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Rebuild RAID 1

Posted on 2014-03-04
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Last Modified: 2014-03-04
I have a RAID 1 system with a clicking HD.  The system won't boot.

I tried disconnecting the clicking drive... still will not boot.  Thought the benefit of RAID 1 was it would still boot.

Anyway, I purchased a new drive and wish to rebuild the RAID.  

I am using Intel Matrix Storage Management in a DOS environment UI.  The OS is/was Vista.

Ctrl + I shows me four options... create, delete, reset disks to non-raid and exit.

I pulled the clicking drive, attached the new drive and clicked option 1 to create.  I received a "not enough space" message box.

Can any one tell me how to proceed please?
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Question by:classnet
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by:ZabagaR
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I really dislike the Intel Matrix Storage RAID just for this reason. I've previously used them for RAID1, RAID5, and a bad drive often results in an unbootable system - - contrary to the point of having the RAID array.

Do you currently have 1 good original drive and 1 new/blank drive connected? You should.

When you do CTRL+I, you should be prompted to "rebuild the array" to the new disk you've inserted.  You won't be picking items 1-4 at all. "1" - is create a brand new array which you don't want...you need to rescue the existing one.  The matrix manager should detect the failure and ask if you want to use the new disk to rebuild to...BUT....I've seen quiet a few times when it just flat out doesn't...and I don't know why.

One thing I've noticed is that often with those intel matrix arrays, you get data corruption when a disk goes bad.   Since you're mirroring, you end up mirroring the corrupted data to both drives and end up with a non-bootable system. One of my clients had this same problem on a RAID1 intel matrix mirror LAST WEEK! I couldn't boot either disk. I was able to boot with a rescue CD and see one of the drives & copy their data onto my network.
You may end up having to boot with a rescue CD or another hard disk, and just hang one good drive off of the system to read & recover data.

Is the 1 drive definitely dead? I usually try to boot from each one separately when my RAID1 goes bad. But if the other drive is dead & clicking, no point I guess.
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by:classnet
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ZabagaR... It did prompt to rebuild the failed array but, yesterday, I selected no as I wanted to look at some detail.  Now it doesn't give that prompt any longer.

So, I have attached a new drive and one of the originals.

I don't think we are married to RAID, but the computer won't boot at all.
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by:ZabagaR
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Do you have another blank disk? I'm wondering if you gave it a new disk, if it would re-prompt to rebuild.

Or...if you don't have another disk...what if you went into the array manager with just 1 original disk present, exited out, then came back in to it with your new disk attached again. Maybe that would kick it so the "rebuild" message would appear again.

If you can't rebuild your only choice is to use 1 good drive and boot with the Vista DVD and try to recover the OS. You could do a "repair install" of Vista. Depending on the nature of the boot problem, you might be able to boot cd vista DVD to the "recovery console" to repair the boot sector or whatever the damaged piece is, instead of an entire "repair install"
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by:classnet
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ZabagaR... what do you think about reset disks to NON-RAID?

Just want to get this booting now...
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by:ZabagaR
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No harm picking it but I don't think the manager will accept that option as a valid choice.
(If it did let you choose it - but I don't think it will - you can end up wiping the disk...so maybe I shouldn't say no harm picking it)
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by:classnet
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So, how does one break, or otherwise, get out of a RAID 1 configuration?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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A few comments:
*Haven't used Intel RAID so I cannot comment on the specifics on that.
*RAID is for redundancy.  If one drive fails, you don't lose your data (except for RAID 0 which isn't really RAID by definition).
*Perhaps you didn't have the RAID setup at all - if you're not familiar enough with RAID, perhaps you THOUGHT you set it up but didn't.
*With a RAID 1 you can often (but not always and again, not sure with Intel) just attach the drive to a computer with an operating system and access the files even if it won't boot.  One reason it won't boot might be because Windows expects itself to be installed on a particular drive on a particular controller and it's not anymore.
*The message about disk space - the drive MUST be equal to or greater than the original drive.  There are differences in drive geometry and if you have a drive even 1K smaller, it won't rebuild.
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by:ZabagaR
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Did you try picking 'reset to non-raid'? I don't think that will fix your boot up problem though. You'll still be left with an unbootable disk...it just won't be considered a part of a raid1 set anymore.

Intel says you won't wipe the disk by picking "reset to non raid". see below.

You should be able to delete a RAID 1 mirror without losing data if the RAID 1 volume is the only volume on the array or the first volume in a matrix RAID configuration.
Note      : Data loss can occur if the RAID 1 volume is the second volume in a matrix RAID configuration.

After you delete a RAID 1 volume or reset the hard drive members of the RAID 1 volume to non-RAID, you can access your data with one of the following options:

If the RAID 1 volume has an operating system, boot to either of the hard drives.
If the RAID 1 volume does not have an operating system, access your files on either of the hard drives from Windows*.
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by:ZabagaR
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I think the only shot you have at booting to Vista is by using the Vista DVD and trying to repair or recover the OS.

I've been working with those Intel Matrix Arrays for about 4 yrs....have seen all sorts of weird problems I never saw with a robust RAID product.
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by:classnet
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I'll try the reset option... yes, the RAID was, for sure, a RAID 1.
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Okay. It may not consider it a valid menu option unless you have both original disks inserted.
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by:classnet
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Thanks for the assist.  This was a Vista machine.  Will just get a W7 computer and copy data (data still looks in tact).
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by:ZabagaR
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Okay. From what I've experienced, I've always been able to rescue data off even though windows may not boot. Those Intel Matrix RAIDs aren't very good. I'd avoid those if you can help it. Where I work, we have a few hundred in the field over a span of years....I've encountered lots of problems you wouldn't have on a server class machine with a "real" RAID card.
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by:classnet
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Thanks
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