Total of 4 HDD's 3 in the array and 1 as the dedicated hot spare HDD#1 Failed and the hot spare automatically began Rebuilding I would like to replace HDD#1 but I am curious about the procedure to get the HDD's back to their original slots.

  • After replacing HDD#1 will it become hot spare or unconfigured good?
  • Will the HDD in the previous hot spare slot automatically rebuild data back to the HDD#1?
  • Do I have to swap the previous hot spare slot to the HDD#1 slot? and put the new drive into the hot spare slot?
  • How do I restore the previous slot configuration? which is 1,2,3 in the RAID 5 and slot 4 as the hot spare?
    As it is currently 2,3 and 4 in the RAID
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    Mentioning the server/RAID controller/OS would get you a far more definitive answer. – bodgit Jan 30 at 10:19

On some controllers, after you replaced and rebuilt the failed disk, the spare will automatically return to its original role - serving as a spare.

On other controllers this does not happen automatically, and you need to issue proper commands to the underlying controller.

Finally, it should be possible to move the disk to another slot (ie: nowadays RAID metadata are both stored on the controller and written to the disks), but I would avoid that without first reading the docs and trying it on a spare machine (especially on your single-redundancy RAID5).

So, for a definite answer, you should really read your controller's documentation.


As far as I know it is depending on the hardware/system you use and as first answers I would say no. Furthermore But you have the described capability in some systems of the big storage vendors (hot-spare in the same bay). Besides, why do you want to perform this configuration? In case you have indicators like LEDs you can easily detect the faulted drive.

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    Hey, this is an enterprise server and this is already configured. I just want to know after a drive failure when the hot spare rebuilds automatically what needs to be done to restore the raid array how it was originally.. for example once this rebuild is done i will not have my HDD in slot 1 and the rebuilt drive will take its place but it is in a different slot.. – James delli paoli Jan 30 at 7:07

There are too many situations, depending on controller type:

  • hot spare many need to be manually added
  • hot spare many need only confirmation from the RAID controller
  • hot spare may be automatically added (assuming the rebuild is complete)
  • new hot spare added may crash your RAID (warning: on some controllers VolumeID can change after adding the hot-spare and will cause the array to be unreadable in certain situation like in VM environments)

So check in detail the documentation of your controller and make sure you follow the proper procedure.

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