RAID5 Array No Longer Recognized by 10.4 System

I have a RAID5 array ("5-BAY e-SATA PORT MULTIPLIER ENCLOSURE+RAID PCI-X CARD" that my company purchased here:  The PCI-X card is installed in a PowerMac G5.

It worked for the past year without any problems, but recently went offline.  I have tried to get it working again (re-installed drivers, removed drivers and installed fresh, even re-installed OSX 10.4 Server, tried a different eSATA cable, tried a different PCI slot), but to no avail.  The best I can get is that the five 1TB drives will all show up separately as unreadable on the system.

I need the data that was on this array!  So 2 questions, an answer to either will suffice:

~Question 1: How can I get my RAID array back online again with my current set-up?  If I can get it working again, that would be great; but I realize that for someone to help me with my issues, they would probably need to have experience with this exact set-up on OSX 10.4. using this hardware.?.  The driver is:  I installed the RAID5 driver, but the Java applet that you run to access the array says that:
"Silicon Image RAID controllers are NOT detected in the system.  Please make sure all controllers are installed and configured correctly.  Press 'OK' to exit this application".

~Question 2: If I purchased a new RAID enclosure, would these drives be recognized and work in it or are RAID arrays proprietary somehow?  I am quite intermediate when it comes to RAID hardware so I just don't know.  If these members would work in another array, I am happy to purchase one (that works in Mac OSX Server 10.4) and would welcome any recommendations.  I just don't know if the current drives would be recognized by another system...
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Your only real hope is to restore the exact original setup.  Newer drivers and/or different hardware will reduce your chances.
What is the exact model and manufacturer of the original card?
question 1
it appears the raid controller in your enclosure stopped working. normally I'd contact the manufacturer for support / replacement parts.
question 2
will not work
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
This looks like it is software RAID and this may be a bigger issue for  you.

If the raid card manufacturer was smart and stored the raid config on the drives as well, all you would need to do is replace the PCI card with the same make and model and the config should be read from the drives.

You will need to contact the manufacturer to find out if this is possible.

If they do not store the raid config on the drives as well, then you are up the creek without a paddle and backups are your only hope of some sort of recovery :(

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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Look guys.... Recovering a RAID array is not much more difficult than a single drive.  It does; however, require great care and patience.
Of the highest importance is to not lose the drive positions.  Mark each drive with the position it occupied.
The process then requires an identical setup (including the driver software), verifying each drives functionality, recreating the RAID structure, and finally, if necessary, using a tool like Runtime's RAID Reconstructor to get the data back.
We don't know what value the data has; but, if it has a very high value, I would clone each of the drives before attempting the RAID.
You have a "multiplier aware" pci RAID controller and an external box which knows how to talk to it.  As I asked earlier, what is the exact manufacturer and model of that card?
psfolliesAuthor Commented:
Well firstly, thanks for the responses.  This sounds like a real nightmare.  Yes - this is high value data to be sure.  About 1.9TB of video footage and the only copies, in fact.

I inherited this set-up, else I wouldn't have purchased it via eBay with no support option in sight.  Agh.  I know that the items are part of this eBay auction and have emailed to seller for exact model/item numbers as of this morning:

I wrote the seller this:
Regarding item #30026232896, the 5-Bay Multiplier Enclosure+RAID PCS-X Card, mine continues to fail. When I turn on the array, a Kernel task on my OSX 10.4 Server shoots up to 100% of the CPU and crashes the system. I am trying to get help with it via experts-exchange and am wondering if you can please tell me the make and model of both cards used in this set-up.
... and this is a new symptom: I re-installed the drivers, can see the "link" light illuminated on the back of the drive enclosure, but as soon as I power-up the drive enclosure and the link light turns green (good), my 10.4 Server slows down and eventually freezes-up.  I can see in the Activity Monitor that a kernel_task is consuming 100% of the CPU as soon as I power the drive enclosure, and shortly thereafter the server freezes requiring a hard reboot.

So I am awaiting info from the seller as to the manufacturer and model of both cards and will advise as soon as I do.  Thanks for the assistance thus far!
psfolliesAuthor Commented:
After examining the card physically (as there is no mention of the manufacturer or model on the eBay listing), I have determined that it is:

                 SiI3124  - PCI/PCI-X to 4 Port SATA300
SATALink 4-Port PCI or PCI-X Host Controller
psfolliesAuthor Commented:
I am attaching two files.  One is a screenshot of the Java-based controller software showing the Sil3124r5 card online.  This works everytime I launch it, however as soon as I power-up the drives the system freezes.  So I have also attached a text file with the system log (I added my comments in there with "//" preceding certain events to clarify the provess).

Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
I think that the problem is with the external enclosure and, to test, you need to get an eSata dock, peferably with another drive, too, unless you want to just get another enclosure from the guy on eBay.
And, just because, what are the make and model of the individual drives?
psfolliesAuthor Commented:
The drives are all Hitachi Deskstar 1TB Drives.  Model # HDS721010KLA330

I had a small amount of relief in reading this:

Can I move my functional and current RAID set to another  controller?                                                 
Yes, you can move a functional RAID set  to another Silicon Image controller running the same type of RAID BIOS and driver and it will work as a RAID set on  the new controller. The controllers store the meta data that defines and is used  to manage the RAID set on the drives which allows the RAID set to be moved between  controllers and still work. Moving between embedded controllers and add-in card  controllers also works.                                                 For best results when moving a RAID set, use  the same type of controller chip and as close as possible to the same releases of BIOS, driver, and management  tools.                                 To be safe, also  back up any critical data from the RAID set before moving it, especially if there are differences in controller, BIOS version or  driver version.
I think maybe I will just order another form the same vendor, just so I have the proverbial ball rolling.  What a mess.
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
What I was going to suggest was that you connect another drive to that controller without using the enclosure; but, I don't know if you have any computer stores nearby.  
eSata docks are usually less than $50 and let you stick drives in like they were a piece of toast:
I have concerns that the eBay guy will have the level of compatibility you outlined.
No make and model on the external enclosure either?
You can also, BTW, track down items like the PCI card by using its FCC ID #

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nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
As I have mentioned in my post, the manufacturer was smart enough to make the drives recognizable on a matching replacement controller.

I would think if you got a replacement controller of the same model youw ould be up and running in no time.
psfolliesAuthor Commented:
I'm going to need to open the enclosure to get the FCC ID #'s and will also do the same for the PCI card.  I'll do this later today.

In the interim, I have ordered that dock you suggest DavisMcCarn.  Walmart said they don't have it locally but can get it here day after tomorrow.

nappy_d: Totally.  I read your post and that is why I was so relived that the the manufacturer of the controller chip stated that the controller writes that meta data to the drives.  Relief!  So I have also ordered a replacement PCI card.

Only contingency I can think of now is that the multiplier card in the drive enclosure is at fault.
psfolliesAuthor Commented:
After a long week, I have determined that the port multiplier inside the drive enclosure was at fault.  The eBay seller sent me duplicate components and via process of elimination, I found that the RAID Controller (PCI-X card) was fine (old and new), but that the drives in the old drive enclosure caused the system hang while the drives in the new drive enclosure worked perfectly.  

Therefore the Port Multiplier (see diagram here: inside the drive enclosure was the culprit.  I am ordering a backup of that component so that I will have a duplicate of everything save the drives should this thing ever pose problems in the future.  My thanks for your help folks!
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