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Failed RAID0 Array - Need Help Reconstructing RAID

Hi!

Background:

I have a client whose RAID0 array consisting of 4 SATA 250GB drives went down.  While waiting for me to arrive on-site, the client got 'click happy' and had unknowingly removed the array in the BIOS add-on control program.

I have done a little bit of research on reconstructing failed/removed RAID arrays and had come across z-a-recovery.com (zero assumption recovery software), which is a nice product for $99 that claims to be able to take care of these sorts of things.  The software installed and performed RAID analysis (took about 2 days) and showed a disk map (with no bad sectors) - and finally discovered the RAID0 array.  The idea behind the software is it analyses the drives & creates a virtual raid array in order to allow users to take important data off the failed ARRAY drives.  On the next screen, "the Volume analysis" screen, the software just stalled at 90% with no CPU or MB/sec HD cycles...

I got in touch with ZAR's developer and had followed his instructions to run the software in debugging mode again.  The second time, during the initial analysis the program said that one of the drives had bad sectors and wouldn't pass this initial phase - got stuck at 10%...  again, got in touch with the developer, sent him a link to the 800MB debug log file.  He refunded me the $ for the software & said I should try out the competition.

Since then, the client needed his business to continue to run using that specific workstation.  We connected external RAID0 SCSI 1.6TB storage (it's a high definition video shop, needs lots of data throughput) & I took the RAID card along with the 4 SATA drives home to continue the recovery effort.

Took one of my workstations and realized that the RAID controller needs a 64bit PCI.  Since I don't have a system with the 64bit slot, my idea is to connect the failed hard drive to my non-raid PCI SATA controller in order to recover it.

My question is, can this be done at all?  Would you recommend a product that will scan a failed drive and restore raw data from its last state to an image file, which can then be used to reimage a new, working hard drive?  I would then take this new hard drive, reconnect it to the original RAID to attempt to restore the RAID ARRAY again using the ZAR software.

Is this a common practice?

There is no redundancy in a RAID0 configuration - being that I don't have a 4 port RAID controller, will I be able to create an image of the hard drive with the bad blocks (skipping over the bad blocks if possible)?

 
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taki1gostek
Asked:
taki1gostek
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1 Solution
 
gurutcCommented:
Hi,

Motherboards are relatively inexpensive.  Can you check with a local PC shop or builder about getting the lowest price motherboard/cpu combo that will work with your components including RAM and such that has a 64 bit PCI slot?  

Also, make sure the controller truly needs a 64-bit slot.  Don't do this by plugging it in.  Instead, check the manufacturer's site for docs on what the card needs.  I use 64-bit Adaptec SCSI controllers in 32-bit slots all the time with no problems, but only after checking first.  Hopefully this may be true in your situation.

You need to get the array back up to get the data, bad blocks or not, and you'll most likely need the original array controller to do that.  If you run out of ways, you can send it off to someone like OnTrack, but they and others charge a premium.  However, they've never let me down.

It sounds like you're going about this the right way.  It's good to hear that the software vendor was so upstanding.  One last word, backups!  (Not trying to rub it in)

Good Luck,
Travis
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mcp_jonCommented:
Sorry to tell, but I guess the Answer is NO !

You might have a chance in it's orignal state, original PC, original 64 Bit PCI - Card, and so on, but using one of them as standalone, it won't boot !

Best Regards !
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taki1gostekAuthor Commented:
This particular 64bit PCI controller will not even fit into a 32 bit slot.  I didn't try & wouldn't without research.  I'm not looking to boot from it, mcp_jon - just trying to recover about 700GB of video data.
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mcp_jonCommented:
I got your point !

I just said that "with a standalone drive you wouldn't be able to boot"

How come it doesn't fit on a 32 bit PCI Slot ? Which card is that ?

Best Regards !
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taki1gostekAuthor Commented:
It's a XEON mobo - wouldn't be cost effective for me to go out & get a server to try & work on it.  I'm not really getting big bucks for this + the information is irreplaceable but not to that extent.  
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mcp_jonCommented:
Sorry, I meant the " PCI Card model " ?

