Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

[Solved] OS died, need help restoring RAID

Last response: in Storage
January 22, 2011 9:05:13 PM

I need a bit of help getting a two drive RAID going again after reinstalling XP.
Here's my situation:

Same hardware, MB, etc. I originally set up the system with a 20gb IDE and two 320gb SATA drives. I put the OS on the 20gb, and set the two 320's up as a RAID. I partitioned the 320's into 200gb + 120gb sections on each drive. The 200gb partitions were mirrored between the two drives, and the remaining 120gb on each drive was used as non-RAID storage space.

I picked up a nasty virus-spyware a month or two ago that I was struggling to find a fix for when the OS began to BSOD. I put the 20gb IDE to the side, and put a 40gb IDE in it's place. I re-installed XP on it last night, and now need to get the RAID up and running again.

I went into Disk Management and it showed three dynamic drives with a yellow triangle icon and labeled 'foreign'. I right clicked and found an option to 'import'. I clicked on import and a window popped up showing all of the partitions and logical drives I had previously created on the two drive RAID. I figured I was in business, so I clicked OK.

Disk Management now shows one dynamic disk as 'Online', but still shows two as 'Foreign'. If I right click on them, and chose import, I get the same windows showing my partitions ,etc, but if I click OK, I get a warning message that: "Some of the volumes you are importing will lose data because you have not moved all of your disks to the system."

I'm in over my head at this point, so any help would be appreciated.


a b G Storage
January 23, 2011 2:24:24 AM

Ahhh. The down side to using software RAID. Are both HDD's both showing up in Device Manager? That's typically the error you get when one of the drives that belongs to the array isn't present.

January 23, 2011 3:07:16 AM

No they don't. Sorta.

I named the the drives RAID.0 and RAID.1 when I created the array, and they both show up, but then only one of them shows up as WDC WD3201ABYS-01B9A0, which is the drive model. There should be two of them.

Related resources
January 23, 2011 8:32:50 AM

"Some of the volumes you are importing will lose data because you have not moved all of your disks to the system."

Ah, the wonderfulness of half-ass M$ error messages. When you read this, and have the choice of Yes or No, the immediate response is HELL NO!

If the 'wise ones' at M$ would have only changed one word to two and then invested a few bytes in another sentence, their message would actually help someone. (Lord knows, the 'wise ones' don't hesitate to waste massive amounts of megabytes elsewhere in their bloat code.)

The change in the sentence would be from "will lose data" to "will have incomplete data".

The sentence to add would be:

If you have additional foreign disks to import you must import the remaining disks in the multidisk volume before you can access the incomplete data.

The additional sentence is a paraphrase from M$'s own technical support data for Disk Mgt. I found it at:

Look in: Windows/Windows XP/Resource Kit/Disk Management

Section: Importing Foreign Disks

This info gave me the guts to press Yes, knowing that I simply had to import all three foreign disks before I would completely restore my previous RAID.

Another fine example of crappy M$ documentation.


a b G Storage
January 23, 2011 3:28:50 PM

Hope you get it working, but Software RAID under Windows is pretty pointless. There is no advantage to it at all. None.
You would be better off to just redo everything as single drives.