I have a Dell R320 that has two physical drives in a RAID1 array. The RAID controller is a PERC H310 Mini.

During routine maintenance I discovered that one of them was showing as faulty. I had to reboot the server and now the previously fault one is showing as foreign (but not faulty).

I will be replacing the drive regardless, but I'm unsure as to what to do once I physically replace the drive that has failed.

When I created the RAID array I did it through the RAID utility as part of the boot (BIOS) sequence.

Can I now rebuild the array via OMSA? If yes, what is the process for doing this? Obviously I'm worried about data loss carrying out this task.

Can I hot-swap the faulty 'foreign' disk when the replacement arrives? Or do I need to power the server down and replace offline and then reboot?

Currently under 'Virtual Disks' the C drive (which uses the RAID array) appears as 'degraded' due to this (normal).

I do not see any 'rebuild array' options anywhere, which would have been my first option, though this may be because I have not yet replaced the drive and the system considers it faulty?

These are the options the controller offers me: enter image description here

Would appreciate any pointers to help me rebuild the array successfully given the info outlined above.



Under 'Foreign Configuration' I found this:

PERC H310 Mini: Import/Recover Foreign Configuration

Instructions: The Import/Recover Foreign Configuration task imports foreign virtual disks and attempts to recover virtual disks that are in a failed or degraded state. Some conditions, such as an incompatible RAID level or an incomplete disk group, can prevent the import or recovery of foreign virtual disks. The import operation imports all foreign virtual disks so they can be managed by Storage Management. A virtual disk is foreign when it resides on physical disks that have been moved from another controller. The recover operation attempts to restore degraded, failed, or missing virtual disks to a healthy state. A virtual disk may be in a degraded, failed, or missing state after losing communication with the controller due to a power loss, faulty cable connection, or other failure. A rebuild or background initialization may automatically initiate after the recover operation completes. The virtual disk data may be inconsistent after recovery. You should always verify the virtual disk data after the Import/Recover Foreign Configuration task completes. Are you sure you want to continue?

Is this what I should do?

  • 2
    No, don’t import your failed disk. Swap the replacement drive and most likely it will rebuild on its own. If not you can add the drive in to the existing RAID 1 array and start a rebuild. Before you do anything, you should back up your server. That goes without saying, even if the drive had not failed. Mar 7, 2019 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


DO NOT import the foreign configuration.

A drive shown as "Foreign" is one that the RAID controller thinks is part of a RAID array, but does not recognize as being part of an existing array on that controller. This doesn't commonly happen in your situation. Most of the time you see a foreign configuration when moving drives from one controller to another.

Because your drive is faulty, importing the foreign configuration would only result in a second degraded virtual disk being created with a faulty drive, which is not what you want. Or, worse, the controller deciding it really belongs with the other drive after all, resulting in data corruption.

Just continue with replacing the drive. Once replaced, add the new drive to the existing virtual disk.

  • Thanks for your reply. I'll replace the faulty drive before doing anything. Looking at the doco for the H310 it looks like it is hot swappable, so I'll simply take out the faulty 'foreign' disk and replace it with an identical one. I'm assuming that I'll then be presented with an option to rebuild? Or would it try to do that itself? Thanks
    – omega1
    Mar 7, 2019 at 14:36
  • 2
    You'll have to add the new drive to the existing VD, most likely. Mar 7, 2019 at 14:38
  • 1
    @MichaelHampton I concur. Normally it will be detected as new drive and has to be added to the existing VD. I've been in that exact situation twice myself and both times I had to do that.
    – Tonny
    Mar 7, 2019 at 15:08

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