Crash and hard drive failure (RAID array)

i have a relatively new built computer, and am experiencing my first big problem. i'm not sure what to do, so any help would be appreciated - this is my first build, so i'm a relative newbie when it comes to this... but i'm fairly sure one of my hard drives has died and it is messing up my computer.

my computer is less than a year old. i am running windows 7, and i have a RAID array, with one striped partition and one mirrored on two physical hard drives (using the intel raid matrix).

While I was away my computer crashed, and apparantly tried to reboot, but failed. i came back to see a repair screen, saying the repairs had failed and a system restore was advised. since i didn't know what was going on and wanted to see more options, i cancelled the restore, after which my computer essentially froze (this was stupid, i know this already). after a manual reboot, the computer gives me the following information:

one of my physical hard drives is not responding ("error occurred")
one of my partitions (the mirrored one, RAID 1) is "degraded"
BOOTMGR is missing
(however, it lists both partitions as "bootable")

my questions are:
did i majorly mess up by not restoring the system? what is BOOTMGR?
why is my mirrored drive (RAID 1) degraded (not the striped, which is "normal"), and is it possible to boot the system to windows using the remaining hard drive (windows should be loaded on the mirrored partition)?
can i use the computer on one hard drive while i wait for a new drive to arrive?
how can i back up data from the remaining hard drive?

i should mention that i can access the raid controller from the BIOS, but i haven't tried anything yet because i don't really know what to do (and i don't want to lose my surviving data).

any help would be greatly appreciated. thank you in advance...

5 answers Last reply
More about crash hard drive failure raid array
  1. You may want to boot into Ubuntu with an Ubuntu livecd, then check for SMART values of your harddrives. If they have any "Current Pending Sector" this could explain the degraded mirror. You can then repair this damage by writing to it, but first please try booting for now.

    This should also give you the opportunity to access the RAID contents and copy your valuable files somewhere safe over the network.

    First just burn the cd, boot from it and go to Places->Home and select "... GB Filesystem" on the left.
  2. i think i located the problem myself.

    it appears that in trying to repair the problem, windows decided that i should boot from my RAID 0 partition (instead of the normal, RAID 1), the one without the OS. i changed that, and now i'm back in windows where i can use the intel matrix to see whats wrong.

    however, it says there's a failed hard drive, but everything -seems- fine. i can even access my files on the RAID 0 side, which if a hard drive has failed shouldn't be possible. i'm not sure whats going on, but i'm backing up files and going to see what the deal is with this hard drive.

  3. Hi Frombo,
    I have faced a similar issue and my laptop shows raid0 failed status and it couldn't find a bootable device.
    I have two hard 250GB which was raid and one of them has faild (by software or bad cluster) and after it shows that the raid has faild.
    my data is VERY IMPORTANT and I don't have backup so the ONLY MOST IMPORTANT THINGS is that I can access to hard contents.
    Please let me know if you know any low level software which could list my files.
    I'll appreciated it
  4. What you describe is exactly why you used RAID1 - or maybe you did not know that!

    In a RAID1 array system, two drives are mirrors of each other. Each has absolutely everything the other has. Under "normal" circumstances, the RAID software will make use of this to help speed up certain operations by accessing whichever unit is available more quickly. It always does writes and updates to BOTH its HDD units at the same time to maintain the mirror structure. But the main reason for this system is to handle failure of one HDD unit in the array.

    When one HDD fails, the RAID software does three things:
    1. Stop using the failed unit, and do ALL further work using the one that is still good. This happens almost instantaneously so there is no interruption in the work that is going on. For example, I use a RAID1 system in a computer running the Point-of-Sale application in our retail store, where I do NOT want the computer to crash in the middle of the business day.
    2. Send out a message that this has happened - tells you the failure has happened AND the backup plan - keep running from only one HDD - is in place and working. You should respond by planning to replace the failed unit and restore the array.
    3. Help you do the repairs. To do this, you need to know how to repair, and how to use the RAID software for help.

    I'm guessing you are using RAID that is "built in" on your mobo. Check the CD of info and utilities that came with your computer or mobo for a RAID system Manual file. If not there, see if you can get it from the website of the maker of your mobo. READ it!

    Usually these are the sorts of things you can do in this situation:
    1. Get into the RAID management software by pressing certain keys during boot-up. There you will see menu systems to use the tools.
    2. The system can tell you which HDD fas failed. If that is still not clear, you can shut down, disconnect ONE of the RAID1 HDD units, and reboot. If you disconnected the faulty one, it will still work. If you disconnected the good one, the RAID1 system will appear to have failed completely! Now you need to buy a new HDD as similar to the failed unit as possible.
    3. You replace the failed unit, then boot into the RAID management software. In it you use the menus and tools to Rebuild the array. Basically this means the system will Partition and Format the new HD, then copy absolutely everything from the good old HDD of the array to the new one, then re-establish the RAID1 array system running normally.

    That's how you repair a failed HDD unit in a RAID1 array.

    In summary, the RAID1 Management System puts a temporary fix in place to keep the machine running and warns you of the failure so you can plan and carry out repairs at a non-critical time. But it should be soon. Then it offers tools to help you do the repair, and gets you back to full performance of the RAID1 system.

    By the way, you can NOT do this with your RAID0 array - it is a whole different beast with NO copies of data to keep you going when trouble happens. In fact, most often when you lose one HDD in a RAID0 system, you lose everything - ALL your data and OS - and have to start from scratch.
  5. Hi Paperdoc, but I didn't used Raid 1. Unfortunately my laptop has raided as Raid 0.
    Please check the following screenshots
    Firs this message:

    and then:

    I have checked those HDDs by another pc and recovery tools and it seems that both of them are OK!
    So I need a tools which I can copy some of my files from those hard drivers and then fix the raid.
    Please advice me about a tools which display the files and folder like as windows explorer.

    Thank you
Ask a new question

Read More

NAS / RAID Computer Hard Drives Storage