Disk unreadable after RAID Controller BIOS and NVRAM downgrade

HI!

Our hardware vendor downgraded the BIOS of our Adaptec 3200 S SCSI controllers before adding a second SCSI controller in each node of our W2K cluster in order to achieve a configuration supported by the hardware vendor.

Now Windows wont read the disks and disk manager shows the status "unreadable".

The RAID Drives are recognized as optimal by the controller BIOS and are recognized by Windows as RAID 5 Drives in device manager.

In the first configuration after the upgrade, the SCSI controller id of the RAID controller in question was raised from 0 to 1. Changing the sequence of controller ids had no favorable effect on the disk status.

Does anybody have an idea about how we could regain the drives ?

We have a backup, but we could lose a certain amount of data.

The drives and partitions are all visible in Symantec Volume Manager and pass integrity checks.
CaptainFutureAsked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Re-upgrade the BIOS?
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CaptainFutureAuthor Commented:
Oh, by the way, we downgraded the NVRAM, too, although without resetting it.

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CaptainFutureAuthor Commented:
We downgraded only one cluster node to see if it works.

The other node wont read the disks anymore, too.

I thought of trying to repair the MPT, but so far I#ve only found DiskProbe, which sound neither easy nor realiable. Does anyone have any experience here ?
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Serpent77Commented:
Verify the installed drivers are compatible with the downgraded bios.  A lot of RAID firmware/driver combos are dependant on each other.  If the BIOS reports it as ok, it's likely an incompatible driver.  check at www.adaptec.com for Drivers that are compatible with your current downgraded BIOS.

--Serp
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datarecoverymanCommented:
Whatever you do now - careful , any invasive activity may worsen your chances of getting your data back.
Let's start from non-invasive, related to data recovery - better save than sory right?
Program r-studio from www.r-tt.com has an option to build your own "virtual" raid based on the hdds detected by your hd controller. You can choose / play with different parameters - and see what's the integrity/health of the data picked up by the scanning of your custom built "virtual" configuration. Hey, important thing is - boot from the independent hdd with win2k/xp and r-studio installed. Your Raid shouln't be the boot volume - again , we 're trying non-invasive methods first.
If you tried that or maybe different software that doeas recovery on Raid and had no luck you can move on to a little more invasive options but that would be a whole different story. Let's do one thing at a time.
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CaptainFutureAuthor Commented:
Thanks, we'll give R-TT a try and get back to You
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CaptainFutureAuthor Commented:
R-Studio recognizes the drives and partitions, but shows: "device not ready (21)" error when trying to scan either the shared disks or the volumes thereupon.
The drivers are certified with the firmware
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Serpent77Commented:
Have you looked at the change log from the newer version of firmware you were downgraded from?  Verify there were no functional changes between your current (older) version, and the previous (newer) version.  The device not ready message may indicate a failed system that the older firmware might not be recognizing due to the array being set up on a newer version of the firmware.

--Serp
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CaptainFutureAuthor Commented:
The versions are almost equal, the newer BIOS only adds support for large disks, which was not necessary for our disk configuration.
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Cyber-DudeCommented:
You have a problem with drive recognition due to the 'degrade' process thus, you may suffer from the inability to read data properly. I wonder if the 'Upgrade' deals only with drive's capacity or somthing more than that.
According to Adaptec, the current version (the upgraded one) is 1.62 (correct me if Im wrong). Most of the changes intended for the 2200 Series. I dont see any reason why you shouldnt be able to read hard drives content. What method did you flashed the controllers (i.e. Storage Manager, RAID Utility or by hitting ctrl+A)?

Cyber
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CaptainFutureAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys, we had to rebuild the RAID and restore the backups in order to have people working Monday morning.

Thanks for the good advice.
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