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Looking to secure raid 0 config, please help! Also on MBR and GPT!

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May 3, 2012 3:22:20 PM

Hi eveybody,

I know, there is a contradiction in the title of my post. Raid 0 is never safe. I will first explain my setup and why I choosed this approache, than I will explain my problem followed by my new approach and some questions. I am really desperate for answers so please help! I will try to explain my problem as thorough as I can.


system;
MSI P55-GD65
Intel i5 750
8GB ram
Crucial 60GB SSD with Windows 7 64 on SATA port 0
WD 300 GB for data on SATA port 1
4 Samsung F3 1TB for Video Storage on Intel onboard controller in raid 0, ports 2, 3, 4, 5
2 WD 1TB USB drives for video backup


Setup;
The use of this system is for video-editing. I choose for RAID 0 as I work with HDvideo and need the speed and storage capacity. I know I take the risk of losing all data if one disk goes bad. But all my video material is first captured to the USB drives, after that copied to the RAID 0 so that I can play out multiple streams of HD at the same time.
In case one of the raid drives collapses, I can put in a new one, setup a new clean RAID 0 and batch-import my video files with my editing program, (Avid MC). I carefully backup my project files which contain all the reference data to the videofiles.
It will be a small disaster if a disk collapses but I can still get all my video-files back. Only it takes a couple of days copying, (batch-importing), if the RAID array is fully stuffed with video but I'm willing to take that risk instead of for example configuering RAID 5. Which will give me less storage space and a bit slower performance.


Problem;
There is a second cause that makes the data on the RAID 0 inaccesible, failure of the RAID 0 configuration. This can happen by updating the BIOS or by resetting it to default because of problems or even by accidently disconnecting one of the cables of the RAID 0 drives.
This happened to me, after typing CTRL-i beyond POST, the Intel Matrix controller showed 2 of the RAID disks as "non-member" or "non-raid".

Since than I'm searching, googling, reading, you could call it studying, on how to rebuild the old RAID 0 configuration and, NOT, watch out, recover the data.
This needs an explanation; when the RAID 0 configuration fails on the Intel controller, all the data, (my video files), is still there. Only the partition table is ruined so that the 4 drives are inaccesible. I tried different programs to rebuild the configuration, of which Testdisk was the most promising. But it did not work. I have been busy for days scanning etc. but no result. As the step by step guide told me, I changed all the disks in the Intel Matrix controller to non RAID and I have set up a new configuration exactly identicall to the former config, (same disk order, stripe size etc). No luck.
I allso, as somebody adviced, de-installed the Intel RST software and gave it a new try but no luck either.

I tried several programs like RaidRecovery from Diskinternals and Filescavenger but all they do is recover data and I don't want that, I only want to rebuild the config. Simply because I can recover the data myself with the batch-import function of my editing application. And recovering the data with the help of these programs also takes days!
Anyway, I probably did some accidental writing to the MBR of the RAID disks while trying to repair the RAID config that could have erased the original RAID parameters.


New approach;
So far so good, I just started with this "video on RAID 0" approach and there were not many files on the RAID. But I would like to find a way to rebuild the RAID 0 in case of Intel Matrix failure. Aspecially when the RAID array is filled up with video files. Because in that case, batch-importing everything from the USB drives will take me days. And with the right precautions I can repair a broken RAID within 1 hour or so.

So I figured out that when I construct a new RAID in the Intel controller I should backup the MBR of all the disks. I assume that if one or more drives become non-member, (non-raid), I than can build a new RAID within the Intel Matrix controller, (which will erase the old config data) and than, with a special program restore the old MBR data on the 4 RAID disks so that everything is again as it was before.




Questions;

1.
Do the 4 disks in my Intel Matrix RAID 0 config have a MBR partition table or GPT?
I really don't know. I assume that on the level of the Intel controller the disks have a MBR partition table. But Windows 7 only sees a 4 TB disk after constructing the RAID 0 and when I have to initialize it in Disk Management, Windows directs me to GPT.

