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Raid Controller Failure

Help!! - Windows Server 2008 R2 - using embedded Raid ICH8R controller (custom build server) has 2 arrays (one boot, and one data) each array is Raid1.  3 of 4 drives are showing "an error has occurred.. and when windows loads, it only shows the boot drive not the data drive.  I have had several comments in the past about not trusting the embedded Raid controller and am thinking that I should change to a different one. I did remove one of the data drives and connected to a different computer and the data is there and the drive is readable.

Question.. what would be the best way to proceed here with the goal of having a different RAID controller (I'm guessing) and being able to recover / rebuild the arrays.  Thank you for your help. - Bill
William Larkin
William Larkin
2 Solutions
Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information SystemsCommented:
I disagree about trusting embedded controllers, but if you insist on moving to an expansion card-based controller your best bet would be to
  1) Get/install new RAID controller(s)
  2) Get/install new hard drive(s) on new RAID controller(s)
  3) Use a third-party product to image the old drives' data to the new drives
  4) ???
  5) Profit

Since you seem pretty sure the data still exists on all the drives, you might consider keeping one of each set in reserve and trying to get the embedded RAID controller(s) to see the remaining drives.  The controllers will report the RAID arrays as degraded (because one drive in each array will appear to be missing - because it is), but the array should still work and there's no risk you'll lose anything.
I would agree with Paul, imbedded RAID controllers aren't necessarily a bad thing, they're just directly on your motherboard and failure means either getting a new motherboard or (more logical) get a RAID controller card.

I've changed out motherboards using a simple striped volume and the volume hasn't needed to be formatted or rebuilt after I configured the RAID array as the same striped volume including the 2 drives.  I don't see why you couldn't do the same if you suspect a RAID controller malfunction and replace the controller with a SCSI or SATA RAID controller card.
William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Thank you both for your help.. I am still in this process and will be using your suggestions to remedy the problem. I was able to see the data on one of the mirrored drives which I have temporarily copied to a workstation and the information is being utilized there which has given me more time to determine the exact problem that I'm dealing with. I do  suspect that the hot swap drive module (the backplane) might be the culprit. I will try to post when finished as to the outcome.
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