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disk failure orz

Posted by meronpan on April 1, 2009

Update2: RAID array was successfully rebuilt!  Hurray for RAID 5 (kind of.  note to anyone considering RAID 5… don’t be stupid like me and boot off your RAID 5 array.  And for reference, though yes, you recovery 100% of your data in the case of a drive failure, it can take a long time to rebuild the array on a new drive… like, in my case… ~32 hours).  Now backing everything up, the bulk of which should be done copying when I get home.  After that I just need to work on my external backup while I reinstall programs and get to work on my next post :P

Update: After suffering through a supposedly failed raid, installing windows on a new hard drive, and bring all my old drives back online… i’m actually in the process of restoring my raid.  Will take a long time, but if all goes well, I should be back on track in the next day or two.  (i.e. have that senhime review up :P)

I had been hoping to post my senhime review last night, but instead was greeted with a failed disk.  This is, sadly,  not an April Fools’ joke.

Technically I should be able to recover everything… but that’s only if I can rebuild my raid -_-

If any tech saavy peeps are out there, let me know if you have any suggestions (details under the cut)

So I’m currently running on an ASUS maximus extreme, and had been using the built in Intel Matrix RAID stuff to make a 4 disk RAID 5 array.  This motherboard has the Intel ICH9R southbridge, which I believe contains the RAID controller.

This RAID 5 is sadly the only set of hard disks in my system, so yes, my operating system (vista 64) is being run off the raid too.

At any rate, when I booted up, the motherboard was stuck on the detect IDE step for a long time, and finally, after like a minute, it continued, to where I saw that the RAID was degraded (thankfully not failed).  The computer continued to boot after a while… and to my knowledge is still booting. (it’s at the black screen with the green progress bar)  It’s been booting for 12 hours now, but I’m afraid to turn it off and potentially kill the array completely. (there is near constant disk activity)

Anyone out there running a raid 5 on the intel ich9r?  Is this normal for a degraded array?  What the hell is it doing?

Barring any further advice, my current plan is:

1.) Wait for the computer to finish booting up

2.) Shut down

3.) Pop in my spare drive (glad I bought one)

4.) Boot up again

5.) Rebuild the RAID using the new drive

I wouldn’t be fretting nearly so much if I could just understand why it’s taking so dang long to boot up.  It seems weird that reading from a degraded array would take this much longer… which has me worried it’s doing something else.

Blargh.  I’m at work now so I won’t be able to check on things ’till I get home… not sure what I’m going to do if it’s still booting.  I’m tenatively planning on getting another pair of hard drives today so I can run my OS on a RAID 1 array and then use the RAID 5 for storage only.

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29 Responses to “disk failure orz”

  1. super rats said

    Ouch! Sorry to hear that.

  2. Hegemon said

    I know that feeling. I’m currently staring at two drives that died under warranty that I’m trying to get replaced.

    I had the same problem with Windows booting when mine died, although my disk wasn’t in RAID and wasn’t the system disk. My problem was that the disk would pretend to be fine just long enough for Windows to see it, and then it would die during the file system detection, putting it in an infinite loop.

    If your system has RAID-specific drivers, I would speculate that the system is trying to rebuild the array on a faulty disk and continually failing, so it may never boot (which is why the disks are making such a racket).

    Windows shouldn’t write anything critical to disk during that early phase of bootup, so it should be fine to kill it and use some sort of rescue disk to rebuild the array, or just yank the bad disk if you can figure out which one it is.

    Anyways, good luck.

    • meronpan said

      yikes, two drives? that’s pretty brutal… although just recently somehow i lost another drive from my raid so now it’s failed… orz am reinstalling on a separate drive and will attempt to recover the raid with some utilities later…

      i’m gonna need all the luck i can get at this point…

  3. April Fool!!!

    Hmm… Never experienced something like that.. can’t help. Goodluck~

  4. James said

    Had a 500 gb drive who died last week so we can cry together :'(

    Never used raid so sorry i can’t help you … Hope you can save everything !

