Windows Server failure RAID

Michael McGuire
Michael McGuire used Ask the Experts™
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We had a power outage last nigh and I came to work with the following message on the server:

The following VDs have missing disk: 00
If you proceed (or load the configuration utitlity), these VDs will be marked OFFLINE and will be inaccessible.  Please check your cables and ensure all disk are present.  Press any key to continue, or 'C' to load the configuration utility

The server is setup as a RAID 5 with 4 disks.  It appears that 2 of the 4 disk are flashing amber.  What are the chances that 2 disk go down at exactly the same time.  Any suggestions here.  Please HELP!!!!
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Dell server?

You may need to just force the disks online in the RAID controller.

BUT, two drives CAN fail simultaneously.  There's a reason people haven't recommended  RAID 5 for years and instead recommend RAID 6.

No UPS?  GET ONE!  And configure it to shutdown the server GRACEFULLY in the event of a power failure.

REALLY hope you have good backups!
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
Yes it's a Dell Server.  We do have a UPS, but something must of failed on it.  I do backup the server every night.  So you thing I should just go into the configuration Utility and try to force the disk online?  I haven't done anything as of yet, as its still in the state that it has been since I got here.
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer Lindows

Commented:
Have seen hp raid 5 also been destroyed after outage.

I am with Lee hoping for solid backups.....
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Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
I haven't tried just re-power the server yet.  I wonder I should try that before I get into the RAID Utility?
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer Lindows

Commented:
You can try cold starting the server, in this link is described force disks online in perc raid bios.

Cheers
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Boot to the controller BIOS utility (CTRL-R probably), highlight the controller on the first page (VD MGMT), and hit F2 ... if you have Foreign configuration options, attempt to IMPORT the foreign configuration.

You don't want to force a drive online if you know which one is the most current, AND you won't have the option to force it online if it is flagged as foreign.

What server and controller model are we talking about?
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
Dell PowerEdge T310  PERC
Controller: 6/i SAS Internal RAID
Hard Drive Configuration RAID 5 Add-in PERC6i/H700

I
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
I can't even boot to the RAID controller now.  The option is not even available anymore????
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Power down and try reseating PERC card.
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
I can get back into the RAID Configuration.  It says RAID Offline and shows 2 of the Physical Disks as missing
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
Also the configuration Utility seem to freeze up after a short time in it
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
Screen shot from RAID Utility  Here is a screen shot of RAID Utility
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer Lindows

Commented:
You have the raid selected, look under physical. PD
Select one offline disk and hit f2.
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
It will not expand the Physical Disks?
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
Now I am back to not being able to get into the RAID utility again.  Trying a complete power off again
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer Lindows

Commented:
It will not expand the Physical Disks?

Did you goto PD mgmt?
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
when I do a complete power off and power on I can back into the RAID Utility.  But still can't expand the Physical Disk section.  Hitting F2 has no effect on the PhysicAL DISK SECTION AT THE MAIN
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
No I was in VD Mgmt.  But can't figure out how to get to PD Mgmt tab
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer Lindows
Commented:
On the picture you are in VD mgmt, go to PD mgmt.
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer Lindows

Commented:
Is it control N?
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
Ok got to PD Mgmt.  here is screen shot.  Only 2 of the 4 disk are showing up.

PD Mgt
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
After about 5 mins the Utility will consistently freeze up
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer Lindows

Commented:
It is not seeing the disks at all... what happens if you pull one faulthy drive and put it back in, any response?

The freezing up gives me the feeling you controller or backplane is defective. Do you have active Dell support?
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
OK i am just to the point where I want to start completely over.  I just wan to rebuild the RAID and clear all hard drives.  I deleted the VD, but still can olny see 2 of the 4 hard drives.  Is there a way to completely clear everything!!
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
Ok so I was able to clear all configurations.  I cleared the foriegn status, now I can see all hard drives.  I created a new RAID 5, with a the hard drives.  Looks like I am starting over and restoring from backup tape
Natty GregIn Theory (IT)
Commented:
Power off the server, plug out the power cord, with that done press the power button to dispel any remaining power, wait ten minutes then plug it back it in and let it boot up, if problem persist a rebuild of the server is in order, and I do recommend raid 10, it has better fault tolerance and performance, as mention above raid 5 should not be used let alone in mission critical environment.
" I created a new RAID 5, with a the hard drives.  Looks like I am starting over and restoring from backup tape"

Nooooooo!! Please upgrade to RAID-6 or RAID10
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer Lindows

Commented:
Or raid5 plus spare, is a lot quicker.... all depends requirements.
lets hope everything is up and running by now and the little panic has gone.
Patrick, you obviously haven't been following Storage recently.

RAID-5 has been deprecated! The risk of a second disk failing while the first rebuilds has now got unacceptably high. We do not recommend RAID-5 any more (with or without a spare).
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
Ok, I wanted to give an update.  I have completely rebuilt the server.  I have restores my data files back from backup.  I did take eveyones advice by not using a RAID 5.  However I had to do something a little different because of timing and hardware.  I had to replace 2 of the 4 drives from the raid.  So when I went to rebuild I only had 2 drives to start.  So I setup a RAID 1 with the 2 drives and installed the O/S.  I just got 2 new drives which I just setup also as a RAID 1 for my DATA.  I we be reinstalling our accounting software and management software.  Thanks god I do full backup's everynight.  The load on this server is really minimal because this is a very small office with only about 5 people.
Michael McGuireSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
Thanks for everyone's help and suggestions.  I ultimately rebuilt the entire server.  I took everyone suggestions and didn't use RAID 5.  However I ended up using 2 RAID 1's.  OS one of the RAID 1's and Data on the other RAID 1.

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