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Recovering RAID 5 after computer dies

alwweb
Novice
377 Views

I have an older PowerSpec computer with an Intel Motherboard. It had Windows 7. We tried shutting it down to move it, but it needed to apply updates.  Last I saw, it was on update 62 of 64.  About 30 minutes later, I noticed the monitor was off, but the computer hard drive light was still flickering.  The monitor when powered on said there was no signal.  I waited another 30 minutes and tried powering down forcefully (I know - I never should have done that, but ...).  That did not work.  It felt like the power button was not contacting correctly, so we pulled the plug.  After we moved it, it will not power on at all.  

Two little LED buttons on the mother board (power and reset) light up, but nothing else happens.  No fan, no hard drives spinning up, nothing.

I don't care about the computer.  We were just trying to get all of the data moved off of it to retire it. 

I don't know a lot about RAID.  I'm pretty sure we have a single C drive in there with Windows and as the bootable drive.  We have 3 drives, doing RAID 5 for the majority of the data. 

Is there a way to move those drive to an external array or to another computer or anything else and have then recognized as part of a RAID 5 system so that we can get the data off of them?

Is there anything else we can do to retrieve that data?

Thanks in advance for any and all helpful suggestions.

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1 Solution
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
357 Views

I would find a same-generation or somewhat newer system to connect the array to. Do the following:

  1. Power on system without array connected.
  2. Enter BIOS Setup.
  3. Enable RST (set SATA Mode to RAID).
  4. Save configuration and exit BIOS Setup.
  5. Install Windows (many steps, of course).
  6. Install RST software.
  7. Shutdown and power off.
  8. Connect array. Best to match SATA Port numbers if you can.
  9. Power on.
  10. Use CTRL-I to enter RST OpROM program. 
  11. Verify state of RAID array.

Only boot into O/S if array appears ok.

If array is in degraded state, may be ok. Remember that rebuild requires Windows running RST software.

...S

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11 Replies
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
372 Views

Hhmmm, bet the array was having a problem and it continued to run (in background) to try and fix it.

If the power button wasn't working during shutdown, it may not work for power on either. Or is the BIOS configured to recover automatically when power is restored?

In theory, an array can be moved to another machine and, presuming that RAID is enabled in BIOS, the support of the array should continue as it was before. In practice, well... let's just say that you should exhaust all possibilities for recovering the operation of the dead system before you try this.

Hope this helps (opinions are my own).

...S

[Addition: No, you cannot move to external array.]

alwweb
Novice
365 Views

Thank you.  Didn't think about the RAID trying to recover or update something after Windows tried to shutdown.  We've tried the internal power buttons and there are some leds lighting, but no fans, etc.  We're reading tons of groups for seeing if there is anything else to try on the hardware side first.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
358 Views

I would find a same-generation or somewhat newer system to connect the array to. Do the following:

  1. Power on system without array connected.
  2. Enter BIOS Setup.
  3. Enable RST (set SATA Mode to RAID).
  4. Save configuration and exit BIOS Setup.
  5. Install Windows (many steps, of course).
  6. Install RST software.
  7. Shutdown and power off.
  8. Connect array. Best to match SATA Port numbers if you can.
  9. Power on.
  10. Use CTRL-I to enter RST OpROM program. 
  11. Verify state of RAID array.

Only boot into O/S if array appears ok.

If array is in degraded state, may be ok. Remember that rebuild requires Windows running RST software.

...S

View solution in original post

AlHill
Super User
360 Views

What Intel board?  Provide the model number or the AA number.  Both can be found on the board.

Doc (not an Intel employee or contractor)

alwweb
Novice
353 Views
AlHill
Super User
349 Views

Thanks for the info.  You have a DX58SO2 board.  

Doc (not an Intel employee or contractor)

 

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
345 Views

Ah, that's important information!

Have you tried (while unplugged) removing the CR2032 battery for 15 minutes?

Actually, the battery is probably close to being dead; have you tried replacing this battery? [If it's dead, it may cause system to not boot.]

The SO2 board has a POST Code display. Could you make a video (using SmartPhone) showing this display as power on is attempted?

...S

AlHill
Super User
342 Views

That smackover board seems a bit high end for a microcenter build.

Just saying.

Doc (not an Intel employee or contractor)

alwweb
Novice
337 Views

@AlHill  I just looked up the paperwork.  I bought it in 2012.  At the time, it was a really "buff" system.  I was self-employed and had to run SQL Server and other "server" type software on my home computer.  I believe we maxed out the memory and had the 4, 2 TB drives set up as RAID 5.  It had been good for quite a few years.   It was the only system they had that could be configured the way I wanted. 

alwweb
Novice
340 Views

Trying the battery now.

The display does not show anything.

alwweb
Novice
326 Views

Luckily, a new power supply got our drives back for us.  We had tried the paperclip trick previously and the fan started to run and all, but I guess it just wasn't enough power.  The information that both of you supplied proved very helpful while researching the right connection locations, etc to put in the new power supply.  

Thank you both very much.  If the system will let me, I'm going to accept the step by step approach to moving it as the solution, because that is what I originally came out here looking for, and I think others might also find it helpful.

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