Installing a new Hard Drive in a HP ProLiant ML310 G4 server

By Magnitude_V1 ·
Hey guys,

I've just started at a company as their IT Support and the Hard Drive in the HP ProLiant ML310 G4 server is running very low on storage space so I need to put in a new Hard Drive but I do want to keep the existing Hard Drive installed. I was thinking about getting a TeraStation but it would be overkill as they'll never fill that king of space and it costs a lot but I do have a 500GB SATA Hard Drive at home that I'll never use so I was thinking of formatting it and putting it into the server.

I've been searching on the HP site but I can't find anything on installing new Hard Drives, the information I have found does say the drives are Hot Swappable so I was wondering do I need to shut down the server to install a new Hard Drive or can I do it with the server switched on? and is there anything specific I need to do when formatting the drive or with the jumpers?

Server Specs:
HP ProLiant ML310 G4
2.13 GHz Intel Xeon
3GB Memory
Microsoft Small Business Server 2003
146GB LSI Logic SCSI
500GB ST350041 2AS USB Drive (used only as a backup drive)


This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Firstly a SATA Drive doesn't have any Jumpers

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Installing a new Hard Dri ...

So I don't think you are talking about a SATA Drive or if you are have you looked at it?

As for the Proliant while it may support Hot Swap able Drives if you don't have a Available Drive Caddy you need to switch off the computer and add the drive.

As for formatting it that isn't a worry just format it as Normal and then use it for what you want.


Collapse -


by Magnitude_V1 In reply to Firstly a SATA Drive does ...

Thanks for the reply. Not sure why I put jumpers in there, put it down to a senial moment. There should be atleast 2 available bays in the server so I should be ok there, I'll give it a try next week. Thanks again.


Collapse -


by Churdoo In reply to Installing a new Hard Dri ...

Here are the quickspecs for your server:
or google "ML310 G4 quickspecs"

Understand that the ML310 is a low budget entry level server.

Your existing 146GB disk is a SAS (serial-attached SCSI) disk drive. Although your controller supports either, I don't know if you can mix SAS and SATA disks simultaneously on the hot-plug bus, and I certainly would not recommend it even if it is supported. To increase capacity, based on your description, I personally would ...
... get 2x 300GB SAS disks in a RAID1 and migrate/convert your existing 146GB disk/volume onto the 300GB RAID1. This will not only double your capacity, but will also give you some fault tolerance with the RAID.

How you would do this depends on the features of the particular RAID controller in that ML310, may require a third-party server grade imaging software like Acronis true-image, etc., and should be done by someone with direct experience as it could be risky.

If you're looking for a solution that you can complete with your own skillset (no offense intended), then you can add another SAS disk, either another 146GB SAS disk or a 300GB SAS disk and migrate some of your SBS data to the additional disk (exchange databases, user folders, company folders, etc.). NOTE that there is not fault tolerance / redundancy to this solution.

I would definitely order only the HP part numbers on the quickspecs because they will come in with the proper caddy to hot-swap into your hot-plug cage and they will not void HP support. Yes you can insert disks hot with the server operating; after inserting a disk, do a RESCAN in Disk Manager and you'll see the new disk.

edited: typo

Collapse -

3 caddies in Server

by Magnitude_V1 In reply to SATA/SAS

I've had a look at the front of the server and there are 3 HP Caddies in there and each one states 146GB on the label. The bottom 2 Caddies' lights flash green/yellow but the top one doesn't. Now if this means there are 2 Hard Drives active why is there only 146GB of storage and not 280-300GB?

There's a link below with a picture of the front of the server so you can see what I'm seeing.

Collapse -

What does Disk Manager show?

by Churdoo In reply to 3 caddies in Server

The reason a pair of 146-giggers is only showing less than 146GB effective capacity is because the 2x disks are part of a RAID 1(mirror) array. This is a good thing as it means you have some fault tolerance.

