RAID 5 problem in Win2k3

Mercurien

Senior member
Jun 26, 2003
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My power supply failed on me. I replaced it, and now my RAID 5 array is broken in Windows Server 2k3. I'm using software RAID. All of the disks are seen in Disk Management, but they are not recognized as part of the array.

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/4053/disksnu2.png

I can right click on one of the Foreign Disks and select "Import Foreign Disks", but it says I'll lose all my information because the array is incomplete. I'm using 6 SATA drives for the RAID array. Four of the disks are attached to the motherboard, and 2 are connected to a SATA card. The 7th disk in the management window is the IDE drive that holds the OS.

It would be inconvenient if I lost the data on the array. Is there any way to keep the data?
 

RebateMonger

Elite Member
Dec 24, 2005
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I'm really hesitant to give advice on this one. I can tell you that Microsoft has folks who are experts in Dynamic Disks. But you'll likely have to pay for that support with a $300-or-so Support Incident (unless you get free support through some Microsoft program).

I got a call at 3:00 am one day, with a very similar problem. A company had a power supply fail and, apparently, two drives got hit of a Windows Software-RAID four-drive RAID 5 array. The array contained the 200-person-company's entire accounting database. The only backup was six months old.

They ended up sending the four SCSI drives out for physical data recovery at a cost of abou $15,000 and did get the SQL database back.

Sorry that I can't really offer any help.

I assume it's obvious by now, but to re-state the obvious, don't trust important data to a single drive or single RAID array. I see folks lose data from RAID 5 and even RAID 1 arrays all the time.
 

Old Hippie

Diamond Member
Oct 8, 2005
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A company had a power supply fail and, apparently, two drives got hit of a Windows Software-RAID four-drive RAID 5 array. The array contained the 200-person-company's entire accounting database. The only backup was six months old.

Did you give them the "RAID is not a back-up" speech and a bill for $200.00? :laugh:
 

RebateMonger

Elite Member
Dec 24, 2005
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Originally posted by: Old Hippie
Did you give them the "RAID is not a back-up" speech and a bill for $200.00? :laugh:
I felt bad for their IT guy. He was at risk of losing his job. He THOUGHT he had a recent backup, but didn't. I told him I'd come over at 4:00 am and see if I could help, but that I WAS NOT a Dynamic Disk expert.

They had the world's worst combination from a recovery standpoint: Dynamic Disks and RAID 5. That combination makes it hard to even diagnose exactly what's happened. He spent a couple of hours on the phone with Microsoft on a $500 support call, but they weren't able to help much.
 

Mercurien

Senior member
Jun 26, 2003
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Thanks for looking at it, anyway. I did have all of the important stuff backed up. This server just had all of the stuff "I'd rather not lose" as opposed to "I can't lose". Uggh.
 

RebateMonger

Elite Member
Dec 24, 2005
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Well, if you've given up, then you could try this:

Test each hard drive independently to determine whether the hardware is working. Obviously, only do non-destructive tests and keep VERY clost track of which connector goes to which connector. Mixing up the order of a RAID array is not good for it.

If you have at least five (out of the original six) drives still mechanically functional), then work at bringing the "Offline" drives back online. Until all the drives are "Online", you won't be able to get your array back.
Technet: Troubleshooting Disk Managment

"To bring a disk that is Offline and Missing back online

Repair any disk, controller, or cable problems and make sure that the physical disk is turned on, plugged in, and attached to the computer. Next, use the Reactivate Disk command to bring the disk back online. For instructions describing how to reactivate missing or offline disks, see Reactivate a missing or offline dynamic disk.

If the disk status remains Offline and the disk name remains Missing, and you determine that the disk has a problem that cannot be repaired, you can remove the disk from the system (right-click the disk and then click Remove Disk). However, before you can remove the disk, you must delete all volumes (or mirrors) on the disk. You can save any mirrored volumes on the disk by removing the mirror instead of the entire volume. Deleting a volume destroys the data in the volume, so you should remove a disk only if you are absolutely certain that the disk is permanently damaged and unusable."