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How to rebuild raid after server mainboard replacement

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2016-12-08
Hi,

I have a client whose old server has just stopped working and the manufacturer has diagnosed mainboard failure and have put a new one in the post which arrives today.

My question is that the server has a muli-disk RAID array but I don't know what RAID system was used (i.e. RAID 1 e.t.c.).

Once I replace the mainboard, how would I go about rebuilding the raid array without choosing the wrong option and without losing the data which is vital?  Would the raid controller just detect what sort of array was already in place from the hard drives themselves?

Many thanks

Adam
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Question by:amlydiate
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Daelt earned 125 total points
ID: 36487569
If you replace with the same controller model, it should detect the raid automatically and you should have no trouble.

If it is a different controler, you have a chance that it does detect it too, but not 100% sure.

Anyway keep in mind that if you manually setup the raid the wrong way, you can loose your data, so unless it's automatically detected, you shouldnt move anything in the raid config until you can gather more information on the old setup.
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by:dlethe
dlethe earned 125 total points
ID: 36487737
Same controller MODEL does not necessarily guarantee recovery. Firmware matters.  It is not uncommon for metadata format to change.  Also, some controllers put metadata on each disk drive, so if you plug the array into the right controller, the controller will "learn" the configuration, and you'll be ready to go w/o doing anything but plugging it in.

If you don't know what controller they have, then you are just going to have to get lots of scratch disks and binary image them.  Otherwise data is at extreme risk.  When you go onsite to do that, you can get make/model.

There is no universal format or mechanism to determine the RAID controller, especially when it is offline.
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by:coredatarecovery
coredatarecovery earned 250 total points
ID: 36491776
I'd use ddrescue to bit image off the two drives in question before you spin the new hard disks up if you don't have a backup that you know is good.

I prefer to use ubuntu for this, but you can use almost any variant of linux and install ddrescue and read the wiki on how to do it.

Having an image of each disk will tell let you do data recovery if needed after you spin it up.

If the drive is mountable upon booting linux, you know it's a raid 0 and thus mirrored and both drives are the same.

If you're changing the motherboard, I recommend setting up the raid on a new pair of drives anyway so that you can just image the data back onto the mirrored pair from a valid disk source.

Ghost works well, so does clonezilla in most cases.

Hope this helps.
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Author Comment

by:amlydiate
ID: 36493888
HI All,

Really good answers so far, I'm very grateful.  I've been back to site and the raid controller is a plug in card so it will be the same controller. The server itself seems to have 4 identical drives on it so I'm wondering if it's Raid5?  I think I'll invest in a SAS/USB adapter and clone the disks as suggested.  Will I be able to clone them to standard SATA disks though? as I can't just buy a lod of SAS disks due to the cost...

Thanks again
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by:coredatarecovery
coredatarecovery earned 250 total points
ID: 36496626
You can just clone an image to be certain you don't lose any data, just plugin a usb drive that will hold the data.
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Author Closing Comment

by:amlydiate
ID: 36910260
Thanks all. Luckily the mainboard swap did the trick.
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