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  1. #1
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    Formatting SAS Hard Drives

    I am using a couple of older HP DL380 G5 servers with various 2.5" drives.
    Is it possible to re-format these drives, and if so how do you do it?

    Thanks,
    rstew

  2. #2
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    SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) is a standard SCSI disk and the computer will see it as a standard disk - assuming you install it in a computer with a SAS interface.
    Using it in a server will most likely see it configured as RAID and you need to decide if you will leave it as such or use non-RAID, done via the BIOS/start up RAID configuration or in the server OS via the RAID software.

    cheers, Paul

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    Thanks Paul. Makes perfect sense.
    I am using HP's array configuration utuility which provides a good way to manage arrays actually. So if several drives are part of an array and are seen by Windows as a logical drive, can I format them as if they were a single physical drive?
    Or should I delete the array and try to format each as a separate drive?

    Thanks, rstew

  4. #4
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    RAID arrays are seem by Windows as a standard disk. There is no need to do anything special with them.
    If a disk in an array fails, the hardware manages the failure and subsequent repair. Windows knows nothing of the hardware issue - which is why we like hardware RAID and run screaming from software RAID.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
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    @ rstew

    Do you really need to use RAID?

    In my opinion RAID is now an outdated technology. In most cases RAID really offers no real benefit, especially if your system(s) is/are using SSD drives.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

  6. #6
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    RAID is essential in business / up-time critical systems IMO. Hard disk failure is the most common failure I have seen in well managed environments.

    cheers, Paul

  7. #7
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    What prompted this thread in the first place was I had a calamity where my spare DL380 was stacked back-end down against the wall, and subsequently fell with a mighty crash flat onto the floor.
    Fearing the worst I powered it up, and surprisingly all was well except two of the drives came up as failed (amber LED). Not good. I thought maybe trying to reformat them might bring them back from the grave.
    Figuring I had nothing to lose I removed the screws and removed the first drive cover plate.
    It turned out that the head pivot assembly had become jammed into the platters such that the spinup motor was having difficulty rotating the platters. I found that carefully moving the head assembly through its entire arc, then manually rotating the platters freed them up so that they would then turn with little effort.
    I quickly put it back together, tried it, and lo and behold it works just fine, with minor read errors/bad sectors like it had before.
    The second one came back to life almost as nicely.
    Now this of course would not be recommended in an enterprise situation I realize, but this is a much-less-critical home server situation. I figured I had nothing to lose, I am retired, and actually enjoyed the experiment.
    Life goes on.

    Cheers, rstew

  8. #8
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    If you removed the platter cover then you now have dust in the works and the drive will be less reliable than it was.

    cheers, Paul

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    If you removed the platter cover then you now have dust in the works and the drive will be less reliable than it was.

    cheers, Paul
    Yes understood; but like I said I had nothing to lose.
    I will keep an eye on the day to day drive health as monitored using Disk Sentinel, and see if there is any trend towards self-destruction!

    Cheers, rstew

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