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File server RAID 5 array failure.

Posted on 2011-09-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi All,
My one, and only, file server RAID5 array has failed.  It is a 6 drive array.  2 drives failed over the weekend.  I'm swapped the drives with new disks, but the server still will not mount the data drive.

Config:
Card 0 - Slot 0 and Slot 1  - C: OS
Card 1 - Slot 0,1,2,3,4,5 - D: Data

After swapping the bad disks for the new disks, I'm prompt at server boot to press F1 to continue booting but disable the array, of to press F2 to accept the data loss and reinitialize the disk.

I'm not sure if I have other options, or if that drive/data is lost.  Restores of the data will probably take 3 full business days, as do our full backups.

Please help, thanks!
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Question by:jsctechy
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Accepted Solution

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David earned 2000 total points
ID: 36560799
Certainly a data recovery firm can get back most, if not all of your data.  If it is valuable, then turn everything off to prevent further damage, then look for an appropriate firm. Other than that, you can go down a DIY path that involves taking binary images of all disks and taking note of the last one to fail, and running some recovery software, but if you can't get a decent binary image, then you need a pro.

Get a NON-RAID controller, and some scratch drives, and use a freebie product called clonezilla to do binary images.  Post details on bad blocks.  Unless both drives failed at the same time, then you need to get just the good 3 and the drive that failed last.  PRINT copies of your controller's event logs for reference.  
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 36561092
In a RAID 5, you cannot replace the failed disks with new ones.  If you want to get this back yourself, you must use the original drives, and I would recommend not doing anything until someone very familiar with your server/controller model (manufacturer support, here - be careful) can help you make the right decisions.

If not, you're looking at a restore.
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Author Comment

by:jsctechy
ID: 36562904
Running restores now.  I've replaced the 2 failed disks with new disks...  formatted the disks in Windows Server 2000.

Restoring was my fastest option to getting the server back up and running.

Unfortunately I'll have to do all of the file and folder permissions over.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 36562908
Not much you can do if two disks went bad. You can try powering off, putting both old disks back and powering on again and maybe one of them will come alive again but even that won't work unless the right one works since one will be stale as the array must have carried on running for a while after the first one failed. Tou're probably going to have to restore from backup - why does it take so long I wonder, bad tape drive?
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Author Comment

by:jsctechy
ID: 36563326
The data is stored on a NAS.  It's only a 1GBPS connection to the backup server.  350GB will take a while!  Especially since they're are tons of small files, rather than a few large files.

I'll post back if I run into any problems.
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by:jsctechy
ID: 36573652
Thanks to everyone.  My restores are complete.

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