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Drive not seen by system

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February 7, 2010 12:33:14 AM

Hello,I have 2x sata drives in a raid 1 array. Bios 'sees' the two drives but, when the system has booted the array does not show. One of the drives (when connected via usb) is seen by the system as F: the other idoesn't show. How do I format the drive so I can rebuild the array? Thanx

More about : drive system

February 7, 2010 4:32:00 AM

It sees the raid card which is (supposed to) have 2 arrays attached. Explorer sees 1 array but not the other. Bios and raid bios see all drives. Digitus 4 port sata PCI card. When I attach a USB controller to the drives - one is seen and one not. I've tried delete/rebuild but to no avail
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February 7, 2010 6:49:37 AM

Quote:
Windows disk management can see another drive?



It sees the raid card which is (supposed to) have 2 arrays attached. Explorer sees 1 array but not the other. Bios and raid bios see all drives. Digitus 4 port sata PCI card. When I attach a USB controller to the drives - one is seen and one not. I've tried delete/rebuild but to no avail
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February 7, 2010 3:58:34 PM

If you have 2 drives hooked up in a RAID 1 array, windows will only show 1 drive.
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February 7, 2010 6:50:19 PM

Bios and raid bios see all 4 drives.
Device manager shows the raid card as a 'drive', but not the individual drives that make up the array.
Explorer only shows one array (not 2). That array works fine.
Previously worked but went weird one hot day and I'm trying to recover/rebuild.

I have a sata to usb converter from an old external usb drive I can use to 'test' the drives but it showed one drive ok and the other was 'invisible'. As of last night, they are both invisible when connected via usb (yet were visible in raid bios 5 mins before). Drives are 3-6 months old Seagate 1tb. The card supports 2 arrays of 2 drives.

Thanx
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a c 342 G Storage
February 8, 2010 5:56:12 PM

It sounds like one of your RAID1 arrays has had a problem, but the other is OK. In most RAID systems you have utility tools to handle these things, but that usually means you gotta do some manual-reading to learn how to use them.

IF you are booting from a fifth drive unit and all four of the drives on your RAID card are just data storage systems, I suggest you disconnect the good RAID1 pair to avoid risking damage to them as you work. BUT, if the good RAID1 array is your boot device, you can't do that, of course.

Most RAID1 systems have four key features you need. The first is a trouble diagnosis toolset. You usually have to enter the RAID configuration utility and it will show you both RAID array systems, with details of which drive is in which array, each array's condition, etc. I expect you will find in there that it says one of your RAID1 arrays has trouble, and it will tell you exactly which of its two disks is still OK, and which has the problem. Now you know which things to work on.

The second important tool is a utility to rebuild the array. IF the messages tell you that the problem is relatively minor, you may be able to correct it by designating which disk is known to have good information (pay attention to what the screens say about this) and which is confused. Then you may be able simply to "rebuild" the array, which essentially is to copy all the good data to the faulty disk and reconfigure the pair as a RAID1 array again.

However, if that cannot work, there is a third utility to "break" that faulty array back into two independent disks. When you do this, the good half of the array becomes a perfectly good independent non-RAID disk with all its data. The other disk is also independent now, but has some fault in it. You can go to work on the faulty disk independently. It may have problems that can be fixed, or it may be that you have to replace it completely. If replacement is required, try to get one VERY similar to the remaining good drive. It does not have to be an exact match, but that is the best option if it is possible.

Whichever route you take, you end up with a repaired or replaced drive. Now you use the fourth utility. It allows you to Rebuild a failed RAID1 array by adding to the known-good drive a new empty drive that must have all the data copied to it. When you do this, be especially SURE that you designate the drive with good data as the Source, and the new or repaired drive as the Destination for the rebuild operation. Doing it backwards, of course, would destroy your data! Then the utility will re-configure these two into a good RAID1 array again. This is very similar to the second option above.

As I said, all of this should be covered in detail in the manual for your RAID card and its utilities. Read it carefully to understand the exact details, then follow it.
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February 8, 2010 6:32:08 PM

Thanks for that - What is the utility to 'break' the array called?

I do boot off a fifth drive and these are just data drives. Both empty fortunately but as they are invisible to explorer, I can't format them via the sata/usb converter and then add them to the raid card.

The good array works fine.

Raid management software recognizes the drive and describes it as 'Reserved' which sounds like it needs breaking as you suggest. (Other drive is formatted and ok)

Thanks
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a c 342 G Storage
February 8, 2010 6:41:14 PM

Most often all these RAID management tools are within one utility that is menu-driven. I do not expect that you would have many utilities with a command-line type of interface to use each separately. The whole thing, plus its manual, ought to be on a CD that came with your controller card.
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February 9, 2010 10:21:21 AM

Thanks Paperdoc. Unfortunately the cd has drivers only and the manual is the usual Chinese and VERY basic. I did read of being able to format a drive via DOS somehow but suspect a new drive is the easiest answer.
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a c 342 G Storage
February 9, 2010 2:28:14 PM

I see what you mean about lack of info on their website. Best clue is that it uses a Silicon Image 3114 chip. Try looking on the Silicon Image website for info and maybe the RAID utilities for that particular chip.