2.
Is it possible that the disks have aswell MBR as GPT or do they change from MBR to GPT as soon as Windows 7 initialisez the 4 TB disk?

3.
Or does only one disk of the 4 contain a GPT?

4.
Do I have to backup the partition tables of my 4 disks after initializing the 4 TB RAID Disk in Windows 7 or do I have to make 2 backups?
This does not sound very logicall but you never know. I mean, first restoring the MBR to the seperate RAID disks after reconstructing it in the Intel controller and than a second restore from Windows GPT?

5.
Is there a program that can make these kind of partition table backups?
I assume that it should support also GPT

6.
Is this what I want actually possible? Am I on the right track concerning the fact that I want RAID 0 and make use of the Intel onboard controller.

7.
Does anybody have tips for me?

8.
Is there something I miss out here?


Furthermore, please don't state that I have to configure RAID 5 or that I have to buy a proper PCI RAID controller. I don't have money for that and I choose to do it with RAID 0 on the Intel onboard controller.

All I look for is a secure way to rebuils the RAID 0 config when it fails in Intel's Matrix controller and for some kind of reason I can not find the proper answers to my problem/new approach.

To anybody taking the time to read all this and help me out, thank you in advance! It's 2 weeks now that I'm struggling with this and the confusion only grows!

Kind regards,

iedjie





a b G Storage
May 3, 2012 4:34:33 PM

I'm a little confused why you're struggling to rebuild your RAID array, when you're not worried about data. It should be as straightforward as building the array like you did the first time around.

I will highly suggest, even though you said not to, to get a PCI RAID card (LSI or Adaptec). They will make your life a lot easier (and not a cheap $99 version either). But I completely understand you can't do that, so I'll move on. :) 

From your OP:
1. Anything above 2TB MUST be GPT, no way around this.
2. No
3. The GPT should effectively be striped across all spindles, but some RAID controllers handle this differently, and put the GPT on one disk or internally on the RAID controller. These last 2 options are rare, and in your scenario, I suspect it's striped (or psuedo striped) across all drives.

My suggested steps to fix the rebuild:
1. Maybe you're doing this first one, but just in case - remove all drives from RAID members, and delete any arrays from the RAID configuration menus. Once all drives are independent, and all 4 drives are good drives, rebuild/build the array like you did the first time around.
2. If you're still struggling, disable RAID for the 4 drives in question, go into Windows Disk Manager and delete any partitions that are there. If no partition is there, create one, quick format, and then delete that partition. After all drives are "sanitized" go back into the RAID utility and try to rebuild the array.

Hopefully this will help some...

An alternative route, should you be struggling with the Intel RAID is to do a software RAID in Windows. You will lose a little bit in performance, but your rebuilds will be 10x easier and faster.
May 3, 2012 5:41:34 PM

@ psaus;

Thank you for reacting so quickly.
Quoot; "I'm a little confused why you're struggling to rebuild your RAID array, when you're not worried about data"

I tried to explain that. I would rather rebuild the raid array in an hour or so than start copying files for two days!

Actually all I want is to find a way to backup the partition tables of my RAID disks so that, IN CASE OF A CONFIGURATION FAILURE IN THE INTEL CONTROLLER, I can build an identicall new RAID from scratch and than restore the old partition tables to it so that it works again. No recovery of data, no copying of data, just repairing the GPT and the data that Intel Matrix writes to the disks when constructing a RAID 0..

It should be possible but I don't know how and with which MBR/GPT backup program.

Concerning your suggestion 2.
I'm still trying to rebuild my array at this moment but I will give up soon. Than I will try to rebuild it by overwriting the partitiontables as you mention.

