HP DC7700 will not boot after interrupted Windows update - need to recover RAID data

bnchester
bnchester used Ask the Experts™
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I have an HP dc7700 CMT with two hard drives in a mirrored RAID array. I forced a shutdown while Windows was applying an update -- I did it during that period when it says (do not power down or unplug your computer, because it clearly wasn't applying it. Anyway, my bad, and I did it secure in the knowledge that my system partition has been imaged (using ShadowProtect) last night and that I could restore that image by booting with the ShadowProtect CD. The system won't boot -- even to the initial BIOS screen, so won't boot from the ShadowProtect CD, and I'm up a creek.

So I have two concerns. By far the most important one is recovering the data changed since my last data backup yesterday. My data is on a separate partition from the system, although on the same SATA drives, which are mirrored. I suspect I cannot simply plug one of them in to an external SATA enclosure since they are members of a RAID array. Assuming the PC itself can't get rebooted, how can I get data off those RAID member disks?

The less important, though still important, question is how to revive this machine. I think it MIGHT actually be getting to the BIOS screen but is failing to show anything on the monitors. The reason I think that is because I reset the CMOS and tried rebooting according to HP's instructions (disconnecting the HD, CD, floppy) and turning it on to do a POST. After 5 or 10 minutes, even though the monitors are asleep, the computer beeped once, so it must be doing something. I have Matrox cards in there with three monitors attached. Can't get the computer to put anything on them, nor on the VGA.

Not sure what other information I can provide. Anyone have any ideas, especially regarding the data recovery?
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Top Expert 2013
Commented:
try the raid reconstructor : http://www.runtime.org/raid.htm
as for booting -  did you test with another monitor?
and test with a minimum setup (1 video card ) as described in my article :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Components/Motherboards/A_1945.html      (Short-overview-of-how-to-troubleshoot-bad-hardware-when-a-pc-does-not-post)
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Commented:
You won't need the raid reconstructor for a raid 1 array, it is more for raid 0 and 5 arrays, but you might need getdataback from the same link above.

You should still connect one of the disks to another PC to access the data, chances are pretty high that you'll be able to access it. Just make sure you don't turn on the HP while the disk is missing.

If the OS on the PC you connect the disk to can't read the partitions, you can try booting it with PartedMagic, and then accessing the data that way. If also PartedMagic can't access the data directly tun a testdisk (a tool on that CD) which may be able to access it. If also that doesn't help you could scan the disk using getdataback I mentioned earlier, and if it sees the data, register it in order to be able copy the data off.

http://partedmagic.com/

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Commented:
I turned on my computer in the morning and it came up with some POST warnings and I was able to boot to my image recovery CD and restore my system drive as of a few weeks ago. This gave me access to my data partition. Even though I had already executed most of nobus's POST steps based on HP's cookie-cutter instructions, I'm giving him most of the points for being first, pointing me to a great resource for data recovery, and sending me better POST instructions than HP. Giving rindi some points for clarifying some of the steps. Thanks!!!
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
thanks for the feedback

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