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I have hot swap drives and controllers, but have never actually used the hot swap capability. What is the procedure for doing so? Do I need to warn Linux that I'm about to pull a drive out? Should I do anything after I put a drive back in? Does it make a difference whether the drive is part of a RAID set?

The drives are generally RAIDed, but not always. Any RAID sets are managed by Linux, rather than the controller. The machines are running Fedora and CentOS.

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Way too little information.... What RAID level? What motherboard? Are the controller drivers installed in Linux? Is the BIOS set to allow hot swap? – Canadian Luke Jun 18 '12 at 19:15

Before removing a drive you need to ensure that it is not being used. This means at least unmounting any filesystems, and preferably making VGs unavailable and stopping MD arrays. After that you can simply remove the drive. Adding drives should Just Work (you should see it being detected in dmesg and the device should appear).

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