Thanks for your help, I hope you understand what I'm trying to achieve!

iedjie
Related resources
a b G Storage
May 3, 2012 6:22:11 PM

I think my confusion is that in your OP you're saying "I'm not trying to recover data", but all the rest of the context of what you're saying is you're trying to re-establish the GPT, and therefore recovering (regaining access?) to the data that was left behind? Am I correct in this?
If this is the case, I think again you're needing a better RAID card to attempt this (sorry, I know you don't want to do that :)  ). Or use a program called DD to harvest the addresses RAW. But DD is completely Linux only, and introducing Linux into this equation is going to be a nightmare. :) 
If I'm mistaken, please help me understand better...
a b G Storage
May 3, 2012 7:06:08 PM

There is NO rebuilt option in RAID0... ONLY rescue option, which is BIG $$ or time consume ( using DD linux and DIY)

What speed you are looking for? over 200MB/sec, 700MB/sec, 1000MB/s

Keep in mind redundancy, speed factor is function of cost
May 3, 2012 7:15:39 PM

OK, with recovering data I mean what most of these programs do; accessing the data in one way or the other in order to copy it afterwardes to an other disk. Than you can rebuild your raid and copy it back afterwards. A long process which will take days!

Offcourse I want to "recover" my data but than I mean make it accesible again as it is still on the disks after a broken array. That's my big concern, a "broken array". In other words, Intel Matrix controller showing one or more disks who turned into Non-RAID.

And Linux...? Well, I don't know anything about that. All I look for is a way to backup the boot sector, (MBR and GPT), from my raid disks in order to restore it when my raid gets broken.

I hope I made my self clear now!

Thanks for thinking with me!

iedjie
May 3, 2012 7:18:04 PM

@FireWire 2

Please, read my first post well. I KNOW there is no rebuilding on RAID 0!
a b G Storage
May 4, 2012 1:42:59 AM

I think I understand better now. You are basically trying to recover data. None the less, I understand and sympathize with what you're trying to do. HDDs/RAID should be much more friendly and robust, given they both were invented over 50yrs ago! :) 

None the less, we have the tools we have, and they aint great. :) 
A software RAID isn't going to help you as I now understand your situation. A PCI-E MIGHT help you now and again, but even then it's rare. Unfortunately to do what you're interested in, RAID5. I know you said no to this, but maybe you should build a RAID5 array and do some testing. It's not ideal, but it might save you from the problems your seeing (to be fair, I'm not even sure your Intel RAID will support it. :-/ )

There's always a RAID 10 option, but with 4 drives, I suspect that will be even less appealing to you than RAID 5...

I will have to bow out and say I don't know of a solution that will satisfy your needs. From my perspective, you're asking for something that falls in between mid/high-end, and DIY/cheap. I will keep an eye on this post to see if anyone has better ideas than me. But IMO I think you're asking for a whole lot. :)  Essentially, I think the best you're going to experience with this is the 'days of re-importing your files'. Sorry...
May 4, 2012 1:39:24 PM

Thanks for your advice. I thnk I will post my problem on a few other forums. Don't know which ones yet. The main goal of my post is to get answers on how to backup and restore the Bootsector of RAID disks including MBR and GPT fornat.
I think I have to change the title of my post. I'll go on with my research.
a b G Storage
May 4, 2012 10:28:46 PM

Whether you're reconstruct the RIB or its data... you're temp to rebuilt the RAID0.

It's not easy!
If it's possible and simple, don't you think the RAID card manufacture would not offer that?

BTW, to backup and restore the Bootsector of RAID0 disks - this calls RAID10
May 5, 2012 9:24:46 PM

@FireWire2
RAID 10 is RAID 0 and RAID 1 on the same disks. It has nothing to do with my questions. All I want is a procedure that helps me out in case of a "broken raid array" caused by the Intel controller. To be precise, in such a case, ALL THE FILES ARE STILL THERE! Only the partition table is broken.
And that's the problem, because if I reconstruct the RAID 0 identical as before, Windows 7 wants me to initialize this "new" volume. And than I loose my files!!!