Best Regards !
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taki1gostekAuthor Commented:
Be honest with you i don't know how to go about identyfing it.  It's an Intel card with Sil3112 (silicon image) chips.  If you have time on your hands, below are excerpts of info i could find on the card:

SRCS14L
http://www.intel.com/design/servers/raid/srcs14l/index.htm

I just found it and it is backward compatible with 32bit PCI!  :)  Guess i shouldn't have assumed that it wouldn't be...

Now i'm getting some place... Thanks mcp_jon.

I will continue the thread and will ask additional questions.  I have to scrounge around for a power cable duplicator because I'm short one power wire (there's 4 drives and 4 total power connections in the workstation I'm working with)

In the meantime, should the 4 SATA drives be plugged into the same spot on the PCI RAID controller?  Reason I ask is I do not know what order they were in.  Will this be a stumbling block when trying to recreate the RAID or does that not make a difference?
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gurutcCommented:
mcp_jon is smarter than me, but give this dog a bone every now and then, I suggested that first!  ;-)
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CallandorCommented:
Most 64-bit PCI-X cards will work in a regular 32-bit PCI slot, though at reduced speeds.  You may want to investigate RAID Reconstructor from www.runtime.org, who also make one of the best data recovery programs (GetDataBack).  Since RAID-0 is striping, I think order of the drives is important.
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gurutcCommented:
It would really help to hook them to the controller just as they were, but if you don't have that info, hook them up making sure that if they are jumpered as master and slave that you don't have two masters on one cable.

Travis
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nexissteveCommented:
If or when you retrieve the data you may wish to have a chat with your client about the dangers of utilising raid 0 for a ciritical system without the appropriate backups.

I know its a little off your question but definitely worth mentioning.

Cheers

S
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taki1gostekAuthor Commented:
I'm taking the machine to work today to work on it.  Will keep everyone posted.  Any other ideas you may have in the meantime are welcome ;)
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mcp_jonCommented:
Sorry Travis, Didn't read your post !

This Dog is gone !

Best Regards !
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taki1gostekAuthor Commented:
Yup, he just bought a 2TB autoloader tape backup - lesson learned already.  His business has been down for about a week.
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mcp_jonCommented:
The order of the Drives is Crucial for this Recovery Plan to Work Out, because they use Raid 0, or Stripping without parity, meaning the Data is written in a disperse way thorughout the Disks !

Read a bit more at " http://www.raid.com/04_01_00.html "

Last word, Try what Callandor advised you, Raid Reconstructor.

Best Regards !
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arthurjbCommented:
Someone earlier touched on it but didn't describe it like they should.

RAID 0 provides no protection for data, its purpose is to make a group of small drives appear to be a large drive.

What it looks like happened is that one of the drives failed.  In a RAID 0 that is a catatrophic failure.  Even if only one of the drives failed, you chance to recover any data is almost 0.  When you moved the drives the chance of recovery became 0.  There is no software that will recover the data.

Had this been a RAID 5 setup, the customer would have had a small interuption and no loss of data.

Your customer has learned 2 valuable lessons 1. don't use RAID 0 for important data  2. don't muck around with stuff

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gurutcCommented:
Hi Asker,  

Thanks for the points, but everybody contributed some.  Next time use the 'split' button.  It's at the very bottom, it took me a minute to find the first time I used it.  The experts are very competetive but also are fair about sharing the credit.  Is your problem fixed?  If so, let us know what the outcome is if you can.

Thanks,
Travis=gurutc
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taki1gostekAuthor Commented:
None of it worked yet.  I'm performing the analysis of the RAID right now but I'm sure they're not plugged into the same ports on the PCI controller...   I'll let everyone know where it takes me.  

Yeah, i didn't know how or where to go to split points...  Thanks for the advice gurutc.
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