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Reconstructing Raid


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#1
digikiwi

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Having navigated my way through upgrading the BIOS and learning that I needed to reenable the RAID, I got my computer working again. It was set up as a C: 80 Gb and E: 160 Gb in a RAID 0 Array, on two Seagate Barracuda 120 Gb HDs.

Now my C: is fine and working but Windows tells me that the E: partition is not formatted. Does anyone else think this is weird. If a RAID array went down wouldn't you expect to lose everything? Although this would be due to a hardware failure, which I don't believe to be the case (else I wouldn't be writing this thread on said machine).

I have downloaded an application called RAID reconstructor, but I'm a little too green on just how MAster boot records and Hard drives work to get it doing the business - I got a bit lost trying to follow the help files.

This might be a real goober of a question:

How do I know if I'm running hardware or software RAID?

Is there anyway to reconstruct the other partition? - I never instructed the RAID utility to wipe anything.


PS I have read a good number of posts and the drift seems to be why am I running RAID 0 in the first place? The guy I bought it off built it that way. When I eventually reformat I may go back to two separate drives. However I do a little bit of video editing so RAID may be good for that?

Edited by digikiwi, 23 May 2006 - 01:35 PM.

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#2
Kemasa

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I would doubt that the C drive would be part of the RAID setup, at least not RAID0, which is why you can access it. Do you only have two 160Gb disks? If so, it might be the first partition is RAID1. If it was all RAID0 you would have 320Gb and if I read what you said correctly it seems like 80Gb is "missing", which would be explained by it being RAID1.

Since you mentioned that you upgraded the BIOS, have you reconfigured the RAID setup there? It sounds like you might be using the motherboard RAID. It might be hardware or you might have to use drivers. Looking at information from the maker of the motherboard should give you an idea.

RAID0 is not RAID, it is AID as there is no "R" (redundant). If you need a lot of space and don't care if you lose it all if a disk goes out, then it is fine.
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#3
digikiwi

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Hi Kemasa,

Sorry I made a most misleading typo. I have two 120 (not 160) Gb HDs. The setup definitely was not RAID1 as I had an 80Gb C: partition and a 160 Gb E: partition. I am guessing toward a hardware RAID controller - NVIDIA?

I have attached an Everrest report of my storage, this might answer questions I fail to.Attached File  Storage_Report.htm   69.81KB   36 downloads

Thanks for your help so far

Edited by digikiwi, 23 May 2006 - 03:06 PM.

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#4
Kemasa

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Yes, it looks like a hardware RAID controller on the motherboard:

http://www.nvidia.com/page/mobo.html

In looking at the storage report, I only see one internal disk under Physical Drives, yet you said that you had two and two ATA are shown under the ATA heading. This might mean that the second disk is not working correctly.

You might try:

http://www.seagate.c...ools/index.html

and download the "SeaTools Desktop". You could also try the SeaTools Online, but if the drive is not working, that might not work.

I see two USB devices, but that would not be part of the RAID config.

In the setup menu, can you see any status for the RAID and/or second disk?

http://nvidia.custhe...li=&p_topview=1
http://nvidia.custhe...li=&p_topview=1
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#5
digikiwi

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Quote
http://www.seagate.c...ools/index.html
and download the "SeaTools Desktop". You could also try the SeaTools Online, but if the drive is not working, that might not work.

Thanks I'll try this when I get home.

Quote I see two USB devices, but that would not be part of the RAID config.

The two USB drives are external drives, you are quite correct.


Do you mean the BIOS utiltity the RAID utility or another level of setup (my guess is the RAID setup, yeah?)?
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#6
digikiwi

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I tried the seatools desktop. It recognised two things of interest. On the one hand it recognises the two physical hardrives and on quicktest these passed with flying colors. Attached File  physical_drives.rtf   4.96KB   84 downloads

But - it also recognised the RAID, though not by name but this is where it gets weird

System Information:
BIOS Date 12/29/05
Conventional Memory size 626 K
Extended Memory size 58532 K
IO Channel type PCI

Drive Information:
SIZE MODEL
--------- ---------------------
240 GB BIOS Drive 0x80


Serial Number = N/A
Int13 Num = 80, PHYS CHS = 0x0x0.
ParmTable CHS, Rsvd = 29186x255x63

PARTITION CYLINDER SIZE
---------- ------------ ----
# Type Start End MB
PRIMARY
1 NTFS 0 8923 73407
PRIMARY
2 NTFS 8924 14592 46633

The first drive has it's close enough to 80 GB but the second only seems to have 46 GB (out of 160?)

Partition 1 (NTFS (73.4 GB) ) Result: Failed with critical Errors

Partition 2 (NTFS (46.6 GB) New Volume) Result: Failed with critical Errors


File structure tests were gloomy in their result.

I'm thinking the best shot at this stage may be to backup what I have on C: and reformat.