But if there is a way to backup the GPT boot sector of my RAID, I can restore it after reconstructing the RAID and Windows 7 will see my volume as it was before.

That is what I try to achieve!
a b G Storage
May 18, 2012 1:30:25 PM

Just thought of a command that may or may not work - DISKPART RECOVER

Command line in Admin mode
Launch DISKPART: diskpart
Use the select command to start manipulating the disk (array) you want to recover
Then execute the recover command.

I have no idea if this will work, and kind of thinking it won't work, but worth a try...

If the Intel controller process executes an "initialize" when trying to rebuild the drives, this will definietly not work. But if you can get the drives re-bundled in array fashion, this command might be able to rebuild them as you're asking.
May 25, 2012 10:20:39 AM

Thanks for your input. From what I read, diskpart is a command to handle partitions. AFAIK it will not re-wrtie the partition table that is made by the Intel controller. The thing is that I can offcourde rebuild the array with the exact parameters as before but Windows 7 will see a new volume and wants to initialize it.
That is why I look for a tool/program that enables me to save the partition table so that when the array breaks down I can re-write it after rebuilding it.

I believe there is not a program that suits my demands. I actually gave up on this. So I carefully backup everything so that I can copy my material back in case of a broken array.
June 6, 2012 5:38:30 AM

"I believe there is not a program that suits my demands. I actually gave up on this. So I carefully backup everything so that I can copy my material back in case of a broken array."

@iedjie,

Never give up on anything. Just look in the right places. I was in your spot for over a year and became very, very frustrated. There is a company who shall remain nameless who [claimed] that via a WinPE disk they could backup just about any (BIOS/Fake/Software RAID Configuration). Although they have tamed down that claim on their website from what it was a year ago, their solution does work with Hardware RAID. However, it is cumbersome and the backup file it produces is, let's just say: "unpredictable" even with a firmware driven controller. So, I reserved myself to using a single Crucial 512GB SSD for my desktops and a 240GB OCZ for Laptops and stacks for Work stations. Easily cloned and restored, one drive, limiting RAID-0 to machines that need to work hard.

When a company came along and made the claim their software would allow me to create a bootable disk image (CLONE) on ONE SINGLE DISK from a RAID-0 array and then use that same clone to restore a multiple 0-RAID disk array, a RAID-5 array and even an Enterprise RAID-6 array, be it hardware or software RAID, I laughed and said, been there, done that.

They got me to test it. I built a 3 disk SSD Array with a stripe size of 128K. (yes, this works with spinners as well). I created the bootable disk image clone using a simple external HDD plugged into USB 3.0 port and it took about 53 minutes to backup the array. (in addition to the OS, I dumped about 200 GBs of files on the Logical drive).

OK, big deal I thought. Even some of the garbage around can Clone and backup ANY RAID array, the same type of imaging software has been around for years, it's used on servers and to provision desktops and Laptops at corporations. But, to RESTORE from one SINGLE drive to a three drive RAID-0 array (software RAID no less, that requires preinstall drivers). Nonsense.

I then used their normal process and found a few not in their manual. The darn thing backed up my 0-RAID array from a single bootable HDD. I was actually ticked off at first, since I had wasted so much time, energy and $$$$ building like for like match stacks (similar to the way some IBM iSeries servers back up RAID-5 racks).

I kept the same single drive backup that restored my 3-drive array and then intentionally broke my array by adding a 4th SSD drive to it. I even changed the stripe size to 64K and said to myself, it's impossible. It was not and for a sanity check I compared the Atto bench results from the 3 drive array to the 4 drive and used the RST Application to check for errors. I'm using (hate to admit it) software RAID, I went with Intel's RST controller which also supports Trim in BIOS RAID arrays.

I mostly read Tom’s to learn from others here and in the IT section, so I know I’ll catch heat for this and many will not believe, the same way I did not and the same way I have cautioned people to NOT use 0-RAID.

