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Raid 5 Problems

By b.b ·
I have a NAS (Win2003 Server) box with a Dell rebadged Adaptec 2610sa 6 port sata raid card, with 3 x WD 320gb hd (no hot swap) running Raid 5 ... note I have a separate drive c$ which the OS is installed to and which I boot to, the raid drives are setup as drive r$.

Well recently the machine kept hanging, with a black screen and the only way to get it to start was to pull the plug and restart not ideal.

Anyway it stopped once at POST at the point when the the Raid card init. and boots, anyway it said something about no raid available and press enter to use the current config, i did this but then i got some bad noises from the box. So one thing lead to another and it seem to be my pc power supply (this might have been why it kept hanging) so I replaced this and then rebooted ... got the same raid card err but pressed enter and got into OS (but no raid drive $r visible), I loaded the Adaptec Storage Manager and it showed that the 'logical device 1' was in a state of 'failed' and that the middle physical drive on 'Port 1' was showing a status of 'Rebuilding'.

Q1: How long will this process take bearing in mind the machine is being used for nothing else?

Q2: Why can't I still access the data via drive $r, because I have Raid 5 and I only have 1 disk out, shouldn't it have gone into some degraded mode and still let me access the data?

Q3: Once the rebuilding process has finished what should I expect, bearing in mind the 'Logical device' is showing a status of 'failed' and I currently don't have any access to the data?

Many thanks

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Answered in order of asking

by OH Smeg In reply to Raid 5 Problems

Q1: How long will this process take bearing in mind the machine is being used for nothing else?

Depends on the size of the drives but it shouldn't take all that long.

Q2: Why can't I still access the data via drive $r, because I have Raid 5 and I only have 1 disk out, shouldn't it have gone into some degraded mode and still let me access the data?

This depends on what is attempting to happen here. Generally speaking you have to enter the RAID Control Panel and chose what is rebuilt and how you want it rebuilt.

Q3: Once the rebuilding process has finished what should I expect, bearing in mind the 'Logical device' is showing a status of 'failed' and I currently don't have any access to the data

To be quite honest I wouldn't be expecting all that much here. At best the drives may still be usable but I personally would not be holding out much hope of recovering the Data on them, well at least the ones still in the unit.

As for the one removed depending on which one it was you may be able to access it directly or use it to Rebuild the Array if the Hardware is actually working correctly. If you have a Solid Data Backup away from this hardware it's no big deal but if you do not you'll need to directly contact a Data Recovery House who specializes in RAID Arrays and let them recover your Data.

While not cheap it's considerably cheaper than attempting to reconstruct the Data and if this is Important Data it is still possible to recover it if you Do Not Touch the removed Drive from the RAID Array.

Personally I would not expect anything to be usable on the remaining 2 Drives of the RAID and for future reference I would recommend Seagate Drives for Critical Storage in the future. I have not had a lot of success with any other brand of Drive where Important Data is concerned.

Also this should not be your only Backup as it's not a actual Backup just a Data Store, In the event of Hardware Failure or some other thing occurring you may not have any Data left.

Col

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Plan B

by b.b In reply to Answered in order of aski ...

Thanks for replying.

After 17hrs of letting the disc rebuild itself i thought that I need to take an alternative approach.

BTW : I do have a backup of my pixs, music, docs (albeit 1 month out of date) but my vids, games, previous backups from other machines will be lost if I don't recover them.
Also I have a new NAS box on order (2 x 1TB) which i will mirror.

So from a dos point of view my adapter cannot see the current RAID5 configuration, it state:
"Following Arrays have missing required members and cannot be configured:
Array-0-RAID-5"
So I entered the config for the adapter and attempted to create a new array, no joy, it stated there are not enough disc to create a raid, so I verified the disk on port0 and now I am verifying the disk on port1 (takes ages!), I might verify the disk on port2 might not as I'm unsure what it's really achieving.
I read on another site that some said if you think the discs are fine but the controller has lost the array info then recreate the array; which sounded feasible. Because i think it was the turning off the box from the power over and over again which has lead to this problem but a chkdsk normally fixes these problems. So to do this I need to 'initialise' the disk and this process informs you that the array info will be lost so I am at a crucial point of no return here, plus I haven't even try to recover the data via software tools as yet and this process may void that avenue. So they state just recreate the array using the same details as used before and then the data will be available again, this does some too good to be true but I am very tempted as my array info seems to be lost anyway.

Sorry this sounds more like a blog rather than a question but if you can pick on on any of that a suggest alternatives then please do.

Billy

BTW : the disk on port1 has just finished verifying :)

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Update ...

by b.b In reply to Plan B

As you have mentioned I don't think the drive was rebuilding at all. So I took drastic action ... I rebooted and went into the Raid Controller and re-initialised the disks and then recreated the raid array, and then I booted into the OS. The drive was now present but no partition visible ... I then loaded some data recovery software and it now seems to be able to see all my data :) ... I will scan over night and see what is recoverable and then I can attach a new drive and dump the data to this.

Fingers crossed.

BTW: I have a new NAS (2 x 1TB) already on order. I was going to set up mirroring to give me 1TB.

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Lets know how you get on here

by OH Smeg In reply to Update ...

Just a hint though there are some Data Recovery Programs that will Rebuild the Partition Information Tables. Takes several minutes but it's much faster and easier to use than the type that looks for Individual Files.

Lets know how you get on.

Col

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