Hard disk drive problems

Use this information to solve hard disk drive problems.

  • Follow the suggested actions in the order in which they are listed in the Action column until the problem is solved.
  • See Parts listing, IBM System x3550 M3 Type 4254 and 7944 to determine which components are customer replaceable units (CRU) and which components are field replaceable units (FRU).
  • If an action step is preceded by "(Trained service technician only)," that step must be performed only by a Trained service technician.
  • Go to the IBM support website at IBM Support Portal to check for technical information, hints, tips, and new device drivers or to submit a request for information.
Symptom Action
A hard disk drive has failed, and the associated amber hard disk drive status LED is lit. Replace the failed hard disk drive.
A newly installed hard disk drive is not recognized.
  1. Make sure that the installed hard disk drive or RAID adapter is supported. For a list of supported optional devices, see the IBM ServerProven website.
  2. Observe the associated amber hard disk drive status LED. If the LED is lit, it indicates a drive fault.
  3. If the LED is lit, remove the drive from the bay, wait 45 seconds, and reinsert the drive, making sure that the drive assembly connects to the hard disk drive backplane.
  4. Observe the associated green hard disk drive activity LED and the amber status LED:
    • If the green activity LED is flashing and the amber status LED is not lit, the drive is recognized by the controller and is working correctly. Run the DSA diagnostics program to determine whether the drive is detected.
    • If the green activity LED is flashing and the amber status LED is flashing slowly, the drive is recognized by the controller and is rebuilding.
    • If neither LED is lit or flashing, check the hard disk drive backplane (go to step #r_hdd_problems/backplane_seated).
    • If the green activity LED is flashing and the amber status LED is lit, replace the drive. If the activity of the LEDs remains the same, go to step #r_hdd_problems/backplane_seated. If the activity of the LEDs changes, return to step #r_hdd_problems/status_led.
  5. Make sure that the hard disk drive backplane is correctly seated. When it is correctly seated, the drive assemblies correctly connect to the backplane without bowing or causing movement of the backplane.
  6. Reseat the backplane power cable and repeat steps #r_hdd_problems/status_led through #r_hdd_problems/activity_status_led.
  7. Reseat the backplane signal cable and repeat steps #r_hdd_problems/status_led through #r_hdd_problems/activity_status_led.
  8. Suspect the backplane signal cable or the backplane:
    • If the server has eight hot-swap bays:
      1. Replace the affected backplane signal cable.
      2. Replace the affected backplane.
  9. See Problem determination tips.
Multiple hard disk drives fail. Make sure that the hard disk drive, SAS/SATA adapter, and server device drivers and firmware are at the latest level.
Important: Some cluster solutions require specific code levels or coordinated code updates. If the device is part of a cluster solution, verify that the latest level of code is supported for the cluster solution before you update the code.
Multiple hard disk drives are offline.
  1. Review the storage subsystem logs for indications of problems within the storage subsystem, such as backplane or cable problems.
  2. See Problem determination tips.
A replacement hard disk drive does not rebuild.
  1. Make sure that the hard disk drive is recognized by the adapter (the green hard disk drive activity LED is flashing).
  2. Review the SAS/SATA adapter documentation to determine the correct configuration parameters and settings.
A green hard disk drive activity LED does not accurately represent the actual state of the associated drive. If the green hard disk drive activity LED does not flash when the drive is in use, run the DSA Preboot diagnostic programs to collect error logs (see Running the diagnostic programs).
  • If there is a hard disk drive error log, replace the affected hard disk drive.
  • If there is no disk drive error log error log, replace the affected backplane.
An amber hard disk drive status LED does not accurately represent the actual state of the associated drive.
  1. If the amber hard disk drive LED and the RAID adapter software do not indicate the same status for the drive, complete the following steps:
    1. Turn off the server.
    2. Reseat the SAS/SATA adapter.
    3. Reseat the backplane signal cable and backplane power cable.
    4. Reseat the hard disk drive.
    5. Turn on the server and observe the activity of the hard disk drive LEDs.
  2. See Problem determination tips.