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Solved: HELP: Spanned volume unformatted??

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Soundy, Jan 4, 2011.

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  1. Soundy

    Soundy Thread Starter

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    I have a system with a spanned volume of five 2TB disks. Actually, the "disks" are all iSCSI targets (since Windows XP won't see targets >2047GB on my QNAP array)... but in any case, Windows shows all the disks as being present and the spanned volume as being "Healthy"... it just doesn't appear to be formatted any longer. The array itself (RAID5 with a hot spare) shows as healthy, and the SMART on all the physical drives shows fine as well. So all the components look to be good, I've just lost the NTFS structure.

    Any suggestions on how to recover??
     
  2. Saga Lout

    Saga Lout

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    If XP can't quantify the collective drives, I wouldn't expect it to be able to determine the file system. Are the data present and correct?
     
  3. Soundy

    Soundy Thread Starter

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    All five disks are present and appear to be properly mounted. Disk Management sees the entire volume and lists it as "Healthy", but there's no file system, and the system keeps locking up with a "file or directory \$Mft is corrupt or unreadable" message.
     
  4. Saga Lout

    Saga Lout

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    Checkdisk might be able to fix that for you, preferably run outside the GUI. Use your XP CD to get to the first Repair option, go to the Command Prompt and type in chkdsk /r and the /r switch wll find and fix errors in a five stage process which may take some time. Restart then remove as much clutter as possible and defragment the data.
     
  5. Soundy

    Soundy Thread Starter

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    Only one problem with that: the "disks" in question are iSCSI targets on a RAID5 array - I can't mount them from a boot CD.
     
  6. Saga Lout

    Saga Lout

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    Silly old me - forgot I read that bit all those days ago! In that case, you have to run it within the GUI and tick both boxes to find and fix - that's assuming they show up in Explorer and will show you other Properties. It's a lower level scan but it might be enough fix the MFT.
     
  7. Soundy

    Soundy Thread Starter

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    Well, I took the suggestion anyway (before I saw this last post) and did it from the command line within Windows... AND IT WORKED :) Thankyouthankyouthankyou!

    If I could pick your brain for another minute... I have an idea what might have caused this, and would prefer to avoid it happening again. See if this makes sense:

    We found that after a reboot, the spanned volume would always show up as inactive - I believe this is because the iSCSI initiator takes a few extra moments after startup to reconnect all its targets, and Windows comes up initially not seeing any of the "drives" it needs for its spanned volume. I found that simply right-clicking the volume and going "Reactivate" did the trick... so the other tech came up with a one-line DISKPART script to do this automatically, and put a link to it in the Startup folder.

    This has been working fine until a couple days ago and a scheduled reboot... what I believe happened is that ONE (possible two) of the targets wasn't back online when the "reactivate" script ran, thus making Windows think the volume was broken, and borking the partition table and/or MFT. Does this sound plausible?

    I introduced a 30-second delay in the script before running DISKPART... I may also add a CHKDSK after it, if that sounds reasonable?

    Thanks again!
     
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