hpacucli, HP Proliant, Debian

Last time I went to my servers colocation was a year ago. At that time I dropped in a new disk to replace a failed device in the RAID array. Turns out I broke the RAID somehow. The server is an HP Proliant which features a hardware raid with battery backup.

Let’s try and fix this using hpacucli utility. After installing the software, we can query the disks. I have an unassigned disk, which I want to add into Array A. I also want to change Array A into a level 1 RAID.

$ sudo hpacucli ctrl all show config

FIRMWARE UPGRADE REQUIRED: A firmware update is recommended for this controller
to prevent rare potential data write errors on a
RAID 1 or RAID 1+0 volume in a scenario of
concurrent background surface analysis and I/O write
operations. Please refer to Customer Advisory
c01587778 which can be found at hp.com.

Smart Array E200i in Slot 0 (Embedded) (sn: PR7BMU0937 )

array A (SATA, Unused Space: 0 MB)

logicaldrive 1 (931.5 GB, RAID 0, OK)

physicaldrive 1I:1:4 (port 1I:box 1:bay 4, SATA, 1 TB, OK)

array B (SATA, Unused Space: 0 MB)

logicaldrive 2 (931.5 GB, RAID 0, OK)

physicaldrive 1I:1:2 (port 1I:box 1:bay 2, SATA, 1 TB, OK)


physicaldrive 1I:1:3 (port 1I:box 1:bay 3, SATA, 1 TB, OK)

For some reason the utility will not start on it’s own. I get this error message.

$ sudo hpacucli
HP Array Configuration Utility CLI
Detecting Controllers...

Error: Another instance of ACU is already running (possibly a service). Please
terminate the ACU application before running the ACU CLI. Press ENTER to

Most of the posts I’ve found on the ‘net suggest removing the lock file at

This didn’t work in Debian. The lock file is elsewhere.



sudo hpacucli
HP Array Configuration Utility CLI
Detecting Controllers...Done.
Type "help" for a list of supported commands.
Type "exit" to close the console.


Whoot! I got the command line finally. Let’s add the unassigned disk into the array.

ctrl slot=0 ld 1 add drives=1I:1:3

Error: This operation is not supported with the current configuration. Use the
"show" command on devices to show additional details about the
Reason: Transformation size zero

Hmmm… Not sure what this means, but after some Googling around it seems like the internal battery for the hardware RAID has completely failed, or it is unplugged. I might be able to setup a software RAID, which I think is better for my application anyways as I can use the disk in any machine with the same RAID software. When using a hardware raid, failure of the actual hardware could mean data loss. More on this later.