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Raplacing a Mirrored SATA RAID Drive

Posted on 2006-04-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have a client with a Foxconn 865A01-G-6EKRS motherboard. This board has an onboard SATA RAID controller. It was originally set up with two drives in a Mirrored array. One of the drives failed, so I went to replace it. The problem is that the RAID configuration only gives four options:

1. Create RAID Volume
2. Delete RAID Volume
3. Reset Disks to Non-RAID
4. Exit

All but "Exit" warn of data loss if I continue. How do I get the new disk into the array without loosing the data on the good disk?

Here are the contents of the screen:

Intel(R) RAID for Serial ATA - RAID Configuration Utility
Copyright(C) 2003 Intel Corporation. All Rights Reserved. v3.5.0.2568
[ MAIN MENU ]

1.  Create RAID Volume
2.  Delete RAID Volume
3.  Reset Disks to Non-RAID
4.  Exit


[ DISK/VOLUME INFORMATION ]

RAID Volumes:
ID Name               Level            Strip  Size      Status     Bootable
 0 pci raid           RAID1(Mirror)      N/A    149.0GB  Degraded     Yes
     WDC WD1600JD-00H WD-WMAL93626672   Port0  149.0GB  Normal
                      D-WMAL93634849:0  Port0  149.0GB  Missing

Non-RAID Disks:
Port Drive Model      Serial #                 Size     Status     Bootable
   1 WDC WD1600JS-00M WD-WCANM2533022          149.0GB  Normal       Yes
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Question by:Susu306
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15 Comments
 
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by:Callandor
ID: 16525716
Do you mean you replaced the drive, but the array did not automatically rebuild?  What caused the array to fail?  If the controller was damaged in the same event, it will have to be replaced also.
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Author Comment

by:Susu306
ID: 16526813
I put the new drive in, but the array did not automatically rebuild. As far as I know, the array failure was due to a failed drive. The controller appears to be functioning properly. The system boots and runs just fine on the one drive, but I want to replace the failed one. It may be hard to see on my original post, but the RAID BIOS reports one RAID volume with one normal drive and one missing drive and one non-RAID disk which is the new disk I am trying to use to replace the missing one. What I can't figure out is how to get the new disk to replace the missing one in the mirror set. The old drive has been removed and the new one was inserted in its place.
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by:mav7469
ID: 16526919
is there a way in the BIOS to add the new Hard drive to the array?  Just placing a drive, even into the same spot, does not always enable it in the array.
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by:Callandor
ID: 16526952
Try a different data cable, and try the new drive in another system to verify that the drive is ok.
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by:Susu306
ID: 16527117
I guess my post is a little confusing:

mav7469: Your question to me is the very question I am asking. The BIOS has four options as shown in my original post. None of these options appears to be the one that allows a drive to be added to the array. Each of the four options, when chosen, warns that continuing will cause all existing data to be lost.
I did not expect the array to automatically rebuild; my comment that it did not automatically rebuild was only in response to Callandor's original question.

Callandor: The new drive works fine. I have tested it.

To restate my problem: The RAID BIOS does not appear to have a mechanism to allow replacement of a failed drive in a RAID array. I know this can't be the case because that is the whole purpose of RAID. Therefore, I must be missing a step somewhere.
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by:Callandor
ID: 16527167
It certainly sounds like a "rebuild array" option is missing, if it isn't automatic.  Does Foxconn have an explanation why this is called RAID, if it doesn't let you recover from a failed drive?
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Author Comment

by:Susu306
ID: 16527547
Callandor: Foxconn is pretty useless when it comes to tech support. I called their Americas support number and the option for technical support is someone's extension. I got to talk to a guy and he knew nothing about the motherboard or the built-in RAID controller. I have sent an e-mail to their tech support department (which is probably the same guy) and I'm waiting for a reply. The client even has the manual for the motherboard, but all it has is how to set up a new array, not how to rebuild from a failure. I could find nothing other than what is in the hard-copy manual, on Foxconn's Web site either.
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by:jhance
ID: 16527899
Perhaps you didn't wait long enough for the rebuild to happen.  Many RAID controllers rebuild in the background.  It make take several hours to complete.
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by:jhance
ID: 16527949
See page 87 at:

http://download.intel.com/support/chipsets/imst/sb/manual45_web.pdf

for instructions on how to replace a drive in a degraded array on this controller.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 16527969
Every "real" RAID controller I've seen has a facility for rebuilding a failed array, and this sounds like a "pseudo-RAID" setup - it replicates the data so that you have a copy at least, but doesn't function as a full RAID controller.  You can test this out by installing two blank drives as a new array and ghost'ing the old drive onto it.  Remove a drive and see if you still have the same options; if so, this RAID controller never had the ability to rebuild after a failure.
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Accepted Solution

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jamietoner earned 2000 total points
ID: 16527982
To my knowledge with an intel sata raid controller you can only start the rebuild from the intel storage managment software.
Heres a link with the info on the intel storage software
http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/
and heres a link to download it if its not installed
http://downloadfinder.intel.com/scripts-df-external/Product_Filter.aspx?ProductID=2101
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Author Comment

by:Susu306
ID: 16528741
jhance and jamietoner: That seems like the correct answer. I may or may not give it a try. I did not build this machine and the stability of the OS is questionable. It's running Windows Server 2003 and the motherboard doesn't support it. The kid who built it did it on the cheap. He's off to college and now I'm stuck with it! Grrr!
Rhetorical question. . . Why on earth would Intel design their RAID controller so it could only be recovered by using Windows software? It's a hardware operation! What if you're not running Windows?
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by:jamietoner
ID: 16529607
The controllers not really a full hardware raid it's what's known as a driver based raid, not quite hardware raid but not quite a software raid either. and if your not running windows the raid function wont work.
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by:jhance
ID: 16530356
This is an "on-the-cheap" RAID controller.  It's sort of like a "Winmodem" where much of the work is done by the CPU in the system rather than using (expensive) on-board hardware.

So the hardware is minimal and the real work of the RAID is done by the driver software.

It's RAID, but it's not "industrial strength" RAID like you might want to use on a server machine.
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Expert Comment

by:tmj883
ID: 16530415
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/323432/en-us
It is quite possible that the builder used Dynamic Disks in Disk Management to build the array within WS2003. Follow the instructions at the above link to examine the status of your disks in WS2003. Instructions for rebuilding a failed array are linked at the bottom of the page.
If this is the case, the new disk cannot be incorporated and the RAID array rebuilt until the new disk is converted to dynamic status and the system rebooted.
Hope the links help...T
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