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I dun goofed big time with my RAID


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#1 +Bryan R.

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 20:37

I have an ASUS Sabertooth Z87 motherboard. I have one Samsung 840 Pro SSD and four 500GB Western Digital RE4 HDDs making up a 3TB RAID5 array. I have my home server virtualized on this array which is 1.6TB with precious photos and downloads.

 

It really is pretty simple how this happened. I've been running all my drives in RAID mode, my SSD included as a stand alone. I wanted to optimize the SSD properly with Samsung Magician. I needed AHCI mode and through some research found that technically any stand alone drive on a port set as RAID will automatically run as AHCI. The Magician software was disagreeing saying it wasn't AHCI and so I couldn't enable some awesome wiz-bang features.

 

I switched to AHCI mode on the Intel controller, rebooted, and the SSD was detected in AHCI mode just fine. RAID was broken (obviously) so I rebooted and switched back to RAID mode but then for some reason two drives from the array are now marked as non-member disks making the array failed. Booting into Windows, the RST software says the same. I've done data recovery before but not a RAID5. Based on my what I know about RAID and the research I've done, I've found that deleting the array and recreating it using the exact same configuration is harmless and this is how you should start recovering data. From there I'm using R-Studio, GetDataBack, Recuva to scan for my data...

 

This is one source of information I've been using: http://www.overclock...mber-disk-error

 

It's been about a week and each scan takes at least 6 hours and I haven't really had much luck in finding my data intact. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

If you're hear to preach backup to me, don't bother. I just need help in getting this back.




#2 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 20:41

Sorry, can't help, but have a question for you. According to wikepedia:

 

RAID 5 comprises block-level striping with distributed parity. Unlike in RAID 4, parity information is distributed among the drives. It requires that all drives but one be present to operate. Upon failure of a single drive, subsequent reads can be calculated from the distributed parity such that no data is lost. RAID 5 requires at least three disks

 

 

Shouldn't your data be on the other 3 drives?



#3 OP +Bryan R.

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 20:44

Sorry, can't help, but have a question for you. According to wikepedia:

 

RAID 5 comprises block-level striping with distributed parity. Unlike in RAID 4, parity information is distributed among the drives. It requires that all drives but one be present to operate. Upon failure of a single drive, subsequent reads can be calculated from the distributed parity such that no data is lost. RAID 5 requires at least three disks

 

 

Shouldn't your data be on the other 3 drives?

Yes. I'm confident the data is still physically there and untouched on all four drives. The array is rebuilt and "optimal" but it's unpartitioned space since partitioning/formatting it WOULD screw me. The trick is to recreate the array and run recovery utilities on the unpartitioned space. But I have been unsuccessful as of yet.



#4 papercut2008uk

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 20:57

(not an expert on Raid) do you have any of the HDD's on the white SATA ports on your motherboard? if you do, then it might be the reason your having issues with the setup, 



#5 OP +Bryan R.

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 20:59

(not an expert on Raid) do you have any of the HDD's on the white SATA ports on your motherboard? if you do, then it might be the reason your having issues with the setup, 

No I don't. In fact if any were, they wouldn't show up in RST nor would I be able to recreate the array.



#6 +LogicalApex

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 20:59

The most important question... You did not re-initialize the array after recreating it did you?

 

Also, why were there no backups? Why was the SSD included in this array? Did I read that correctly? That you had a RAID 5 with 4 member disks with one being an SSD into a single RAID "virtual disk"?



#7 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 20:59

Yes. I'm confident the data is still physically there and untouched on all four drives. The array is rebuilt and "optimal" but it's unpartitioned space since partitioning/formatting it WOULD screw me. The trick is to recreate the array and run recovery utilities on the unpartitioned space. But I have been unsuccessful as of yet.

Ah makes sense, Good luck!



#8 OP +Bryan R.

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 21:02

The most important question... You did not re-initialize the array after recreating it did you?

 

Also, why were there no backups? Why was the SSD included in this array? Did I read that correctly? That you had a RAID 5 with 4 member disks with one being an SSD into a single RAID "virtual disk"?

NO I did NOT re-initialize!

 

The SSD was a stand alone drive but since you can't enable/disable AHCI/RAID per port, the SSD was on the same controller, not associated with the RAID at all.

 

Since then I have moved the SSD to a second SATA3 controller on the board so it's completely separate.

