Mirrored RAID crashed, CAN'T retrieve data, SERVER '03 SBS, Business hangs on the line!!!

Posted on 2004-10-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Running: Dell Prescision 620 Dual PIII Xeon 900Mhz, 1GB RAM. 3 SCSI Ultra 160 Drives. 2 of them were for data storage and file server (WD 9.1GB Ultra 160).

Most recent thing done before problem:
1) Tape Drive attached to the server (HP SureStore DLT15/30 External)
2) Some of the last couple of Windows Updates installed (all up until 10/12/04)

I have Raid 1 (mirroring) set up on the 2 storage drives. they are identical hard drives. Something happened.

Drives and drivers work perfectly fine. SCSI card BIOS picks up perfectly and so does device manager. Windows is not reporting any hardware problems and is stating that "devices are working properly".

When i open the Disk management MMC console it shows that both drives are unknown and unreadable. And also will not let me format. I know the data is still on the drive, I tried different software and utilities to get the data off nothing works. The Tape drive is SCSI and it works fine, so i know it cant be the contrller.

Unfortunatly the tape drive wasnt available for a couple of weeks, the last backup was created on the 30th, and thats 2 weeks of data lost!!

Please HELP!!!
Question by:ebayden20
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12303211
Can you put the drives in another system and read them?

Author Comment

ID: 12303460
i have the same problem when i put them in the other server.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 12304052
Can you import them as foreign disks>? Inside the Disk management MMC console, right click on the drive letter on the left side.
NFR key for Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Veeam is happy to provide a free NFR license (for 1 year, up to 10 users). This license allows for the non‑production use of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 in your home lab without any feature limitations.


Expert Comment

ID: 12304141
if Mazaraat's suggestion doesnt work, then you may need to try some heavy duty recovery software like Ontrack's or Powerquest's recovery software or Winternals ERD.

Author Comment

ID: 12304745
in the mmc console, when i right i get help and thats all. I ran winternals and it came back as unpartitioned, with no data on them. Ontrack came back the same way. Maby it has to do with the fack that there is no mirror? I created the mirror in the MMC.

Expert Comment

ID: 12304944
Maybe you should create a backup of the drives with ghost before you experiment with changing settings/configs of the drives.

Just a thought.

I'll post a data recovery software package I'm currently using tonight - I've tried 3 so far and none of them worked, this last one however seems promising.  Sit tight Dennis!

Another thought:  If you rebuild the RAID I wonder if it'll make the drives readable again?

LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 12306256
Use the 'DiskPart' utility within Windows to recover any Mirrorring problems:
1. Eneter the utility by the following steps:
Start => 'Run...' => type 'cmd' => Enter the command: 'diskpart' and press 'Enter'.
2. The prinsipal of working with that utility is simple; In order to work on a drive, a volume or a partition; you will need to 'select' that object. So, in order for you to select the proper device you will have to know what to select so:
3. Type 'list disk' to see all available drives.
4. Type 'select disk <number>'
5. Start 'adding' the mirror.

To learn more on the powerful 'diskpart' utility:


Author Comment

ID: 12316461
I tried rebuilding the raid with DiskPart and it didnt help.

Author Comment

ID: 12316465
All utilities see them as blank drives with no data on them, including data recovery software. Its like they are brand new!! Absolutely 0 (zero) MFTs found through out both drives.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 12316489
You have no alternative but to use 'Active-Undelete' to atleast recover data and afterwards reconstruct the RAID controller.

The following link may help:

Good luck


Accepted Solution

AlexGGG earned 1500 total points
ID: 12317979
If there are zero (0) MFT entries (for NTFS), both dirves, and if you are certain you doing everything correct, you are out of luck then.

Author Comment

ID: 12331174
active undelete came back with nothing. I Used my raid utilities to reformat both drives. I rebuilt the Mirror and loaded the last backup i got from 2 weeks ago (thank god for the accountant, he had a copy), better than nothing. I wish the tape drive wasnt in repair, all this could have been avoided.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 12331518
If that comfort in any way;
Yur in a relatively good situation... At least you backup data. There are clients who do not know what backup is and one of them paid great deal of money to recover data in a recovery lab (you know; removing the plates from the drive and copying byte after byte thus creating a full true image of the drive).


Cheer up...


Featured Post

 [eBook] Windows Nano Server

Download this FREE eBook and learn all you need to get started with Windows Nano Server, including deployment options, remote management
and troubleshooting tips and tricks

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

How to update Firmware and Bios in Dell Equalogic PS6000 Arrays and Hard Disks firmware update.
When we purchase storage, we typically are advertised storage of 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and so on. However, when you actually install it into your computer, your 500GB HDD will actually show up as 465GB. Why? It has to do with the way people and computers…
This video teaches viewers how to encrypt an external drive that requires a password to read and edit the drive. All tasks are done in Disk Utility. Plug in the external drive you wish to encrypt: Make sure all previous data on the drive has been …
This Micro Tutorial will teach you how to reformat your flash drive. Sometimes your flash drive may have issues carrying files so this will completely restore it to manufacturing settings. Make sure to backup all files before reformatting. This w…
Suggested Courses

649 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question