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Repairing Degraded RAID

Posted on 2010-08-12
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I have taken over support for a new client and in initial review of SBS box noticed that Disk Management is showing that a Mirrored Volume is showing 'Failed Redundancy' with Errors on one of the disks. As it turns out the disk is quite old (infact ancient) as it is a 120GB 7200RPM Barracuda.

What are the next steps?

Do I attempt to rebuild the array? I assume that the utility I use would be on boot up, rather than through windows as it is more than likely a hardware controller?

Do I go straight for a new drive and swap out? I was under the impression that I needed an identical drive for the array to rebuild, but I see posts about being able to use a larger drive, but the RAID would only recognise it as a 120GB (or use 120GB). This is fine for me as they have a new server on its way in 18 days, so just looking to get through safely.

Thoughts?
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Question by:Flipp
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Expert Comment

by:siht
ID: 33426648
If it is just to get through a short period safley then using a larger drive will be fine. As you have said the storage available will be limited to the size fo the smallest drive in the array.

You might have trouble finding a 120GB drive these days anyway as stroage sizes have increased.

You'll want to initiate the rebuild from the controller if it is a controller based RAID. DO you see a RAID BIOS showing your degraded array at boot? If you don'y it may be a Windows based RAID and you'll want to initiate the rebuild from disk management.

 The process should be self explanatory once you have installed the new drive.
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Assisted Solution

by:B H
B H earned 400 total points
ID: 33426656
just make sure you have a really good backup... you can almost fit that on a usb stick these days :)

but yes it should be as easy as replacing the failed drive (with the machine off).  hardware or software, it should initiate a rebuild by itself
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Author Comment

by:Flipp
ID: 33426660
Thanks siht.

I will not be onsite with the server until tomorrow, but can RDP in if necessary. Knowing only this, how can I determine if the RAID is Windows based or Controller based?
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Accepted Solution

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siht earned 1600 total points
ID: 33426720
The fact that Disk management is showing a degraded RAID makes me suspect it may be a Windows RAID. Usually a hardware RAID will show as a single disk in Disk Management. The best way to find out for sure is a reboot to see if there is a RAID BIOS.
First thing though, make sure you have a fresh full backup as bryon mentioned above. Can you initiate a backup via RDP?
Once you are onsite and sure you have a good backup shut down the machine and install your new disk. Then boot it up and check for a RAID BIOS during the boot process. If you see one and it contains your degraded RAID then you can initiate the rebuild there if it does not start automatically. You may have to add the new disk to the array for the rebuild to start.
If there is no RAID BIOS then initiate the rebuild from Disk Management once in Windows.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Flipp
ID: 33426741
Backup is already taken care of, but thanks for the reminder.

Cheers for the advice - does not seem too difficult.
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