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Can't Boot RAID 1 C-Drives that were plugged in as data drives on other PC - drives now show up as X: on original server

Posted on 2013-10-23
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Last Modified: 2016-12-08
Hi a customer's server had
* 2 x 500GB RAID 1 drives as the boot c-drive.
* There are other drives but they are disconnected for now
* O/S = Windows 7 Ultimate        (using it as an SQL server)
* Motherboard = Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H
* http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4144#ov 

For some reason the server stopped booting.  They have very poor electricity supply (3rd world country) and even though they have a UPS there is often loss of power.

So server stopped booting.  We tried many things under pressure to get it to boot with no success.  

So in desperation we hooked up one of the C-drives to another workstation PC and successfully got data off it.  Drive was mapped to X:.  I believe they did the same with the other C-Drive (a bit of a mistake).

So still neither C-drive has been bootable on the original server.  It just gets to the American Megatrends screen and locks up.

BUT, when they plugged one of the C-Drives into the GSATA ports (ie Gigabyte controller SATA instead of the Intel), suddenly the drives started to boot - BUT now the drives think they are X: and not C:.  So the Windows 7 does not boot.  (See picture below).

I don't mind reverting to a single boot drive (ie losing the RAID 1).  If I could just relabel the Disks to C:.  Although I would prefer to re-instate the RAID.

Questions:
A) How can I relabel a drive to be C: ?

B) Is the Intel RAID Controller faulty?   Or is it just some BIOS error?

C) Is there any chance I can restore the RAID 1 ?

D) What utility tools can you recommend?  And how to use them?
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Question by:enigmasolutions
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20 Comments
 
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Author Comment

by:enigmasolutions
ID: 39596204
Here is a picture of the Server with one of the C-Drives connected to the GSATA Port 8...

screen shot of RAID boot drive (after it was connected to another PC)
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39596438
in the dos screen type c: + Enter - then type dir; you should see the contents of the drive
did you run a repair yet - or a sytem restore?
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Author Comment

by:enigmasolutions
ID: 39596501
My customer's PC is in another country & it is out of work hours now.

I will get them to type C: to see if they can get to the C Drive.

They tried to run repair on one of the C-drives, but apparently it didn't work / failed immediately.
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Author Comment

by:enigmasolutions
ID: 39596615
Further to my last comment... what is the point of typing C: ?  I mean the drive won't boot.  And I suspect that C: won't help.  The drive is mapped to X: right?  When my customer clicked "Command Prompt" it went to X:.   Hmmm we shall see.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39597387
you suspect  - but never tried it right?

you'll only know by trying, not by talking about.
it wont hurt
 >>  ... what is the point of typing C:   <<  if you do dir on the C: drive, you should be able to see it's contents
>>   I mean the drive won't boot  <<   this does not mean it is not accessable;
if you can see the contents, you could use the resource kit - eg Boot corrector
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/rk-express/
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Author Comment

by:enigmasolutions
ID: 39597989
Nobus,  Thank you.  

The boot corrector looks good too.

We shall see what my customer comes back with.  May take a day or three.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39599668
no problem - i'll be around
0
 
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Author Comment

by:enigmasolutions
ID: 39602261
Customer says C: did not work
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Author Comment

by:enigmasolutions
ID: 39602265
Customer is going to try the boot corrector.  Failing that we will re-install windows.

Do you think the Intel Raid controller has malfunctioned (ie need a new motherboard) ?
(PC is 13 months old).
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39602279
if he can't get on to C:, i doubt the boot corrector will work
you are SURE  the drives are Raid1 - not raid0 ??
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Author Comment

by:enigmasolutions
ID: 39602293
Nobus, to be honest I am not 100% sure of anything with this client.  They are in a 3rd world country and I am not there to see what is happening.  So it is a real challenge!!!  Which is why I am rather keen to fix the O/S &get hardware working, instead of shipping them new hardware.  We shall see what happens on Monday when I skype them.
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Author Comment

by:enigmasolutions
ID: 39604538
I got a message back from the client.

They definitely could not  get to the C: drive.
The C-Drive was definitely RAID 1.

I think when they plugged the C-Drives (individually) into another PC, they mapped the X: drive to the physical drive in storage manager.  And that is why they appear as X: on the original server.

I suspect we may have to re-install Windows, but would prefer not to.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39604912
>>  I think when they plugged the C-Drives (individually) into another PC, they mapped the X: drive to the physical drive in storage manager  <<  what holds them from undoing this operation?
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Author Comment

by:enigmasolutions
ID: 39605269
Nobus,

Woohoo, my client managed to get the C-Drive to boot Windows properly.  I think he got it working by selecting "LAST KNOWN CONFIGURATION".  Also after a second re-boot the drave magically came back as C: drive !  Here is the correspondence... (the Pacific Islanders are fairly amusing):

How the C-Drive recovered
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Author Comment

by:enigmasolutions
ID: 39605291
Now the only problem is we need to get the Data Drive working (which was the second RAID 1 pair of drives).  The data drives were plugged in to SATA Ports 2 & 3.  Now I am fairly convinced that both drives are OK because we could get data off them using File Scavenger on another PC.  But as you can see the drive plugged in to port 2 is not visible.

Now the first thing I have done is ask the client to power down and check cables.

My next step is to plug the "hidden" drive into other SATA ports (eg port 4 or 5 or 1 or 2).

Do you think the Intel RAID controller is damaged?
Anyway we shall see.  I will update sometime tomorrow.

Here is the Good Drive:

Picture of Good RAID Drive
And here is the Missing Info:

Missing Info
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Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 2000 total points
ID: 39605901
it looks like that drive has a problem
normalyy i start running a diag on it; WD diag in this case : http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=606&sid=3

if that is ok - and still a problem, try running HDDRegenerator,
then put both in the original config
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Author Comment

by:enigmasolutions
ID: 39615439
Thank you.  I forwarded these ideas to the client.  We shall see...
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39616083
ok - post result
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Author Closing Comment

by:enigmasolutions
ID: 39652838
Not really the answer to the original question... but good advice anyway.

I am still waiting on the client to get back to me.
Which could take a while.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39652941
post the result if it comes in !
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