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Broken NVIDIA Mirror and 1 hard drive

Hello,
I messed up my Mirror. I am using the NVIDIA Raid controller that is on my ASUS motherboard. I had two 300 GB drives mirrored but I accidently messed it up by removing the wrong hard drive and putting in a different one. Now, I have only one hard drive in the server, it is running well, but NVIDIA thinks it wants to rebuild itself and it thinks it is mirrored (or wants to be).

I would like to bring this back to basics and then mirror the drive again. This will be my first time. It sounds simple but I need someone to doublecheck my steps so that I don't mess it up like I almost did last week.

First, I want to tell NVIDIA that it is not mirrored. If I remove the mirror then that should not affect my current hard drive, right? My first goal here is to have Windows 2003 Server boot up just like it is and NVIDIA will be none the wiser.

Second, I want to put my hard drive, which is SATA, on SATA port 0.

Third, I will put a second formatted hard drive into the server and onto SATA port 1, reboot into the server, and then enter intot he NVIDIA raid utility.

Fourth, hopefully I the language is easy inside the NVIDIA settings. I want to tell it to create a mirror. Hopefully, the utility knows that the data on SATA port 0 needs to be mirroed onto the drive on SATA port 1.

Will it actually be this easy? I would appreciate your suggestions and guideance.

Thanks,
John
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jhieb
Asked:
jhieb
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1 Solution
 
CallandorCommented:
I think all your steps will work except the last one, step 4.  Whenever you create a RAID array, it will destroy whatever is on the disks.  You have to create a backup, create the RAID array, and restore from the backup to the array.
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jhiebAuthor Commented:
Will it destroy the data even in a mirror? If that is the case, what affordable software solution would you suggest thta I backup the disk with? The computer is 64bit Windows 2003 Server and Exchange 2007.
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CallandorCommented:
Yes, even creating a mirror will destroy it.  Don't you have a backup plan in place already?  I like the reliability of Acronis, but Ghost should work as well.  It is important to image the entire drive so that you save the boot block.
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jhiebAuthor Commented:
No, I didn't have a backup plan in place besides file copy. Until now I didn't really need anything. I just purchased Paragon's Drive Backup 9.0 Server Edition so I am going to use that for my backup software, now. It was $260 for the singer server license and 1 year maint. from PC MALL. Anyway...

So, I guess I need to get another hard drive to create an image from my main drive. I will place the image on that drive and test it to make sure it boots. If it boots and works, then I will feel somewhat safe that I have a valid backup. Once that is tested, I will pull it out, and then redo my mirror with the original two hard drives.

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jhiebAuthor Commented:

I used Paragon's Drive Backup to create a copy of my good hard drive and then took that hard drive out. It is safely on the shelf. I put th e1TB drive back in to see if the NVIDIA raid controller would rebuild the mirror. It is not doing that. Here is what the settings say:

SCREEN 1
   Boot   Status         Vendor   Array   Model Name
   N/A     Error           Nvidia    Mirror   279.48G
   Yes     Degraded   Nvidia    Mirror   279.48G

Detail on drive with error
Adapt    Channel   M/S        Index     Disk Model              Capacity
   2              0         Master     0          ST31000333AS     931.51G

Detail on drive that is working
Adapt    Channel   M/S        Index     Disk Model              Capacity
  2               1         Master     1          Maxtor 6L300S0     279.48GB

When I look at the detail for each drive, I have a choice or Option to do any of the following:
Rebuild, Delete, Clear Disk, [Enter] Return

In a perfect world, I want to let the RAID/MIRROR recreate itself even if it is onto the 1TB drive. When it is finished, I would like to pull it out and then put the other 300GB drive back in so that I can reuse the 1TB drive.

Do you have any idea what the best next steps are in order to recreate my mirror?

Thanks,
John
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CallandorCommented:
If it isn't going to fix itself at this point, you might as well set the RAID up clean, since you now have a backup.  Use the two 300GB drives, and when you have it set up, restore from the backup onto it.
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jhiebAuthor Commented:
I am looking at Media Shield right now. It will allow me to delete the mirror. It still thinks it is rebuilding at 10% but it is stuck there. If I delete it there can I also rebuild it there? I am worried about my disk image. I don't trust anything right now.
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CallandorCommented:
You should be able to delete it and then re-create it.  You need to implement a reliable backup plan that won't cause you to be worried.  Whatever you do, make sure you know you are reading from your backup and not writing to it, which is the most common mistake.
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jhiebAuthor Commented:
Ya, I hear you. I stared at the screen and even wrote down my steps before I imaged the drive, yesterday. Fortunately, one drive is larger than the other so it is easier to know which one is what.

Yes, I defintely need a proven and reliable backup plan and I now have my first image. I should not have waited until I was under fire to test it, though <bg>.


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jhiebAuthor Commented:
Oh, crap. It looks like I will need to delete the array and then start from scratch. I will have to make sure I have another backup. I am paranoid. I went to MediaShield and selected to delete the array. The wizard came up and here is what it said:

This is the final step of the NVIDIA Delete Array Wizard
You have chosen to delete the following RAID array

NVIDIA MIRROR 279.48G

You will no longer have access to any data on this array after it is deleted. The data may be permanently destroyed in the process. If you do not wish to deelte the array at this time, click on cancel.

Ugh! Well, I guess this is a lesson learned. I should pay closer attention next time.

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