Intel softraid10 disks dropped from array, how to recover?

Thuleman

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I used a RevoDrive 110GB as my system drive and it went out (Revo is a total piece of junk, the 110 anyway, lots of folks have similar issues). So I went ahead and got an M4 as replacement system drive. Reinstalled Windows and BOOM, my softraid 10 is gone.

I obviously didn't do anything to those drives. The whole point of the softraid was to not be controller dependant and just be able to plug them into a new Windows install and it would all work. The drive order has not been changed.

Here are some screenshots of what the storage manager has to say about it, as you can see the serial numbers of the missing disks in the array match the stand alone disks listed. The question is, how can I get those disks back into the array without losing any data?



 

Thuleman

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Nope, not foreign. It's split between online/raw and not initialized.



I googled around for this a bit more but search results are saturated with other intel rapid storage stuff, hard to pin down good search terms and exclusions to get meaningful results.
 

Thuleman

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Well, and just as I posted the above I actually found a post from 2009 saying that I am doomed.

http://communities.intel.com/thread/27045

"You will need to recreate your RAID from scratch, no data and structure is available."

That just can't be right, there's got to be a way to recover from this, it would be insane if something as simple as a bios upgrade and different setting would hose all that stuff for good. I don't recall whether I did a bios upgrade, I don't think I did. I do recall that for some reason the machine did start with the bios set to AHCI instead of RAID and I did revert that back to RAID.

Sigh ....
 

mwroobel

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Before I put out the standard "RAID is not a backup" do you have a backup of the affected data? If not, if you have any spare drives, I would first make a complete image of all 4 drives so no matter what you can get back to the beginning if you change anything. Next, try is getdataback RAID http://runtime.org/raid-recovery-windows.htm or raid recovery http://www.diskinternals.com/raid-recovery/recovery_solution.shtml which will let you know if it can get anything back prior to purchasing anything. They profess not make any changes to the disks should it not be able to get anything back and you choose professional disk recovery.
 

drescherjm

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There is a chance that you can boot a linux live cd (like a recent ubuntu disk) and access your data. I am however not sure about forcing the dmraid module to assemble arrays that are considered out of sync.
 

Thuleman

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Yeah it's not going to be the end of the world if I don't get the data back, it's far more of an inconvenience than a catastrophe. Sure, some stuff will be irreplaceably lost, but then again if I haven't looked at it in the last 5 years then it probably wasn't that important to begin with.

I am currently scanning the drives with Zero Assumption Recovery http://www.z-a-recovery.com which has been recommended by another guy who had a similar issue. I used getdataback for NTFS before and it worked like a charm, will definitely try them if ZAR doesn't work out.

What truly bugs me is that Intel doesn't provide a way to recover from this. No disk operation has been performed and no data has been written to disk after the drives dropped from the raid. I don't understand how it is that the software can't figure out that the two drives which are out of the raid do actually belong in it.
 

Thuleman

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Well, none of those programs worked. Raid Recovery didn't even see any disks. Disk Internals would crash scanning about half way through, same with Zero Assumption Recovery. I may monkey around with this for a bit longer but by the end of today I'll just go ahead and move on.

Won't ever do softraid again though. I know Ockie back in the day was swearing by it due to "universal compatibility" and no cost for hardware raid but that something so simple as a reboot with the wrong BIOS setting would hose the array for good is just unacceptable.
 
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1) Your best bet at this point is probably to use RAID Reconstructor to set the array metadata manually. The drive that still shows as RAW looks promising in particular.

2) When you installed Windows, did you use the latest RST drivers? The ones on the Windows 7 CD (v8 iirc) are known to have lots of problems with data corruption. The Win 7 installer will also sometimes put the system boot volume on the wrong disk.

3) You don't need any special software or recovery or anything to recover from a desynced RST raid 1. The drives will just show up in Windows as separate disks.

4) Intel raid is both controller and OS dependent, but rebooting with AHCI/IDE will not hose an array under normal circumstances - I've done that many times.

4) Hardware raid isn't a panacea. Plenty of folks have lost data during failed volume expansion / rebuild / etc.

5) Crashplan is cheap
 

Thuleman

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1) Your best bet at this point is probably to use RAID Reconstructor to set the array metadata manually. The drive that still shows as RAW looks promising in particular.

2) When you installed Windows, did you use the latest RST drivers? The ones on the Windows 7 CD (v8 iirc) are known to have lots of problems with data corruption. The Win 7 installer will also sometimes put the system boot volume on the wrong disk.
I did use the latest RST drivers in both cases, when I first installed the array and then when i reinstalled Windows. When I reinstalled Windows I had initially disconnected the disk to ensure that Windows would install on the SSD and nothing would be written to the disks during Windows install.

3) You don't need any special software or recovery or anything to recover from a desynced RST raid 1. The drives will just show up in Windows as separate disks.
I'll post a new screenshot of what the disk management section looks like tomorrow morning. It's different from the screenshot above. There are now two RAW and two not initialized disks.

4) Intel raid is both controller and OS dependent, but rebooting with AHCI/IDE will not hose an array under normal circumstances - I've done that many times.
That's the problem then. My old Windows was Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, the new one is Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit. Would reinstalling Pro get me the array back? I may just try that tomorrow and see what happens.
 
