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thefilmguy

RAID5 broken. Clone questing and suggestions.

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My RAID5 Array seems to be broken by possibly a bad windows shutdown a couple weeks ago. I can no longer see the drive in Windows.

Ok so my first question is

a) Given that each drive(3) is healthy and working, can I clone each drive with Ghost and use the cloned drives as my test dummies to troubleshoot my issue?

B) Does anyone have any advice for the complete story below?

I have 3 2TB in a RAID5 setup. One day the PC just shut off but then booting back into windows 8, it would never come up. I removed all power cables from the RAID drives. Windows 8 comes up right away. Figure I would come back to it in a couple weeks(me being in denial not wanting to deal with it).

Now I have to deal with it. In the Silicon 3114 RAID controller BIOS, it shows the L001 drive as an Invalid drive. The M001 drives are reserved (image). Windows shows nothing. I plug them into the motherboard via non-raid setup and all drives come up but one comes up as 4TB RAW with a drive letter (image).

When I put a replacement drive in, it does not rebuild the RAID5. See images.
BIOS image
Sil3114 SATARAID5 Manager image
This program shows the new drive is set for pass-through (bypass raid). I do not know how to fix this. But the only option in the program I can do is "Create RAID Group" which I don't want to do.

So I hook everything back to the way it was, correct channel, cable, drive, etc. SATARAID5 shows this group in a legacy RG0? (image). I get no option to Rebuild, it's grayed out, same with the spare.

Does anyone know what this means? I have important photography on here I can't risk to lose so before I bring this to a DR I want to see if there is anything I can do. The data is there as I tried to do a file recovery when HDD's were connected straight to windows. Thumbnails look fine but the image is corrupted when looking at them. Has anyone experience a drive saying Invalid RAID drive on the Silicon 3114? Can I choose convert legacy? If I go into Device Summary it shows all drives as Healthy.

I'm a network guy so RAID is my weak spot.
Here is a link to the SATARAID5 manual
http://www.siliconimage.com/docs/SATARAID5-UserGuide_v1...

In order for me to use this utility in Windows 8 I had to install the latest version of Java, then run command as an administrator and execute the java file from there. My UAC is already off which I couldn't figure out why it wasn't opening.

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Now I'm assuming there is no second location of this data (i.e. no backup)?

What form of RAID device is this? Was this part of an add-on card or integrated into the motherboard? RAID recovery gets pretty complex brand to brand, whereas if the nvram certain details for this array were located got corrupt, building it from scratch will be incredibly difficult unless you have a perfect known working duplicate system.

If you have three identical capacity drives, I'd use DD to do a byte for byte clone of each of these disk to play around on (or send off for recovery).

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Nope. No backup.

This is a Vantec UGT-ST310R (Silicon 3114 chip) PCI RAID controller. The BIOS on this controller is stupid. Only allows me to Rebuild to RAID1.

http://www.vantecusa.com/en/product/view_detail/391

I have 3 identical drives, the only part they differ is 2 drives are model M001 and L001. L001 is showing as invaild RAID drive in the controller BIOS.

I've never heard of DD before. Is that better than using Symantec Ghost 10 or clonezilla?

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DD is an incredibly powerful and very basic cloning tool built into Unix and Linux systems. It will literally copy bit for bit what is on one drive or partition to another. It must be used with respect though as stupid mistakes (selecting the wrong drive as source for example) will clone blank data onto the device you are trying to fix... with no warning prompts.

That said it is the only tool I'd use for this job, it just needs to be used with caution.

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Thanks Kevin. That's what I'm reading. Seems like Ghost will copy but not copy in the same orientation as DD would. Thank you very much. I will definitely be very cautious before trying one. I may even prepare a ghost of my first drive without compression just as another fail safe.

Thanks again .

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Also this goes without saying at this point, but this is one of the reasons I don't recommend or use any H/W RAID that isn't LSI or Adaptec. Other cards can be lumped into that group that use the same software, drivers, or chipsets, but off-brand RAID has nowhere near the proven reliability of the main ones in the market.

On the RAID recovery aspect, once you have clones of the disks involved, try out something like this:

http://www.freeraidrecovery.com

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Awesome thanks again Kevin. Yes I ran this program 9pm Friday evening and 9am Saturday it only completed maybe less than 10%. So I can certainly run this program and let it ride as the developers assure nothing is written to the drives in this process. My question is, does this program work with the drives connected in a non-raid setup?

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I believe that program works by having all of the drive connected through a traditional HDA where each drive is seen individually.

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So I skipped doing a clone for now until I can find spare drives to use. I ran the FreeRaidRecover on the 3 drives and received this error this morning. Not sure what this means but maybe somehow my raid5 dropped to a raid1 when there was an issue with one drive but doesn't explain why I would have all these problems.

http://imgur.com/j7DQNQC

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I know this is tough to read at this point, but this is why backups of any kind are stressed in these situations. Even the best RAID environments can blow up, where a secondary copy of that information even sitting on a cheap external HDD can be invaluable.

If that array somehow dropped into RAID1, the two (or three) mirrored copies should be perfectly visible as a normal drive when connected individually. I'd clone one of them before trying that to be sure, but something to consider trying just in case.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I had to take a couple days off but I now bought 3 replica 2TB Seagate drives to clone. Will this command work?

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=4096 conv=notrunc,noerror

Is the bs=4096 needed?

BTW the vendor wants me to try Raid Reconstruct from Runtime. Unfortunately the program wasn't able to find the appropriate info needed to reconstruct so I would have to pay for their probe service which costs $299. I just spent 300 on drives lol I don't wanna drop another 300 but if they do fix it, I guess that's my last option.

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First: IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU IDENTIFY WHAT THE DEVICE PATH IS FOR THE OLD DRIVE AND THE NEW DRIVE. YOU COULD EASILY WRITE BLANK OR JUNK DATA ONTO THE WRONG DRIVE.

There is no way to know which drive is which without access to the local system. Normally I start with nothing but the boot CD or boot drive in the system, insert the drive you want to clone, type "dmesg" to see which drive just appeared, then insert the drive you want to use as the target, type "dmesg" to see what drive just appeared, and then write your DD clone line.

Normally I'm a fan of

dd if=/dev/sdX (source) of=/dev/sdX (target) bs=32M

That block size helps to speed things along. Its just how much it copies at a time, not what the alignment is.

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haha thanks for the tip. Trust me, that was the first thing I thought of. I was going to boot into ubuntu with the source drive, then reboot again with the target drive. Thanks for the dmesg command though. It has been a few years since I've touched linux.

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So now my problem is the drives don't list in linux. I can see the model of the drive somewhere when I run the dmesg command at the bottom but I don't see any path. Any tips?

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Are you plugging the drive in while the system is on? Should be the last handful of lines in dmesg at that stage.

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