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Help! my RAID5 is fubar

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July 9, 2011 6:41:18 PM

I have 4x 2tb drives in a RAID5 my PC for storage (system on a separate boot ssd). It uses the features of Intel ICH10R chipset on my motherboard, and "Intel rapid Storage Technology" software. I had updated the Intel RST software to version 10.1 and rebooted, and now I don't have access to the RAID. When I attempt to open the drive in windows (win7 x64) I get the horrible greeting message "You need to format the disk in drive G: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?" :cry:  NO I DON'T!!! If I hit no here, I get "Location is not available, G:\ is not accessible. The volume does not contain a recognized file system..." In windows disk management it reports that the disk is online and "healthy". Intel RST reports that the the raid as a whole is "green" and 3 of the 4 drive are green, and 1 has a non-failure warning possibility related to a smart-type failure (this the reason I had updated the Intel RST in the first place, wish I hadn't)

So, what do I do? This is so frustrating sense I chose RAID5 because this data is important and it is supposed to provide redundancy so you DON'T lose data. Also super frustrating is Intel's support is as far as I can tell non-existent.

More about : raid5 fubar

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a b G Storage
July 11, 2011 2:14:24 AM
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Best thing to do is connect each drive to regular SATA controller and image each disk. You can then use a recovery utility such as R-Studio (r-tt.com) If you don't have sufficient storage, you could potentially hook all drives up to a SATA controller and try to recontruct the array from there. You can then read off our important data and rebuild the array from scratch. You'll need to make sure you get your strip alignment correctly in order to recover the files.
July 14, 2011 6:09:38 PM

I've ordered an external hardware raid array to hook up via esata and will give this a shot. When you say to connect each drive and image, windows won't recognize them as a proper disk, but r-studio can open images, and if I give it 4 images it'll have the whole raid?

Also, what software is recommended to make images? will DriveImage xml work?

I'll probably have lots more questions once the external storage gets here. Thanks!
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a b G Storage
July 18, 2011 9:21:59 AM

R-Studio has the imaging software built in, you will then need to reconstruct the array. Since it was 4 drives in RAID 5 you will have 24 possible combinations. My best suggestion is to find a BMP file on the harddrive, they are written out sequntially to disk and give you a visual representation of the stripe set. Match the pieces up like a puzzle and it will give you the correct order for your stripe.
July 18, 2011 2:11:12 PM

Best answer selected by micro9mm.
July 18, 2011 2:21:17 PM

I ended up trying many apps but the one that I ended up having the best success with (no corrupt recovered data that I've found so far, knock on wood) is GetDataBack from http://www.runtime.org. Had to drop $500 on new hardware to have some place to copy to, but the lost data nightmare is over! And I can quit using this horrible Intel fake raid that has now lost my RAID5 data twice (last time I made the mistake of trying to dynamically add a disk to the array). RAID5 is supposed to provide redundancy but it isn't safe at all if little software quirks will nuke your data...
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