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Failed Raid 1 - Showing both drives in windows

Posted on 2009-02-16
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A Raid 1 based windows XP computer is giving me all sorts of trouble. I'm not sure on the raid controler, but I know its built into the motherboard. The system normally has two hard drives that show up in my computer (windows, and data) Which are actually just partitions.  

Anyway, Today I get a call, no computers are able connect to the shares. I connect to the machines, and try to login to administrator... Windows prompts me to activate it! I run through and it activates fine, and still, no users can connect to the shares. I open up my computer, and I see 4 Drives! Duplicates of the partitions... I see TWO windows partitions, and two data partitions, both with the same data. I knew something was up with the raid, so I checked the Intel Matrix Storage Console... sure enough its showing hard drive on port 2 as missing. (yet... its now showing up in windows!)

I checked the event log and the following error is listed

Source: Distributed Link Tracking
Event ID: 12507
"The volume ID for C: has been reset, since it was a duplicate of that on E:.  This volume ID is used by Distributed Link Tracking to automatically repair file links, such as Shell Shortcuts and OLE links, when for some reason those links become broken."

Anyway, I got the shares running again by starting the "server" service but I still have a major problem here. I'm afraid to restart the computer, and not have it start back up. (im remote)

Sounds like the raid controller is messed up....

How did this happen? Has anyone ran into this before? Is there any way to repair this?


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Question by:worklessdomore
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burrcm earned 672 total points
ID: 23657483
Software raid, gotta hate it. The array is trashed. Windows has spotted two duplicate drives. here it gets risky. Image a drive - the one it is booting to. Unplug the second drive. See if it still boots. If it does, I would image it again, but I am like that. Plug the second drive in, recreate the array, load the image. After that you might need a fixboot / fixmbr, but with luck .....

Chris B
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by:JBlond
JBlond earned 672 total points
ID: 23657527
First, before doing anything else, make a backup of the content of the first hard drive.

You said you're accessing the computer from remote but I think you have to go on-site.
After that, as this was a RAID-1, I would restart the computer and check the settings of the raid controller. What does the RAID controller say about the array, is it valid or broken? I suppose it's broken and I would shutdown the computer and disconnect the hard drive on port 2. (The Intel Matrix Storage Console states that the drive on port 2 is missing so the other hard drive contains the current data). Boot up with only one hard drive and check if everything works as it should. The raid controller will display an error message but because it was a RAID-1 you can ignore it at this point. After that I would shutdown the computer again, reconnect the second hard drive and add it again to the array.

You should make sure that noone access the data on the computer during this procedure so that your backup contains the most current data.

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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 672 total points
ID: 23658274
It looks like someone played around in the system raid settings and deactivated it. Boot the PC, and go into the BIOS to check if it is set to use RAID or using another mode. If it isn't using RAID, set it to use RAID. Then boot again and use the Mainboard's RAID configuration utility to check the array's setup and invoke it again if it isn't setup anymore (usually you enter that utility with some key combination like ctrl+i or similar). Most such array controllers allow should then just pick up the original setup again or at least allow you to select which is the "Master" Disk from which the array is rebuilt.

This can sometimes also happen if the CMOS battery is spent, so I'd also replace that battery. Another reason can sometimes be a power cut which in some circumstances will also reset the CMOS to factory defaults, so a UPS can be a good idea. But usually this happens when someone changes BIOS settings.
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