Although I admit I have not heard it said an array cannot be backed up. You can clone any array and have a bootable disk. You just can’t restore the array except in a very complicated and expensive way. Many companies who sell backup software think to be able to backup 0-RAID alone is of value. I do not, since I need a few versions of easy, clean backs ups, not only to be prepared for failure, but corruption after messing with a clients data and with no way to go back to a restore point.

Sleep time, busy day tomorrow. I’ll get some screen shots done and release the big secret as soon as possible, if anyone is monitoring this thread that is. :) 

Dean
June 6, 2012 1:34:42 PM

Thank you Dean for your extensive reply but I don't really get the point, other than that you backup your array to a single disk. What is so special about that?

If you like, than read thoroughly my first post in this topic. I am looking for a way to reconstruct RAID 0 by writing back the partition table wich I backed up before with a program/tool that AFAIK does not exists. Not by copying back the backed up files.

iedjie



June 6, 2012 2:53:19 PM

iedjie video said:
Thank you Dean for your extensive reply but I don't really get the point, other than that you backup your array to a single disk. What is so special about that?

iedjie


Hi ledgie,

Nothing. This is why I said: "OK, big deal I thought. Even some of the garbage around can Clone and backup ANY RAID array, the same type of imaging software has been around for years and used on servers and to provision desktops and Laptops at corporations." Backing up is nothinng. I agree.

Quote:
"I am looking for a way to reconstruct RAID 0 by writing back the partition table wich I backed up before with a program/tool that AFAIK does not exists. Not by copying back the backed up files."


I admit, while AIK and WAIK both mean something to me, (Windows Automated Installation Kit v. 3.1 used to create WinPE disks (and other stuff) and that now comes with Win 7 SP1) mean something to me.

AFAIK means As Far As I Know. :pt1cable:  I'm kidding.

You are looking for a way to reconstruct a 0-RAID array, no? Why would you need to reconstruct a partition table you would not have a need to even backup, when you backup the array as a clone, but RESTORE the array with the same SINGLE DISK CLONE?

Would that not be easier? Never having to worry about your RAID-0 going down and if it did, you have a clean, differental backup ready to boot from or just copy disk to array and simply BOOT UP with the same array.

If I was reading my own message, too long in the first place, I probably would have glossed over the part that said you can restore the very same RAID-0 array from one single disk.

Or, are you doing somthing else I have not heard of which the ability to restore a RAID-0 array from one single HDD drive would not cover the problem?


Dean



June 7, 2012 1:00:52 PM

Problem is that it sometimes can happen that the Intel Matrix controller looses track of the RAID 0 info, (read my 1st post in this topic, in particular the part with the title Problem), and one or more disks get the status "Non Member Disk" when checking the RAID setup, (CTRL-i after boot).

Files on the RAID disks are still in perfect condition and all there when this happens. I'm looking for a way to only restore the partitin tables so that The Intel controller "sees" all the 4 disks again.
As mentioned in my first post, the tool Testdisk for example can repair partition tables of RAID 0 and other configurations. But for some reason it did not work when I tested it on my RAID config. So I'm looking for tips on this matter, or for another tool or so.

This topic is not about backup and restore of files by copying from a backup disk. It is about reconstructing RAID failure of the Intel Matrix Controller by backing up partition tables and rewriting them before Win 7 starts up. This by booting from some other media and by letting some tool repair the partition tables. As I have 4 disks of 1TB in RAID 0, and thus more than 2.2TB, Windows 7 initialized the volume with the GPT protocol and not with the usual MBR. That makes things more complex aswell.
June 7, 2012 8:28:52 PM

Quote:
Problem is that it sometimes can happen that the Intel Matrix controller looses track of the RAID 0 info, (read my 1st post in this topic, in particular the part with the title Problem), and one or more disks get the status get the status "Non Member Disk" when checking the RAID setup, (CTRL-i after boot).


iedjie my friend, how many times would you like me to read your post? You seem to assume because I have not applied in the affirmative, or referenced it that much, this means I did not read what you wrote. As a matter of fact, due to the amount of detail in your post, seldom found here, you gave a 75% complete and descriptive account of your problem.

