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Raid recovery problem

I have a RAID setup on a Dell Poweredge 2800 Server running Windows Server SB 2003. I recently (yesterday) pulled out two of the four hard drives from the machine.  I thought the hard drives where "hot swapable" but I'm guessing I was wrong because after putting them back in and rebooting the machine the hard drives and the corresponding "D" drive does not show up.  When I go into the RAID setup in bios the drives are listed as "failed".  I'm not sure how to proceed to recover the RAID setup. I've tried using recovery software on the drive, but they do not show any partitions and all other attempts to view the files have failed. Help.  The machine is the main "file server" for the company.  
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educateur370
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educateur370
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2 Solutions
 
Handy HolderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
You pulled two disks out at the same time when the server was running?

Only chance is raid reconstructor from runtime.org or send them all off for data recovery. Mark the second disk you pulled out because that one is more up to date than the first disk you removed.

Or just restore the backup, probably cheaper to do that than attempt recovery.
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Vince GlissonOwnerCommented:
Did you pull the drives while the machine was running?
I'm assuming that but want to make sure.
If you did, then even if there hot swapable you "Never Ever" pull two drives out of a raid set.
If you have a drive that went bad and you pull it then you can put in the Hot Swapable drive and the raid set will start to rebuild. But when you pull 2 the raid set cannot function and if your OS is on the raid set it just locks up and your done.
 If the machine was off when you pulled them then all you need to do is put them back into the same place you pulled them from.
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jamietonerCommented:
What type of raid where they in? What raid controller are you using? Depending on those you may be able to force 1 or both drives back online.
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educateur370Author Commented:
It WAS an absolutely stupid thing to do I KNOW NOW.  I was distracted and a long story short dropped a lot of F bombs as soon as I pulled it out.

I believe it was a RAID 1, assuming I wasn't a complete idiot when I set it up.  The OS is on a seperate RAID array drives 1 and 2.  The Data was on drives 3 and 4 my second RAID array. I pulled drives 3 and 4 while the machine was running.  I did not appreicate the stupidity of my mistake at the time.  I guess I had a niave impression that pulling them out would not corrupt the data as long as the hardware was not broken.  Like I said I KNOW NOW how stupid it was.

Is there a way to rebuild teh arrays from the RAID controller setup, or do I have to use third party recovery software (i.e. runtime.org).  I already have file recovery software "Active File Recovery" from http://www.file-recovery.net/ which claims it can rebuild RAID ARRAYS virtually. IS that what the software from runtime. org does?
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educateur370Author Commented:
I'm not sure what type of controller it is. I'll have to go to the office and check.
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Handy HolderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
If disks 3 and 4 were mirrored then both ought to contain valid data, they are likely to be out of sync with each other if there was any writing going on at the time but either should be usable. Tou won't need raid reconstructor since it reassembles stripes and RAID 1 doesn't have the data striped across multiple disks, just mirrored.

You rpoblem is simply to get the controller to accept one of the disks so with just one of them in and the other out it may let you put that one online, a simple file recovery program will be able to get the data but that needs a non-RAID controller to work with. Do you have something with a normal SCSI (I presume) cintroller on it that you can mount one of the drives on?
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jamietonerCommented:
If it's one of dell's LSI based controller(which it probably is) you can use openmange or the controllers bios to force 1 of the 2 drives back online(if you use openmanage you may need to restart), the drive should reappear in my computer check and make sure the data is intact, if it is start a rebuild on the 2nd drive. If it's not or the drive doesn't appear, force the 1st drive offline and force the 2nd drive online and check data. Do not try forcing both drives online id there are out of sync data will be lost.
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Vince GlissonOwnerCommented:
Dell server, then it's probably a PERC 5x.
I would put the drives back in the bays they came from.
Reboot the server and the go into the raid controller setup, Cntrl R during the boot
Go to the PD Mgmt screen, it should list the drives. Press F2 for operations it will give you a rebuild option if the drives are offline, if it will not allow you to do a rebuild from here then sorry to say your out of luck.
 
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Vince GlissonOwnerCommented:
If it will not allow you rebuild then put one drive in and go back to same screen and see if it will let you put it back on line as andy suggested.
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educateur370Author Commented:
The RAID controller is PERC 4edi.  
The Bios Utility DID allow me to "force online" one of the drive (drive 3), I was able to access and copy "all" of the data from that drive " D drive" to a folder on the "C drive" (luckily I had enough room).  But when I put the other hard drive back in (drive 4) and forced that one online and booted up, it made all the data on the "D drive" inaccessable .  The error said, the "files or directory are corrupted".

In order to get everything back to "normal" and have the drives operate as a RAID 1 array what do I have to do? Rebuild drive 4?  Wipe the two drives and reconfigure the RAID array and copy the data back?  The crucial part is done (Thank God: AKA "Andyalder in this case!")

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jamietonerCommented:
"I put the other hard drive back in (drive 4) and forced that one online" I said "Do not try forcing both drives online" you should have done a rebuild after you copied the data. You casn try forcing drive 4 offline and see if you can sccess it again and do a rebuild if not recreate and reformat the array and copy the data back.
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educateur370Author Commented:
You rescued me from a huge mistake and saved me multiple headaches, especially considering I was able to correct this issue on the weekend! You guys rock!
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