View Full Version : Help! Lost software raid array

02-07-2005, 10:23 AM
The raid array (software based, done in windows) that we use to store all our video on is not showing up. I am attaching a screenshot of what I see in diskmanagment. It seems to see the harddrive but it says the partition is missing. Is there anyway to get the data back? We need it back up and running (if possible) as quickly as possible.

Thanks for your help!

02-07-2005, 10:24 AM
Sorry, I forgot to resize the image!

02-07-2005, 11:01 AM
First thought is shut down and reboot. Second, do you have two arrays or are they the same one?


02-07-2005, 11:05 AM
I already tried shutting down and rebooting. There is only one array, but in the disk manger it looks like there are two identical arrays.

02-07-2005, 12:37 PM
What requestor do you get when you right click on either of them or the one at the top that says failed? Did you install any new hardware, software or do any updates?


02-07-2005, 01:08 PM
Any changes made in BIOS?

02-07-2005, 01:38 PM
I'm not at the studio right now, so I can't say for sure about the requester. But It think all the options are grayed out when I right click on it. Absolutley no changes were made. No windows settings, no bios settings, not new hardware, not even any driver updates. This same problem happend once before and we were told it was a windows problem and that there was nothing to do but start over.

02-07-2005, 02:30 PM
Are all the physical drives in the array spinning up and staying on when you boot up? Do you, by any chance, hear one of the drive shut off and then later spin back up?
How many drives in the array?

02-07-2005, 02:38 PM
Normally, in disk manager, you should see ALL physical drives in the array individually, and you usually don't see the array appear like that as one drive unless one or more of the disk in the stripe set are physically missing. Then, disk manage displays the array like you are seeing (as one single representation of the stripe and another single representation of the missing physical disks).
So, I am guessing that one of your drives may not be online. This can happen from from a low voltage on one of your drive power cables if the resistance has been increased too much by daisy chaining too many hard-drive-power-cable-Y-connectors to get enough plugs to power all you drives.

02-07-2005, 02:42 PM
You can also try right clicking on the grey quare to the left of the drive representation and choose "reactivate disk".

(This will do nothing if the drive is physically not there.)

Also, do you see the drives appear in the SCSI bios during boot-up?

I am assuming these are SCSI, are they??

02-07-2005, 02:44 PM
Looks like you had a 2 drive array before the failure. Interestingly it's now showing the first drive as a good drive, but set up as basic. The second drive is showing failure, but is listed as a dynamic disk. Only thing I can suggest is trying to set the first disk as a dynamic disk to see if that will do away with the failure problem in the second drive which could simply be a result of an array failure because the first drive is no longer a dynamic disk and part of the array.

Failing that, you could try changing the second drive to simple instead of dynamic to see if it continues to show a failure. (Not sure if that would erase your data by simply changing the type, but I don't think it will and it would warn you before doing so if it needed to erase it, so go ahead) If the second drive comes up ok, then you may be able to rebuild your array.

If that doesn't work, then it would appear you have a hard drive hardware failure and that's pretty much it for your raid if it is raid 0. If the suggestions above don't get that drive working again, go get another similar or preferably exact same drive as your first one and rebuild, format and start from scratch.

FWIW, I have on a few occassions taken all drives in a two or more drive array on one system with video files in them, installed these drives in a new system, gone into disk manager where each first shows as simple disks by default, then change them to dynamic, assign them all as an array and boom, there's all the original files again perfectly intact. My intent was to create a new clean formatted array, but Windows was able to see the original array without formatting. I wouldn't recomend this if you really needed that data, but it's worked in my experience. Point being, if your array if simply faulty due to one disk being identified improperly, it can be rebuilt. If it's a hardware failure, don't bother wasting time crying over spilled electrons, just start fresh.

02-07-2005, 02:59 PM
Unless you know of a 447GB dive this was not a two drive array. It was likely not striped in Windows but striped with the hardware. Am I correct? Are you signing in under a different name and it's not being loaded as part of your profile?


02-07-2005, 03:53 PM
Here is what i did when this happend to me.... I bought another harddrive that was bigger then the striped one´s together.

I used this program to find the drives and restore the data to the new harddrive. After that i formated the striped harddrives again and scanned them so there would not be any hardware fault on them. Then copy the data back on to the striped volym.

Here are 2 programs that can help you.
EasyRecovery™ from www.ontrack.com
R-STUDIO from www.r-tt.com

Hope it helps you... It can be done, i did it some month ago.


