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RAID (0) Array - one drive dead


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#1 starwarsgeek

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:56 PM

I'm running a RAID(0) array using 2 - 250GB hard drives. Yesterday, I tried to boot my PC but got an error message and it looks like 1 drive is not working. The PC ran CHKDSK but it couldn't correct any errors or find space to repair the damaged files. It wouldn't even boot to Windows at all. Early this morning, I tried to boot the PC and it actually booted into Windows but froze soon after and I couldn't do anything with it.

Is there anything that I can do to recover the data on my hard disks? I have a ton of photos and school work that I really really need to get back... any idea or information that might be of use would be greatly appreciated.

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#2 billy gates son

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:38 PM

when you say "looks like 1 drive is not working" is that from checking the health status of the drives in the RAID controller setup?

#3 starwarsgeek

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:58 PM

I attached a photo that shows what I get when I boot the PC. If it passes this screen, it goes into a DSKCHK which finds all kinds of fragmented files, but can't recover any of them. If it boots to Windows, it just freezes up a few minutes later.

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#4 billy gates son

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:09 PM

what information is given inside the configuration utility?

#5 James Litten

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:59 PM

Hi Starwarsgeek

It appears that there is some serious corruption on that drive that may be due to logical or physical errors. The problem is the fact that it is a RAID 0 array and when one drive has a problem the whole array is affected.

At this point I would suggest you proceed with attempting a data recovery if there is anything on there that you need and have not backed up. Have you tried booting with a Linux boot CD? I'm not sure how well that will work with a damaged RAID 0 array and I do not have any RAID 0 arrays in my lab to test solutions on.

However, if no one else has any suggestions, I would be happy to help you do that.

If you do not have any important data on that array that you need. I recommend replacing the bad disk and reinstalling the operating system.

James

#6 starwarsgeek

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:01 PM

How do I go about the data recovery? As I said, if the PC boots past this point, it starts with a CHKDSK but all the recovery fails. There are quite a few files on this drive that I would like to recover, some family photos as well as several semesters of archived school work... if there's anything that I can do to recover those files, I'll try whatever it takes. Thanks!

#7 James Litten

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:05 PM

Let me know the manufacturer and model of the computer and I'll put together some instructions for you :)

James

#8 starwarsgeek

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:06 PM

It is a DELL XPS400, pretty much untouched from the factory. Thanks!

#9 James Litten

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:27 PM

On a working computer, please download the latest version of PartedMagic:
  • PartedMagic Downloads (download the .iso file Parted Magic 2012_11_30 (md5sum: dc3c925e564f5c12e9a2110d01f35f1b) it's the orange download button)
Write (in the appropriate manner) the downloaded .iso file to either CD or USB/flashdrive:
Boot the problematic computer from the PartedMagic CD or flashdrive:
  • At the first menu with Default settings (Runs from RAM) selected, press <ENTER>.
    Be patient while PartedMagic loads into memory, and then displays its Desktop.

Check partitions with fdisk
At the bottom left of the desktop you will see a picture of a computer monitor. Click it to open a terminal window. In the terminal window type
fdisk -l
(that is fdisk SPACE DASH l as in Linux) and press ENTER

Let me know if...
  • you have any questions or problems.
  • you can successfully boot to the Desktop of PartedMagic, and whether you are using a bootable CD or a flashdrive.
  • what fdisk's output was. A picture would be fine like you posted of the array error before.

Special Note: I have not tested this latest version of PartedMagic but will do so soon so if anything looks different than I describe, let me know and I'll find out what is different :)
James

Edited by James Litten, 11 December 2012 - 02:29 PM.


#10 starwarsgeek

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:28 PM

OK this may seem like a silly question but... how do I get the PC to boot from the USB drive? I connected the USB and powered the PC up, but it just boots normally.

#11 starwarsgeek

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:35 PM

Don't know if this tells you anything, but after the PC passes the first screen I pictured, I get this message... then it goes on to say "Correcting error in index $I30 for file 204872".

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#12 billy gates son

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:47 PM

OK this may seem like a silly question but... how do I get the PC to boot from the USB drive? I connected the USB and powered the PC up, but it just boots normally.

usually by hitting the delete key after you power on the computer to enter the BIOS and changing the boot device to usb or fdd usb

#13 starwarsgeek

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 04:07 PM

OK so I got the PC to boot from the USB drive. It wasn't doing anything for a while but giving me a black screen, and then I got a BSOD and the PC rebooted. When it rebooted - the error message on disc drive 2 was gone. But it booted from the USB and loaded the PartedMagic desktop.

Here are the pictures I took from the output of running the fdisk (had to take 2 pics, didn't want them too small to read).

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#14 starwarsgeek

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 04:08 PM

Can't seem to attach the 2nd photo for some reason, no matter how small I make it, it tells me it's too big to upload?

#15 James Litten

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 04:37 PM

Good job. Don't worry about the other photo for now.

This was just a quick test to see what is visible from Linux without mounting any drives.

Here is what it looks like. Let me know if I'm wrong or miss anything...
sda is the good 250GB part of the array
sdb is the bad 250GB part of the array
sdc is the USB flash drive
sdg is a 2TB external drive
sdh is a 2TB external drive
md126 is the raid array

Unfortunately, sdb is not very happy in Linux either so the raid array is only 250GB instead of 500GB.

Let's try to mount md126p1 and see what is visible on there. Hopefully, you'll see the data you need and will be able to move it. If not, I'll need to research your options.

So, we'll need to mount /dev/mdp126p1 and also a drive to copy recovered files to like one of the 2TB external drives /dev/sdg1

In the lower left corner of the desktop next to the monitor icon that you clicked to open the terminal, you'll see an icon that looks like a white external hard drive. When you put your mouse over it the tooltip should say MOUNT DEVICES.
Click it to open a file manager window and a Mount-gtk window.
In the Mount-gtk window, click the MOUNT button next to /media/mdp126p1 and click the MOUNT button next to /media/sdg1.

Now in the file manager window you can navigate to /media/mdp126p1 and see if the files that you want to recover are visible. If they are then copy and paste them to /media/sdg1.

When you are done, hook the external drive that you copied the files to into a working computer and verify that the files were recovered.

Let us know how that goes and if you experience any difficulties.

James




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