NS4300 doesn't recognize used disks as spare

  • Last Post 01 March 2021
Terry Dunbar posted this 01 March 2021

I have a number of NS4300N SmartStor units and 10 previously used Dell/Seagate ST2000NM0011 2TB disks from Dell RAID systems but have been only able to get the SmartStors to recognize one of the disks as a spare disk even when formatted and initialized. New versions of the same disk were immediately recognizable, configured as aRAID 10 volume, in use and reliable. The subject systems are all running version 01.05.0000.12 of the firmware. Any suggestions? How should disks be initialized for an NS4300N?

R P posted this 01 March 2021

Hi Terry,

Chances are that these disks already have RAID metadata on them, the metadata is usually written at the end of the disk, which formatting with Windows will not touch. Windows will also see the metadata if you try and build Windows on one of these disks and Windows won't use the disk either.

Unfortunatly, the best way to delete the metadata is to boot your computer from a Linux liveCD (I would suffest unplugging your boot disk and using the connectors to plug your other disks in). I would suggest Ubuntu Mate. From a liveCD, open a terminal. The process will look something like this...

%sudo su

This command gives you administrator (aka 'root') privileges. The prompt should change to a pound sign,

# fdisk -l 

fdisk will show which device your disk is, if it's the only hard disk plugged in, it will be /dev/sda

There are 2 easy options, there is a program known as 'wipefs' which is supposed to remove raid metadata.

# wipefs -a /dev/sda

This should be the fastest way, but I have not tested this with PERC metadata.

If this does not work you can use linux 'dd' (fondly known as Disk Destroyer) to wipe the entire disk.

# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1M status=progress

This command will run until it reaches the end of the disk, then it will error out. It will wipe RAID metadata, partition information and and any files that might be on the disk. Running 'dd' on a 2TB disk will take many hours. That's why it's better to try 'wipefs' first.

This is why you should make sure your boot disk is not plugged in, if you accidentally use the wrong device, 'dd' might wipe it.