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ML350 G6 -RAID5 config with failed drives - Backups appear corrupt

Posted on 2013-01-29
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Last Modified: 2013-03-21
Hi all,

ML350 G6 with 3x 300GB SAS 2.5 Drives. Runng SBS2011.
C Drive - OS
E Drive - DATA

Backup software Storagecraft Shadowprotect, which is a imaged based backup.


We installed this server for a customer and heard no more. They refused the support option, so they were on their own.

Server stopped booting, looked at the smartstart and all 3 drives haved failed, HP confirmed too from the logs. I thought if a drive failed it was marked as failed and not used? Its as if the server has continued to use the failed drives? As it was still attempting to boot into windows, even with all free status lights flashing red from the front of the server.


My question:
The backups have completed everynight with no issue. I have installed new drives and restored the C drive, it attempts to boot but fails. I have extracted data from the OS volume with no problem.

Any thoughts on how I can get this to boot?
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Question by:unrealone1
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by:dlethe
ID: 38832115
Just because a backup completes, doesn't mean it is any good.  I've seen more than my share of unusable backups due to misconfiguration or hardware problems.

Now I am not saying your backups are no good, I am saying that this is why people need to do disaster recovery testing and actually try to restore BEFORE they have problems to make sure that the backups are good.

In your situation, you no longer have the luxury of knowing if backups are working. So not only are you going to have to replace the drives and get a working config .. but then there is a risk that the restore will never work.   As such I suggest you charge them to do a restore on different set of disks or different machine to make sure everything is there.  If restore works, then great.  But if the restore fails, you'll just need to get some help from a pro to do what he/she can with a partial backup and a partially bootable system.  No way can anybody walk you through this type of manual compare-and-restore.
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by:unrealone1
ID: 38834324
The backups appear to be valid to th extend that I can mount both the C and E and extract data from them.

I have run chkdsk across the OS volume which found errors and repaired. Any other thoughts on the next step?
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by:dlethe
ID: 38835669
By any chance are these consumer disks instead of the enterprise class drives that have HP firmware on them?   Corrupted volumes on quality disks indicate things like bad memory; the wrong types of HDDs; improper shutdown; or corruption due to programs crashing.

(Did you use this software to backup database files when the database wasn't shut down?  If so,  check to make sure that the software can be used to backup database files and/or open files)

Exactly what files were corrupted?
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by:unrealone1
ID: 38886407
@dlethe

I restored the OS image to new drives and it doesnt boot. Does exactly what it was doing when the failed drives were installed. Attempts to boot but fails after the windows symbol appears and then reboots. So it hasnt bascially being backing up the problem, now I have restored the problem.

The data on the image is ok though, as I have extracted files from it.
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dlethe earned 500 total points
ID: 38886492
Hate to say it, but has anybody actually tested a bare metal restore BEFORE they had any problems?

Read the manual on the backup software to confirm, but this really looks like a situation where the backup software was never designed to restore a system to a bootable state, and it just copied files with no regard to whether or not data changed during the backup, and that it doesn't do raw block I/O so it wont get partitioning or even the registry or boot blocks.

You're realistically going to have to do a windows recovery and then restore as best as you can. (But first invest the time to read the manual on backup software and see if it was even capable of doing a bare metal restore in the first place. If it can't  then look and see how it dealt with databases and open files.   All your database files could be trashed, as that happens with low-end backup software).  they get the files but the insides of them are mangled.
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by:unrealone1
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Thanks
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