Server won't boot OS - won't do anything!

winstalla
winstalla used Ask the Experts™
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We have a Western Digital Sentinel rx4100 with 4 disks in a RAID5 configuration. One of the disks showed failed and has been replaced. However, the server won't initialise the new disk and won't boot the Operating System (Windows Storage Server 2008). The new disk won't show in the BIOS at all. The old disk will show with a SMART EVENT on it. A second disk is showing in the RAID as an OFFLINE MEMBER, the other two disks seem to be fine.

I have come to the conclusion that this server is now a big paperweight, but I am just trying one last hope to see if anyone can suggest any way to recover the data on this Server? There's not much, to be fair, but we really could do with it coming back. Sadly, the backup system on the Server was not properly tested and appears to have failed dismally, so we can't get much off that either!

Does anyone have any suggestions?
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PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
You probably need to force online that OFFLINE member. However, we need to know which server and RAID controller models you are working with.
Trenton KnewOwner / Computer Whisperer

Commented:
isn't there a raid utility pre-os in which you can rebuild the RAID?  I would think that would be the first step.
Scott SilvaNetwork Administrator

Commented:
There are some software utilities that might be able to recover the data, but the first thing I have to ask is is it possible you moved/removed one of the good disks while the system was on? That might explain the offline drive... Some controllers are more sensitive to drive position than others... Your best bet is try and recover what data you can and start over.... If you have a good backup, thats great... With 2 offline drives it is going to be a bit unlikely you get the system to boot again....
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Is the drive which you used as replacement - the same as the replaced? Some controllers wont accept non certified drives.

Author

Commented:
All,

In answer to the questions above:

The Server is a Western Digital Sentinel rx4100, but we don't know what RAID Controller it has as there is no RAID configuration utility available that we can get to. the best we can come up with is that it's an Intel one. The fear is, if we set the Offline Member disk to non-RAID, it loses the data on it, but if the server still won't come up because of the failed disk (which it probably won't) it won't be any use at all.

There is a basic RAID utility pre-OS, but it only all it allows us to do is Create or Delete a RAID Array or set disk(s) to non-RAID.

We have only removed a faulty disk when it had failed. We have, just in case, moved a working disk to the slot where the Offline Member disk is and vice-versa. The problem followed the Offline Member disk (effectively eliminating a cable problem) and this has now been moved back.

The drives are the same manufacturer, type, speed, size etc. We ordered using the part number and have confirmed that it is correct.

Thank you for your assistance!
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Is there an option to set the drive Online?
You can try to take backup image of existing drives and then reconfigure the entire RAID.
If you have another PC or server where you can connect this drives then you could use this free tool: http://www.freeraidrecovery.com/
To recover your data or entire system.
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
What is the server model at least?
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
WD Sentinel RX4100, no mention of what controller it has but probably fakeraid. 4 high capacity disks in RAID 5 so quite likely to fail to rebuild after a single disk properly due to bad blocks on other disks anyway.

http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/UM/ENG/4779-705094.pdf

> A second disk is showing in the RAID as an OFFLINE MEMBER, the other two disks seem to be fine.

Hmmm, replaced the wrong disk maybe?
Scott SilvaNetwork Administrator

Commented:
That was my first impression... You could always put the old drive back and see what happens...

Author

Commented:
The old disk claims to have a SMART Event on it. I have run it through the Western Digital Disk check tool and it has failed, whereas the other three (the two working and the OFFLINE MEMBER) all Passed OK.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Still a question - is there anywhere an option to make the OFFLINE MEMBER again ONLINE? Usually RAID utilities do have this option.

Author

Commented:
Not from what I can see - the only options in the RAID utility are Create a RAID Array, Delete a RAID Array and Make Disk(s) Non-Raid.
IT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Then try approach with http://www.freeraidrecovery.com/ or RAID Reconstructor from www.runtime.org to get at least your data or even take image from the RAID. Once you get the necessary data you can rebuild the server and copy the data back.

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