The company said they can give two hours console access for free. Will it be enough to perform the imaging?
Hrm, imaging disks can take some time… it depends on the speed and size of your disks though.
While I don’t know how long to expect it to take, having that completed within 2 hours might be tough, especially if you’re just getting familiar with the process.
They’ve kind of put you into a spot though, by giving you two bad drives. Which isn’t entirely their fault either… but I guess I’d hope they’d offer some leniency there
What else do I need to have or know? As I understood, both faulty drives and the new drives should be installed on the server.
One of the difficult things is determining which drive is which from within the disk imaging software.
However, it’s absolutely critical to make sure that you’re imaging from the old drives to the new drives
So you’ll want to make sure you know which is which.
It’s possible that you’d find it easier to disconnect all the drives except for the two you’re working with at the moment (one old drive, one new drive).
You mentioned that I’d need to boot off of a boot CD. Should I also ask them to insert a boot CD to the system?
Well, you’d want to walk in there with a plan of exactly what you’re going to do. And, unless they’re providing this for you – you’d want to make sure you have all the software you need for this to work.
They could certainly boot a CD for you, but that CD wouldn’t likely include the software you need.
You’d want to create a bootable CD (or USB key if your server doesn’t have a CD drive) containing the software you plan to use for imaging. I might suggest looking into CloneZilla.
I’d also suggest taking a look at the software before you get into the datacenter, so that you have an ideas to how it works.
Lastly – I did want to mention that it’s technically possible to handle replacing the drives in your system remotely. You’d have to do it one at a time – marking one as bad, rebooting, replace it with the new one, sync the drives, and then do the same for the other one.
The problem is that it’s a cumbersome and time consuming process that’s difficult to explain, with lots of opportunities for things to go wrong
Performing disk imaging is the simplest way to do it, and probably the least time consuming overall.
But if you’re concerned about how long you’ll be spending at the datacenter, you could always get the assistance of someone familiar with swapping out drives in a software RAID setup.