DELL RAID 1 Problems.. Cannot boot from "good" member

911bob
911bob used Ask the Experts™
on
I have  a Dell Precision Workstation with RAID 1. One drive failed some time ago and we replaced it, not it appears another drive has failed, but the "good" member will not boot.

There are two drive, a Western DIgital, and a Samsung. both 80Gb..
The Raid Controller in BIOS shows the RAID1 has failed and the 2 member disks, in the member disk area it shows that the WD is a "member" and the samsung has failed..

However if I I do a diagnostics, it reports that the WD drive is dead and the samsung is OK

I took them out and put in an external drive unit, Again the WD shows nothing.. but the Samsung shows data..

It's almost like the samsung does not have the boot sector/ MBR and that is the good drive..

Fortunately I was able to recover all the data up to the minute it dies, and have transferred it to a second machine and they are running agin.. but is this fixable?

I did put in 2 750Mb drives from an Intel board that was running RAID 1, and it pickup up that pair and booted ..so the controller appears to be good.
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noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
I did not get from your description, what exact error do you get when trying to boot from these drives connected as single? Did you try that? In other words did you try to boot from the drives in non RAID mode?
911bobCTO

Author

Commented:
No boot device available..

And the RAID configuration shows Failed, not Degraded. (When I do the CTL-I to get into the raid seup.)
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Is the system partition on the drive set active?
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911bobCTO

Author

Commented:
How do I set it?

I am guessing I have to put in on an external drive and run fdisk?
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
You can slave it to another working system and use Windows Disk Management or use third party boot tool such as Parted Magic 5 www.partedmagic.com to boot from it and set it active.
911bobCTO

Author

Commented:
In windows Disk Manager it shows.. Healthy.. Active.. Primary Partition..
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
What Windows version do you have installed there?
911bobCTO

Author

Commented:
Win 7.. The original disk (with issue is Win xp)
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Enter the one from RAID and see if you have Windows boot files on it. There must be these files in C: root (on RAID1 drive of course): ntldr, boot.ini, ntdetect.com, ntbootdd.sys and bootsec.dos
Are they there?
RojoshoRTCC-III Level-2 Support

Commented:
Hello 911bob,

Did I read your description correctly in that you have all of the data secure - Yes?

If so, then I would suggest that:
 1. You use KillDisk to wipe both disks clean.
 2. Using both disks, recreate your RAID-1
 3. Reinstall or Restore your OS and data.

Most likely what happen is that you had bad blocks on two disk mechs - the a good situation.  This condition can occur when a 'scrubbing' operation is not done a routine basics.  On most RAID controllers, data is not verified until it is READ, so WRITES with errors will go undetected until either a scrub or READ operation forces a correction.

As a precaution, you can go the disk manufactures and download their disk diagnostics and confirm that these mechs are still good.  A lot of healthy disk mechs are tossed out because techs and customers do not really understand bad blocks/sectors and the basic fundamentals of 'sector sparing'.

I hope this helps,

Rojosho....
911bobCTO

Author

Commented:
ntbootdd.sys and bootsec.dos are not there, the rest are.
CTO
Commented:
Resolved the issue by "breaking" the raid.. removed th bad drive and suddenly the RAID became Degraded.. and it booted fine. Replaced the bad drive added it to the RAID, and all is back again

Hopefully this will help others that may experience the same issue
911bobCTO

Author

Commented:
Found my own solutions

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