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Lost Raid 5 array after installing CPU cooler

Posted on 2013-06-20
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Last Modified: 2013-06-29
For 4 years, I have had a Raid 5 set up with 3 x 1.5 TB disks.  One has failed and been replaced with a Samsung about a year ago.  I needed to remove the motherboard in order to put in a new CPU cooler.  I marked all the HDDs, DVDs, and their SATA cables at one end, and all SATA cables and their ports on the MB.  Everything went back into place.

The BIOS had been completely reset, including time and date.  When I got the system going, one of the Raid HDDs was missing entirely and there was no Raid.  I replaced the SATA cable for that HDD and it came back, as a member disk, but the other two still show as non-raid disks.  I've disconnected them, rebooted, ran Windows and shut down, hoping to jog the Raid memory.  No Luck!

Windows Disk Management shows the member disk as the full Raid 5 capacity, but not accessible.

I decided to build a new raid array, but checked my backup on a eSATA disk first, and it's corrupted, and I can't get into it.  It has been veerrry slow lately, and I was going to replace it as part of this upgrade.  I have a working backup that is 12 months old, please tell me there's some way to recover from this without resorting to that.

The attached PDF shows screen grabs.

i7 975
ASUS Rampage II Extreme
NVIDIA GTX 295
NVIDIA GTX 210
3 x monitors

Thanx in advance

Raid5-Readings.pdf
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Question by:NoGurru
11 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:NoGurru
ID: 39264799
BTW, the MB Bios is the latest available.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39264816
have you tried in the intel configuration utility to add the other drives to the raid array?  I hate fakeraid controllers and prefer the windows raid (just an observation)
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Accepted Solution

by:
dlethe earned 500 total points
ID: 39264824
You can go to runtime.org and buy their reconstructor product.  It will reconstruct the RAID in ram andlet you image it onto another set of drives, or in your case a 4TB scratch drive.  Then you can restore,
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Expert Comment

by:Dirk Mare
ID: 39265126
Have you
1. disconnected the RAID HDDs from your system,
2. then go into BIOS disable the RAID and shutdown.
3. Switch on enable the RAID in your BIOS.
4. Switch off.
5. Connect all your HDD.

Remember RAID info gets stored on the Controller and on the HDD. you should be able to recreate your old RAID set within the RAID BIOS using your 3x 1.5TB drives.
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Author Comment

by:NoGurru
ID: 39267465
ve3ofa:  Ctrl+I when booting has no "add drive"s option.  The Intel Matrix Storage Manager in Windows has no similar option either.

DirkMare:  Your idea had no effect.  The BIOS was so completely reset, it had lost Date and Time, so I'd say the RAID controller lost it's settings as well.

dlethe:  I've purchased Reconstructor, it says it can help, I just have to wait until Monday (it's Saturday here) to buy a 3 TB drive to write the image to.

I have replaced ALL SATA cables in the system, even the one to the SSD which allows me to boot.  I have pulled the video card out so many times to get to the SATA ports on the MB I could now do it in my sleep.

My last working backup is Feb this year, so the worst of the worst is 4 months lost on 4 Access databases, but I do have fairly recent copies on a USB drive.

I'll let you all know next week.
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 39267476
you can do a reconstruction to a network-mounted drive, or even reconstruct into a virtual drive in RAM just to see if it works. Of course, you have to pay them to actually get more than tiny files, but you can still have 100% confidence that it does or does not work w/o buying a HDD.
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Author Comment

by:NoGurru
ID: 39267593
dlethe:  I have 1.3 TB of data on the RAID Array, and my B/U drive has only 800 GB left on it, and my networked drive 900 GB.  Anyway, who couldn't use a new 3 TB drive?
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 39267634
It doesn't matter how much data you have free. This reconstruction works at physical block level  So you need to have 3TB free to recover a RAID5 built with 3 x 1.5 T drives.
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Author Comment

by:NoGurru
ID: 39267649
That's why I need a 3 TB drive on Monday.  I'll buy it wholesale and sell it next week on eBay perhaps.
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Author Closing Comment

by:NoGurru
ID: 39287361
I bought Raid Reconstructor and tried twice to just do an image file, but got an empty drive both times.  I've now purchased GetDatBack for NTFS from Runtime as well, and it looks OK.  Bit of a rip-off having to buy two products to do the job, but hey, I have my data back.  More backups, more checking of backups, and no more fiddling with the PC in future.

Thanx for the help everyone.
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 39287701
You probably had both RAID & filesystem damage.  That pretty much goes hand-in-hand with the inexpensive controllers.
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