I'm still trying to figure out how you got anything working. Somehow ou connected four drives to the bard and ended up with two RAID1 arrays set up, although one is not working right. How did those get set up? did you have to press a key according to a screen prompt, and then set some configuration options? did you have to tell it which drives to include in the first array, and which for the second array? Most RAID management systems require you to do some setting of configuration options.
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February 10, 2010 6:52:58 AM

The board has 6 ports of which 4 can be used at a time (2 are externals).

I originally set up each array one at a time using empty drives and the included software with no problems, following the instructions but one hot day the entire system crashed and it went into rebuild mode except it didn't rebuild one array.

I had a sata to usb board converter from an external usb drive case that I used to try each drive.

Array one is fine (2x1.5tb in raid 1) the second array was 2x 1tb in raid 1 mode.

Now, the sataraid5 management software 'knows and sees' there are 4 drives but just goes into space when asked to delete/create/repair the second array. Once windows xp is up and running, array one is there in explorer (working fine) but array 2 isn't there and the drives don't show individually either.

When plugged in via the usb adaptor, the drives still do not show (they spin up as usual).

I wondered if they had perhaps 1/2 formatted and therefore only the 'serial' number was visible to the raid software but the 'directory' was corrupted and therefore invisible to the OS for reading or formatting. Therefore, perhaps they need formatting like they do after manufacture when it leaves the factory.
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a c 342 G Storage
February 10, 2010 12:41:21 PM

Let me get something clear in my own mind. One RAID1 array is not visible or working. You have tried individually reconnecting each of that array's two drives to a computer as a plain non-RAID drive, and it sort of works. I think you find that one drive is not recognized at all in the "separate connection" setup but the other is. Now, just how "recognized" is that "good" drive? Can you actually access all of its files when it is treated as a single drive unit? If you can do that, you have the way to preserve all its contents.

You could proceed from here two ways. One is to back all that data up to another single drive. Then you fix the faulty one or buy a new one to match the good drive. Next you wipe the good drive clean by deleting all its Partitions. Then you install both the good old drive and the replacement (or repaired) mate for it on your card and follow all the normal procedures to create a new RAID1 array. Finally you restore the data from the backup to the array.

As an alternative, you could start by buying a new pair of drives to create the second RAID1 array. Once it is running, you hook up your old drive with its data as a single drive and just copy all the data to the RAID1 array. Finally, you go to the old drive and Delete all its Partitions, then Create a new Partition on it and Format it, and use the drive as a sixth unit in your machine.

Now, back up. If you can NOT read ALL of the files on the "good" member of the RAID1 array, but still want to preserve that data, look for either Partition Recovery software or File Recovery software. There are many around, some free, some you pay for. One that many have used successfully is GetDataBack - comes in both FAT32 and NTFS versions. Check their website. They have a free trial offer that will show online exactly what it can recover. If you think that does your whole job you pay and it does the work, leaving you with your own licensed copy. If you don't like the projected result, don't pay and nothing on your disk is changed. What I'm thinking here is that a RAID1 array member disk has some data in its Partition Table and MBR that is different from a "normal" stand-alone disk and that may be what prevents proper access outside of the RAID controller environment. I don't know if some recovery software can fix that and make it fully usable as a non-RAID disk IF it is not already.

Anyway, that last bit was trying to recover data for full access as a stand-alone (non-RAID) disk if it is not already accessible. BUT if you really do not want to get that data back and can afford to just lose it all, you can proceed directly to wiping it all out. The simplest way is to Delete all Partitions on that good disk using Windows Disk Management. Then you buy a matching new unit (or repair the faulty one) and re-create the RAID1 array using those 2 disk units.

I said "fix the faulty one" a few times. Sometimes you can if the problem is simple. The tools you need may be free, depends on who made the disk, etc. IF the faulty unit is from Seagate, go to their website and look for Seatools for DOS. WD has Data Lifegard. In each case I prefer to download the version that has you create and burn your own CD-R with all the diagnostic tools on it. You then boot from that disk in your optical drive and it installs temporarily a mini-DOS in your RAM that allows you to run all the tests completely independent of your Windows OS. However, in your case it would require that you connect the faulty disk being examined directly to a mobo port, and not to your PCI card. Run all the tests you can on your faulty disk and they will tell you what problems are found in the hardware. A few may be small problems that the tools can fix for you. Others will make it clear there is no fix, so you can quit at that point. It's even possible that there is NO hardware problem and it all was corrupted data on that disk that caused the problem. If you believe your faulty disk should be replaced under a manufacturer's warranty, they probably will want to know the results of all these tests, so write them down. When you're done you will know for sure whether the faulty disk is now OK, or must be replaced.
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February 18, 2010 10:05:38 PM

Well, gave in and bought a new drive, rebooted and away we go - 2nd array is fine. Took the old (dead?) drive, connected it via usb adaptor and formatted it. (Took 3+ hours) and it works fine.
Grrrrrrr - Windoze
Anyway, thanks for all the help, really appreciated Paperdoc and others.
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March 2, 2010 6:35:49 PM

Best answer selected by grumblenz.
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