Replacing a disk with UFS and ZFS filesystems
24 November 2009

One of the disks in one of our v210s was having episodes. It temporarily went nuts, streaming a load of SCSI errors out to the console, but not writing anything to messages, leaving all the UFS metadevices in the "Okay" state, and not bothering the zpool either. We thought that sounded more like a controller issue, but Sun said "disk" and sent us a new one.

Why do we have two kinds of filesystem, and two volume managers on one disk? Well, when I built these systems we wanted the many benefits of ZFS for our data, but ZFS boot didn’t yet exist outside of Solaris Nevada. So, we built them with my old-fashioned, multi-partition (small root, separate /var and /usr) layout, and a zpool mirrored across slice 3 of both disks, for the data. v210s, of course, only have two disks.

Replacing UFS disks is one of those things I always have to look up. You do it very rarely, and it’s one of those jobs you’re super careful about, triple-checking everything. Hence this document.

First, I had to detach all the mirrored devices on disk 0. We partition our disks quite aggressively, and I didn’t want to have to write down where everything came from, and keep manually detaching. So, I wrote this little script. It only took two minutes


metastat -p | grep c1t0d0 | while read md junk
	print -u2 "metainit $(metastat -p $md)"
	metastat -p | grep -- -m | grep -w $md | read mirror junk
	metadetach -f $mirror $md
	metaclear $md
	print -u2 "metattach $mirror $md"
done 2>

Not only does that detach all the submirrors on c1t0d0, but it puts recovery information into a file called The idea is that I’ll run that script once the disk is changed, and everything will be recreated exactly as it is now. Note that I let the meta commands write to standard out so I know what’s happening, but have my prints go to stderr so I can capture their output easily.

Once the metadevices were all detached and cleared, I got rid of the metadbs on that disk. We keep our metadbs in a dedicated slice, slice 7.

# metadb -d c1t0d0s7

With all the SVM mirrors detached, I have to do something similar with my zpool.

# zpool status
  pool: space
 state: ONLINE
 scrub: scrub completed after 0h13m with 0 errors on Sun Nov 22 01:13:36 2009

        NAME          STATE     READ WRITE CKSUM
        space         ONLINE       0     0     0
          mirror      ONLINE       0     0     0
            c1t0d0s6  ONLINE       0     0     0
            c1t1d0s6  ONLINE       0     0     0

ZFS is great. All you have to do is offline the disk, then later, tell it there’s a new one. It does everything else for you. Are you listening Veritas?

# zpool offline space c1t0d0s6

Now, for the benefit of SVM, we have to tell cfgadm that the disk is going away. cfgadm is one of those commands I can never remember how to drive, and this step is the reason for putting this document online.

# cfgadm -al
Ap_Id                          Type         Receptacle   Occupant     Condition
c0                             scsi-bus     connected    configured   unknown
c0::dsk/c0t0d0                 CD-ROM       connected    configured   unknown
c1                             scsi-bus     connected    configured   unknown
c1::dsk/c1t0d0                 disk         connected    configured   unknown
c1::dsk/c1t1d0                 disk         connected    configured   unknown
c2                             scsi-bus     connected    unconfigured unknown
usb0/1                         unknown      empty        unconfigured ok
usb0/2                         unknown      empty        unconfigured ok

Right, there’s my disk, c1t0d0. I just have to unconfigure it.

# cfgadm -c unconfigure c1::dsk/c1t0d0

cfgadm is even thoughtful enough to put a lovely blue light on next to the disk you unconfigured. So, off to the server room, pop the SPUD and swap the disk.

Back at your desk, run

# cfgadm -c configure c1::dsk/c1t0d0

then use cfgadm -al again to make sure the disk is back. You’ll have to recreate the VTOC before you can put the metadevices back. That’s easy, because we are only making a clone of the other disk. fmthard is quite happy to take stdin as its datafile, so it’s a one-shot job.

# prtvtoc /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s2 | fmthard -s - /dev/rdsk/c1t0d0s2

Now recreate your metadbs. We have four copies in a dedicated slice 7, so to make disk 0 match:

# metadb -a -c4 c1t0d0s7

Now I have to recreate and reattach all the metadevices I blew away earlier. Let’s make sure the auto-generated script looks right:

$ cat
metainit d51 1 1 c1t0d0s5
metattach d50 d51
metainit d31 1 1 c1t0d0s3
metattach d30 d31
metainit d21 1 1 c1t0d0s1
metattach d20 d21
metainit d11 1 1 c1t0d0s0
metattach d10 d11
metainit d41 1 1 c1t0d0s4
metattach d40 d41

Yep. That should work

# ksh

The only downside to this approach is that it attaches, and therefore resyncs, all the mirrors at once, so there’s a fair bit of thrashing. The final UFS thing to do, because this is a boot disk, is install a bootblock.

# installboot /usr/platform/$(uname -i)/lib/fs/ufs/bootblk /dev/rdsk/c1t0d0s0

Now, back to the zpool. All you have to do is

# zpool replace space c1t0d0s6

and ZFS will do the rest. It’s brilliant, isn’t it?