RAID 5 Array corrupt

TBS99
TBS99 used Ask the Experts™
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I had a server with two bad drives. one of the bad drives was the global hotspare and the other drive was in the array.
I failed the hotspare and replaced the drive, this worked OK.
I then failed the other drive and the rebuild started on the new drive(hotspare).
During the rebuild something happened and the server crashed.
I suspect the kernel for the RAID 5 card which is a SRCU42X crashed during the rebuild.
After this the card would no longer accept the RAID 5 config from the array.
Even thought when I went into the console it said that its internal config was different the config on the actual drives. AFter getting the card to import the config from the drives, I couldnt even save the config to the NVRAM on the card itself.
This leads me to believe the RAID 5 controller to be bad.
My question is, I have two surviving members of the RAID 5 still with a incomplete rebuild onto the hotspare.

Things we've tried to recover files:

1 - using and ide hdd installer server2k3 and installed the driver for raid array.
I could see the logical drive f: but it was corrupt and unreadable according to windows.
I used getdataback to recover files from the drive but they were unusable.

2 - sent the server to a data recovery company and tried getting the files , again they were unusable.

Is there anything else that I might be able to do to get those files back?
Suggestions please this is critical.
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Commented:
How was the first crashed ? maybe you could get it working again (not sure the array could accept it since you started a rebuild later).

I'm afraid there is no magic solution, if a data recovery company didnt get it.

Good luck anyway.

(maybe you could try the fridge trick as a last chance)

Author

Commented:
The drives are fine, its the RAID card that has failed.
I just need some SQL database files.

Commented:
Maybe you could ask other data recovery companies if they can do something in your case :

http://www.dtidata.com/raid_data_recovery.htm
http://www.harddriverecovery.org/index.html
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Author

Commented:
I'm worried that the partial rebuild to the hot spare has corrupted the files.
Or the RAID 5 card itself has corrupted not only the RAID 5 config but the files contained within.

Commented:
Maybe you could get back some of the data, you should ask another company specialized in raid crash recovery.
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
If you want to recover files from a broken array, Runtime.org's RAID Reconstructor is excellent.
http://www.runtime.org/raid.htm
Unfortunately if it failed during a rebuild, you're probably not going to get another controller to recognize the array as foreign.  It may be possible if you use the original 3 drives (failed drive included, if its toast put in 2), but very doubtful.

Author

Commented:
Whats the best way to attack this using RAID reconstructor?
Do I delete the RAID config from the controller and go that route?
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
You do not need to delete the RAID configuration.  You can boot from a WinPE boot rom or run from Windows...I'd first test to see if RAID Reconstructor will work, without paying, by running the software without the key.  If it works, buy it.  You'll also need another drive to store a copy of the data from the array.  Check their site for implementation, its fairly straight forward. What type of drives are these?  You dont need a raid controller for the software to work...just make sure the drives are attached, thats it - do NOT initialize/partition/format/etc.

Author

Commented:
I have installed a promise IDE controller and have installed server2k3 , should I install the driver for the RAID card since they are connected to it via a hotswap backplane? or can the RAID recovery software see the drives without it?

They are 10,000 RPM UW320 SCSI HDD's in hot swap chassis.
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
If you have server 2k3 up an running, there would be no harm installing the driver...but the software should work without it.  If it doesnt pick up the drives, definitely install the drivers.

Author

Commented:
ok i'll be trying this later tonight, I'll post an update later.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the Help. I was able to pull files off the damaged RAID array but they were corrupted.
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Thats unfortunate...did you try using the original 3 drives?  Or all 5?

Author

Commented:
I used a combination of the 4 original drives plus the drive that had the rebuilding going on when the card crashed, it looks like its all gone.
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
4 original drives = 3 in raid 5 and hotspare, correct?  Did you try using just 2 of the original drives?

Author

Commented:
ya I did 3 drives in the array and 1 global hotspare i tried all types of combinations.

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