 

As for the backup, I did have one but my server had grown too large for me to backup anymore. I've been meaning to get a 4TB HDD for this... This tinkering and subsequent broken RAID are on me just not being careful enough.



#9 +LogicalApex

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 21:08

NO I did NOT re-initialize!

 

The SSD was a stand alone drive but since you can't enable/disable AHCI/RAID per port, the SSD was on the same controller, not associated with the RAID at all.

 

Since then I have moved the SSD to a second SATA3 controller on the board so it's completely separate.

 

As for the backup, I did have one but my server had grown too large for me to backup anymore. I've been meaning to get a 4TB HDD for this... This tinkering and subsequent broken RAID are on me just not being careful enough.

What happened overall?

 

The RAID should have been marked as "FAILED" when 2 of the drives failed to appear. Intel RST stores its RAID information on the HDD so it doesn't matter what port it is plugged into. But you also mentioned that the RAID array has undergone a REBUILD. How would it do this without having detected the drives back again. Or did you manually re-add them to the array and let a rebuild occur? If you did this then the data is gone. A rebuild is the same as an initialize when you've sustained a multiple drive loss in a RAID 5. As there is not enough parity data to restore...



#10 astrokat

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 21:09

Strange that the disks were detected as non-members when you enabled raid again.  I believe in the past, my systems remembered.  Since you deleted and re-created the array, I don't think there is much you can do now.



#11 OP +Bryan R.

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 21:12

What happened overall?

 

The RAID should have been marked as "FAILED" when 2 of the drives failed to appear. Intel RST stores its RAID information on the HDD so it doesn't matter what port it is plugged into. But you also mentioned that the RAID array has undergone a REBUILD. How would it do this without having detected the drives back again. Or did you manually re-add them to the array and let a rebuild occur? If you did this then the data is gone. A rebuild is the same as an initialize when you've sustained a multiple drive loss in a RAID 5. As there is not enough parity data to restore...

The RAID was failed with two drives missing... I re-created the array is all. Exactly as it was originally. No rebuild. No initialization. I know the metadata is stored on each drive, but I am sure they are plugged in the same ports regardless. (There were some people in my research that had to have the drives plugged in in the correct order for recovery utilities to find anything).



#12 srbeen

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 21:51

This won't help fix the problem you are in, but I think if you disconnected the power from each RAID drive before screwing around, you'd likely still have an in-tact array. I don't know how the magician software works though, but I presume your array didn't need to be present. I'm suprised you had no option of exporting the pool/vdevs/array/RAID config either, which would have really helped in this situation. Also 1 backup isn't honestly enough. there should be 2. One on-site in case of castrophic failure (like you got yourself into), and one off-site, in case of fire/robbery/spontaneous combustion/etc.

 

I have been in this boat before and its a gut-sinking situation which I never resolved. I was unable to recover my data off a raid1 array after simply connecting the sata ports to the wrong spots and the controller thinking they were new disks. I would try asking in more places, possibly reddit /r/techsupport or one of their related reddits may have a more focused crowd.

 

EDIT - Possibly.... your raid may think its 0 bytes big right now, because theres nothing in it. You need to somehow make it think its full of data, so it may show the previously copied data?



#13 +riahc3

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 22:09

Hello,

 

I read as the SSD being part of the RAID5 too! :laugh: glad that got cleared up.

 

What does booting up a LiveCD do?



#14 OP +Bryan R.

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 22:41

I thought it was pretty clear that the SSD was a stand alone drive in RAID mode since that's what I said  :s I added a few choice words for clarification.
 

This won't help fix the problem you are in, but I think if you disconnected the power from each RAID drive before screwing around, you'd likely still have an in-tact array. I don't know how the magician software works though, but I presume your array didn't need to be present.

Yes, this whole thing could have easily been avoided. I know. At the same time, the freakin' metadata should have been fine. The Magician software has nothing to do with the RAID situation, it's just background information.

I would try asking in more places, possibly reddit /r/techsupport or one of their related reddits may have a more focused crowd.

Thanks for the suggestion.

#15 +zhiVago

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 09:22

 I re-created the array is all. Exactly as it was originally. No rebuild. No initialization.

 

You should have just let Intel RST fix the error the first time without doing anything manually (re-creating it).

 

Sorry it's happened to you. I've been in exact same situation many times before, and, naturally, the first time it happened to me years ago got me worried too.

 

RAID5 is also one of the least reliable options on Intel RST from my experience.