Logical Drive Label: A0C36F2EP61620D9SUKHBPA42A


At that moment, trying to speed up the parity initialization, I increased the rebuild and expand priority from "medium" to "high".

But, one week later (working with high priority) the "Parity Initialization Status" is still "In Progress".

Do you know if this is normal and I should let It continue working?
Do you know any way to check if really "Parity initialization" is being done and how long It will last?

Thank you very much.
  • Looks like BBU is absent. When controller hasn't a battery it turn off write-caching that slowdown performance significantly.
    – Kondybas
    Jul 16, 2012 at 10:06

3 Answers 3


The rebuild/expand priority setting doesn't affect parity initialization.

Be aware that parity initialization only occurs when the controller is not busy. If you are actively using the controller, it will not be making much progress towards completing initialization. To make initialization complete as fast as possible, allow the system to sit idle until initialization completes.

You may also have some success by changing the "Surface Scan Analysis Priority" to "High". If this setting is set to "Delay", then the controller will have to be idle for the specified number of seconds before it resumes a surface scan or parity initialization operation. Setting this to "High" should force the controller to make some sort of progress even if it is busy. After initialization completes, though, you'll probably want to reset this back to whatever value it started with.

  • 1
    +1 for Surface Scan Analysis ... that's what did it for me.
    – Callie J
    Mar 26, 2013 at 12:09
  • What do you mean by "let the system sit idle"? Does this mean booted into the OS - just not using the server much? My array is still at 0.00% after 8 days and the server is unused - just sitting at the Window login screen.
    – NTDLS
    Jan 12, 2018 at 21:06
  • @NTDLS "Idle" meaning no I/O activity being sent to the controller, by you or by background processes.
    – bta
    Jan 29, 2018 at 20:35
  • Kind of difficult to do for an OS disk isn't it? Should I find some way to pause the server before the OS loads?
    – NTDLS
    Jan 29, 2018 at 20:36
  • 1
    @NTDLS Depends on your OS, I suppose. I'll boot to a DOS USB drive or press "Delete" during boot and sit in the BIOS menu if I need to make absolutely sure that no background I/O is happening. If you set the scan priority to "high", you'll still make progress even if there is background I/O happening.
    – bta
    Jan 29, 2018 at 21:39

Firmware first!

The controller you have is older, but there have been a multitude of changes to the controller firmware since the version you're running on. You're at ROM revision 2.08. The current firmware for the Smart Array P400/P400i is version 7.22. Also see this HP advisory indicating the same.

Look through the change log for the controller, there are many issues/bugs addressed in updates.

You could install firmware piecemeal or just run a current HP Firmware DVD to bring the entire system, including disks, up-to-date.

Other notes...

Also see: Slow parity initialization of RAID-5 array on HP Smart Array P411 controller


A disk firmware updabe is available. It may resolve your issue "This firmware prevents a rare condition that may occur during a WRITE SAME command sequence that may result in incorrect data being written to the hard drive. The WRITE SAME command may be used during RAID ARRAY parity initialization. "

  • If you can post the same answer to two questions it's an indication that the questions might be duplicates. So rather than posting an answer you should think about flagging the question.
    – ChrisF
    Feb 3, 2013 at 13:11
  • There was a already a 10 month old answer that says to update the firmware and is much more detailed. What does this add?
    – MDMarra
    Feb 3, 2013 at 13:25

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