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Array showing as "degraded"

Posted on 2006-06-23
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
Long story short: I'm installing a SATA Raid controller and two SATA drives into a new system. These drives are data drives, not system drives.  They used to be in my old fileserver and worked well for over a year. However, I'm having issues installing them into the new system.....

During POST, it shows the physical drives as "healthy", but displays the array as "degraded."
The Drives do not show up under My Computer in the new system

So I placed the controller and drives back into the old system (where it worked flawlessly for over a year) and it is showing the same thing: Physical drives are healthy but the array shows as "degraded."  This makes no sense, as just yesterday it was showing as a healthy array?!?!?


The controller is an Adaptec 1210SA, and the operating system of the new system it's going into is XP.  
 http://www.adaptec.com/en-US/support/sata/sata/AAR-1210SA/

The motherboard of the system is a Gigabyte running a 2.6c P4

Thanks

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Question by:dissolved
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Expert Comment

by:Stormin_Norman
ID: 16974143
I'm assuming this is RAID 1. My first guess would be a failing drive.

The first thing I would do is test the drives individually with the manufacturers diagnostic program. These can be downloaded from the manufacturers website.

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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 16974576
Probably while moving the drives you might have tried booting with only one drive, this would degrade the array. Depending on the array controller, you might just have to boot up and wait for it to get rebuilt automatically, which can take some time. Or, if necessary you might have to use the array's firmware utility or the utility inside your OS to start it rebuilding.
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Author Comment

by:dissolved
ID: 16975337
Stormin: Yes this is Raid 1.  I do not think the drives are failing. They are fairly new and were fine until I unplugged them. They are also showing as "healthy" during post.


Rindi:
Yes, while I was moving the drives I tried booting with only one drive (I figured it wouldn't matter).  So you're saying this could be my problem?   How do I rebuild the array?   I won't lose any data will I?   I'm not sure it can rebuild automatically. When it POSTS and shows the array is degraded, it proceeds to go right into windows.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 16975370
It depends on your raid controller, but most will just start rebuilding. If you have a utility software for your controller, load and start that and it should show you the state of the array, and if it doesn't rebuild by itself, you should then have such an option you can select. And no, if this is raid 1 and you don't do something badly wrong, you won't loose any data.

The reason for it wanting to rebuoild is because when you start windows on just one disk, you'll allways have things that change on the disk
and will be different than on the other disk. For this reason the first disk has to be copied over to the 2nd one again.
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Author Comment

by:dissolved
ID: 16975411
cool, I will look on Adaptec's website to see if there is a software utility. I looked in the actual raid controlle's BIOS and there are no such options to rebuild.  I can only manage, create or initialize.

I wonder if Computer Management in XP can see the array.
I'm guessing I should connect both drives before trying any of the above?

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 16975430
No, don't try using computer managent. Maybe you should read the adaptec manual, it should tell you what to do in this case. Possibly manage or create can also work, as with raid 1 all you do when rebuilding an array is to create a new one. Most utility software or firmware will allow you to select which drive is to be the master from which the data is copied from.
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Author Comment

by:dissolved
ID: 16975515
I know I cannot create an array, it says no more space is left. I tried yesterday. I think I tried manage too.

So you're saying to make one drive blank again, so it rebuilds fromt he other one?
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 16975606
That would be one way to do it as the rebuild does that anyway. But first just check the controller's manual, as it probably tells you exactly what should be done. I have an array controller here which rebuilds the array while the OS is running, and you can manage it through the software you install for this controller within windows. It is an intel controller, so it'll be different to yours, and I'm using raid5, which also needs a different approach than raid 1.
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Author Comment

by:dissolved
ID: 16979236
i cant find any utility by Adaptec that will allow me to do this. Someone help
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Accepted Solution

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rindi earned 50 total points
ID: 16981879
I've checked the adaptec site, and I think the software you need is "storage manager".

http://www.adaptec.com/en-US/downloads/storage_manager/sm?productId=AAR-1210SA&dn=Adaptec+Serial+ATA+RAID+1210SA
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