A few of the most important answers you were given came from psaus in his reply to two of your questions. I am quoting you and psaus’ replies which are key:

“2. Is it possible that the disks have as well MBR as GPT or do they change from MBR to GPT as soon as Windows 7 initialisez the 4 TB disk?

psaus replied: No. I will add to pasus’ reply: NO, NO, AND NO AGAIN.

3. Or does only one disk of the 4 contain a GPT?

psaus replied: “3. The GPT should effectively be striped across all spindles, but some RAID controllers handle this differently, and put the GPT on one disk or internally on the RAID controller. These last 2 options are rare, and in your scenario, I suspect it's striped (or psuedo striped) across all drives.”

I love it, a new term! "psuedo striped" :bounce: 

The last two “rare” options psaus speaks of would solve your problem. He is right on the money, the entire GPT is striped in ALL BIOS/Software/or what people like me affectionately call, FAKE RAID, in other words, anything that is not Hardware RAID.

If you’re ready to dish out about $7,000 for the controller card which will place the GPT on the Controller, let me know, I have a few in mind and you can move to Hardware RAID.

psaus also said: [ ] ARE my comments “I think my confusion [AND MY CONFUSION AS WELL, AT FIRST] is that in your OP you're saying "I'm not trying to recover data", but all the rest of the context of what you're saying is you're trying to re-establish the GPT, and therefore recovering (regaining access?) to the data that was left behind? Am I correct in this?

If this is the case, I think again you're needing a better RAID card to attempt this (sorry, I know you don't want to do that :)  )."

"better" is a good term.

You don’t want to spend $7,000 on a "better" HW RAID Controller. That also makes sense to me iedjie. You need not do so.

Your reply to the above:

“OK, with recovering data I mean what most of these programs do; accessing the data in one way or the other in order to copy it afterwardes to an other disk. Than you can rebuild your raid and copy it back afterwards. A long process which will take days!”

EUREKA!. That’s correct, most of "these programs" (ok, I called them garbage) do exactly what you have said. You are using the WRONG tools, to fix a bad configuration. The configuration as is may be possible, I'm considering that without an expensive controller. There is a better confguration to do what you want and it wil not cost anything close to the $7000 Controller.

So, to move forward and try to help you, since I need to leave right now, let me know a few things:

1. Do you see now I read your post and do not like, nor should I need to, repeat what others already told you?

2. We’ve eliminated the $7K controller card as an option. (NOT we, you, so why do I need to bring it up?) If you change your mind, I can direct you to a few used in 12-24TB RAID-0 Rack Arrays.

(BTW, although this does not effect your situation the sharing going on within your MSI-1156 P55-GD65 Mobo (stretching the Jmicron so thin and the added PATA (taking up space with no use has baffled me for a while). YES, I know you’re using the IRST. However, do not underestimate a board’s overall construction in causing problems. Not your RAID problem, just in general.

pasus then came up with decent idea:

DISKPART RECOVER

He also wisely said: “I have no idea if this will work, and kind of thinking it won't work, but worth a try...”

He’s right, it won’t work, because in a file system (NOT FILES) in a FILE SYSTEM, the OS has an abstraction layer which works in terms of Logical blocks and this is true for both Windows and Linux. However, what I say next is difficult, so I'll simplify. There is also (let's call it a different layer) which translates logical blocks to, let's just call it physical stuff on a disk. FILES.

