RAID Controller Firmware Chart

  NEVER SWAP FIXED DISK WITHIN A CONFIGURED RAID ARRAY to troubleshoot drive problems, such as DDD. Swapping drives which contain customer data will almost always result in LOST DATA

NOTE: With the ServeRaid adapter, ServeRaid Onboard Controller and ServeRaid II Adapter, SYNCHRONIZATION IS REQUIRED to ensure the PARITY ACCURATELY REFLECTS THE DATA.

IF Synchronization or Data Scrubbing is performed on an ARRAY that was NEVER PREVIOUSLY SYNCHRONIZED, then any MEDIA DEFECTS FOUND that REQUIRE RAID RECONSTRUCTION may be rebuilt using INCORRECT PARITY which MAY RESULT IN DATA LOSS.


Before installing software or data for the first time on an IBM PC Server RAID system, the following must be performed:


    Micro Channel RAID Adapter
    FRU P/N 06H3059 (OPT P/N 70G9263)
    V-2.21 -
    PCI RAID Adapter
    FRU P/N 06H5078 (OPT P/N 94G2764)
    V-2.43 -
    ServeRAID Adapter
    FRU P/N 06H9334 (OPT P/N 70G8489)
    V-2.23s.6 (1 V-2.30.04 (1
    ServeRAID Adapter
    FRU P/N 76H6875 (OPT P/N 70G8489)
    V-2.23s.6 (1 V-2.30.04 (1
    ServeRAID II Adapter
    FRU P/N 76H3587 (OPT P/N 76H3584)
    V-2.30.04 (1 V-2.30.04 (1
    ServeRAID Onboard Controller V-97239 (1 V-2.30.04 (1


    Note (1 = The Firmware/BIOS diskette 2.30 contains the BIOS flash  2.30.04 as well as the Firmware flashes.

    NOTE: These Firmware and BIOS versions are to date at the time  this document was released. Firmware and BIOS levels are  subject to change over time. Always check for the latest BIOS  and Firmware utility on the IBM Website URL:

    NOTE: Be sure that the latest version of the corresponding  RAID utility diskette is used to ensure compatibility with  the latest Firmware and BIOS on the corresponding adapter.

  2.  INITIALIZE RAID LEVEL 0, 1, and 5 LOGICAL DRIVES (all RAID adapters)
  3.  SYNCHRONIZE all RAID 5 logical drives AFTER INITIALIZATION  (prior to installing software and data) on the ServeRaid  adapter, ServeRaid II adapter, ServeRaid onboard controller,  or DATA LOSS may OCCUR.

    NOTE: Synchronization is done automatically when initializing  RAID 5 logical drives on the following adapters:

  4.  Data SCRUB all RAID 5 logical drives using the SYNCHRONIZE  utility WEEKLY (after software and data are installed) to  PROVIDE a HIGH LEVEL of PROTECTION AGAINST DATA LOSS.

    NOTE: Data Scrubbing of the drives may be accomplished  one of two ways on the following adapters:

    1.  Micro Channel RAID Adapter FRU P/N 06H3059 (OPT P/N 70G9263)
    2.  PCI RAID Adapter FRU P/N 06H5078 (OPT P/N 94G2764)
    3.  ServeRAID Adapter FRU P/N 06H9334 (OPT P/N 70G8489)
    4.  ServeRAID Adapter FRU P/N 76H6875 (OPT P/N 70G8489)

    NOTE: See the matrix of utilities vs. adapters vs.  Network Operating Systems in the White Paper,  'Using IBM RAID Adapters to Avoid Data Loss'.  The WEB URL to search for this White Paper is:

     Click on 'Search' at the top of the page and use 'White Paper' as Keywords.

    NOTE: 'Data Scrubbing' runs automatically in the background  on the ServeRAID II Adapter. The Firmware of the  adapter must be at 2.30.04 or higher to include this  feature.


When a hard drive fails and is replaced in a RAID-1 or RAID-5 array, Data loss may occur if a sector on one of the remaining working drives cannot be read.

RAID-5 logical drives must be synchronized immediately after they are created to ensure that the parity data stripe units (RAID 5 )accurately reflect the data.

The IBM ServeRAID Adapter, IBM ServeRAID II Adapter and the ServeRAID Onboard controller requires the user to synchronize the RAID 5 Logical drives after initialization before any data is stored on the drives.

'Data Scrubbing' is recommended as a preventative maintenance procedure to reduce the risk of an array Rebuild failure, or possible data loss if using the ServeRAID adapter. IBM recommends that 'Data Scrubbing' be run weekly to provide a high level of protection. The level of protection increases as more frequent 'Data Scrubbing' is performed. To reduce the frequency of 'Data Scrubbing' to once or twice a month and still maintain a high level of protection, schedule 'Data Scrubbing' along with other preventative maintenance procedures like regular tape backups.

Over time a hard disk may accumulate grown defects. This is normal. Defects are corrected on accessed files by the hardfile ECC or RAID subsystem. If a grown defect is encountered when a file is accessed, the data is reconstructed using either the ECC on the hardfile or the RAID redundant information. However, if a grown defect appears on an area that is not accessed (the area is free space, or because the file is accessed from cache), then 'Data Scrubbing' is required to detect it. Once detected, the hardfile will reallocate the sector. In the case where all drives are online, the ECC on the hardfile or the RAID redundant information is used to reconstruct the lost stripe unit. However, if a drive has a grown defect, and another drive has failed completely, then there is not enough information to reconstruct the data and data loss may occur after the Rebuild.

Predictive Failure Analysis (PFA) has been developed to monitor performance of drives, analyze data from periodic internal measurements, and recommend replacement when specific thresholds are exceeded. The data from periodic internal measurements is collected when actual accesses of the data sectors occur. 'Data Scrubbing', which forces all data sectors to be read, provides more data to improve the accuracy of PFA. IBM recommends that customers read the following White Papers to ensure a thorough understanding of RAID and hardfile technologies:
Document    Faxback Document #
   Using IBM RAID Adapters    11202
   to Avoid Data Loss  
   Understanding Hard Disk    11205
   drive Media Defects.  
   Ensuring High Availability    11204
   of Your Raid Subsystem with:  
   ° IBM SCSI-2 Fast/Wide PCI-Bus RAID Adapter.  
   ° IBM Fast/Wide Streaming RAID Adapter.  
   Ensuring High Availability    11203
   Using the PC ServeRAID Adapter.  

The IBM Faxback system may be accessed by calling 1-800-IBM-3395

- OR -

The IBM Website at URL: Choose Servers , then choose Hints and Tips.

NOTE: Use the 'IBM PC ServeRAID Synch Verify Update Diskette' V-1.10 or higher to determine the status of any RAID arrays on the ServeRAID adapter ONLY. Be sure to read the README file prior to executing any programs on the diskette. The diskette can be located at and downloaded from the IBM Website at URL:

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