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RAID 5 non-member drives - how to add back or recover?

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March 22, 2010 5:43:52 PM

I recently upgraded the firmware on my motherboard and loaded failsafe defaults and afterwards now have 2 disks in an original 4 disk RAID 5 array showing as non-raid. The drives seem to come up fine (have not failed at all) but are shown as non-members.

I'm using Gigabyte GA-p35-DS3P motherboard with Intel ICH9R chipset.

Two drives are still showing in the array (drives 3 and 4) but drives 2 and 5 are non-members (no-raid). What is the best way to make sure I don't lose my data? I suspect when the BIOS disabled the RAID controller the system booted and somehow may have written something to the two drives that are now showing as non-members perhaps in the Host Protected Area????

Is there any advice short of trying to use R-Studio or similar as a virtual array to copy the data off? Is there anyway to add the drives back into the array or fix the HPA area so the system will see them as the missing drives - at least one of them so I have a degraded array to work with? Any help would be greatly appreciated from the experts - its so frustrating knowing the data is there but the intel storage console doesn't seem very robust at all.

Thanks in advance.
a b V Motherboard
a b G Storage
March 23, 2010 4:09:58 AM

I'm not entirely familiar with the procedure, but may I stress that you need to back up everything important before you try playing around with your RAID array?
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March 23, 2010 7:05:34 PM

Thanks - I've opted to go the r-studio route and it seems to be working.

After calling Intel (horrible tech support that would just have me lose my data) and Gigabyte technical support (who simply said I have a big problem and referred me over to ontrackrecovery which could cost as much as $4500 to recover), I am making progress with r-studio. Intel's support person would have had me destroying my data - unreal how RAID doesn't operate as perfectly as it should as this is not an uncommon issue (losing a member drive or two) when upgrading the motherboard bios!!! Class action suit for those who lost data and hours seems plausible.

What fun its been and will be! :cry:  Not sure I'll ever go back to running raid 5 again! :) 
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April 6, 2010 3:23:11 PM


I have just done the same thing with a RAID0 set up.
It was a gigabyte mb too. I reset the BIOS because gigabyte told me too for another issue. I have now lost my 2Tb RAID !!!
??
Can I ask if I have the same problem on my hands with RAID0 as with RAID5?
thanks remainz :( 
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a b V Motherboard
a c 127 G Storage
April 7, 2010 5:17:56 PM

When dealing with broken arrays, remember anything you do may destroy your data permanently; for example re-creating the RAID or rebuilding; any user action may trigger a procedure which permanently destroys data.

Your best shot is: stay calm, don't do anything stupid. You can recover any broken RAID just by booting ubuntu linux livecd and it should be auto-mounted; simply open the home folder and check the "... Filesystem" on the left side. If you can access your files that way, you can copy them via the network so you have a full backup of your data. Then re-create the array.

Remember: RAID IS NO BACKUP - if you run RAID5 without backup that means your data is not very important to you and you don't care that much losing the data. If that's wrong, then your choice for a single RAID5 array is wrong also.

RAID is a great tool, but especially home users have too much trust in the proprietary RAID drivers that come with the motherboards; they will frequently have array splits and disks dropped out of the array.
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