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Windows dynamic RAID 5 disk failed, can't replace

Posted on 2009-07-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I have a dynamic RAID 5 (not the boot drive) with one dead HD. I pulled the dead HD and replaced it with an identical (unformatted) drive.  In the Disk Management tool, the two good raid drives are shown as "failed" and the removed disk is still shown as "offline' and "missing", although it is out of the machine. The new drive (marked "unallocated") is also showing.  How do I get the new drive to replace the "missing" dead drive in the array? I see no provision to delete the "missing" drive.The Device Manager reflects the correct number of good drives. There were only 3 showing before replacement, 4 after replacement (1 boot drive and 3 RAID drives). There is no firmware RAID on the machine.
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Question by:HilltownHealthCenter
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Expert Comment

by:rhandels
ID: 24859789
Hey,

This is the downside to a software RAID. For as far as i know it is impossible to rebuild a software RAID build within windows. If one disk of the dynamic disk group breaks you loose all the data.

The only way of having a good disaster backup is to use a hardware Raid. Thus installing a RAID controller in the machine and connect the drives to this machine.

If you wonder why Microsoft gives you the option to create a RAID when you cannot do a failback then I have to disappoint you. I never had any clue either.. The only thing i can think of is to extend your single disk into multiple disks when a basic disk fills up.. Also, read performance is much better on a RAID 5 than on a single disk..
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by:HilltownHealthCenter
ID: 24859859
I need this today, or it will not matter.
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Expert Comment

by:rhandels
ID: 24859905
As said, as far as my knowledge goes it is now possible due to the fact that this isn;t a hardware RAID that can rebuild when you pop in a new disk..
You can try and look at the following link, it might help you out a bit, but stilll...

http://www.quetek.com/RAID_recovery.htm?source=google2&gclid=CLuaj6v415sCFZeD3god23j2-g
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garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 24861673
You can absolutely rebuild the array -- while there are certainly benefits of a hardware controller, Windows software RAID is still RAID, and provides the same fault tolerance features.

I don't have a Server 2003 system here to check, but this should help:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc738360(WS.10).aspx

Basically you just right-click in the failed drive area, select "Repair Volume", and then follow the instructions.
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Author Comment

by:HilltownHealthCenter
ID: 24861718
Here is what I see. The bad disk slot has been replaced by the identical good disk.
raidfailure.jpg
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Author Comment

by:HilltownHealthCenter
ID: 24861747
I was working with the link provided by garycase when I started this question. Thus the use of diskpart. I can't figure out how to get the new drive (Disk3) to replace the failed (and absent) drive (Disk M0). In concept, I would put the new disk in as the third RAID 5 disk and resync, but can't seem to get there from here.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 24861862
The new drive has to be dynamic to use in the array.    Right-click on the new disk in Disk Management and convert it to dynamic.      That should then make this easy to resolve.
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Author Comment

by:HilltownHealthCenter
ID: 24862016
Please note that I did make Disk 3 (the new disk)  dynamic, as it is marked in the output above.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 24862134
I missed that -- just saw that one disk wasn't marked as dynamic.

Since you're using DiskPart instead of the windows interface, it should repair with the simple command:    "Diskpart  repair disk=3"

It appears you've already created a volume on drive 3 -- you need to delete that volume before the command will work, as the drive must have enough free space to allocate for the repair.
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Author Comment

by:HilltownHealthCenter
ID: 24862718
Thank you.  How do I get rid of disk M0?
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Assisted Solution

by:garycase
garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 24862763
I believe the repair operation will automatically do that -- when you specify the disk to use for the repair, it "knows" which disk is bad/missing and will replace that with the new disk you specified.
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