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I did use the latest RST drivers in both cases, when I first installed the array and then when i reinstalled Windows. When I reinstalled Windows I had initially disconnected the disk to ensure that Windows would install on the SSD and nothing would be written to the disks during Windows install.
Sounds like you did everything you could, unfortunately. :(
I'm sure that you will get some data back as long as you can feed RAID Reconstructor with the right parameters.
 

Aesma

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If you unplug your hard drives and only keep the SSD, does windows still boots up ?

You keep talking about softraid, but what you did isn't software raid. Software raid is done by the OS (or filesystem).
 

Thuleman

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If you unplug your hard drives and only keep the SSD, does windows still boots up ?

You keep talking about softraid, but what you did isn't software raid. Software raid is done by the OS (or filesystem).

Yeah that's just me be wrong. It's the Intel ICH raid thing, not OS based raid. And yes, Windows boots fine without the other drives plugged in.

Not quite ready to give up on this yet. Here are some more screens which show that one volume is actually recognized as Raid 1 by some software but shows uninitialized in Windows. The other two drives are supposedly Raid 1 then as well and create the mirrored pair. RAID Reconstructor didn't provide anything useful when given the two separate drives and checking for Raid 1. It won't do Raid 10 since there aren't 4 drives. Well, since there aren't 4 drives it sees, all it sees is what Windows sees. Whereas Diskinternals and Raid Recovery sees the 4 physical drives.

My options as I see them are to somehow separate the current Raid 1 drive into two physical drives and then try to recover the Raid 10, or try the Linux Live CD (will do that next and report back).





 
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Thuleman

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Found something else over at Overclock, reposting here just to create another copy on the Interwebs.

If you decide to follow the steps below then:
DO NOT DELETE THE RAID, ONLY RESET TO NON-MEMBER DISKS
DO NOT DELETE THE RAID, ONLY RESET TO NON-MEMBER DISKS
DO NOT DELETE THE RAID, ONLY RESET TO NON-MEMBER DISKS
DO NOT DELETE THE RAID, ONLY RESET TO NON-MEMBER DISKS
DO NOT DELETE THE RAID, ONLY RESET TO NON-MEMBER DISKS

if you delete the raid then RST will reinitialize it on boot and all data will be lost.

ExtremeOverclocking said:
Thanks to everyone who tried to help. I found a solution and I thought I'd share it. I was able to recover the broken array using following steps.

1. Reset both HDs to non-member using Intel BIOS utility - the utility warns that all data will be lost - in fact only metadata is lost and can be recreated using steps below.

2. Create a new array with identical settings as the broken array. It is critical that the HDs are in the array the same order as before. I was reconnecting the drives several times and lost track of correct order. Because of that I had to go through the steps twice (I guessed wrong the first time).

3. Get TestDisk from http://www.cgsecurity.org. I used Windows version (I installed a new Vista on a separate HD for this purpose).

4. Run TestDisk according to steps on the web site. If your HDs are connected in correct order, TestDisk should find the lost partition(s) within a few seconds. It ran for several hours, scanning my array and never found anything because I had HDs were connected in wrong order. After I changed the order and restarted from step #1 TestDisk found the missing partition immediately.

5. Have the TestDisk write the fixed partition table to the drive and reboot.

6. Now all your data on the array should be readable but the system might not boot (it didn't for me).

7. Run Vista repair from installation CD to fix the MBR.

Ictinike said:
On this part, a gent and myself went through this for Win 7 as well I've done Vista and we had to run the 3 bootrec commands to get his viable. I can't remember if I did this on Vista but it might be wise to run all three to fix the MBR in Vista as listed above. To do so:

in Command Prompt from the Recover console enter:

bootrec /fixmbr (should success)
bootrec /fixboot (should success)
bootrec /rebuildbcd (detects the Windows installation and asks you to add it to the BCD, hit YES)


8. Last but not least, send a donation to Mr. Grenier, the author of TestDisk.
Originally from: Fixing Intel Matrix RAID 0 @ ExtremeOverclocking
Found at: HowTo : Recover Intel RAID "Non-Member Disk" Error.. @ Overclock

I'll still need to read the full thread, and I will try the Linux Live CD first, but the above does sound promising.
 
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Thuleman

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Alright, the saga is about to conclude.

I followed the steps above and the RAID10 disk showed up in Windows as uninitialized. I screwed up in the next step. I ran TestDisk and it found the NTFS partition, BUT the RAID10 disk was 3.3 GB and requires GPT instead of MBR. TestDisk got confused and wrote an MBR which screwed up subsequent attempts at partition table recovery by other tools.

I deleted all partition in Windows Disk Management, then also in Disk Management converted the disk to GPT, and then ran GetDataBack for NTFS (which I used a couple of months ago as well, well worth the price!) on the disk (without to recover partitions).

GetDataBack found my stuff. Due to the monkeying around with partition tables some folder names were lost as well as folder hierarchy but the files within the folders are all still there. Copying the files now, some 2.8 GB.

End result: Some aggravation experienced, some hours spent on monkeying around with this, some more time to recreate the appropriate folder structure, but NO DATA HAS BEEN LOST! OMG WTF BBQ I AM SO HAPPY!

Thanks to everyone who replied with suggestions. Will go ahead and just use actual softraid in Windows next, performance difference will be negligible but recovery will be easier if need be.
 
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