Server 2003 Software RAID 5 failure and repair during reboot?

Posted on 2007-12-01
Last Modified: 2010-04-18
I replaced a bad IDE cable on my RAID 5 that controls (2) drives (see config below). During reboot Win Server 2003 is stuck on the Microsoft logo screen with a busy progress bar. I can't tell if the RAID disks are busy because of all the fans.

Windows Server 2003
(2) IDE PCI controllers.
(6) 200gb drives
Software RAID 5 - (1) Terabyte

Is the RAID being repaired right now or is this bad (should I wait overnight)?

Question by:tpgriffin
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LVL 51

Assisted Solution

by:Ted Bouskill
Ted Bouskill earned 300 total points
ID: 20390570
Rebuilding a RAID array can take a LONG time.  I've experienced a case where it took overnight so yes you should wait.

Author Comment

ID: 20400535
tedbilly, what was your RAID configuration?
LVL 51

Assisted Solution

by:Ted Bouskill
Ted Bouskill earned 300 total points
ID: 20401361
Mine was RAID 5 with 4 250GB drives, one a hot standby.  The controller was a Rocket Raid 404 (IDE)

The drives had had substantial use when one drive failed and the array had to be rebuilt.
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Author Comment

ID: 20403025
I'm doing software RAID 5 with just IDE controllers. It's still rebuilding. I'm due for a defrag anyway and I have backups of important files. Eventually I may just abort and reformat the RAID.
LVL 51

Accepted Solution

Ted Bouskill earned 300 total points
ID: 20406881
Wow, still rebuilding.  That sounds like something more serious is going on.  You may need to reformat.
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

ChiefIT earned 200 total points
ID: 20433437

I just went through a Raid 5 that went belly up on me. If the rebuild doesn't go as planned on the first try. STOP trying. The more times you try to rebuild the array, the more the data becomes unrecoverable. This information came directly from folks who recover data for a living.

Recovering data from a raid 5 can cost anywhere from $7k to over 20K. So, I hope you don't need the data if your rebuild of the array doesn't go as you hoped.

If you have backups, it may be worth your while to replace the drives> Please advise us of any backups you may have.

If the rebuild of the array went bad:
5 drives at 1TB using a ribbon cable for the drives, Could this be a Dell Poweredge? Maybe rebuild from scratch is the best approach. Poweredge has a step-by-step on how to build an array. It may also be a good time to replace the drives, if you come to the conclusion the raid is bad.

If you are going to say the heck with it and start from scatch, you may want to go into the SCSI BIOS and mount that drive, and then try to rebuild the array again.

I hate to see anyone go through this!


Author Comment

ID: 20434329
Originally I just reseated the IDE cable of the affected drives. It appears that as Windows 2003 was booting it was NOT rebuilding the array (I finally shutdown the server). After I replaced the IDE cable Window 2003 booted and then I could reenable and resync the array in Disk Manager. Everything is now fine and no data was lost (I have backups of important files anyway). This is home/office situation, nothing mission critical. All the comments helped. Thanks!

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