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Windows Thread, Question about hard drive lights on Dell server. in Technical; I have been to a school today that has a failry new Dell server. It has 10 drives in it, ...
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    Kyle's Avatar
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    Question about hard drive lights on Dell server.

    I have been to a school today that has a failry new Dell server. It has 10 drives in it, 2 are for the OS mirrored or raid 1 (not sure) and the other 8 are configured in one huge raid for storage. I noticed on one of the drives on the large raid that the two lights are permanently on. On all other drives the there are two lights per drive, one is always on to show active and the other light flickers on activity.

    Does anyone know why on one drive only that the two lights are permanently on? THe reason i ask is that staff and pupls have complained about slow log ons and the raid which contains the drive in question holds the home folders and also the profiles. I personally think the log on is a network issue as i am not aware of any issues with home folders and profiles being held on the same drive.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the 2 permanent light problem, i have not had time to check the server physically yet.

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    Re: Question about hard drive ligts on server.

    I would suggest using the OpenManage software to check the disk array and see if there are any problems logged... this can be done remotely too (which is a bonus)

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    Re: Question about hard drive ligts on server.

    I don't know a great deal about big RAID arrays like that, but if I saw a PC with a hard disk light permanently on, I would fear that that drive in question was, not to put it too technically, knackered. Either that, or perhaps connected incorrectly.

    One of my first experiences of a hard drive fatality (a 20Mb (yes Mb!!) Seagate unit on an old Tandon 286 given to me by my IT teacher at school) showed a permanently illuminated hard disk LED as one of the symptoms. The fact that nothing worked was the other, of course! Although a sharp kick got things moving again for a few minutes!

    Seriously, the functioning of the drive is probably worth checking - you might not notice a lone disk failure in a large array like that.

    HTH,

    Chris.

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    Re: Question about hard drive lights on server.

    I would suggest using the OpenManage software to check the disk array and see if there are any problems logged... this can be done remotely too
    I have checked this and it reports that everything is OK. But the light is still on permanently. The blind test works fine on the light that should be on but the light that normally flashes randomly when data is being written is permanently on.

    Any other suggestions?

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    Re: Question about hard drive lights on Dell server.

    First of all download a copy of the Dell PowerEdge Diagnostics- an up-to-date version is best. See what they pull up. That in conjunction with your OpenManage software is usually the first port of call. Also, check whether there is any software on the server called "Patrol Read", because if there is you need to update the firmware on the RAID card and then disable this. There have been issues with this software on some installs.

    It *sounds* like something is causing constant paging on this particular drive, but it could just mean the drive itself has a fault.

    Check the model number of the server (e.g. PE 2800 series) with Dell's site and look for the front panel LED error code document for the server. Usually there are three HDD LEDs- Online, Activity, and Failed for each disk. Certain combinations of these can mean different things when combined with a SCSI backplane.

    It might be nothing in the end, but it's worth looking at.

    Paul

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