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Pull data from SAS drive

Posted on 2013-06-21
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Last Modified: 2013-06-22
I have an SAS drive that was part of a raid 1 that I need data from.  The server it came from is gone.  If it were sata I could just hook it up to a usb-sata adapter.  How do I read this data from an SAS drive?
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Question by:bigbigpig
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dlethe earned 250 total points
ID: 39267246
No such thing as a USB->SAS adapter. You have to buy a SAS controller.  Now if you can buy the same controller that was in the server, you are home free.

SAS controllers are pretty expensive.  It would probably be cheaper for you to find somebody to do the job for you, or to try to borrow a controller.   You want a JBOD controller to insure you can get the data, or same model.  Anything else requires specifics of what controller you used in the first place.
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by:bigbigpig
ID: 39267271
I have an extra PERC 5/i laying around.  Would that work?
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by:dlethe
ID: 39267288
what controller was the disk originally in?  Controllers carve out beginning and/or a chunk at the end of the drive ... so it matters.  You don't want to get 99.9% of the data, do you?
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by:pgm554
ID: 39267478
Not to encourage you to  this ,but if you lived around a store like Frys or Micro Center,you could buy a SAS /SATA card ,dump your data and get a refund if you return it on time.

Just sayin'.
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by:bigbigpig
ID: 39267535
I hooked it up to my perc 5/i and got nothing.  Anything special I have to do to make Windows see it so I can browse it?

Do I need a non-raid SAS card?
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by:dlethe
ID: 39267575
A non-RAID SAS card is vital, if you can't use same make/model.  However, without a binary editor and ability to write a script using dd or a c program ... then you will need to buy something like runtime.org raid reconstructor.   It won't be that the data is in some funky format, it is so that the software can figure out what physical blocks contain the metadata so you can actually mount partitions.
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by:andyalder
ID: 39267850
The same make/model (an firmware version possibly) RAID controller is normally the easiest way to read it. So again, what controller was it on before?
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by:bigbigpig
ID: 39268020
The server is long gone but this is what the documentation says:

TU005               ASSEMBLY..., CARD (CIRCUIT)..., PERC5I, SERIAL ATTACHED SCSI..., 1950, 2950

The 5/i I have now is one I pulled from a PowerEdge 1900.  It's an XM771, part from Dell reads:

XM771               ASSEMBLY..., CARD (CIRCUIT)..., PERC5I, SERIAL ATTACHED SCSI..., 2900



So originally the server this drive came from (PE 2950) had the following configuration:
Array A, RAID 1, 2 x 73GB SAS
Array B, RAID 1, 2 x 300GB SAS

What I have is 1 of those 2 300GB drives.  I'm not trying to boot to it or anything.  I just want some of the data that's on there.
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by:andyalder
ID: 39268030
You should be able to plug it into the PERC and during POST enter the configuration utility and select to import the RAID configuration from the foreign disk.
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by:bigbigpig
ID: 39268036
When I attempt that it puts up a big warning to "attach ALL the drives".  I don't have all the drives.  I have 0 from Array A and 1 from Array B.  So I only have 1 out of 4.

I might have to try something like this:
http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/ProLiant-Servers-ML-DL-SL/Recover-data-from-SAS-disk-drive/td-p/5314401#.UcWp6_nVB8F
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by:andyalder
ID: 39268103
That shouldn't have worked since the Smart Array metadata should be using the first few blocks, there again they may have been able to disable RAID on the controller and then used something to skip over the first few sectors.
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by:bigbigpig
ID: 39268118
Got somewhat good news... located the server it came from but it has no power supplies or a motherboard.  The remaining drives and perc controller are there though.  So I'm going to grab it and maybe I can connect the controller and disks to my T3500 workstation.
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by:dlethe
ID: 39268125
that will work just fine. Problem solved!

You could even boot from LINUX on a USB stick if the O/S won't come up automatically and copy the data via dd to a file on remote system then image it back.
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by:bigbigpig
ID: 39268301
So I have the server now.  My T3500 workstation obviously does not have a backplane for hot plug drives.  Will that matter?
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by:dlethe
ID: 39268304
All SAS and SATA drives are hot plug. It is part of the design spec.  Power & data can be plugged in and out at will.

They just aren't in convenient carriers.   (Just be sure to observe good anti static-electricity procedure.   You can even do this with the case open if you don't mind the noise and plug/unplug them t will with it powered on).
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by:andyalder
ID: 39268306
Not if you use a SAS fanout cable.
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by:bigbigpig
ID: 39268308
I mean will the controller be confused because the drives won't be in their same physical location... like port 1 bay 0?
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 250 total points
ID: 39268330
PERC 5i controller supports disk roaming so it should cope with drives being in the wrong places so long as they still have the metadata written to them to identify them.
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by:bigbigpig
ID: 39268492
Thank you both for all of your help.  I put the PERC 5/i from the original server in my Precision workstation and connected the SAS drives using a fanout cable.  Booted into Ubuntu and everything was visible and was able to copy it off to an external USB drive.
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