what to do

Posted on 2012-12-28
Last Modified: 2012-12-29
Fantom Drives Data Dock II with two 1TB HD's in Raid 1 Mirror mode, external, usb to our SBS 2008. I have been using this for our Windows Backup.  A few days ago I tried to swap one hard drive and since doing that, the amber light stays on solid, but the drive seems to not be doing the mirror thing.  What should I do?

I tried putting the other hard drive back in, but the amber light blinks.  Also odd, the drive shows up as "H" instead of "F", when I have the orignal set of HD's in it.

If I put the new drive in, the drive doesn't show up at all and amber light is solid, meaning (I think) it is in the mode to set the new hard drive to mirror the other, but, it never finishes...been this was for several days now.

The whole reason I was using this external device was so that I could pull/replace one HD and store offsite.  What do I need to do differently, in the future, once we get it working properly again?
Question by:wfcrr
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 38726936
Most likely when the amber light was blinking it was doing what it was supposed to do ... rebuild the RAID1 you broke.

Then by taking the drive out you made the controller think the drive kept failing so it was unreliable.

At this point you really need to contact the manufacturer.  What it does from here is governed by the firmware they wrote. Now if this was something like Windows dynamic disk RAID1, then that is well understood and experts could tell you with authority what to do, but that doesn't work for off-brand appliances.  You'll have to read the documentation and contact manufacturer's support this time.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 38727064
If this is your drive model It looks that dlethe is correct

Disk access takes precedence over the rebuild which is probably what is causing it to take so long to regenerate.

The website seems to offer a fairly painless way to raise a support ticket

Do remember to point out you are using this with windows backup for SBS2008
As this takes exclusive rights and prevents the disks being used/seen as a conventional external drive
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 38727147
Just noted your last comment

When you say you pull the hard drive  you do mean take the whole unit offsite not just one of the component drives?

As a raid1 mirror ( where the two drives are intended to work simultaneously as a redundant pair) it is not feasable to effectively split them on a daily basis?
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 38727221
You really need to contact the manufacturer.  The process is vendor/product specific and undocumented.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 38727349
Agree absolutely (Hence my advice to raise a ticket with them)

What concerns me is the questioner seems to be suggesting that on an on-going basis he intends to use the inbuilt sbs2008 backup utility and routinely pull one or other of the RAID drives from the unit to maintain a scheduled recoverable current backup?  This will simply not work.

Author Comment

ID: 38728299
cpmcomputers, thanks, yes, that is what I needed to ultimate objective will not work in this scenario?  

I would like to hear suggestions on how to accomplish that....

See, I thought with it being a RAID 1 mirror, I could pull one drive and put in a new drive and it would rebuild and be available for the next backup session.  I may be stupid....who can tell?

I did open a ticket with them. Thanks for that suggestion. Duh.
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

cpmcomputers earned 500 total points
ID: 38728949
Nothing stupid about it
On first analysis it should/could work
From a practical point of view I think (from experience) you will face a number of issues that make your method unsatisfactory.
With sbs2008 Microsoft radically changed the way backups are achieved
Not only removing the ability to backup to tape but also fundamentally changing how backup data is managed and stored on the (now) dedicated drives

Theoretically if you have three drives and leave one as a primary you could alternate the other two as the secondaries

However from a practical point of view you will need to dismount the drive to swap them
In a clean state
Just pulling the drive may leave the raid dirty
With potential unknown issues (not what you need for reliable backups)

Sbs backup is notorious for having issues mounting USB drives and picking them up with the correct drive letter (you intimated you have already experienced this earlier)

For me the real "deal breaker" is the fact that the time required to backup then rebuild the array would seem to be greater than the time available (Not to mention the wear and tear on the hardware)

There are perhaps a couple of methods you might wish to consider :

1) I have clients that maintain two (or more)
External USB hdd and simply alternate them daily
At least one is always onsite the other offsite
Which if you think about it is pretty much what you have under your method without the complication of the raid

2) some clients backup to a folder on a NAS drive (at Ethernet speed) then copy down to external drives for removal offsite

Personally I prefer to backup to a NAS and to tape media ( some would argue that is a retrograde step ) but with sbs that involves using third party software (Symantec small business 2012 provides a full and economic solution including built in agents for exchange, SQL, etc )

Hope you manage to get your drive sorted with the manufacturer
Let me know how you get on

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