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RAID 5 array broken in half

Posted on 2007-04-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
My media server, a WinXP Pro box with a rocket raid 454 card, just split its RAID5 array in half.
On bootup, the card bios announces that drives 3 and 4 have failed.  Bypassing the array, and booting into the OS, I run the RAID software.  It shows TWO identically named (RAID_5_0) RAID5 arrays, each containing two live disks.  Both are, of course, broken.

Is there any way to recombine these into the one original array and save the data?  The only thing I can think of is to delete one of the arrays and then add the two freed disks to the original array, but belive that if I do that, the system will simply treat the "new" disks as blank, and the array will still be toast.

This is critical!
Thanks in advance,
Mike
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Question by:mwmccaw
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 18861925
I would try to go into the RAID controller's BIOS and do it from there - try reactivating the disks (I'm not familiar with that specific RAID card and I'm not sure it even supports this ability, but in most of the SCSI RAID cards I've used, you can reactivate (or try to) failed drives which would "recover" the RAID.
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by:mwmccaw
ID: 18861962
This is an IDE raid card, not SCSI.  There is nothing in the manual about re-activating disks
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Expert Comment

by:brian_anderson14
ID: 18863623
Mike,

I had a very similar problem to this recently.  An engineer "accidently" plugged the new hard drives to replace a faulty ones in after shutting down the server,  instead of Hot Swapping the drives.  This causes the RAID card to see two seperate arrays.  This was a two drive failure.

Our resolution was to recreate a new array, and complete a system restore from backup.

Bit of bad luck three drives going at the same time.  In my experience this is unrepairable.
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Author Comment

by:mwmccaw
ID: 18865140
Problem solved.
This was a hiccup of the controller card or its software.  Note that the problem statement said that the physical disks were OK, just that they were being incorrectly recognized
I got a small DOS utility from HPT that allowed me to recreate the array (had to be very careful to enter all disks in the correct order) and write that to the flash on the card, and everything came back just fine.
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