TanyaLB
1 Copper

How do you reformat a boot drive back to factory defaults?

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How do you reformat a boot drive back to factory defaults when it has been used in one node, to be used as a replacement in another node?

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Patrick_Kane
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Re: How do you reformat a boot drive back to factory defaults?

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Hello Tanya,

We appreciate your ingenuity. We strongly discourage any plan or attempt to format the boot disk and add it to another node.

The best course of action would be to allow the system’s hardware and software preservation to run as designed.

Best practices for this situation: If the node is in a state that is less than optimal, we would recommend initiating a smartfail on the affected node. This will re-protect the data and allow the cluster to resume its intended operation. We would first want to confirm that the cluster has more than four nodes of the same type and that sufficient capacity is available to successfully smartfail out the node.

The affected node can be assessed at a later date and brought back up to par once is out of theater or when replacement parts can be made available or spares obtained.

Any attempts to circumvent the system’s protection mechanisms will end poorly. The connection adapter to the boot drive is a specialized connection. As you’d mentioned the boot drive once out of the original node is unusable for any other means.

Pat

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tbeas
1 Copper

Re: How do you reformat a boot drive back to factory defaults?

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Boot drives are a part that is not recommended to be replaced by the customer. The reason for that is,  that in some situations if a good drive is pulled by accident, it could result in a potential Data Loss scenario. Please feel free to contact me via email to dicuss in detail.

Isilon Technical Support

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steedr
1 Copper

Re: How do you reformat a boot drive back to factory defaults?

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TanyaLB,

Travis is a technical support engineer and he can help you if you private message him. We just want to make sure things are done right because mishandling this question could result in issues. You can also email me and I will put you in touch with him.

Cordially,

Ron Steed

Isilon Technical Support Manager

ron.steed@isilon.com

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TanyaLB
1 Copper

Re: How do you reformat a boot drive back to factory defaults?

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I realize that.  However, there is a special circumstance with the NGA (BAE Systems) that has a cluster in the middle of a war zone.  They are authorized to do all parts replacements, and keep nodes on site strictly for pulling parts.  When these nodes are delivered, they are powered on to determine that they are working.  Consequently, the boot drive gets partitioned rendering them unusable unless they are formatted back to factory default.

I was advised that if they have a PC with a sata connection they can insert the boot drive and run a regular format.  Is this accurate?

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Patrick_Kane
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Re: How do you reformat a boot drive back to factory defaults?

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Hello Tanya,

We appreciate your ingenuity. We strongly discourage any plan or attempt to format the boot disk and add it to another node.

The best course of action would be to allow the system’s hardware and software preservation to run as designed.

Best practices for this situation: If the node is in a state that is less than optimal, we would recommend initiating a smartfail on the affected node. This will re-protect the data and allow the cluster to resume its intended operation. We would first want to confirm that the cluster has more than four nodes of the same type and that sufficient capacity is available to successfully smartfail out the node.

The affected node can be assessed at a later date and brought back up to par once is out of theater or when replacement parts can be made available or spares obtained.

Any attempts to circumvent the system’s protection mechanisms will end poorly. The connection adapter to the boot drive is a specialized connection. As you’d mentioned the boot drive once out of the original node is unusable for any other means.

Pat

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Peter_Sero
3 Zinc

Re: How do you reformat a boot drive back to factory defaults?

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Tanya and Pat, not sure wether I got this right, but is the failed drive a boot drive or a normal drive?

My understanding so far is, you seek to replace a normal drive by a (now) root drive.

If this is correct, my question would go to Pat: Wouldn't Tanya be better off with just having that single

drive (smart)failed and the cluster reprotected rather than having a full node smartfailed and removed?

Peter

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Patrick_Kane
1 Nickel

Re: How do you reformat a boot drive back to factory defaults?

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Hello Peter,

Great questions, thank you for asking for clarification.

The recommendation previously communicated was specific to critical event ids regarding actual boot drives as discussed in article id emc14003516, “How to identify if a boot flash drive has failed on 108NL, NL400, S200, X200, or X400 nodes.”

Event ID: 400120001 – Only one boot disk

Event ID: 100010040 - Device root0, provider ad4p4 disconnected. Boot mirror is critical.

Event ID: 100010040 - Device var0, provider ad4p6 disconnected. Boot mirror is critical.

These drives, if re-purposed from one node to another node would be disastrous despite any attempts to format prior.

If this scenario were solely for a hard drive or SSD drive, I’d definitely concur with the recommendation to smartfail the drive. Article Id emc14002894 outlines how to format a standard drive. This process won’t work on a boot drive.

Emc14000713 – How to smartfail a drive using the command line

Emc14002894 – New SSD drive will not add to node and shows state in isi devices.

Pat

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Peter_Sero
3 Zinc

Re: How do you reformat a boot drive back to factory defaults?

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Thanks a lot, Pat -- and Good Luck to Tanya!

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mishka991
1 Copper

Re: How do you reformat a boot drive back to factory defaults?

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Late to the party but same question as the original question has not been answered:

Is there a way to restore/recover both 8Gig boot "drives" to the factory or shipped state (on X200 node) ?

Let's say that a rogue dd sourced from /dev/zero overwrote partition tables on both of the boot drives (or worse, zeroed all 8Gig of each drive).

Re-imaging from 7.0.1.10 (as an example) doesn't work, dies in the middle complaining of missing files and manufacturing info.  Running isi_update_cto looks like it is collecting data but in the end doesn't help.

So, is there a way to reformat/reinit both of the flash drives?  especially considering that one has an extra 2Gig partition so they are not exactly identical.

Also, is there any special in the mfg partition that is directly tied to any physical components of a particular box?

Would isi_reformat_node --factory help in above case?

thanks

Michael

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christopher_ime
4 Beryllium

Re: How do you reformat a boot drive back to factory defaults?

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You will need to engage Isilon engineering as you had wiped the CTO information.  It would not be a part of the generic image file that you download and boot from USB.  As for resolving it while in the field, (don't quote me) but as CTO nodes, unless you have nodes exactly identical to this one running currently where the CTO information can be retrieved, they may need to be returned to Isilon to be reimaged.  Either way though, it is an undocumented process and requires engineering assistance.  Again follow-up with support and explain to them your situation: "CTO nodes with a complete erasure of the boot drives that you are trying to reimage".

In fact, our own data erasure services specifically note in the procedure if the nodes are CTO and will be repurposed/reimaged to not wipe the boot drives.  On the other hand, if they are being erased because they are being returned to EMC, then there isn't any concern doing so.

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