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

Posted on 2004-10-13
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
LVL 95

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.

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?

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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 500 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...


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