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Soltions for a server crashed / raid 5

Posted on 2011-02-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello Experts!!

I have a big problem... I have a sever that has crashed and I have tried doing the CTRL+M to to force the HDD to get up....and I see my 5 of 6 HDD Online.

I have tried the OMSA (linux dell) and I'm not able to view the HDD... I'm just able to view the size of it...

Please help me out what can I do???!!!!!!

Thanks a lot.
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Question by:ARPI
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Expert Comment

by:paulmacd
ID: 34999235
If it's RAID 5 the loss of the single drive shouldn't stop you from booting.  Is it safe to say you can boot, but there's data on the RAID array you can't get to?

Is this a hardware RAID or software RAID?
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by:dlethe
dlethe earned 50 total points
ID: 34999245
If capacity reports zero, then 99% probability of catastrophic media failure. Nothing YOU can do.  Cut the power immediately so it doesn't make things work, and shop for a data recovery lab.  No software on the planet can repair or get the data back.  This is going to require a recovery lab.
 
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by:dlethe
ID: 34999254
(.. so it doesn't make things worse ... likely there is crud flying around inside the HDD canister)
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Author Comment

by:ARPI
ID: 34999300
paulmacd,

I beleive its a hardware RAID. because I'm not able to boot up .. i got the CTRL+M message...

I"m only be able access the server thru OMSA, but I'm not able to view the data...
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Expert Comment

by:CompProbSolv
ID: 34999329
I have successfully used RAID Recovery from runtime software (www.runtime.org) to manually piece together the drives of a RAID array after a controller failure.  It allowed me to read the drives individually on a different computer (without the RAID controller) and then "reassemble" the drives in software.

paulmacd is correct in his comments, though.  A single drive failure in a RAID 5 array should result in an warning message and significant performance loss, but not a failure to read the drive.  Your inability to read the drive implies that there is something more to this than just a single drive failure.

dlethe makes a good point about things getting worse the longer you run the drives.  It is important to weigh right away whether or not the data is worth the cost of an outside lab repairing it.  There are plenty of places who do this and can give you some estimates over the phone as to what it will cost.  If the data is valuable enough to you to pay for such a service, I'd move in that direction right away while recovery is more likely.

If it is not that valuable and you'd scrap it before paying the recovery price (don't answer that without careful consideration), I'd try the Raid Recovery to see if each drive can be read.
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by:paulmacd
paulmacd earned 50 total points
ID: 34999534
I'm not conversant with OpenManage Server Administrator, but is it possible the boot partition is not part of the RAID 5 array?  That is, is it possible the 6th disk is the boot disk and that it alone has failed?

Alternately, is it possible the hardware RAID controller is halting the boot process until you replace the bad disk?  That seems unlikely, but I'm not familiar with how these Dells work.

If it's possible to get in to your RAID controller configuration, it might be useful to relate what you see there.  Are all 6 disks part of a single RAID?  Or are they partitioned and only some of each disk belongs to the RAID?
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Author Comment

by:ARPI
ID: 35000876
Compprobsolv,

you think I should try the runtime.org software triail version? would you recommend me to try it better than pay big bucks.. :) ..or at least try, right?
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Accepted Solution

by:
CompProbSolv earned 400 total points
ID: 35002228
The problem with trying is the one described by dlethe.  To try the software, you will have the hard drives connected to power and spinning.  If there is mechanical damage in the drives, the longer they spin, the more damage will be done.

Be aware that it is critical that you are able to read 5 (of 6 total) drives.  4 out of 6 won't get you anything.  Well... you might be able to recover very small files, but that is likely to not be worth much.

It is all a question of risk vs. cost.  If the software does the trick, you will save lots of money and look like a hero.  If the software does not and you damage the drive(s) to where it cannot be recovered, your choice will not look so wise.

Have you checked on likely recovery costs if you send it to the expensive (but very capable) repair places?  I would guess that you are looking at $1-3k for recovery, but don't quote me on that.  A quick phone call (OnTrack is one that is well known, though there are many others) will get you a good estimate.

If the data is critical and worth such a recovery cost, I'd follow dlethe's advice, not risk damaging your data further, and arrange to have a recovery place deal with it.

If the data is important, but not worth such a cost (i.e., if such recovery is the only option, you'd not take it), then I would try the software from runtime.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ARPI
ID: 35003246
Thanks a lot for your advice...I'll get help from a expert on data recovery.

Thanks a bunch!!!
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by:CompProbSolv
ID: 35003700
@ARPI:
The points should really be given to dlethe; I was just reiterating his original comments.
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