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RAID 1 failure on SBS 2008 Server - Need help urgently!

Posted on 2014-01-05
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Last Modified: 2016-12-08
I showed up at a client's office today, started a remote session to the server, entered my user name and password in the remote desktop login screen for the server.  On the actual server itself, the server promptly died with a quick BSOD.

The server hung with a RAID error on startup.  Did not get to any Windows boot at all.   It's asking me to enter a boot disk :-(

The C drive (system) is RAID 1, 1TB drives.  The D drive (data) is also 1 TB drives.

Motherboard is ASUS P6T (about 3 years old).  RAID is handled onboard (managed with onboard Intel Matrix Storage Manager v8.0.0.1038.

Disk volume information reads:

ID0    MAIN    RAID1 (Mirror)    Strip n/a    Size 931.5GB  STATUS: Failed  Bootable: No
ID0    DATA    RAID1 (Mirror)    Strip n/a    Size 931.5GB  STATUS: Rebuild  Bootable: Yes

Below, in "Physical disks", first disk is "offline member".  The next three are Member Disk(0), Member Disk(1), and Member Disk(1), respectively.

Even with RAID until I can pick up a disk, how would I get this system running. I presume the system is on Member Disk(0), correct?

Really need this system running before morning if at all possible!

Thanks
Dave
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Question by:DaveWWW
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by:mbkitmgr
ID: 39758375
Can you clarify the disk config.  I am a little confused with the drive arrangement you described.

If there are two drives in the mirror set, you need to go thru the process of "Breaking" the mirror set and telling the Controller BIOS to boot from the healthy drive.  The method is dependent on the brand of raid controller
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by:cfgtechs
ID: 39758904
intel raid in bios would display the SN of the bad drive/good drive to identify if you have no light indicators from the raid cage. pull that bad drive and replace. get back into intel raid then it should see the new drive ask you to if you want to initialize it and have become a member of your  mirror and it will proceed to rebuild/synchonize. 1TB takes a long time...

after you rebuild you most likely will  still not be able to boot. i would then pull that data mirror out so you dont unintentionally perform work on it. then boot with your win2008 DVD and get into the startup menu to run a repair on the OS.

also in repair mode you can run xcopy and pull the source files you may have been storing
on your C volume if needed.

good luck, pete
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Author Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 39758955
Pete, by data mirror I assume you're talking about the two drives RAID 1, that are labelled DATA (just to be sure).  

mbkitmgr, The RAID controller is the one on the ASUS motherboard.  There are four hard drives, two for drive C (RAID 1), two for drive D (RAID 1).
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Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 39759014
The failure of one drive in a RAID-1 set should not stop the system booting, thats the point of RAID.

Have you tried just removing the failed drive, in case its failure is hanging up the bus?
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Author Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 39759891
It definitely didn't boot - didn't even try. It said to insert media, after looking at the DVD drive.

Here's what I've now done:
1. Pulled out the bad drive and inserted a fresh unformatted good one (identical drive).

2. Pulled out the two data drives (RAID) for safekeeping.

3. The Intel matrix Storage Manager software still showed the mirror for MAIN (C:) as failed, and the two drives show up as the new one being not a RAID member, and the second one being Member(0).

4. I put in the SBS 2008 server install disk, realized it was only setup, then pressed <esc>. The system restarted, gave me the RAID status of one disk not a member of RAID, the second one being Member(0). The screen went black, the hard drive light is on solid, and has been for the past 4 hours, with no messages on the screen whatsoever.

My supplier says he's pretty confident the RAID is rebuilding due to the fresh drive added.  It's a 1TB drive and it's been 4 hours.  Do you think it's rebuilding?  I'm afraid to turn it off because the hard drive light is on solid!
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Expert Comment

by:cfgtechs
ID: 39760486
3. there is a configuration utility within  ISM that will allow you to join the disks.

4. when you insert the dvd and boot,  press f8 or f5 to get into the repair options.

on the rebuild you will see a percentage progress.  if thats not showing up the you still need to get into ISM and initialize your new disk then join it to the failed mirror.
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Accepted Solution

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DaveWWW earned 0 total points
ID: 39760537
Turns out that it was the RAID configuration itself that was bad. I did a Ctrl-alt-del and restarted. I entered the Intel Matrix Storage Manager option ROM, and selected "Reset Disks to Non-RAID". It warns that data will be erased, but the user manual says that this warning can be safely ignored in RAID 1, which is a very disconcerting error message to get, when it's fake, for cryin' out loud.

Anyway, I had enough pussy-footing around, and reset the disks to non-RAID. I then removed the new blank disk, and restarted on a single C drive, and it seems to have worked.
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Expert Comment

by:cfgtechs
ID: 39760869
in my experience ISM is very low end on raid performance. ive seen it break a mirror after a server update/restart and would have two drives with C:\windows out of the blue with no forewarning at all. i would just use windows software raid for mirroring if the system is not being changed out.
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Author Closing Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 39791969
My tests showed the disks were actually fine, and that the RAID config itself had died.
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