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striped volume reports errors. why?

Posted on 2004-09-10
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Ok, this is probably a nice simple question that someone can answer real quick..

I have a 3 disk raid volume (using win2k built-in raid feature).

it all worked fine for a year but recently a few errors appeared in event viewer (data was lost, hardware error).

The errors have not been repeated this week but now in disk-manager there is a yellow exclamation mark next to 2 of the drivers and it says

"online (errors)" and "healthy (at risk)"

Please tell me what these messages mean and if I should be worried or not.  (I ran 'chkdsk' in a command prompt and it reported no bad sectors for any of my partitions, so where are these errors..?

Thanks for any help!!
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Question by:kcs_tec
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by:harleyjd
ID: 12032214
Is this a stripe set or a stripe set with parity?

If it's #1, I'd be making backups real quick. See if you can get a SMART monitor to view the dirves own reported status. There may be bad blocks or something wearing out, and SMART may be reporting that to windows.
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by:cybercowboy
ID: 12036737
Indeed, you have a drive in the raid set that is experiencing a physical problem!  The best solution is to replace the defective(problem) drive with a new drive.  

BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY HARDWARE CHANGES!!!!
Create a clean (offline) backup and a restoration boot disk - make a least two copies - and test the restoration boot disk(s).  (THIS SHOULD BE STANDARD OPERATIONAL PROCEDURE)

THEN - BEST SCENARIO:
Try a direct drive replacement and allow the raid to reconfigure and to populate the replacement drive with data.

IF BEST SCENARIO FAILS:
Reconfigure your raid - Record or print your raid settings - configure the drives as individual primary drives.  Recreate partitions and format each drive.  Isolate the bad drive(s) - dump it and get a new one - destroy all partitions - recreate the raid and restore from backup.

An ugly situation you have going - but it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when!
Document everything you do, and learn from the experience.  
We have to be prepared for emergency recovery.
This is a bad situation - but a good excercise.
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by:harleyjd
ID: 12036814
cowboy - I'm just worried he's got a stipe set, not a stipe with parity...
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Expert Comment

by:cybercowboy
ID: 12038295
harleyjd is right !!! - thanks
Sometimes a baseball bat across the head isn't enough to get my attention.

OK!  What type of raid is installed?  Let's get this answered before we proceed.




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Author Comment

by:kcs_tec
ID: 12210819
Hi guys,

Sorry - I was so busy the last week or so that I didn't have time to
sort this question out.

Yes it is a striped set without parity (I know that one should have
redundant raid but this is a backed up drive anyway. The reason I'm
worried was that the backup is done every friday and there was some
data put there earlier in the week which I need.

Latest update is that one of the drives failed completely (burnt-out
chip on the controller) and I can't access any of the volume now.
Currently bidding on ebay for an IBM DNES 309170 UW drive so I
can swap the controller circuit board round and get the raid disk
back up and running.

So where can I get a smartmon utility from?
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harleyjd earned 800 total points
ID: 12210905
try speedfan from tucows for a basic monitor.

But it's too late now - your data is lost, and you will have to recover from backup, or possibly take the 2 good and one dead drive to a professional recovery company. It will not be cheap.

If the data is worth $$$ to you, then I'd buy 4 new drives and a RAID 5 card. Configure 3 drives in RAID5 and assign the 4th as a hot spare. This way any single drive failure will not make the array critical, it will allow you to plan a shutdown before it gets serious.... Meanwhile, send the 3 drives back for potential recovery.
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Author Comment

by:kcs_tec
ID: 12212849
Thanks harleyjd for your help. I'll download that monitor program.

(unfortunately I can't go raid5 cos I often transport my machine about
to mates houses and it's too bulky to buy an external raid cabinet
and my machine only has space for 3 drives. :(
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