Need raid 5 help

So I dont know a whole lot about raids, failry new to them but i knew i wanted one for all my media. I have 4x1.5tb WD caviar green hard drives, About 30 hours after the setup of the raid, it failed. at that point me and my friend who set it up decided just to rebuild it from scratch because i didnt have a whole lot on it at the time. Then about 5 days later it failed again, this time i let it rebuild to see if anything was wrong with the hard drive because it said the same drive had failed. after it rebuilt it was working just fine. a couple weeks pasted and then it failed yet again this time a different drive had failed, started to rebuild it again because again i wanted to see if my drive was working or not. it rebuilt just fine again, and just tonight 2 days after it has failed for the 4th time, again with a different drive. So my friends think it could be my raid controller, or im wondering if its the software. after then 2nd fail i was looking around seeing that the version of matrix storage im using might cause random failures.

Im not sure what info you guys need to help me out so ill give ya what i know.


ASUS Rampage II Gene

hard drives

Western Digital WD15EARS Caviar Green 1.5TB

Intel Matrix Storage console

Basically i think i can rule out hard drive because they all work fine, the raid just keeps failing. and its getting pretty annoying

Edit* heres what i found on the random fails

with that i have a question, if i let the raid rebuild. can i successfully change my raid software without having to rebuild the raid?
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More about need raid help
  1. Green drives don't have TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery) and it seems that some folks have found they don't work all that well in a RAID set.

    If data protection is what you're after than you shouldn't be worrying about RAID until you've got a good backup strategy in place. RAID doesn't protect from all risks (even when it's working properly), but a backup is a much better guarantee - especially if you alternate a couple of backup disks and keep the latest one offsite.
  2. well the idea of the raid is protection, i have a ton of media, and if lost it would take ages to get again. would rather know its safe. and yes i know raid 5 is not 100% protected, but sure is a hell of a lot better then no raid at all.

    *edit also, if chances are the software is a problem. on the intel site they said an earlier version might fix the problem. if i was to change the software do i need to redo the raid? or can i get it to carry over?
  3. WD10EADS has the ability to enable TLER, if that's really what you need.
    The EARS and newer WD drives have this option disabled, as WD understands it can sell the firmware tweaks for money by letting people buy the more expensive "RAID enabled" drives.

    So with older WD green drives, you can enable TLER. However; drive dropouts may be by numerous issues. Could you post the used RAID engine and windows version? Have you ever considered using a NAS instead; to safely store your data?

    I would argue that Windows isn't the best operating system to run a software RAID5. In fact, its likely the worst OS for that task. If FreeNAS is a good alternative to you, i would look into it.
  4. Im running windows 7 ultimate, i honestly dont know what you mean by raid engine, how can i find out what i am using?
  5. sub mesa is asking you what you're using to do the RAIDing.

    Are you using Windows (ie, did you create the RAID set using Windows "Disk Management")?

    Are you using a motherboard chipset RAID solution (ie, did you create the RAID set using your motherboards BIOS configuration)?

    Or are you using something else?
  6. was setup in the bios
  7. So you probably use the Intel ICH10R southbridge RAID drivers.

    Your motherboard also has a JMicron JMB363 chip that can do RAID, but i suspect it is being used for your eSATA ports.

    It is important to know what RAID engine you use; especially when you want to do RAID5. Intel is the only onboard RAID engine can can do RAID5 at least reasonably well. Other onboard RAID should avoid RAID5 like the plague.

    Another question, do you have a solid backup plan, or was your intent to use RAID5 as "backup"?
  8. I dont have a lot of money to drop on anything else, the idea was yes this would be my backup, i understand its not fool proof. but i needed some sort of safety net. I cant afford to do true backups.

    Again i do not know a lot about raid or all the little details in how it works, i just knew what it did and i wanted to get it.

    and i dont know if it clears anything up about what my jmicron chip is doing when i boot up before windows posts it shows a ton of babble about jmicron and shows all my raid drives
  9. Hmm that is interesting; you say during boot your RAID array is identified by the JMicron chip? That would mean you did not connect the disks to the onboard SATA ports; but the ports at the back of the motherboard (eSATA).

    Can you check where exactly you did connect your disks to? Can you check that no RAID is created on the Intel controller? You can do this by entering the Intel MatrixRAID storage setup utility (before/after seeing the JMicron output).

    You really should know what RAID engine you use; using JMicron drivers is strongly discouraged.
  10. Im really sorry i should have double checked, i just rebooted and my raid is not setup with jmicron. it is in with intel.
  11. The value of raid-1 and it's variants like raid-5 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.
  12. If you need recovery of the data, please contact a data recovery company. Even though some RAID configurations offer more protection than others, you really do need to back up your data periodically.

    ReWave Data Recovery
  13. Does anybody know if intel matrix storage manager has difficulty building an array using EARS (4kb sector) drives?
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