I cannot explain what that third disk is doing which is why you have to look at Disk Mangler. See if DM is showing another disk, or it's possible that disk #3 is a hot spare of the array, or it may be completely dormant (whomever set up the server may have ordered 3x disks with the intent of making a RAID 5 array not realizing that OEM SAS controller is only RAID 0,1 capable). According to the quickspecs, the ML310 G4 SAS model stock SAS controller is only RAID 0,1 capable.

The other thing you'll want to get familiar with is the Array Configuration Utility. That will tell you the current array configuration and whether there's a hot spare assigned to the array.

So the key to figuring out the best way to increase capacity lies in finding out what that disk #3 is doing. If the disk is not being used at all, you can add a 4th identical disk, create a second RAID 1 array, and you'll end up with an additional <146GB volume that you can, say... migrate the SBS exchange databases over to and start migrating shared folders/directories, just as an example.

Collapse -

Disk Manager

by Magnitude_V1 In reply to What does Disk Manager sh ...

I've had a look at the Disk Manager and it says the following:

Disk 0
Volume: (C:)
Layout: Partition
Type: Basic
File System: NTFS
Status: Healthy
Capacity: 135.96 GB
Free Space: 20.46 GB

The USB Drive is set at Disk 1, Volume E:

I've tried running the ACU and it comes up saying 'ACU did not detect any supported controllers on your system.'

I really wish whoever set everything up would have left some notes.

Collapse -

Well it's fairly certain that you have a Mirrored RAID here

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Disk Manager

Which accounts for 2 of the 3 disc's. So are you sure that there is actually a HDD in the third Caddy?

Also a better description than I can give of what a RAID is can be found here

Put basically a RAID 1 Array Mirrors the Data stored on the HDD over 2 Disc's which appear as the 1 Drive with the same size/capacity as 1 of the HDD's. This allows 1 drive to fail and you not to loose data not to mention being able to recover from this failure very quickly by rebuilding the Array when you fit a new HDD.

With Critical Systems like this where you are limited to a RAID 1 Array I have often supplied 3 Drives but the Third one which I load as Part of the RAID Array is a Spare and not fitted to the computer. These are kept in a filing Cabinet in the office to allow the business to rebuild the server in the event of a Corruption/Infection or whatever which destroys the Data on the Drives and prevents the computer from loading the OS.

146 GIG is currently the biggest for SCSI Drives or at least it was the last time I looked at SCSI Drives. I used to use these because Data Transfer was much faster than any other type of Drive but with the advent of Hot Swappable SATA Drives the Data Transfer Benefit is not as great and when you consider a Cost-Benefit of SCSI to SATA the SATA comes out on top with more capacity for a lot less money. Of course if you have a M'Board/System that doesn't support SATA you are stuck with the SCSI which while very fast are also very expensive for the capacity that they are.


Collapse -

Entry level ML310

by Churdoo In reply to Disk Manager

Yes I do seem to recall that the controller in the ML310 G4 is not compatible with the HP ACU. I don't understand why they have an ACU in the server that is not compatible with the controller, but we typically stay away from the ML310's (we start with the ML350 for tower server deployments).

What this means is that you'll have to reboot the server and go into the ROM-based controller utility to see the array configuration or to add a new array when you add whatever capacity you're going to add.

Just an update for Oh Smeg, beyond the 146GB there's a 300GB SAS disk as well. You are correct in that the pricing per GB is still higher than SATA but SAS still provides better performance.

So the question remains, is that third 146GB disk allocated as a Hot Spare for the existing RAID 1 or is it completely dormant? You'll probably have to reboot the server and go into the ROM-based controller utility to find out.

Options for expanding capacity:
a) as Oh Smeg suggested, leaving that 3rd 146-gigger out of the equation for a minute, add a pair of 146GB SAS disks as a new RAID 1 for another 135GB capacity logical drive
b) add a pair of 300GB SAS disks as a new RAID 1 for another 270GB capacity logical drive

You can add the disks hot, but due to the limitations of that controller and the incompatibility with the ACU, you'll have to reboot the server to create the new array.

Related Discussions

Related Forums