how to clear a 'foreign' state from a replacement sas drive on a perc 5/i


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how to clear a 'foreign' state from a replacement sas drive on a perc 5/i

This question has been answered by theflash1932

Our perc 5/i with a raid 1 configuration in a PE2900 had a virtual drive 'degraded'.  Per dell server administrator a drive had a 'foreign' state.  Not sure if the drive was bad or not, we got a used replacement drive, hot-swapped it and it also has a 'foreign' state.  How can I erase the foreign state and have it rebuild the raid 1?  I've been in server administrator but haven't found where I can clear the foreign state from the drive or have the raid rebuilt.  Any help would be appreciated or maybe a link to the perc 5/i manual that decribes how to clear a foreign state.  Or should I contact dell support?

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  • To clear the Foreign flag from the drive, you will go into OMSA ... Storage, PERC 5, Information/Configuration link at the top of the page, Clear Foreign Configuration from the drop-down menu of available tasks.  Do this ONLY when the system is running fine and there is only one drive showing Foreign.  If you have more than one disk showing Foreign, then you have to Import the Foreign Config.  Anytime there is a config/timestamp different from the controller's config, it will show Foreign, so if it is only on a single disk, clear it and move on.

    I would test your original drive, as it may not be bad.  Make sure your system firmware (BIOS, ESM, RAID) and RAID driver are up to date ... this can help prevent Foreign configs.

  • I know it's a really old post but still useful.  Thank you.

  • What if I deleted the foreign VD? It happens to have been the OS drive. Can i create a new VD and install the OS again? The other Raid 5 VD is still there and intact.

  • Keep in mind we have no way of knowing how much of your situation is different/same, but if you "cleared" the foreign config and now want to reinstall the OS, delete and recreate the VD before proceeding.
  • I'm running into the same problem, however the system will not boot and does not have Windows installed. It is an ESXi server. Is there another way to reset the "foriegn" status of the drive? A commandline/boot disk type tool?

  • Only if you have the OpenManage VIB installed. Alternatively, you can boot to t he CTRL-R utility for the PERC during POST.

  • I have been doing ctrl-R, however there does not appear to be any way of changing the "foreign" tag using that utility. The only actions that appear to be available on that drive is to turn on or off the LED blinking.

  • VD MGMT screen, highlight the controller, F2, Foreign, Clear.

  • That did it. I was looking in the PD MGMT screen not the VD MGMT screen. Thanks!

  • This one also had me stumped for about an hour today. Thanks very much for keeping this useful thread active!

  • Hey If you have NEW clean drives can you just hot swap them with the Foreign drives and do a rebuild ?

  • Hi

    I'm having almost a similar situation...

    I was installing updates on Dell power edge R 510, (Windows Server 2008) and the updates installation hanged, so I had to reboot the server.

    After the reboot it gives me the error that one of my hard drive is in "Foreign" state.. I can't go through the BIOS , because server is hosted in a data center... I had the data center guy press a key to pass that error and boot into the windows.. Now when I check from OMSA I see that it says the VD is degraded, and for that physical hard drive I see the warning sign and also "Foreign State".

    We are using RAID 10, on a PERC 6/i with 8 physical hard drives.

    Would you please advise? Is it safe to clean the foreign state?

    Thanks a lot in advance!  

  • Yes, you need to CLEAR the foreign configuration. Do this in OMSA, Storage, PERC, Information Configuration link, Foreign/Clear from dropdown menu of Available Tasks for the controller.

    Assign disk as hot-spare to start rebuild. Or replace. Either way, run diagnostics at the next onsite maintenance window. Replace if they fail. Update all firmware if they pass.

  • Thank you so much for your reply THEFLASH1932!

    Just for a double check, in my OMSA it is not available directly through available tasks,

    I should follow these steps to get into clear the foreign state:

    PERC 6/i integrated-->Information/Configuration --> Controller tasks dropdown list--> Foreign configuration operation --> Execute--> Then it shows me "Orphan Drive 0" and for the state it says "Failed"...There is a clear button and if I press that this message comes up:


    The controller has physical disks that contain one or more virtual disks that were created on another system. The Clear Foreign Configuration task deletes these foreign virtual disks. All foreign virtual disks will be deleted. Are you sure you want to continue?"
    So would it be safe to clear it from here and put that individual said bad drive in "Hot-Spare" mode?
  • As long as your array is up and running, you want to clear the foreign configuration. Then assign it as a hot-spare.