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I have a server that has two internal hard drives. What happens when one drive has a hardware failure exactly? Does it send an e-mail message to root to get your attention?

When it has been identified that one drive is bad and needs to be replaced, how does this work in a software RAID set-up with two drives? Do you simply power down the system, and replace the bad drive with a new drive, power the system back on and it takes care of cloning itself to the newly installed drive?

Or does this require some prepare work be done for the new hard drive before this is done? If so, what has to be done?

I'm asking this, because for years I've been using a RAID and never had a failure and not sure exactly what happens so I know about the problem, and is fixing it as easy and replacing a light bulb?

If the new drive does require prepare work, how are people who run many servers prepare for this? Do you have drives sitting on the shelves already formatted and with the match partitions allocated ready to swap them out?

I'm asking all this, because I want to know now and be prepared in the event of a hard disk failure. Thanks!

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In general one need to setup a special tool which will monitor hardware raid within system, but the tools are different for different vendors, for example dell servers have omsa, hp have it's own stuff and so on and at the end they need to be setup for emails,traps and so on. also there are controller tools (megacli which can check status of the disks and hardware raids. also most of the servers have light indicators which can show that something went wrong with the disks. the replacement is mostly automatic, you pull the broken disk, insert a new one with the same size/speed... and pray that during rebuild no other disks are affected :)

the md ( software-raid) disk replacement may involve a bit more steps to do, but I've never replaced any software raid disk so far ...

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