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Windows 2008 Server+Raid 1+Data loss

Posted on 2014-02-03
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Last Modified: 2016-12-08
Hello

the strangest event happened with my Windows 2008 Server. It got 6 disks, groupped by two in Raid 1 Array - Mirror (that's 3 usable logical disks). The mainboard uses two raid controllers so four of the disks are in one controller and two in the second one.
One morning the system was displaying the Loading Operating System text but did not purceed to loading the OS.
Rebooting a few times the system and the raid controller with 4 disks gave a different errors that the raid matrix is faulty/rebuilding/ or distroyed. In the end (just reboot/check the cables), I have reached the windows repair option, run the checkdisk on the system disk but nothing, the OS could not overpass the repair option. Checkdisk made corrections, fixes.
At that point I have connected the disks individually to another computer (using a usb/sata converter). The problem is that I cannot find all the data that was stored on the disks. Running Easus Recovery did not gave different results. *the four disk controller was reporting Rebuild status on the matrix, so on a new disk I have installed windows and Intel Raid controller software to do this. I have only rebuild one pair (two disks) but the information was not the most recent one and some was missing.
At this point I've reached the conclusion that the first controller has done something bad, I've left the other pair of disk untouched (other that scan with Easus) but I need the information that was stored on them. Might be that the raid sync was lost at some point even thou the disks show the same data if I check them individually.
I need advices on what to do next, my fear that connecting these two raid matrix disks to the system and running the rebuild of the matrix will lead to losing my data forever and as usual that data is important.

*none of the disks are failing (phisically)
*the second controller seems to have done it's job, those two disks connected to it are untouched by the data loss
*windows was runing the "Previous Versions" feature


thank you,
cosmin
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Question by:Cosmin Curticapean
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Expert Comment

by:Kash
ID: 39829158
hi,
   you have mentioned you tried to connect disk individually. I hope you didn't initialize them as you would be stuck because as they were the part of a RAID, the data alongwith config info would have saved on RAID and booting them separately would have broken the RAID. In that case you have lost everything.

I take it you had a software RAID of some kind. Looks to me like some kind of corruption and either it got corrupted or destroyed. Again, you are back to square one. Either rebuild the RAID and then recover data from the backup if any.

I would suggest you have a hardware RAID instead of a software one. Good luck
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Author Comment

by:Cosmin Curticapean
ID: 39829167
if you refer to the windows initialization (from Disk Management), I didn't go there, the disks were available just by connecting. The RAID is for sure software based. Basically the repair option is the only one that could (by a mirracle) recover the data, even thou individually the disks show no trace of the data?
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Expert Comment

by:Kash
ID: 39829268
it is definitely a software raid if you could see in disk management.

Has the repair option done any good so far.

is it a production server and if yes, have you got the backup ?
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Author Comment

by:Cosmin Curticapean
ID: 39829276
some of the backup exists, some doesn't. the data is huge (500GB) and i have incremental backup done on the system onto separate media.
The repair option did not do any good on two disks, on the other two, that were hit harder I didn't performed yet. I was saving them till the best solution comes. (maby data recovery software).
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Expert Comment

by:Kash
ID: 39829477
good luck with that. I am not sure if data recovery software will do any good in case of a RAID setup. I will be interested to find out about that.

I would jot a brand new RAID and start the restore from the backup.
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Accepted Solution

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Cosmin Curticapean earned 0 total points
ID: 40332104
closing: the information was lost, took the drives to two different data recovery companies. Also the cause of this was undetermined. Guess is that the software controler caused this, but, like I said is just a guess.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Cosmin Curticapean
ID: 40338637
-the information was lost.
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