02-07-2005, 04:21 PM
I would guess that it is either 3 147's or 6 73's, not a two drive stripe. I believe that the way it is displaying the raid is not related to the actual drives, but to the software stripe set, which is the only thing Windows can see when a disk is physically missing.

I don't believe changing from basic to dynamic is going to help in this situation.

Also, the programs will not help one bit if the drive is powering down or otherwise physically unavailable.

And, he did say in his first post that this was a Windows software RAID.

02-07-2005, 04:45 PM
Also, the programs will not help one bit if the drive is powering down or otherwise physically unavailable.


Please dont get me going here.... i said that i did this some month ago... Windows told me the exact same Missing/Offline.... But maybe you know better....

And where does he say that it is unavaiable? Windows have found the drive...but not the partition.


02-07-2005, 04:53 PM
I had to look for the thread when i had this problem and found the link....



02-07-2005, 05:04 PM

I am not trying to be offensive. I did not say the software was good for nothing. I simply said that in the scenario that a disk was physically missing it would do no good.
If you read my previous posts you will see why I am suspected that it could be a physically missing drive.
Also, if you look carefully at his screen shot, it does say the disk is missing.

I have also had significant recent personal experience with this, including purchasing R-TT for nothing, but I am not saying "I know better."
So, hopefully, there's no reason to "get going." ;)

02-07-2005, 08:41 PM
Actually, it's 4 120gb IDE drives :( I was told that the array was done in windows and not hardware based, but taht may bee incorrect. I can check again when I go in tommrow. Bios sees all the harddrives just fine.

The only account on the computer is Administrator and now settings have been changed. From what I understand, it was working earlier that day before I got there. As far as I know VT[3] was not exited inbetween the time it did work and when I got there and discovered that the array wasn't working.

02-08-2005, 05:42 AM
What type of card are you using? I did work on a machine that had some trouble with the Array going in and out and replacing the 3Ware card solved it and all the data was still safe. If you have an extra card around or can afford to buy one it would be worth a shot.


02-08-2005, 09:28 AM
Oh yeah...it would have to be more than two drives.....der. So in that case you most likely have a hardware IDE raid controller which is setting up one or two hardware raids, then it may be that you're creating a software raid between the two hardware raids? Whatever you've got, it doesn't seem like an ideal configuration. You ought to have a hardware raid for the IDE's via the raid controller, or a software raid between the individual drives if your controller allows them to exists independantly. Looks like you're doing both, maybe dual channels with a raid on each. Probably better to just raid them all together in the controller.

If you're using a promise IDE Raid card then you could have a number of problems other than a bad drive. I had a dual channel Promise fasttrack ide raid card with two drives on one channel and every so often for no particular reason the promise bios would report one drive offline and the raid as corrupt. At least 10 times I had to go into the promise hardware raid setup and delete the raid then recreate it. Afterwards my data was still all there and both drives were working fine again. It was a pain and made me nervous each time but I didn't lose my data. Shouldn't have been happening, but if it's happening to you you should get a notice on boot up that your raid is faulty or something in addition to the disk management report.

02-08-2005, 09:41 AM
I found out that the array is hardware based using a 3ware card. The card does see all four harddrives. Is the card going bad? If I repalce the card will the array still be fine?

Should I be using the hardware raid, or should that be done in windows?

02-08-2005, 10:58 AM
The times I had to replace the card the drives were striped in Windows and replacing the card didn't cause any problems. I don't know that this will be the case if they were striped using the hardware.

I think I saw somewhere that a software stripe is preferred, I converted one to software and got a 10 - 18% increase in speed.


02-08-2005, 01:11 PM
The 3Ware card sees all the drives, but is it indicating a bad raid? If so you may be able to rebuild your raid as I mentioned and be back up and running. A software stripe is in fact the correct way to go. With IDE raids it's debatable weather you can get multiple IDEs up and running individually through a ide raid card. If you can simply connect them to the 3 ware card and make them active without setting a raid, they should then appear individually in disk manager and you can stripe them together there. That's definitely the way to go if you can.

Does it have two, two drive raids set up on the card and only one shows up in disk manager? Does the 3Ware bios indicate two good raids in that case or is one not working with the 3Ware?

02-08-2005, 03:20 PM
Why dont you just download the demoversion of R-studio and you can see if it can find/restore the data for you... If it can see the data then you can restore it with a full version of the program to another harddrive...