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Critical Error on RAID 1 Drive!!! What do I do now?

Last response: in Storage
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October 6, 2010 2:20:20 PM

I have two drives installed using RAID 1. During boot it cites that one drive has a Critical Error. How do I fix? Never done this before, so if you could be specific I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.
a c 102 G Storage
October 6, 2010 6:28:13 PM

When you boot up the PC the RAID controller should show which drive is errored out.

You will have to replace it with the same type drive and repair the RAID.

Check your manual for detailed instructions
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October 13, 2010 3:55:01 PM

This isn't very particular. Can you be more specific?

For example, do I need to format the new hard drive I install first? If so, how? Can I just install the 3 drive on the RAID driver and then pull out the defective one?
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a c 415 G Storage
October 13, 2010 8:45:52 PM

You should be able to simply shut the system down, remove the failed drive, replace it with a known working drive of the same or larger capacity on the same SATA port, and boot up again. You may need to go into the RAID configuration utility to let it know that it can rebuild the RAID array using the new drive. No "format" (in the sense of creating an NTFS volume, for example) is necessary - the RAID controller just has to know that it has a new disk to use so that it can copy the data to it.

The tricky part is knowing which drive has failed so that you don't disconnect the wrong one.

This is something you should test BEFORE you put live data on the RAID set so that when this sort of thing happens your data isn't at risk while you figure out how to recover by trial and error.
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October 19, 2010 12:47:26 PM

That sounds simple enough. Unfortunately, both RAID drives are the exact same model, so how would I tell them apart to determine which one has failed?
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a c 415 G Storage
October 19, 2010 4:31:03 PM

Well as I said, the safest way is to have tested it ahead of time so you know for sure which one is which...

Otherwise, look at the configuration of the RAID controller and note which drive is failed. Chances are the order of the drives shown in the configuration display is the same as the order of the SATA ports the drives are plugged into. If it's the "first" drive that shows as failed, then replace the drive that's plugged into the lower-numbered SATA port, and vice versa.
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October 23, 2010 8:07:06 PM

Also, depending on how your RAID works, you could power down the computer, disconnect both drives, remembering where they were attached, and test them in another machine for failures. Plug the working one back in with a new drive and you're all set.
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October 26, 2010 6:34:01 PM

Ok, I found out which drive was bad. Took it out and replaced. However, now it shows the drive for LD1 missing, and shows a new drive that is not assigned to LD1. If I try to delete the LD1 assignment off the good (original drive) if warns me that this will erase all the data, so I didn't. I cannot assign the newly installed drive to LD1 as the RAID controller keeps trying to find the old (failed) drive.

I am using the mobo RAID controller on a MSI 880GM-E43 board. Help!
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October 28, 2010 1:51:36 AM

I'm not familiar with that RAID controller. Does it let you add the disk to the existing array? If so, then add the new drive, let it fully integrate, then remove the old drive from the RAID.
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October 28, 2010 3:09:18 PM

No, you cannot add another disk to the array unless I'm retarded (which is highly possible).
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Best solution

October 28, 2010 8:52:43 PM

OK. The following method has always worked for me for RAID 1 recovery, which I have had to do several times. If you only have 1 PC, there is a way to do it, but it is more risky.

Power down your computer, and remove the working drive from the RAID 1 - make sure you will be able to reconnect it in the same way later.

Attach the drive to a second machine, and power it up. You should be able to read the drive as an independent drive (at least I've always been able to).

If you are not able to see the drive, let me know.

Make a backup of your data to a separate drive - not the other drive you plan to RAID with.

Reinsert the drive back into the first PC, exactly as it was.

Power up the computer. Break your current RAID 1 array that has the missing LD1 drive, and build a new array with the two working drives.

Copy your data across to the new RAID.
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October 28, 2010 10:36:29 PM

I understand the procedure except how I am supposed to get the data I copied from the original working drive onto the new LD Drives? Once I reestablish a LD I will loose everything including the OS.

If I am going to do all this work, should I just install one drive to run the OS and two drives to run RAID with the important company data (this is not just music or pictures; this is financial accounting information)? Should I also just go with RAID 5 so I have 3 drives holding company data and 1 drive for the OS (for a total of 4 drives)?
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October 28, 2010 10:37:35 PM

I forgot, I can easily move the company data to a working station and copy it back so I shouldn't even have to uninstall the working drive. Thoughts???
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October 29, 2010 3:18:12 AM

If your OS is on the RAID, I have no idea how to work that. The procedure should be similar, but there should be some way to make a backup or clone of a disk that can then be made bootable.

I prefer to have the OS on a single drive, since it tends to be that drive that has the most read usage, and have some form of RAID with redundancy for other data - pretty much anything but RAID 0.

Like RAID 1, RAID 5 only protects against one failure, and the more disks in an array, the more simultaneous failures there are likely to be. If you want more redundancy then a simple 2 disk RAID 1, there is the possibility of having 3 or more disks in RAID 1, or some form of RAID which has multiple parity drives, like RAID 6.

If you want to move your OS off of the fake (broken) RAID 1, you could try following this procedure, which I have not personally tested in this situation, so use it at your own risk. Make a backup of all your important data before you begin any procedure like this.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/196922-32-switching-s...

This is for moving to a different controller, but I see no reason that it should not work for moving drives on the same controller. If you want to be safe and follow the directions exactly, you could use it to change controllers entirely, break the RAID, form whatever new RAID you wish to, and transfer the installation of Windows back.

If you are able to copy the company data to a workstation, that would be great, so the backup is on a separate drive on a separate PC. There is no such thing as too much paranoia with backing up critical data.
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November 8, 2010 11:33:44 AM

So I am today going to copy all data to my backup drive. Install 3 drives using Raid1, partition it to keep the OS separate, reinstall windows, and then move the data back onto the RAID drives.

My only issue is...What is the point of having RAID if this is the process when just one drive fails??? I was led to believe that if I used RAID I could just replace a failed drive and go. Any thoughts???
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a c 415 G Storage
November 8, 2010 11:56:07 PM

Now that you're going to start over again it's a perfect time to experiment with your recovery procedures. Create your RAID volume, confirm that it's working, and then shut down and pull a drive out of the set to see what happens. Make a note of the messages the RAID software issues, and in particular how it identifies the drive that it considers to be failed.

You should be able to then just reattach the failed drive and the RAID controller should then rebuild it on the fly. If not, you'll need to find documentation for the RAID controller.

Write down what you've learned so that you know exactly what to do the next time this happens.
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November 19, 2010 12:31:13 PM

Best answer selected by ahthurungnone.
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