As long as the imaging software you use works on the logical blocks (best way), and/or at the very least, understands the file system structure (so it can do resizes, for example), and the software can see the raid device, it will NOT simply restore Files, but the OS if you were running it as part of the RAID-0 config. I did not believe such software existed except at Enterprise level and at about $10-25K per licenced user. That's like $5 to keep a server up and running. Not a PC and not even a Workstation.

Although there may be a way to do this even with your GPT configuration with a BIOS Controller, to put it in simple language, the way everyday backup software breaks up large files, if you happen to use DVD's, it's complex and not as easy as the real fix, which I assumed you'd guess based on what I have been saying. (I agree this complicates things)

Lastly, remember the old BSOD screensaver from around 2007? I'm sure you do and like me, perhaps you played a few tricks on friends and heard them scream, I GOT THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH! HELP! Then you walk over, have a laugh and buy them lunch.

Quote:
"Non Member Disk" when checking the RAID setup, (CTRL-i after boot).


This is how close you and I are.

3. Would you be interested in helping me create the BWGSOD screensaver?

Black, White and Green Screen of Death screensaver? (the dreaded non-member (Green) you see next to one of 4 disks after pressing CTRI I to get into your IRST Controller).

Are we in agreement now with 1 & 2? I read your posts and a controller is out of the picture and I forgot to add, lest you think I did not read all your posts, I already know you have no interest in RAID-5 or 10. (I simply do not repeat what was covered and I apologize if that made you think I was not reading or paying attention).

Number 3, building the screensaver is negotiable? :sarcastic: 


Dean
June 8, 2012 10:05:34 AM

Sorry Dean but your posts are a bit to confusing for me. Maybe my english is not good enough but I see very little "to the point" information in your replies. I'm not interested in screensavers nor in $7k raid cards.
You've convinced me that you read my posts, (Thank you!), but understanding my posts is a second thing because I find it hard to explain myself well.

As I mentiomed before, all I'm looking for is a way to backup partition tables written by both Intel Matrix and Windows 7. Because when one configures an Intel RST RAID, it happens on a hardware level by accessing the Matrix tool on startup, CTRL-i. After configuring the RAID, the controller writes information to the disks, (or maybe just to disk 1, that I don't know). Than after rebooting Windows 7 sees a raw volume which has to be initialized. That means that for the second time the partition tables of the disks are written to. In my case, a GPT partition table. GPT includes MBR information I found out.

My ame is to backup the Windows 7 GPT partition table which includes the information that the Intel Matrix controller wrote to it. When my RAID failes on the Intel Matrix controller level, I can rebuild the RAID, write back the backed up Windows GPT partition table and restart. In my assumption I will have my RAID volume back the way it was, including all the files offcourse.

That is all I want. I came to the conclusion though that it is not possible. I posted also in other forums but nobody has a solution. So I gave up. Now you pass by and say in your first post here; Quoot; "Never give up on anything."

That gave me hope but despite the large posts you produce I have trouble making sense out of it. I have the feeling that you cannot help me either. So I want to leave it as it is and thank you for trying. I keep this post open in the hope somebody with very specific knowledge can help me understand better the way Intel Matrix and GPT works. And to know if my theory of backing up GPT to reconstruct a broken RAID is a valuable one.

I hope you understand me well, thanks for trying to help me.
June 8, 2012 10:44:21 AM

From what I gather you simply want to run a cheap lvl zero raid. Hardware controllers failing are a known issue. The best recommendation is to run a software raid. Windows 7 has a pretty good one. All you need to fix your raid would be a re install of windows 7.

A raid5 on an inexpensive controller is your best bet. 3 drives should be enough to stream what you need for video.

June 8, 2012 5:51:56 PM

“Sorry Dean but your posts are a bit to confusing for me. Maybe my english is not good enough but I see very little "to the point" information in your replies. I'm not interested in screensavers nor in $7k raid cards.”

Your English is fine. Your sense of humor needs work to understand when someone is making a friendly joke. Be that as it may, you asked me to get to the point, I will. You’re also correct, I have not answered your questions DIRECTLY. You've been given the solution. I’ll answer a few questions now (as much as possible).

