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RAID 5 - Disks are working, but the Volume listed as Stopped Working

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Weresmilodon, Jan 29, 2010.

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  1. Weresmilodon

    Weresmilodon Thread Starter

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    I have had a rather large problem over the last couple of days. It started earlier in the week, when one drive stopped working. Not a big problem, I've had drives fail before. 4 disks, so i can handle one less for a little while, i though. Not so though, while still waiting for my new drive, using my computer like usual (with less load on unit D) i suddenly start getting write-errors to D:, and the Intel Matrix Storage Console lists it as Stopped Working instead of Degraded. Nothing changed except for the status of the Volume, all the disks read the same as before, fully functional.

    I have very little experience with these sort of matters. This is the first time I've lost a drive where i might lose data as well, and i have pretty much no idea where to go from here. I've tried to replace the faulty disk with another 500GB drive, but the RAID-setup in BIOS just tells me there isn't enough space, and the Console in Windows places the new drive as a Non-RAID drive. I can mark it as reserve, but that seems to be all i can do with it.

    I'm not, hopefully, asking for miracles. I have just two things that i really need to retrieve from the Volume, my Firefox sessions (saved in a separate folder at the root of the drive), and my Thunderbird mail, (stored in their standard location, as my whole Windows-profile is on that drive). Everything else i can get again. (Well, not really, i have stuff stored up from 8-10 years back, from people who has withdrawn from the net and taken everything with them, or died. Old stuff that is no longer available on the net, and so on.) But i could live with that loss. It would be hard, but i could do it. The mail, though, stretch almost the whole way to when i first started using internet, back in DOS, and the Firefox sessions contain close to a hundred windows in total, and probably over a thousand tabs. Most i will never be able to find again, no matter how long or hard i search. That's a pretty devastating blow. The thought of loosing all that is making me nauseous.

    Any help i can get to retrieve the data is appreciated. I couldn't put into words how thankful i would be, if i got it back.


    ASUS Maximus Formula SE motherboard
    4(now 3) x Western Digital 500GB Caviar

    Anyting else you need to know, please ask. Any help at all is welcome.
     
  2. DreadStorm

    DreadStorm

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    Wayne
    Nasty suggestion...stop using it until you get the drive you're waiting on. Don't touch it, don't go near it, don't even power it on until the drive arrives.

    Once you swallow that, I'll go on.... ;)

    Typically, the same rule should be followed when working on a single-drive unit, and suddenly bad clusters start cropping up. Quit using it, until a replacement in available, then copy and start using again. The same here. You're missing a chunk of your array. For argument sake, you got a massive bad cluster. Stop piddling with it, even accessing it, until you're ready to rebuild it.

    And lastly, never, ever store data of any kind that you hold that dearly without a backup. I have a collection of over 700 movies. They're on my media server in a RAID 0+1, and I have a 1.5TB USB hard drive storing yet another backup.

    In short, don't touch the damn thing till you're ready to rebuild! heh
    After that, we'll see what we can do.
     
  3. Weresmilodon

    Weresmilodon Thread Starter

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    Ok. Right now i have [email protected] File recovery running on that drive, but after it's done, I'll shut down and pull the power-cables. Do i need to pull the SATA cables too?

    And what would you guess at being the reason for the drive to go not functioning like that?
     
  4. DreadStorm

    DreadStorm

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    First Name:
    Wayne
    When I say this, I'm operating under the assumption that the drives are the same age...

    If one went, I'm almost sure the other would be close behind, considering they have the same amount of wear and tear. That's not gospel of course, but what I've seen has been that the same hard drives, made in the same batch, of the same materials, tend to go within a short time of each other. They don't make anything like they used to. (I have an old 540MB drive that's still running like new.) But like I said, it's not gospel, just experience.

    Now, aside from that note, I would suggest that once having a full array, and now missing a part, my guess is the controller is having a hard time with it. Computers are stupid - they do only what they're told to do. Unfortunately, the people that make them can sometimes be frighteningly stupid. Taking that into account, I have to say "I dunno"...That is, until your replacement arrives, you set it up as you had it, and then we can run some tests.

    Like you, and aside from the movies, I too have an archive of "priceless" data, so I guess you could say that I have a kindred interest in seeing this through.

    EDIT: And yes, I'd unplug all cables. Might cause trouble in some systems, because often the SATA data cable is enough for the system to recognize it, even though there's not enough power to do anything with it. Label them to be safe, too.
     
  5. Weresmilodon

    Weresmilodon Thread Starter

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    Well, everything's unplugged now. [email protected] File Recovery found only bad sectors from beginning to end, but I'm not so sure how much i trust that program.

    I did find one piece of good news though. On my C: drive, i found a two month old backup from Thunderbird, so at worst, I'm loosing two months, rather then 8-12 years on that front. That's a relief, such as it is.
     
  6. Pookie

    Pookie

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    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    198
    I haven't used it in many years but spinwrite might be of help to you. It does cost a little but if your data is worth it and you don't have backups.....
     
  7. Weresmilodon

    Weresmilodon Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Ok, HDD has arrived. I'll start with just inserting it and trying to add it to the RAID-volume in a bit. See what i get from that.

    Edit: Small change, I'll do it tomorrow. Time just flew out the window today.
     
  8. Weresmilodon

    Weresmilodon Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Well, I'm about ready to give up on this, nothing seems to work. It's like the information regarding the RAID-volume itself got lost or corrupted, along with the information for all the files on it.

    I doubt I'll get anything back from this. I've had a month to get used to the idea now. It's still a staggering loss, but i'm coming to terms with it.

    I'll still welcome last-ditch suggestions, but sometime tomorrow, say in 16-20 hours, I'll probably dissolve the volume, and create a new one from scratch.
     
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