xserver rebuild

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by webby74, May 8, 2012.

  1. webby74 macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2010
    Hi all,

    Have question for you...

    I'm a network manager at a school and we are having some new Windows servers installed and having our existing mac server integrated into our windows domain. This work is being done be external contractor during a school holiday in a few weeks time. Part of the project requires me to replace the existing single 80GB hard drive in the xserve with two new 500 GB mirrored and reinstall Mac OS X 10.6 Server prior to the engineers visit to the school.

    As we need to use the server until the end of the school day, it will mean overtime for me over that weekend. However I'm away that weekend! (the school haven't consulted me or anything...but thats another story...)

    So I'm thinking of a way I can do the work prior to that weekend. So this is the idea I had:

    One evening remove the existing drive and insert two new 500 GB drives, configure to RAID 1 (mirror) and reinstall Mac OS as required. Then remove the new drives (labelling which goes where) and replace the existing 80 GB drive.

    Will this work?
    Will the existing 80 GB drive allow the xserve to boot up when I reinsert it?
    Will the new drives work when they get reinserted?
    Will this cause any Hardware issues?

    Hope all of this make sense and will be grateful for any advice or opinions.


  2. pismobrat macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2007

    Couple of things that will help you out. But it depends on the config of the xserve

    Is your XServe SATA hard drive based? If so, I have done what you've asked about. I've created Mirror sets on two different drives (eg 80gb x2 and 200gb x2)

    Because I was using software raid, it booted no problem when they were swapped around. Now, if you you are using SCSI, thats another issue. I'm going on the huntch that you are not.

    Here is the downside. Do you trust the consultants that are coming in to

    - Shut down the Xserve
    - Pull the drives
    - Insert the newly created array in the proper bays?
    - If so go ahead


    By the sounds of it you are running a Single 80GB drive?

    If so, the XServes can have multiple drives installed/ and active RAID Arrays.

    - Leave the 80GB in.
    - Load the 2 500GB
    - Boot from your 10.6 Server disk
    - Use disk utility to create the new RAID array
    - Install the new 10.6 on it
    - Patch it and set the password. Don't configur the OS - Consultants doing that?
    - Don't join to the Domain either.
    - Once this is done, shut down the new array
    - Leave instructions to shut down the server and boot from the new array - and to be safe. Pull the 80GB drive before the new array is booted from

    Hope this helps
  3. webby74, May 8, 2012
    Last edited: May 8, 2012

    webby74 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2010
    Thanks for the quick reply

    Unfortunately the single 80 GB drive is a SCSI drive.

    While I'm away the IT Technician will be here and be able to swap out any drives, and do anything else that may be required.

    So it looks like I can install two SATA drives into the xserve and go down that route?

    I'm quite confident with OS install on Mac Servers but not so on hardware.
  4. pismobrat macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2007
    SCSI.... ah. What is the model of your Xserve?

    I can suggest this. Being that you are already running on one drive...

    - Clone the internal 80GB to an External Firewire drive Thursday night.
    - For the day FW400 is going to be addiquate to get the job done. IF you have 800, great
    - Install the new array, configure it like I mentioned earlier. Leave drives in
    - Shut down.
    - Boot and run off the Firewire drive for the day friday.
    - End of day friday, reboot and run of the new internal array.

    Do you have experience with Carbon Copy Cloner? Try this before thursday night so you no it work. I have cloned SCSI volumes to FW and this solution does work.
  5. webby74 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2010
    The model identifier is xserve 2,1

    I have not tried Carbon Copy Cloner but have read lots about it. So the FW option looks good, I will give this a try. I have a FW 800 Drive to use too.

    Thanks for you help.

  6. Kenn Marks macrumors regular

    Kenn Marks

    Dec 22, 2005
    According to MscTracker you have an Early 2008 XServe with XEON 5400 (Harpertown) processor. They came with either SATA (Serial ATA) or SAS (Serial Attached SCSI). They also had the OPTION to have an XServe RAID card installed for Hardware RAID capability. If you are going to be using the Internal Bays for your 500GB RAID array and using Apple's Software RAID in Disk Utility, just be aware that those are just dummy slot covers and not the actual Drive Sleds needed to install drives in the remaining two drive slots. Now if your people bought the 500GB drives from Apple for the XServe they will come with Sleds and be Temperature Compensated Server Grade Matched Drives. Now I would keep the 80GB Drive as my OSX Server system Drive and put all my data on the RAID array, ie User Home Directories, Network Boot Drives, Master Application storage. In doing so the system is not impacted with heavy data loading.
  7. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    Sticking to your original questions only:

    Will this work?

    Will the existing 80 GB drive allow the xserve to boot up when I reinsert it?

    Will the new drives work when they get reinserted?

    Will this cause any Hardware issues?

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