I want to build 2 systems (1 x Linux box, with a lot of space, RAID 1 mirrored) and 1 x Win7 workstation for my graphic / music / video works, with RAID 1 as well.

Suppose one of the hdd fails at some point.

How do I know which SATA port / HDD drive to disconnect from the internal case ?

Is there a way that the Linux or Win7 Raid software will tell you which one to get out of the case ?

I think the software on Linux or Win7 related to the Raid controller will let you know some sort of id, that corresponds to your Sata port that you need to disconnect, so you can identify and replace easily the failed hdd.

  • You can tell which drive failed by the reported serial number in most hardware based RAID controllers. – Ramhound Feb 14 '13 at 13:12
  • yes but this means getting out all the harddrives one by one and reading their serial numbers. not really good. if you are lucky, you get it first, if not you might get it last, after you unscrewed all the others. :) – Adrian Tanase Feb 14 '13 at 13:21

It depends on how you build the RAID.

A hardware RAID card with SAS drives might blink a LED on a failed drive. Might since this varies with the hardware used. E.g. HP RAID cards and SAS drives in HP caddies flash a green LED for 'failure predicted' and turn on an orange LED fro 'failed'.

In the case of software RAID and the right drivers you might be able to do the same.

However you can always use these two methods without special hardware.

1) Label the drives with a name

Do not mount disk 1, or add /dev/sda and /dev/sdb to a mirror. Instead of using the disk descriptions give them a label which is stored on the drive

Non-raid example:

    tune2fs -L BOOTDISK /dev/sda1         Mark SDA1 with the label BOOTDISK
    e2label /dev/sda2 BOOTDISK            Either command should work.

    e2label /dev/sda1                     Read the label to check if it worked

    And in /etc/fstab, replace
    /dev/sda1       /boot ext2 defaults 1 2
    LABEL=BOOTDISK /boot ext2 defaults 1 2


2) use the UUID label on the the drives

This is sort of a serial number for the drive.
You can check these with the command blkid.

Print these labels and put them on the drives.

Then create the RAID device based on these labels instead of physical disk order.

See also this post on redhat.com with more details

Lastly, you mentioned unscrewing drives as an option. I suggest just pulling one of its connectors sicne that is easier to do.

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