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Intel Storage RAID 1 - I'm a dork and I need HELP!!

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November 23, 2012 11:01:16 AM

Hi!!

I'm using Vista 64, I have 3 HDDs, one of them acts as "main" dirve where the OS is installed (C:)  and the other two are part of a RAID 1 Intel Matrix Storage Array (D:)  wich I use for data storage


Well... recently I've had a problem with my C: drive, so I had to change BIOS disk settings from RAID to IDE to be able to boot the system.
When I booted into DOS my raid array was obviously "dissolved" and I was able to access my 3 drives independently as C: D: E:


So... I had a "panic" attack and, fearing to lose some important data I had on dirve C: ... I copied it to disk D: and then some other data to disk E:.

When I was finally able to boot into Windows again (and I was only able to do it setting the bios to RAID mode again) ... those D and E drives were now back to being part of the RAID 1... but it looks like they didn't like what I did to them before, because I can't acces it. Windows tells me the folder looks damaged or corrupted but the Intel Storage Console says everything's OK.

The problem is... there was some very important data on that raid array, and now I can't recover it!!!



So... two questions:


1. Can I repair the RAID 1 array somehow without losing the previously stored data ?
2. Can I access and recover the data stored in the individual disks of the array somehow ?
November 23, 2012 11:33:40 AM

The problem that you are going to have is that you wrote data after having a problem with the drive. You might be lucky if the data didnt write over the top of the existing data, but there is no way to really tell until you try to recover the data. Since you are in a RAID 1 setup, I'd recommend disconnecting the D drive (since you wrote most of the data to that drive) and see if you can gain access to the E drive as its own drive.

if you can't gain access to the E drive after you set it up by itself as an AHCI or IDE drive, I'd recommend using a couple of really good freeware programs. The first program is called Test Disk, it is awesome at recovering partition and file structures. Use that program to see if you can rebuild the table. If you can't rebuild the table, then I'd recommend using Recuva. I'd recommend doing the deep scan option, just keep in mind that this will take a very long time to do (took me over 20 hours to recover 500 gb of data). Also, with Recuva you will need to have a drive with enough storage space available to recover the data to.

The good thing about RAID 1 is that it is a backup style setup, so there is a good chance that you will be able to recover a good bit of your data. Good luck!
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November 23, 2012 1:23:46 PM

Hi dude496, thanks for your answer.

It seems I didn't explained it properly. Let me try again.


Disk C -- > Had a problem. Already repaired.
Disks D and E --> Part of a RAID 1 array. Didn't have any problem initially.

I had to boot in IDE mode to repair C.
While in IDE mode I stupidly copied data from C to D and E (which were also in IDE mode, not forming a RAID array)

Now C is repaired (I hope).

BUT... I can't access the RAID 1 array. Intel console says it's OK, but Windows says I can't access it because it's corrupted or someting.


Since I wrote the 1st message I've donde this...

- I've phisically disconnected E so Windows can boot with RAID drivers, but the RAID array is working in degraded mode.
- chkdsk for drive D shows some errors now. I can use it, though, so...
- Now that I can access D, I'm copying it's contents to an USB HDD.


From here... I don't know what to do.

- Is there a way to repair the array without losing the disks content's ?
- Should I simply format both drives, re-create an array, and copy back the data I previously stored in the USB HDD ?
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November 23, 2012 1:48:34 PM

It's in RAID 1 so each drive will have the same data. Just recover the data that you can, then rebuild the raid
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a b G Storage
November 23, 2012 2:20:01 PM

Your problem is that you have different data on the 2 drives and they cannot be put back into RAID like that. Boot up in IDE mode again and copy all the data from those 2 drives to a 3rd disk, merging the information onto one drive. Then reset your BIOS to RAID again and rebuild the raid array. Then copy the information from the 3rd disk back to the raid array and you will be back in business.
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November 23, 2012 7:56:43 PM

Thanks everybody for your help.

I've followed the route you're proposing... so reading it from all of you confirms I'm doing the right thing this time.

Apparently I've been able to recover all the data (I'll need to check it but it looks good so far) and I'm now waiting for the array to finish rebuilding.
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November 25, 2012 10:32:10 AM

So... I've recovered all the data, the RAID is up and working again, and life is beautiful :) 

Thanks for your help.
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a b G Storage
November 25, 2012 2:04:20 PM

Way to go! Another Tom's Hardware support success story...
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November 25, 2012 9:31:07 PM

Awesome, glad to hear it works
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!