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Author Topic: Any RAID experts here?  (Read 826 times)
m610
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« on: August 29, 2009, 11:49:00 PM »

Well, I had a RAID1 array for my system drive.  Had!

When I got back in town on Wednesday and turned on my PC one drive had failed.  I copied all of my personal files, I hope, to another drive.  I had aonter one ready to take it's place but I had to leave town again in a few hours.  So, I turned the PC off and left , came back and turned it on, and the second drive failed.  The whole array failed withing 2 days.

I bought new drives today and the OS (XP, sp3) is up and running again, and the new 1 TB RAID1 array is partitioned and formatted and is working.  But... the second array, the one that did not fail, doesn't come up in Windows.  The BIOS sees it. Device manager sees it and says it is working.  Disk Manager sees it, says it is healthy and active, gets the disk spaced used stats right, and even gets its name right, but the only option it gives me is to delete the partition.  It is formatted and has files on I that I need to keep.  Seems to me it just need a drive letter.

Any ideas?
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 11:50:37 PM by m610 » Logged

m610
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2009, 10:16:57 PM »

Fixed it.  Took some time, and searching.

Turns out that Norton GoBack was the culprit.  I had it installed before the failure and it seems that it modifies the MBA database, or whatever it is called.  Symantec has a program to take care of this.  You download the ISO image file, copy it to a CD, reboot from the CD, select opton 1, then wait for about an hour and a half, and finally reboot, and now everything is good.  Well, except for the two drives that failed, and for these I am beginning to suspect a driver problem that causes random SMART errors.
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LSixer
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009, 10:55:28 AM »

Interesting. We do in fact use RAID here at my facility, but, they are on servers. That aspect of admin is out of my scope as I am the database guy. Thankfully, here, I dont have to be a jack of all trades and as it goes with that, expert in nothing.
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m610
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2009, 04:47:01 PM »

Final outcome.

I've replaced my 2 x 500 GB RAID1 array that held my OS and other files with 2 x 1TB drives, installed the OS and a few apps, and thhat's working.

After further testing of the failed drives it looks like one did indeed fail, or is not reliable, which is the same thing.  I used Seatools to check them.  The first drive failed the short test and locked up during the long test.  S.M.A.R.T. reported that it had operated at temperatures over 70C.  Huh?  The other drive, which was mounted next to the first, had no S.M.A.R.T. errors to report and passed the short test.  Now I just needed to find a way to get my old files off it.  Most was backed up, but not my email or browser files.

I found a file recovery tool at Seagate and was all ready to try out the demo version, just to see if I could get my files back.  I installed the still-good drive in an external SATA bay and booted the system, and it booted to THAT drive!  That was probably the best luck I could have had, because now I could just copy my files to another drive.  I guess the boot order in my BIOS had reverted to using the Promise SATA card.  I backed up my files asap, plus I downloaded a program that would backup my Thunderbird email and FireFox settings and backed them up.  I shut down, removed the former RAID1 C: drive, rebooted, and the new system came up.  I then installed Firefox, then restored my old settings.  I then repeated the process for Thunderbird.  Done.  Now I can finally put the top back on the case, finish installing apps, and get back to work.
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kosai03
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2009, 07:32:59 PM »

This is why I don't like consumer RAID very much
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m610
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2009, 08:35:50 PM »

In this case the redundancy saved me.

I need a better backup strategy.
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