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July 24, 2013

Delete disks completely after replacement

As HP 3000s continue to age their disks go bad. Disk failure is the top cause of HP 3000 downtime by now, here in the fourth decade of the server's era. While no 3000 internal disks go back that far, it's not tough to find a drive that first went online during the previous century.

Turbo SSHDIt's the fate of any component with moving parts. There's a long-term way around these kinds of failures of legacy drives. MPE/iX apps will run on a virtualized 3000 server, so new and whizzy disks like the world’s fastest hard drive— the Seagate Enterprise Turbo solid state hybrid drive (SSHD) -- can become the harbor for MPE LDEVs. Seagate is touting its device as "The industry’s first enterprise SSHD that combines the capacity of a hard drive with solid-state flash enabling high-speed performance for mission critical data."

Seagate notes that their Enterprise Turbo is part of IBM's System x (Linux) server options, and it performs three times faster than a 15K RPM drive. To be fair, Seagate's new drive only has a five-year warranty. The original HP disk hardware obviously had a lifespan of twice that, as a MTBF.

Even after replacing a faulty HP-grade drive in the original Hewlett-Packard iron — certainly not expensive at today's prices, when you can find one — there are a few software steps to watch. For example, one failed system disk was a member in MPEXL_SYSTEM_VOLUME_SET. When the 3000 was restarted after replacement it reported that this LDEV 4 -- a new drive -- was not available. Even a trip into SYSGEN would give a warning that the LDEV "was is part of the system volume set and cannot be deleted." There was an INSTALL from tape because some of the system files were on that device, which worked successfully. But how to get rid of this disk?

Gilles Schipper of support provider GSA said that the INSTALL is something to watch while resetting 3000 system disks.

Sounds like the install did not leave you with only a single MPEXL_SYSTEM_VOLUME_SET disk.

Could it be that you have more than one system volume after INSTALL, because other, non-LDEV 1 volumes were added with the AVOL command of SYSGEN -- instead of the more traditional way of adding system volumes via the VOLUTIL utility?

You can check as follows:

SYSGEN
IO
LVOL

If the resulting output shows more than one volume, that's the answer.

Schipper offers a repair solution as well.

The solution would be as follows:

1. Reboot with:

START NORECOVERY SINGLE-DISC SINGLE-USER

2. With SYSGEN, perform a DVOL for all non-ldev1 volumes

3. HOLD, then KEEP CONFIG.SYS

4. Create a new SLT

5. Perform INSTALL from newly-created SLT.

6. Add any non-LDEV1 system volumes with VOLUTIL. This will avoid such problems in future.

If you do see only one system volume with the LVOL command, then VOLUTIL was used to add LDEV4 to the MPEXL_SYSTEM_VOLUME_SET after the install.

08:51 PM in Hidden Value, Homesteading | Permalink

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