Question about IBM xSeries 346 Server

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Server doesnt boot

I had a problem with one of the hard disks of an IBM server xSeries 346. Through the diagnostics cd, I saw that one of the disks had a warning sign and I replaced it with a new disk and put it to REBUILD. After rebuilding was 100% complete and I reset the server, it still doesnt boot (operation system: Microsoft Windows Server 2003, RAID: 5).
Does anyone have any suggestions? I really need to access the data...

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  • Russ McGregor May 11, 2010

    It's hard to know without knowing the drive configuration. There are 6 drive bays, right?. Are they all full? You say it's RAID 5, but I'm wondering which drives are part of the array. If the OS is not on part of the RAID partition, then maybe you should not start at the RAID to troubleshoot this. If the server won't boot, it's either a hardware problem, or it's OS related. Let's start with hardware.

    Do you have a RAID card, or onboard (or software) RAID? If you have a card, try reinstalling it, and make sure that it's not conflicting with any onboard RAID.

    Now for the OS. Could something have happened to the drive that the OS is on? Typically, I would have set this up with a mirror set of 2 drives for the OS and and applications and RAID 5 for data, with one hot spare, unless the server is used for more specific applications. Is the OS on a non-RAID drive? Is it connected to the RAID card? If you have a ServeRAID card, I'd recommend that you use the ServeRAID setup disk that came with the system. I've found the versions to be quite specific to the card, so don't just use any Serveraid disk. If the OS was not on the RAID 5 set, then rebuilding the array didn't do anything. Did it say that the drive was defunct? If it did, then it would be part of a raid set, but could have been mirror set.



    Finally, I've removed and reinserted drives marked 'defunct' before and successfully rebuilt an array. I don't recommend this, but if you don't have a spare, it might work long enough to backup the data.

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First create a floppy disk with your RAID driver for W2K3 Server. Next boot the server with the W2K3 Server CD, and hit F6 when prompted, and S to add the specific driver for your RAID and using the floppy to get the driver installed.

Next boot to the recovery console of W2K3 Server. If it finds your hard disk, it will even ask for your Administrator's Password to continue. If this works, then you are probably home free.

Get to the command line of the W2K3 Server Repair console and perform some directory searches to see if the data is there and intact. You can also perform a CHKDSK from that console.

Once you have made sure your data is there and intact, type these two commands: FIXMBR and FIXBOOT

This should solve the problem and when you EXIT out of the console, it should reboot. Remove the CD and it "should" re-boot from the hard disk.

If you still have problems, let me know with how far you got with the steps above. I have another solution but need to know your RAID controller's model (ServeRAID 5i, 6i, etc).

-Chip

Posted on Nov 26, 2008

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SOURCE: xseries 346 wont boot

You don't say whether or not your os is on the RAID 5 partition. Assuming that it is (for performance reasons, this is not recommended) then you should check to see if you have the option of configuring a separate raid configuration on your raid card (e.g. do you have a card with more then one RAID channel?) If this is so, I would create a separate RAID 1 array and install the OS just on that. Then you can mount the RAID 5 array with your data intact. Once you're up and running, you can remove the old OS partition, as it's no longer needed.

Posted on Nov 06, 2008

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