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Replace Raptor in RIAD 1 with non-Raptor

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November 17, 2008 3:51:16 PM

Hi all,

Quick and dumb question: I have a RAID 1 array of 2 WD Raptors (74 GB). 1 looks like it is dead and now I can't see the array in windows. Looking under the mobos RAID utility it still shows 1 drive.

Can I replace the bad drive with a non-Raptor (ie a slower drive)? I don't care about performance I just need to get the array back online to move the data off of it.

Thanks!
a b G Storage
November 17, 2008 4:34:15 PM

Should work. It will be as fast as the slowest drive. Just make sure its 7GB or larger to make it work. Seeing as its raid1, you should be able to boot from the drive normally. All the data is on that disk.
November 17, 2008 4:58:33 PM

Heya,

Yes, you can. It will definitely act slower; as slow as the slowest drive. But you will be able to rebuild and grab the data. Though you shouldn't need to grab another drive to get your data. The point of RAID1 is to have two identical copies of the data on two drives. If one fails, and the other is intact, your data should be right there; no recovery process needed. Just plug the good drive into your SATA port and boot up and grab your data off. You don't need to buy a new drive over this. Also, your Raptor may not have gone bad; the array may have simple went down for some reason. So don't throw it out like a paper weight.

Cheers,
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November 17, 2008 9:35:17 PM

cspwned said:
Hi all,

Quick and dumb question: I have a RAID 1 array of 2 WD Raptors (74 GB). 1 looks like it is dead and now I can't see the array in windows. Looking under the mobos RAID utility it still shows 1 drive.

Can I replace the bad drive with a non-Raptor (ie a slower drive)? I don't care about performance I just need to get the array back online to move the data off of it.


I have an array just like yours that once per month (more or less) it shows problems. After some reboots and one or two rebuild it goes live again.

I think it's because there are small differences between the two Raptors that break synchronization between them. Probably my chipset is a bit old and it's not so stable and efficient as it should - ICH7R.

There are some RAID editions on 7200rpm drives that probably are more trustful for RAID configurations, just like the DDR2 Dual Channel Kits on memory. IMO the same principle applies: both components must be as equal as possible at a low level to keep stability.


a c 177 G Storage
November 17, 2008 10:47:33 PM

The idea of raid-1 is that you can continue operating if one drive fails. If this is not working, perhaps it is time to reconsider the value to you of raid-1.

The value of raid-1 for protecting data is that you can recover from a hard drive failure quickly.
It is for servers that can't afford any down time.
Recovery from a hard drive failure is just moments.
Fortunately hard drives do not fail often.
Mean time to failure is claimed to be on the order of 1,000,000 hours.(100 years)
Raid-1 does not protect you from other types of losses such as viruses,
software errors,raid controller failure, operator error, or fire...etc.
For that, you need EXTERNAL backup.
If you have external backup, and can afford some recovery time, then you don't need raid-1.
November 18, 2008 8:21:19 AM

geofelt said:
The idea of raid-1 is that you can continue operating if one drive fails. If this is not working, perhaps it is time to reconsider the value to you of raid-1.
(...)
If you have external backup, and can afford some recovery time, then you don't need raid-1.


Yes, that's the idea for having RAID1 at home: fast recovery especially for OS+Games&Other applications and cannot afford recovery time on a practical point of view. Besides that, it brings a slight performance improvement on data read from disk.

There are mainly 2 common reasons for RAID failure: 1) small low level differences on hard disks and 2) low quality of the RAID controller/chipset. In our situation with 2 Raptors both situations occur. Usually companies buy expensive RAID controller cards to mitigate point 2). In my case, after RAID failure, i get access to the system to rebuild again the "missing" hard disk on RAID set which usually takes 1 hour to rebuild around 70GB. During rebuild process the system goes a little slower.

Last time i tried to rebuild a 4GB from a Ghost image from DVD backup it took me about 1h to 2h...!

External disk backup is a good add-on to DVDs. But since it relies on a mechanical hard drive it's still good to keep those 32 DVD's also!
!