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RAID Setup on server using Mylex 352 Card.  Server no longer boots.  What's best way to restore raid on new server hardware?

Posted on 2012-03-27
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
RAID Setup on server using Mylex 352 Card.  Server no longer boots.  What's best way to restore raid on new server hardware?

Can I just install the Mylex card on another server and move the hard drives over to the new server?  Will the new server recognize the old Raid configuration?  User does not know what type of raid setup was on the old drives.

This is a server running on Windows 2000.
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Question by:lawemcsd
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by:hunart
ID: 37774659
When you said "Server no longer boots", does this mean that it did not boot because of your RAID controller malfunctioning?

What was the old RAID card in the server?
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by:lawemcsd
ID: 37774674
The old raid card is the Mylex 352 card.  I was planning on moving that card to a functioning server.  After moving the card, I was going to move the disk drives from the dead server to the new server.  

The old server died so I'm trying to put the drives onto a new machine to retrieve data.  I'm just concerned that I could wipe out the data if I do not move it properly to a different machine.
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dlethe earned 500 total points
ID: 37774678
Mylex, a blast from the past ... I wrote one of the configurations back for the Mylex controller family back in the late '90s.  (Which dates me, but dates this system just as importantly)

Anyway, to answer your question, yes, just move the controller & drives to another server and you will be fine ... assuming the problem has nothing to do with the RAID.   However, there are a lot of scenarios where the controller can effectively lose all metadata, so if you attempt this and power it on, you risk it getting confused and thinking a data disk is actually a spare, and it will go into a consistency rebuild, meaning 100% data loss.  

RAID level is important because this is one of the few controllers that has some funky configurations that off-the-shelf recovery simply can not deal with.

Example, this controller lets you do RAID10 with ODD or EVEN number of drives.  There are two layouts for RAID5 also.   You can furthermore mix and match several RAID arrangements on the same pack, so if  you had 3 disks, for example,  you could have a 3-disk RAID5 followed by a 3-disk RAID10.    

Gut feeling the problem is not the hardware, but that you have a great deal of data corruption.  if customer wasn't even aware of the RAID level, then all the automated scrubbing and consistency checks were probably disabled or never done.  As such, reason it doesn't' boot is file system damage.

It is 99% safe (no absolutes here because you don't have access to the event logs at this time) to fire up the machine, go to the Mylex BIOS and look at event log.   If the battery was changed then it will still be there.   The event log is critical to tell you what needs to be done.

If battery is dead and power was removed and there is no event log, then you have small risk that power up will cause a rebuild or something bad.  

My suggestion is to give it a shot, boot the system w/o changing anything and get to the Mylex BIOS and post the last few event log entries.  Also post RAID config info (which is hopefully there).

Odds favor you will need to boot the system to linux and image the logical devices onto a scratch drive and then do data recovery on the images (for file system recovery).   But again, fi this data is worth thousands of dollars, they need to get in touch with a pro. (But they better be good if this system has a non-standard RAID config, or they will just make things worse)
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by:lawemcsd
ID: 37774690
dlethe: Hi Delethe, the actual server that the raid is currently on does not work due to hardware failure.  It doesn't even post or detect a monitor.  So I was attempting to move the Raid card and drives to a new server that can read the raid card.

There's currently 10 scsi drives in the box.  would this give any clues as to what Raid configuration was used?
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by:hunart
ID: 37774707
Corrypted or damaged RAID configuration could cause your system to become not bootable along with failed controller.

If you have exactly the same hardware (same server hardware), you might have a better chance restoring your data.  Before attempting to do this, you must look at the consequences first whether you can afford to lose it all.  As dthele said, perhaps you should seek professional opinion before proceed with such restore.
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by:lawemcsd
ID: 37774713
Any recommendation on where I can find an expert to assist with this issue?
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by:hunart
ID: 37774729
If you live in North America, do a Google search for "RAID Controller Failure Data Recovery".  There are plenty out there.  You just have to search for one close by.  Ask the right questions and I am sure some of them could assist you to restore your data.  The cost is various depending on size of the data and how fast you want it restored.

Good luck.
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by:dlethe
ID: 37774761
This particular mylex is a different beast.  the off-the-shelf products that the vast majority of RAID recovery vendors use won't be able to deal with some of the configurations.  

Plus in event of a rebuild the multiple-raid-levels-per disk will totally break just about everything.  It could rebuild more then one LUN at a time, and the block ordering is not sequential, and parity drive  ordering scheme can vary depending on the physical block number.   I've seen way to many recoveries fail on this family.  

This is one of the few controllers that has a proprietary RAID layouts.  (Come on, a 3-disk RAID10, and it also has a 3-disk RAID0+1)?   You can win a bar bet just claiming such a thing even exists ;)
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