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Adaptec 2420SA RAID5 - No array present

dspender asked
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Went into my home server to find a Drive letter missing - my 750GB RAID Data drive with 4 members - 3 250GB drives. I panicked. I opened the Adaptec Storage Manager expecting to find the array needing to be rebuilt. 3 Physical Drives were listed as optimal and the 4th on port 3 was rebuilding. Odd, the array should still be accessible, I thought. Logical Drive showed as FAILED and OFFLINE, its size was being misreported as well as a full TB....

I shutdown to go into the Array Config on boot.

Got the following message:

Following arrays have missing required members and cannot be configured - Array#0-RAID-5

Pressed Ctrl-A to enter config

Screen quickly listed 4 physical drives and said No Logical Drives Found

Configuration has changed, press Enter to accept current config (I pressed Enter)

Array Config Utility:

--Manage Arrays
No Arrays present.

--Create Array (I couldn't proceed with this - all drives full?)
4 Drives listed, all 0KB

--Initialize Drives (I didn't proceed with this)
4 Drives listed, all 232.7GB

SATA Config - Write cache enabled

System Info:
OS: Windows 2003 Standard SP1
Intel Pentium 4 2.8 CPU
Intel Entry Server Board SE7221BK1-E
Adaptec 2420SA RAID Controller in PCI-X Slot
2 x 512 Crucial DDR2-533 RAM
4 x Western Digital 250GB SATAII 16MB HD (Raid5 750GB DATA)
1 x Western Digital 80GB SATA HD (windows 2003 boot/system)

Drive Info from 2420SA: WDC WD25 00KS-00MJB
Card Bios: Adaptec SATA RAID Bios v5.1-0 Build 8373

I have no idea where to go from here. I've read as many other posts on this site about this problem and none seem to apply to me. I read about RAID reconstructor but a this point I don't have an additional TB of space to write a RAID image to. I need ideas and preferably a way to get the array up long enough for me to just get my data off.
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I upgraded the Adaptec Storage Manager and the Controller Firmware to latest released versions. Didn't seem to make any difference.

One other odd thing I noticed. The Logical Drive shown in the ASM said the Array was 936GB with 236GB of parity. This would seem to suggest the system thinks it is a 5 drive array (5 x 250GB) when in fact there are only 4 ports and only 4 drives.

Also looking in the new ASM version it does show under the properties for each physical drive that there is RAID metadata on the drive (about 180mb of reserved space).

I'm thinking - should I just delete the Logical Drive in the ASM? Should I Initialize the drives in the Controller Config and Re-create the Array with a Quick-Init?? I really don't want to do anything without knowing for sure I won't kill the data (which I know exists on the drives). The drives all seem in good condition. I did a Verify Media check from the controller on the one drive (port 3) that was suspect but it passed.
I could run SpinRite on all the drives I guess, but I don't want to mess anything up.....................
Most Valuable Expert 2015

You should never interrupt an array that is in the process of rebuilding. You could try just booting into windows and then checking the adaptec utility whether it is again rebuilding, and if it is just wait. If it isn't, and the data on the array wasn't backed up, you could run the raidreconstructor on each disk (Use a separate PC without raid controller for that, and make sure that PC has enough free space to take an image of every drive), then use getdataback to copy your data off.



I went back into Windows - all drives show Optimal.

What I don't understand is that if just one drive was down - why isn't the RAID still operational. It should show as degraded. But instead the RAID config is completely gone and the Logical Drive is reporting incorrectly and shows as Failed/Offline.

As far as I can tell, all drives seem to be functioning - so how do I reconfigure the array or get the controller to recognize that an array is present?
Most Valuable Expert 2015

It's unlikely you'll be able to recover now without the 2 tools I posted about above. Once you have run the raid reconstructor on all the drives you can try recreating the array from scratch, this will probably delete your data, but when done you can then copy the data you recovered with the above tools back to the array. Next time remember not to interrupt an array while it is rebuilding...


That doesn't seem right. I should be able to YANK a drive out of a 4 drive RAID 5 while the computer is on and have RAID still function. That is what a RAID is for! Otherwise, it is useless.

This has not happened... even though only one drive was showing signs of failure (the other three said OPTIMAL), the logical drive showed FAILED/OFFLINE and not degraded.

I have experienced lots of single drive RAID failures and rebuilt many RAID arrays but nothing has ever happened to me like this... there is something quite strange going on.

As I said in one of my original posts. I don't have another Terrabyte of storage available to dump a RAID image onto. The RAID was already unavailable before I rebooted, the reboot did not cause anything different to happen - it was still the same after I brought it back up. All four drives show Optimal now so the 4th drive must have finished rebuilding but the original problem exists.
Most Valuable Expert 2015

Not while the array is rebuilding. When a raid 5 array is rebuilding that means the array isn't in the normal state anymore. Once it has been rebuilt the array is back in it's normal state and the redundancy has been put back. Only then when it is in it's normal redundant state can you yank out a disk and expect it to keep on working.
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Most Valuable Expert 2015

Standard procedure is to open a new 0 point Q in the Community support, General Zone, post a link to this Question there and ask for deletion. But since I was the only one to answer here and there are no other experts that have to agree to the refund, and I happen to be Zone Advisor in this Zone, I can do it for you.

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