Any recommendations on what to use for the backup ? I pretty much want to replicate the whole disk.

Edited by digikiwi, 24 May 2006 - 04:44 PM.

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#7
Kemasa

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Check the RAID settings in the CMOS/BIOS setup menu. I suspect that might have been lost, if both drives can be seen.

The SeaTools Desktop seems to only show one disk being tested, unless I missed something. I only see the same serial number for one disk.

The last message seems to only be showing the one disk. From what I have seen, it looks like you have around 80Gb as the C drive, then the rest is RAID0 with the second disk.

I am not familiar with the various backup programs. One thing you could do is to switch drives and re-install on the second, leaving the data on the first and then copy what you need.

It looks like you edited the message, but RAID0 is JBOD. Yes, if you go into the setup and set the RAID settings, you should be able to get the data back as long as you don't clear the data.
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#8
digikiwi

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Are you saying that RAID 0 - striping and JBOD - spanning are the same thing? I thought it is not and that's why I edited.

In the RAID settings it seems like creating a new array would wipe data, so I definitely want to backup first. However I now have an issue with the external drive I borrowed for which I have started another thread.
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#9
Kemasa

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RAID0 is just striping, it is not redundant at all. Calling it RAID is not accurate, but that is the common term. JBOD is just a bunch of disks.

Changing the RAID settings may or may not wipe the data. A good system will not and instead give you the option, but it all depends on who wrote it and what they were thinking. You can not access the data on the RAID0 partition, correct? If that is the case then you can not back it up. You could back up the system partition, which is a good idea.
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#10
happyrock

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I disagree..if you change the raid structure you will lose data..probably all of it...RAID 0 is striping...that means it writes one chunk of data to one drive and the next to the second drive..alternating back and forth...so part of any file that is bigger than the 4 kb size is spread over both drives...you need to backup to CD or DVDs all that you would like to keep BEFORE PLAYING WITH THE RAID SETTINGS

JBOD isn't really RAID at all, but I discuss it here since it is sort of a "third cousin" of RAID... JBOD can be thought of as the opposite of partitioning: while partitioning chops single drives up into smaller logical volumes, JBOD combines drives into larger logical volumes. It provides no fault tolerance, nor does it provide any improvements in performance compared to the independent use of its constituent drives. (In fact, it arguably hurts performance, by making it more difficult to use the underlying drives concurrently, or to optimize different drives for different uses.
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#11
happyrock

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if you want speed use RAID 0...if you want data safety use RAID 1...both of those require 2 drives..if money isn't a issue use RAID 0 + 1..takes 4 drives but is the best of both worlds...if you lose a drive you just remove it and throw in a new drive and the array will rebuild itself.... :whistling:
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#12
digikiwi

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Thanks for your help Kemasa and Happyrck. I have managed to retrieve all the data using Runtime's Get Data Back. Worked a treat once I got the settings right. Now I just need to reformat and build partition.

I'm looking at using either Partition Magic or Acronis Disk Director Suite to manage this. Any recommendations on software?

Other than that thanks again for your help.
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#13
happyrock

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I recommend Partition Magic... :whistling:
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#14
Kemasa

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I disagree..if you change the raid structure you will lose data..probably all of it...RAID 0 is striping...that means it writes one chunk of data to one drive and the next to the second drive..alternating back and forth...so part of any file that is bigger than the 4 kb size is spread over both drives...you need to backup to CD or DVDs all that you would like to keep BEFORE PLAYING WITH THE RAID SETTINGS

JBOD isn't really RAID at all, but I discuss it here since it is sort of a "third cousin" of RAID... JBOD can be thought of as the opposite of partitioning: while partitioning chops single drives up into smaller logical volumes, JBOD combines drives into larger logical volumes. It provides no fault tolerance, nor does it provide any improvements in performance compared to the independent use of its constituent drives. (In fact, it arguably hurts performance, by making it more difficult to use the underlying drives concurrently, or to optimize different drives for different uses.


Perhaps you should read from the start of the thread and see that he updated the BIOS, which seems to have lost the settings for the RAID0 across two drives, making it not possible to read the data. If he could read the data, it would not be a problem.

RAID0 is not RAID either, as was said.

It is interesting that you suggest RAID0 for performance, yet you say here that JBOD can make things worse. The fact is that with PC class machines RAID0 will not tend to improve the speed.
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#15
Kemasa

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Thanks for your help Kemasa and Happyrck. I have managed to retrieve all the data using Runtime's Get Data Back. Worked a treat once I got the settings right. Now I just need to reformat and build partition.

I'm looking at using either Partition Magic or Acronis Disk Director Suite to manage this. Any recommendations on software?

Other than that thanks again for your help.


Good to hear that you were able to access the data!!

Why do you need anything to manage the disks? If you use simple partitions, then you don't need anything more than what is provided by the system.
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