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Drive failure (Raid 0)

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September 27, 2005 5:40:33 PM

Ok, the day has come. I've lost my first drive from a raid array. Yesterday I decided to play a couple games for the first time in many months, and noticed the machine kept locking for 10 seconds at a time when it was working really hard, then continuing as normal. I thought it was a heat issue until I noticed when things started moving normally again I would hear a single click from one of the hard drives.

Today the machine won't boot. I'm getting an "Offline" message during Raid detection. Going into the Raid Setup-->View Drive Assignments, one drive is showing "Free".

Now I "think" I have everything important backed up. I haven't used this machine in a few weeks so I can't remember for sure. Because of this, I really want to get the drive going at least for a few hours more to double check and back up anything I may have missed. Of course I'm assuming it's the drive and not the Raid controller but I have no way to really test that since installing a new Raid controller will wipe out what I have anyway.

Is there anything I can do at this point to access this disk? Here are the system specs:

Asus A8V
AMD 64 3000+
Corsair XMS DDR3200 (2x512 Dual Channel)
BFG GeForce 6800
Promise TX2000 IDE Raid Controller
2 x WD 80gb Hard Drives (8mb cache, 7200rpm) (Set up in Raid 0)
Kenwood 72x CD-Rom
Sony DVD-RW
Enermax 450W PSU

-- Ah sh*t! sys64738 --

More about : drive failure raid

September 28, 2005 10:07:32 AM

Short answer No.

Long answer Yes but you wouldn't want pay for it.

OFten the platters are fine, its the drive head mechanism which is shot.

You can send both drives to an expensive data recovery service which will carefull mount the platters from a defective drive into an identical model in a clean room environment. Throwing raid into the picture makes things more expensive, might have to send them the controller as well.

I am guessing that if your data was that important you would have been using RAID 0 in the first place :) 
October 4, 2005 10:07:22 PM

Can you please edit your post to give me a more pleasing answer? ;) 

Drat, that isn't good news. I've been told I can replace the board with another from an identical drive (which I don't currently have) and it should come right up unless it's a mechanical problem such as misaligned heads.

Is there ANY other reason one drive would suddenly read "offline"? Thanks.

-- Ah sh*t! sys64738 --
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October 4, 2005 11:22:48 PM

Quote:
I am guessing that if your data was that important you would have been using RAID 0 in the first place :) 


Being on a RAID disk or in a single disk, important data should be backed up anyway... The drive that fails, even if he was using it as a single disk, it would have fail anyway. And if that happen to be the first drive he got when ordering his system, then even put as a single drive, he would have lost his data.



I had a bunny.. I had to remove it to stop hurting Wingding's ego..
October 4, 2005 11:33:32 PM

I would check first if your drive is not overheating. If both drive are very close to each other, then it might be the case. Then, I would check if the power cable and IDE cable is fully connected and not being loose.

You can try the drive alone on the normal controller just to see if it will start and being recognized. If all that fails, then you are out of luck. Then you can get 2 new bigger drive for a new RAID and keep the functionnal one as a scratch disk and a back-up drive for important data. That what I do here and never lost any data to a drive or an array failing... Well, i never has an array to fail yet and being using RAID since 2001. Started with small 40 gigs Maxtor, then bigger 120 gigs WD and now with bigger 160 gigs Seagate. Still have one 120 in and external USB2.0 enclosure as a scratch and backup disk.

I had a bunny.. I had to remove it to stop hurting Wingding's ego..
October 4, 2005 11:35:42 PM

Wusy, the Molex is fine and is providing power to the drives. I currently have one drive per channel on a two-channel card. Is there a way to place both drives on a single channel without losing data? I hadn't thought about the possibility of a bad channel on the Raid card.

PS... drives are IDE.

-- Ah sh*t! sys64738 --
October 4, 2005 11:40:02 PM

Pat, I also use an external as a backup. In this case I got caught with my pants down between backups. I have been rebuilding my home office and it's quite possible the drive or other hardware was damaged from moving the tower around over the past few weeks. The failure was indeed quite sudden, within a couple hours of use from when I first noticed something odd.

The drives are not overheating and all cables check out OK. I do prefer a 2-disc Raid 0 over a single disc large drive, but having a Raid 1 is sure sounding nice!

-- Ah sh*t! sys64738 --
October 4, 2005 11:40:52 PM

Raid 5, isn't that like two Raid 0, one being main and the other backup? Damn that would be nice, but minimum 4 HDs. Ouch!!!

-- Ah sh*t! sys64738 --
October 4, 2005 11:46:00 PM

That what I said. get 2 new drive and RAID) them and use the remaining one as a backup. I don't know if you know Second Copy. You can google it. This app monitor in real time change between 2 folders and synchronize them. So you always have 2 identical folder on separate drive, in case of problem. So, you don't have to get a mirrors array if you dont need the whole drive to be backed up. In my case, only some important data like picture and personnal stuff are backed up. Sure, having lots of movies and music is nice, but they can easily be replaced thanks to some friends I have.

I had a bunny.. I had to remove it to stop hurting Wingding's ego..
October 5, 2005 2:05:45 AM

Quote:
Like what?

Well, I fired the machine up, poked around to see where I left off with a couple projects, then decided to try out a game (Age of Empires 3) for a bit. Played for about an hour or so then turned off the machine. Fired it up again the next day and on my game kick again, decided to play Half Life 2. Every now and then the game would lock for about 10 seconds where the sound does that annoying loop effect and nothing responds. I thought it was a heat issue but removing the side panels from the case did nothing. Then I noticed that just after the lockup ceased, the hard drive would make a "normal" sounding click and I would then hear it wind up as if it had just been turned on. After about an hour or two the computer being on, I turned off the machine. The next time I booted (with the intention of backing up anything I wasn't sure of), it gave me the "offline" message on the one drive.

Pat, wouldn't using a single drive to mirror a Raid-0 array decrease system performance? Would it not make more sense to just use two drives in a Raid-1? Or am I missing the point?

-- Ah sh*t! sys64738 --
October 5, 2005 3:11:01 AM

Quote:
One being the polarity drive and the rest as storage(or something like that).

Parity wusy. You don't have a drive that tracks the north and sole poles on the the magnetic fields :p  Also, it's not one drive that acts as the parity, it alternates across all the drives.
October 5, 2005 3:37:57 AM

Right, he's getting mixed up with RAID3.

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October 5, 2005 9:59:17 PM

Quote:
Pat, wouldn't using a single drive to mirror a Raid-0 array decrease system performance? Would it not make more sense to just use two drives in a Raid-1? Or am I missing the point?


It all depends of what you do. Security of RAID 1, IMHO, is a no more than a false sense of security. Yes, if one drive fail, the other has a mirror, but do you need the full drive to be backed up? What if a controller failure make corruption all across the array.. Or a virus... and you were only relying on the "safety" of RAID 1 and don't have any backup?

To me, I rather have the performance and the 10 or so gigs of personnal data backed up on another drive and on a DVD.

If you have a 200 gigs full of critical data, then RAID 1 might be usefull, because it is a lot of data to back up... but you still don't have the component failure protection, apart for the HDD itself.

People see RAID0 as an evil.. Oh.. if one drive fail, you loose everything!! Yeah.. So, I have a back up and since I have Seagate HDD with their 5 years warranty, I'll get a new one that I will keep for backup, sell the other one and another one I already have in my system and get 2 brand new one to make my new RAID0 array, set the drive I got replaced for backup instead of my older one, so I will have a nice performing, up to date with new drive, system...

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