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OpenFiler lost drivers, important work missing!

Posted on 2010-09-04
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hello all,

I have been using OpenFiler fine for the last couple of years, I have 4 1TB drives in a software RAID 5 setup as an ISCSI target which I connect to from a Windows Server 2008 box.

This morning when logging in, the drive was no accessable from windows explorer. I removed the target from the ISCSI initiater and readded. The drive then appears in disk management, when i try to online it windows gives me an error message asking if I want to format the disk as it is blank. The drive file system appears as "RAW".

Openfiler is still up and reports no problems with any of the disks, all the SMART stuff checks out as well... Is there anything I can do to reverse this situation. I am pretty desperate as it holds a lot of work from the last few weeks which has not been backed up, I would be extremely grateful for any help anyone could offer.

Thanks,
Jamie
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Question by:purejamie
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 33604606
You removed and re-added?  EXACTLY how did you do this.  Step-by-step.  You may have destroyed the partitioning and/or filesystem headers.  This is recoverable, mostly, but it will be a long painful process that will also require the use of 3 TB worth of scratch disks, and most likely more than a week of your time.
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Author Comment

by:purejamie
ID: 33604617
Hi there, thanks for the response.

I may not have chosen my words well in the OP, when I couldn't see the disks any longer :

* Went into ISCI initiator in windows
* On the target tab, disconnected from the target by selecting the target and pressing the disconnect button
* On the discovery tab, removed the target portal  by selecting the target address and selecting remove
* Then did a quick connect on the IP address of the target again

Hope this helps,
Jamie.

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Expert Comment

by:theras2000
ID: 33604620
I've used other SAN/RAID devices, but not iSCSI and not an OpenFiler, so I'm not exactly sure what you mean by the Initiator and target.  I'm assuming you didn't delete the config of the drives on the RAID interface, but you just stopped the volume from displaying itself to Windows.

It's a shame when you have all the fancy RAID and such, which can protect from a physical disk failure, but not from a data error like this.  Sounds like the file tables just got a small corruption somewhere.
Spinrite http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm is a well-regarded HDD repair/maintenance utility which you can burn to CD or USB stick.  You'd need to shutdown the OpenFiler and pull out all 4 drives.  Run Spinrite on all of them (via attaching them to other computers directly), then put them all back in and turn it back on.  I'd suggest running Spinrite on level 2 to start with.
I know the website is a little cheezy, but the guy is a genius and has been an expert in HDDs, security and programming for decades.  He has a great security podcast too, on the popular TWiT network.
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 33604698
Running spinrite is and always will be a major mistake for a software-based or hardware-based RAID controller.  Doing so almost guarantees data destruction.   The reason, is that when it recovers a block of data, then no feedback is possible to the controller.   Controllers maintain tables of known bad blocks and use the XOR parity to extrapolate the data.   It has no idea whether or not the controller was doing something special?   What if block #X on 2 disks are bad, but one or both are recovered?  Think about the data corruption scenarios.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 33604921
Ok, I understand probably what's happened here, I've seen iscsi targets drop off Windows servers boxes. I hope you did initialise the disk when added back.

I would use iCard Disaster Recovery to check the raw disk or if you can chkdsk and see if it reports it as ntfs disk.
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Author Closing Comment

by:purejamie
ID: 33605014
hanccocka,

The old ones are the best! A chkdsk actually fixed the problem, found NTFS straight out then fixed a load of index entries, works a treat!

Thanks a million, much appreciated.

Jamie.
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LVL 119
ID: 33605055
Yep, people forget about chkdsk!

Make sure you get a backup of the lun, and try and establish why it went offline, lost, and got corrupted.

All the best

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Author Comment

by:purejamie
ID: 33605058
oh yes - backup kicked off, I'll take a hunt through the logs tomorrow.

Thanks again.
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