  5. Fabian said

    That’s sad to hear. :( Disk failures always happen at the worst possible time. That’s why I’m paranoid about my backups.

    I’m no expert when it comes to RAIDs but maybe you can recover your files using a Linux Live-CD and a USB-Stick (or external HDD) to copy them to. Recent versions of Knoppix and Ubuntu should be able to read Windows’ file system, unless it’s encrypted.

    I hope you will be able to recover your important stuff. Good luck!

    • meronpan said

      i was going to get some external storage and keep an extra backup but was lazy… and now i pay for it -_-

      i was supposed to be able to recover 100% of my data since it was raid 5 and only had 1 disk fail…. however that required me to get into windows to run the recovery utility and before i could get there another disk has apparently failed.

      blegh. prolly be a week before i have all this sorted out… followed by months of remembering things i lost ^^;

  6. T.I.P. said

    Sorry to hear that.

    I don’t have experience with RAID so I can’t really help. My best guess would be either hard drive is starting to give, or RAID controller failure. Best of luck to you and hope every thing turns out well.

  7. Q said

    Shall I ask a friend of mine for possible suggestions on tackling this problem? He’s one of those crazy gamers and knows quite a bit of hardware stuff for upgrade. If you give me green lights then I’ll try and see what will go.

    • meronpan said

      ah, thanks so much for the offer although things are actually looking up at the moment! (knocks on wood) I think my biggest problem (and mistake in the first place) was having the OS installed on the raid. That made it extremely difficult to get into windows to run the raid software to rebuild the degraded array.

      I installed onto a separate drive and once I booted off it, magically one of the 2 failed drives came back and my raid is now being rebuilt!! (like it was supposed to in the first place) … it’s gonna take a while (probably over 24 hours) but as long as nothing else goes wrong, I should have all my data when it’s done.

      *prays that things go well*

  8. mikiwank said

    I’m sorry I can’t help you in this case. I’m not a computer master.. I got scammed a while ago I buy computer with “Windows Vista” LoooooL

  9. konadora said

    I’m not very sure about this, but I’ll try to ask my friend. He’s pretty savvy :P
    Sad to hear this though, on April Fool’s Day too >___>

    • meronpan said

      Ah, thanks so much, but don’t go through too much trouble, because it looks like things are back on track. If he does have any expertise with the Intel Matrix Raid – specifically restoring a degraded RAID 5 where the OS is installed on the degraded array – I’m still curious why I couldn’t boot… but again, I’m back on my feet for now ^^

  10. Ok… I’m fairly experienced with computers, but it’s quite hard to fix a problem over the internet, without being there yourself.

    Wish I’d read your post a little earlier when you still needed advice though :P. Wanted to flex my computer muscles.

  11. optic said

    Am I the only lucky guy who doesn’t get HD failures? >_>

    Good luck in ur recovery buddy. ^^d

  12. phossil said

    Is your OS vista 64? Maybe (but Im not sure) you have more possibilities to recover your data using Linux traslate the info to a external USB, and then bring back your raid with Windows but as a fresh raid setup.

    • meronpan said

      yeah, running vista 64. thanks for the suggestion, though I’ve already gotten the array rebuilt so everything should be fine ^^ the biggest issue was just not being able to boot into windows (which is necessary to run the intel matrix raid utility which rebuilds the degraded array). i was able to get around that by installing a fresh copy on a separate, non-raided hd (which i should’ve done in the first place)

  13. Blowfish said

    Gah all that Tech Talk makes my Head spin.
    Hope youll be able to recover all the precious por…errr…Files ^^

    • meronpan said

      was making my head spin too but that was because i was so frustrated. ^^; it’s insane when it takes a computer more than 24 hours to complete a task.

      okazu is important too ^^;

  14. Persocom said

    sorry I didn’t get to this until now, I avoided everything possible on April 1st because the pranks people pull aren’t very amusing to me. Sorry to hear about what happened, hopefully everything is in working order now.

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