Replacing a dead scsi RAID 5 controller

Posted on 2004-10-04
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have a Pentiun III (800 MHz) running Windows NT Server SP4. Yestarday, the Adaptec AAA-131U2 scsi controller card crashed so has to be replaced. I have a RAID 5 with 3 hard disks and my questions are:
1- If I get the same card, what must I do to replace and configure the new one without losing data?
2. If I can't get the same model, what can I do?
Question by:YoYo
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Expert Comment

ID: 12216252
Here's the answer from Adapec's site.

Want to change the AAA-131U2 to ASR-2100s without reformatting. Is it possible?

I would like to change my AAA-131U2 into 2100S SCSI RAID Controller without reformatting my RAID drives (keep my old array and data). How can I do this?
This information applies to the following products:
- AAA-131U2, AAA-133U2 to any of the Adaptec SCSI RAID like the Adaptec SCSI RAID 2100S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 3200S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 3400S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 2110S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 3210S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 3410S.

Before you make any modifications on your system, we recommend that you backup and verify your data first.

To answer your question:
You can't move the array drive from AAA-131U2 (or other AAA cards) to the 2100S (or any of the Adaptec SCSI RAID listed) without re-creating the RAID.
The RAID information of the AAA series resides on the first track (track 0) of the drive. On the other hand, the SCSI RAID Controllers use the last track of the drive to store RAID information. So, when you move your array from the AAA controller to the SCSI RAID Controllers, it will attempt to read the last track. Since there are no RAID information on the last track of the drives, it will think that the drives are single drives or non-RAID array drives.

The only way you can use these drives as an array on the SCSI RAID Controllers is to clear all drives of its information (through low-level format using the SCSI RAID Controller).
Remember that once you low-level format your hard drive, it will completely erase all data and it is not recoverable. Do not interrupt the low-level format if you decide to go to this route. This might render the hard drives useless.
When you complete the low-level format, perform a cold boot (Power Shut-Down)on your system. Wait for about 5 to 10 seconds to flash out old information possibly stored on the buffer of the drives.

From here on, you can re-create the RAID using the SCSI RAID Controller BIOS inside SMOR (Storage Manager on ROM).

Note: If your drives from the AAA series are Ultra2, the drives are still going to communicate under "Ultra2" mode (80 MB/Sec bandwidth). You will need an Ultra160 drives (plus components being Ultra160 compliant) to take benefit the
performance above Ultra2.


Author Comment

ID: 12369302
The problem was solved. I got a new adapter card, and changed it with no results. I finally installed the SCSI controller on another PC, got almost all the data stored in the RAID and finally sent the original PC to be repaired.


Accepted Solution

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ID: 12411402
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