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Posted

Hi all,

I'm in need of little help here as I'm not entirely comfortable with RAID arrays and their foibles.

Currently in my desktop I have:
1x OCZ Vertex 2
5x Samsung 1TB drivers running in RAID5 controlled by:
ASUS P67 Rev 3.1

The Vertex 2 was used as a C drive, with al programs etc running off of it, and the RAID array being used for general storage use.

My Vertex 2 has just totally died, and I've got a Samsung 840 Pro to replace it with.

However I'm wondering what steps I should take when reinstalling the OS?

Should I disconnect the RAID array? Disable it in BIOS and re-enable it after I'm done installing Windows 8 onto the 840?

And finally, I'm assuming that all of my data on the RAID array is still there and secure? My top priority is of course maintaining that data!


Thanks for any help you can offer, I'm happy to provide any more info you may need.

Cheers.

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Posted

Just put a new 840 in, reload Windows. Easy. Don't worry about the RAID5.
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Posted

Exactly the answer I was hoping for, thanks!

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Posted

NO **** NO.

Depending on how the array is configured, Windows could overwrite the array.

UNPLUG THE POWER FROM THE RAID DISKS.
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Posted

Then he'll have to recreate a ray of RAID drives, loosing all his storage data.

Windows will only format the 840. Period.

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Posted

Windows shouldn't touch the array as far as I know? Once the driver loads it should detect there is an existing filesystem on there and do nothing with it.

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Posted

My guess based on the size variances between the RAID and the "C Drive" - The OS is not configured to be hot swappable and thus re-installing as long as the RAID is running within the same setup - everything should be fine.

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Posted

Of-course, IF this is not a production enviroment - You could do as you described and simple disable the RAID. Might be over-kill but it is a sure-fire way of making sure nothing happens to the data.

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Posted

So far I have done nothing regarding install, the 840 is in, and I'm ready to go but a bit worried by these conflicting answers!

Will having them unplugged have any negative effect?

Also, should I have SATA mode set to AHCI or RAID in my BIOS, it was previously set to RAID.

My two options as far as I can tell:

1. SATA Mode to RAID, all drives connected and fresh install on to the 840, or

2. SATA Mode to RAID, RAID array disconnected, and then plugged back in after install.

My priority is protecting the data on the RAID array, formatting and playing around with the C drive is of course now of no concern to me.

I'll be installing Win 8 64 Pro, the same OS as was on there prior to failure, with no other hardware changes.

Thanks for the help so far everyone!

Also, the RAID array is hardware controlled, not software.

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Posted

Like so:

Unplug the power on the RAID array.
Install Windows. Get into Windows and fully set up.
Power down, replug the power for the RAID array.
Power up, enjoy your raid.

Even if I am wrong (and I'm not) this is the safest way to do it, and if anyone has objections to this idea other than it's a waste of time, feel free to pipe up.

I lost a RAID array to the issue I described. I made a topic on this forum, but I can't find it (might have been trimmed?). I lost my Windows install to a USB3 driver issue that corrupted the install. Reinstalled with the RAID array driver present. It read my disks, and then overwrote parts of the drive setting up an install (due to not finding a file system). Just like what we are talking about here.


I'm legitimately asking people to pipe up if I am wrong.

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Posted

[quote name='WA7ER' timestamp='1358619398' post='595464442']
2. SATA Mode to RAID, RAID array disconnected, and then plugged back in after install.
[/quote]
That will work and you can also make sure the SATA ports are connected back in the same order but thats not really important for a working array.

Disconnecting the array first because installing the OS on another drive with SATA set to RAID insures windows don't installs the OS boot on the array with windows on the other drive.

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Posted

Excellent, all done following articuno's instructions, here's my steps so far:


Unplugged all drives.
Installed Win 8 with just the SSD connected, fully updated through Windows Update, and installed all drivers etc from the ASUS download page
Replugged all drives in exactly the same order, booted into Intel RST and seen the following: [url="http://i.imgur.com/inf769z.jpg"]http://i.imgur.com/inf769z.jpg[/url] Which all looks good, so my data is still sat there.

However when I boot into Windows I do not see the array as a drive, and neither do I see the disks in Device Manager, is there something I need to do for Windows to 'Discover' them?

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Posted

if the data on the array is life and death data, disconnect them while installing windows, reboot, enable the array/controller and let W8 load up drivers for the new controller/raid array and off you go.

I leave my RAID0 array enabled any time I reformat, but its just game data n cache, user files are on my NAS.

in device manager, do you see the RAID controller? if not re-run Scan for hardware changes from the Action menu.
you should see something similar to below (but 5 RAID5 devices)

[img]http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/7130/devmgr.jpg[/img]

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Posted

[quote name='WA7ER' timestamp='1358630747' post='595464784']
Excellent, all done following articuno's instructions, here's my steps so far:


Unplugged all drives.
Installed Win 8 with just the SSD connected, fully updated through Windows Update, and installed all drivers etc from the ASUS download page
Replugged all drives in exactly the same order, booted into Intel RST and seen the following: [url="http://i.imgur.com/inf769z.jpg"]http://i.imgur.com/inf769z.jpg[/url] Which all looks good, so my data is still sat there.