“After configuring the RAID, the controller writes information to the disks, (or maybe just to disk 1, that I don't know).”

You're correct. You don't know.

“Than after rebooting Windows 7 sees a raw volume which has to be initialized.”

Are you certain of this? Do you know what a RAW volume is? Check the link below first…you’ll find out what a raw volume is. Then ask yourself: If the controller writes what I think it does, why would Windows need to?

http://forums.techguy.org/hardware/1039778-solved-recov...

FYI, The IRTC, does NOT support volumes greater than 2TB for booting. What does that tell you about all those MBR’s you seem concerned with and about what you "think" is written to the array using it for a 4TB file storage system, NOT a drive, a 4TB Storage system?

How about if you look at it this way?

4 x 1TB drives. Assume for a moment you would like to take your 4 drives and create a 0-RAID Array with the IRST and make it your boot drive. Without a UEFI BIOS and since the IRST does not support booting over 2GB, (not that this would matter) you are out of luck? Right or wrong? Check and see if you like.
1. Create the array with IRST.
2. Create a 100GB volume.
3. Create an MBR Partition for your OS
4. Create yet another 3.9TB "VOLUME" (3.9 + 1 = 4)
5. Then create a GPT Partition to store your data?

Would that work? Can you now boot? Will Windows get mixed up because of all the MBR's on the 3.9TB Volume? Is there really a 2TB limitation on the IRST as Intel says there is?

Quote:
GPT includes MBR information I found out.


:sleep: 

Quote:
I hope you understand me well, thanks for trying to help me.


Sorry I could not help, but the point is:

1. You are concerned about how to restore something you have already created which works fine until it breaks.

2. You are trying to find out how to fix the same something with parts that would not fit, since they were never there and if they were, let's just say, they existed in a place you cannot get to. I did try to explain the best I could about "layers," and "storage" vs. a single logical drive.

3. Someone tells you to snap your fingers and what you created will become as it was. You do not believe them.

You see the example in numbers 1-5 above? That was my advice to another person in another forum. (he was using 3 drives 1TB each, not as file storage, he wanted to be able to boot from 3TB of Storage) It took him 8 months to try 1-5 and then I got an email.

Good luck my friend, I do wish you the best in your quest and you did ask me to be direct and answer your questions...If I missed any, consider they may possibly not have answers that make sense.

Warmest regards,

Dean
a b G Storage
June 9, 2012 10:59:15 AM

A friend just told me about a Linux/Unix application called DD could do this. But you will need to do some trial and error to instruct DD to locate the raw addresses you want to backup, so you can backup the GPT (and not the whole drive).
June 9, 2012 11:14:27 AM

Thank you psaus! I will look into this. In my research I allready encountered a few times the possibillity to use linux for my goal. But as I know nothing about linux I left it aside. Now that methods under Windows or DOS did not work for me I must indeed explore a linux approach.
a b G Storage
June 10, 2012 10:17:58 AM

Don't be too afraid of Linux. It's free, it's much easier now than years past, and now when you're lost Google is a great friend.
I suggest your first playing/experimenting with Linux in a test environment (maybe VirtualBox?) until you get a hang of it, then move over to your RAID and start that address trial and error. If I come across more details on how to use DD, I'll post more.
June 10, 2012 2:53:17 PM

Psaus, does this mean that I have to install linux and use that henceforth? Because my video editing prog only works under windows. Or do I have to make a dual boot and use linux only to repair the RAID?
a b G Storage
June 11, 2012 6:16:01 AM

Means you can keep Windows. Ubuntu can run from a DVD or USB without installation, and this is probably your least intrusive method. Leaving your DD script on your USB drive or on a HDD that is not apart of the RAID in question.
I wouldn't go through the trouble of even setting up dual boot... Just use a USB or DVD.
!