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RAID-5 vs non-member disc (safe recovery needed)

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May 31, 2009 5:41:12 PM

Hi everyone,

I have an Intel DG33-TL motherboard, and have been using the RAID onboard for about 12 months now with no problem. I have had a trouble with cooling today and when I removed the lid of the case, I heard one the drives spin down as I touched one of the power cables, Windows blue screened and then when I boot now, the raid bios reports disc (1) as an offline member. I am really paranoid because all of my photos are on the array (non-backed up of course.... that would have been the smart thing to do)... so now I am stressing very bad!

Now the raid array is reported as non-bootable, therefore I can not boot into windows and recover.

I am picking up a new HDD tomorrow, however I need to know the best way to recover/replace the drive which has stopped working and NOT loose any data..

Can anyone please help, I am very stressed here!

Many thanks in advance
a c 126 G Storage
May 31, 2009 5:53:27 PM

First of all, howmany disks do you have and in what RAID configuration? Did you use the MatrixRAID ability to combine different RAID sets on the same disks, like using RAID on partitions?

RAID5 should be able to cope with just one drive failure, it should be able to boot and allow read/write access, but show as Degraded because effectively a degraded RAID5 offers the same redundancy as RAID0.
May 31, 2009 7:32:32 PM

Hi,

Sorry about the lack of details.

I have the system configured as RAID-5, comprising of 3x 500GB SATA drives

On the bios screen,

Raid ID: 0
Level : RADI5(Parity)
Status: FAILED
Bootable: NO

Under the physical discks:
0: Member Disk(0)
1: Offline Member
2: Member Disk(0)

It was my understanding that the system should still boot using raid-5 with only one failure....

Does this help at all?
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a c 126 G Storage
May 31, 2009 7:36:57 PM

Maybe it requires that you rebuild the array first. Personally, i would feel more comfortable by backing up the raw disk contents of both members still alive.

If you have no access to another operating system, and don't want to work with Linux, you can try entering the RAID BIOS utility and select the Rebuild option applicable to your RAID5 array. Its not without risk, since many "fake RAID" implementations on Windows are of poor design.
June 1, 2009 4:34:10 AM

Try removing the offline member disk. This will leave two good disks and a failed volume. If I recall correctly, the OROM will automatically recover a failed volume when it can (it seems to get confused by the offline member and doesn't auto-recover).

This should let you boot with a degraded RAID5.
June 7, 2009 11:52:38 AM

Booting a degraded RAID-5 is not a good idea, as you have no protection and can seriously damage your data. The first thing you should do, as suggested, is to backup your other drives. Create a backup image before proceeding with any boot/recovery attempt.
Then, you should be able to experiment until you get the array working again.
However, what you should probably do to avoid further risking the data is to turn to a professional RAID data recovery company for assistance.
Some RAID recovery services are provided remotely, no need to deliver your disks anywhere.
!