However when I boot into Windows I do not see the array as a drive, and neither do I see the disks in Device Manager, is there something I need to do for Windows to 'Discover' them?
[/quote][quote name='WA7ER' timestamp='1358630747' post='595464784']
Excellent, all done following articuno's instructions, here's my steps so far:


Unplugged all drives.
Installed Win 8 with just the SSD connected, fully updated through Windows Update, and installed all drivers etc from the ASUS download page
Replugged all drives in exactly the same order, booted into Intel RST and seen the following: [url="http://i.imgur.com/inf769z.jpg"]http://i.imgur.com/inf769z.jpg[/url] Which all looks good, so my data is still sat there.

However when I boot into Windows I do not see the array as a drive, and neither do I see the disks in Device Manager, is there something I need to do for Windows to 'Discover' them?
[/quote]

Go into Disk Manager and see if they are there, they might be 'offline' or need a drive letter assigning to the array.

[quote name='Mando' timestamp='1358631113' post='595464792']
if the data on the array is life and death data, disconnect them while installing windows, reboot, enable the array/controller and let W8 load up drivers for the new controller/raid array and off you go.

I leave my RAID0 array enabled any time I reformat, but its just game data n cache, user files are on my NAS.
[/quote]

People don't really need to do this, he could of easily just left the driver part out of it and installed Windows 8 to the new SSD then installed the drivers. As long as he isn't booting off the RAID array itself, it's fine. You only need to install the drivers during setup if your going to install to the array itself.

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Posted

Hmm, nothing in Disk Manager :/

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Posted

[quote name='Tony.' timestamp='1358631386' post='595464796']
Go into Disk Manager and see if they are there, they might be 'offline' or need a drive letter assigning to the array.



People don't really need to do this, he could of easily just left the driver part out of it and installed Windows 8 to the new SSD then installed the drivers. As long as he isn't booting off the RAID array itself, it's fine. You only need to install the drivers during setup if your going to install to the array itself.
[/quote]
Sorry should have been a bit more precise, I didn't mean in windows install start up, I meant if he had controller disabled in bios before installing W8. Once W8 was fully installed and he rebooted n enabled it.
I personally would have left it all enabled and let W8 setup see it in initial install time, what I always do on my own rig and exactly what I do with LUN mapped drives on SAN arrays presented as RAID volumes on rebuilds of servers. Never been an issue yet.

the raid config data is held and owned by the controller, same with the volumes in the raid container, windows will read it form that and not mess it up.

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Posted

Indeed, I didn't install any drivers during Win 8 installation, allowed it to do it's regular thing seeing as I only had the one drive enabled.

I have the latest Intel RAID drivers installed, and also the latest Marvell SASA controller drivers, I'm a bit perplexed as to why it's not just appearing as I had anticipated!

(This is my first build using RAID in case you couldn't guess :p)

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Posted

On boot up you should see the array listed yes?

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Posted

Indeed, in BIOS I see the 5 separate individual drives, in Intel RST I see the complete array, is there another time during boot I should see the array listed?

Here are the only two screens I see during the actual boot process:
[url="http://i.imgur.com/OxysUeV.jpg"]http://i.imgur.com/OxysUeV.jpg[/url]
[url="http://i.imgur.com/ySBdKxW.jpg"]http://i.imgur.com/ySBdKxW.jpg[/url]

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Posted

Its got to be in windows Disk Management maybe you didn't scroll down to see it?

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Posted

Nope, it's absolutely not there, there's no mention of it anywhere within Windows as far as I can see...

Very frustrating as I can't see a logical reason why it wouldn't be! :angry:

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Posted

"Unplugged all drives.
Installed Win 8 with just the SSD connected"

So you booted the computer and powered on the array controller with ALL the drives unplugged - don't you think the array controller might notice that it booted up and all its disk were offline? I am quite sure it would mark them OFFLINE when that happens, and your array is not valid any longer.

Now you should be able to go into the controller and get them back online again.. But there would of been no freaking reason to unplug them in the first place.. You might do that with single drives if you your not sure you could tell which one is which on an install. But I would be pretty sure you could tell the difference between a SSD and a raid 5 array to which one you wanted to install too.

Good luck - its quite possible you blew up the array when you unplug all its drive and then boot the controller -- what do you think its going to think happened to its disks??
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Posted

I doubt it blew up lol - you might of meant this as a dramatic way of saying uninitialized. It can take quite some time for the re-initialization process to complete. If I pull a hot swappable disk on one of the older units - it could take up to 3 hours before the new one is back online. A flashing light indicates the drives status.

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Posted

The controller should be able to re-init off of the disks based on the fact it's identified them as being disk members.

It ought just read the damn thing in theory. I've done it before with Intel controllers.

At the very worst it might require a resync.

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Posted

Judging by the image I took of Intel RST it still recognizes all the drives as being a valid array, why would having them unplugged cause any damage?
How would I go about with resyncing? I feel somewhat out of my depth here! :cry:

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Posted

Sorted!
Thanks everyone for your help :)

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