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Dell Server RAID 5 Virtual Drives & Recovery

Posted on 2014-03-10
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Last Modified: 2016-12-08
Hi, I have a Dell T300 server with a 4 disk RAID 5 controlled by a PERCENT 6/i controller and running Server 2008 R2.

I lost two drives and have replaced them with Dell certified hard disks. I also made a system state back up on an external drive before it crashed.


I replaced the two bad drives and initialized both of them through the RAID controller and it shows four physical disks online. .

I then created two RAID 5 virtual disks:

- Disk 0 (300 GB) and Disk 1 (balance of available space, about 2.6 TB).

I load windows but I only see Disk 0 on Windows Explorer.

The Server Manager, though, shows both VD's but only Disk 0 has a drive letter assigned to it. TI need to a drive letter to Disk 1 so I can see it as a drive in windows explorer.

 

But the most perplexing thing is recovering the system state.

I boot up by hitting F8 and open windows in Active Directory Repair Mode, open Windows Server Backup, select Recover and go through the bouncing ball.

I see the backup folder on my external drive, select it and start the process but after just a few seconds it tells me that the Server Backup Service has stopped.????

Help and Thanks, Clint
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Question by:Clint Jones
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9 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:Clint Jones
ID: 39919047
I figure out that the drive was just unallotted.  I used the total amount of the drive to create the 2.6TB but when it created it.  It made 2 unallocated spaces.  Once was 2.4TB and the other 445GB.

However I can not span or format the 445GB. It remains empty space. Do I need to go back into the raid and remake the VD drive???  The Disk 0 of 300GB where windows server OS is created and windows is running but do delete the Disk 1 in RAID 5 and recreate it???
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Expert Comment

by:CompProbSolv
ID: 39919130
You should be able to use the 2.6T as a single drive, but you must initialize it with a GPT partition table (instead of MBR).  More info on this here:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2581408

You don't need to change the RAID settings, just reset the drive in Disk Manager.  Of course, I am presuming that there is no data on the 2.4T drive because it will be lost in the process.

I am not sure what is the issue with the restoration not working correctly.  I've used Windows Server Backup to restore successfully before without significant issues.  When performing a full recovery, I have always done it from the Windows DVD.
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Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 39920058
Did both disks fail at the same time?
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Author Comment

by:Clint Jones
ID: 39920414
@CompProbSolv:

Yes there is no data on the 2.4TB.  To reiterate the RAID 5 has 2 Virtual Disks that were created:  Disk 0: 300GB which has the Windows 2008 R2 OS and is the C Drive.

Disk 1: Is weird in that Windows Disk Manager. Disk 1 shows a partition. When I saw it before I did anything.  There were 2 unallocated spaces: 2.4TB space and a 455GB Space.

I was able to make the 2.4TB an active partition and it created the E: Drive but the 455GB space will allow nothing. Can not format, make active or span. Nothing. So it sets there as unused space.

When the 2 VD were created the Disk 0: was set to 300GB while Disk 1: was told to use all remaining space.

RAID's are not my strongest point I am not uneducated but just an expert either.

Should I go into the raid configuration software at start-up and delete the 2.4TB and try to recreate another Disk 1 or ????  And a dumb question but I like to feel confident. I know they are virtual drives so deleting disk 1 will not effect disk 0???

Thanks for helping me.

@Gerald Connolly:

Yes there were 4 drives and 2 of them failed. Got 2 new dell certified drives and reinitialized. They all came online after the replacement.

Thanks, Clint
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Author Comment

by:Clint Jones
ID: 39920417
Also question on the system state.  This is a small company. 2 PC's, 2 Laptops and 2 iPad's and 1 server.

Should I try to import the system state of the old OS into the new OS.

I am thinking to start anew. Setting up a new domain with old domain name and adding back the PC's etc...  Only thing is taking the Win 7 Pro PC's of the Domain and adding them back so they have a new SID with new domain etc.  Will cause them to lose there custom settings like desktop to browser etc???
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Assisted Solution

by:CompProbSolv
CompProbSolv earned 250 total points
ID: 39921083
I would suggest changing Disk 1 to GPT and then formatting it as a single drive.  It should allow the full space.

I would certainly try a full restore (booting from the DVD) before reinstalling Windows.
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Accepted Solution

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PowerEdgeTech earned 250 total points
ID: 39923811
In Disk Management, as has already been suggested, you need to right-click Disk 1, Convert to GPT.  Windows CANNOT see a disk larger than 2TB unless it is a GPT disk.
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Author Comment

by:Clint Jones
ID: 39929879
h I see the 2TB issue... OK with disk 1 - I do not have to do this with the RAID Controller  6/i controller.

Its all done in windows disk manager???

I do you make a GPT. MBR and Active partition I understrand but not a GPT.

Any Advice???
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 39930735
???

I don't understand what you wrote.

Yes, GPT is handled in Disk Management, NOT on the PERC.
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