My Dell PowerVault 650C Storage Area Network (SAN) array seems to be failing on boot. Judging by the lights on the front of the array, the array seems to be in a continuous reboot cycle. We have only one machine connected to the array, but the server is an important one. The dilemma started after a power loss that brought down our systems for a few hours. (I had some earlier trouble with the PowerVault's Storage Consolidator, but I don't think the two problems are related.) Can you give me any advice about how to fix the problem?

The possible causes aren't endless, but they're numerous. First, I suggest you start a terminal session into the array to monitor the boot process and try to determine the point at which the system is hanging. If you can't ascertain anything specific, try rebooting the array with only one of the PowerVault 650C's two storage processors installed. If the reboot still fails, repeat the process with only the other processor installed. If the problem continues, try the two single-processor reboots again but swap the slots in which each processor is installed (i.e., move the top processor to the bottom slot and vice versa). If none of these steps resolve your problem, you can try reseating the RAM in each storage processor, although this is a long shot—the RAM is unlikely to have come loose in both storage processors at the same time.

As a last resort, power down, remove the first disk in the array, and power up the array with the disk removed. Reinsert the disk and repeat the process with the second disk, then the third disk. The PowerVault 650C's OS and configuration are in a small RAID set spanning the first three disks. If one of these disks is bad, the system might not be able to detect the disk properly; if this is the case, removing the bad disk will let the system boot as usual. If you're still unable to resolve the problem, you might be facing damaged equipment as the result of a massive power surge.