I deleted a raid 1 array, now cannot access the data on either disk.

Discussion in 'Asus' started by phorner, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. phorner

    phorner Guest

    I need to regain access to either of two SATA drives from a Raid 1

    array which I deleted. I know nothing about SATA, and have run up

    against a wall on researching this.

    I have an MSI KT6v board with two onboard SATA connections. My OS is

    WinXP Pro. I have two identical 120 GB SATA drives. I originally set

    this machine up with Raid 1 because mirroring seemed like a good idea.

    It Worked fine for awhile, then started to be unstable. Eventually I

    could not access the system, (Problems were that disks weren't

    identical, so the system would duplicate, then I would get the fatal

    blue screen and some windows registry error. For a while I could repair

    windows and fix but eventually I could not boot at all.)

    So I bought and installed an IDE drive, installed WinXP and other

    programs. I had to delete the Raid Array to do this, but thought I

    would be able to access at least one of the SATA drives as just a

    storage drive as noted in the MSI documentation. (I have family

    photos and music I don't want to lose)

    In Windows device manager, neither of the SATA drives shows up, and the

    Raid controller shows a big yellow question mark/ exclamation point. I

    have tried to reinstall drivers, but the only drivers seem to want to

    set up another RAid Array which I think will wipe out both of these


    I restart and can access bios - which has SATA controller enabled under

    Integrated peripherals, but under boot seqence there is no SATA drive.

    Can anyone help?
    phorner, Nov 26, 2005
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  2. phorner

    dino Guest

    if you deleted the array...you lost everything that was on it..now you have
    2 blank drives. As for using them as storage I would try unplugging one of
    them and see if Windows finds the other one.
    dino, Nov 26, 2005
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  3. phorner

    Paul Guest

    It was my understanding, that "delete array" only erases the
    reserved sector on each disk, that tells the BIOS you have
    arrayed data in place. I have read of people doing a "delete array"
    followed by a "make array without initialization" and all the data
    will still be there.

    However, with any data recovery problem, you have to be
    extra cautious and methodical. The first thing you want
    to do, is make a sector by sector copy of at least one of
    the "missing" disks. If you want to do an experiment, do the
    experiment on a copy of the drive. If you want to experiment
    with making the array again, hell, copy both drives. At least
    think ahead far enough for that.

    By buying a couple of spare drives, you might even end up
    having a backup strategy :)

    When using _any_ recovery method, if the data is valuable
    to you, do a sector-by-sector copy first if you can.

    This is how I would proceed.

    1) Buy two disks identical to the old two disks.
    2) Using the software that comes with the new disks,
    copy sector-by-sector "old 0" to "new 0"
    3) Unplug those two, then copy "old 1" to "new 1"
    4) Now plug "new 0" and "new 1"
    Enter the RAID BIOS:

    "Create Array"
    then something like "RAID 1"
    and "Create Only"

    Your user manual has a statement in it:

    "Deleting a disk array will destroy all the data on the
    disk array except RAID 1 arrays."

    which means all the data is there, you just need to recreate
    the reserved sector that tells the BIOS you have a RAID 1
    array. The key is "Create Only", which at least at the BIOS
    level, prevents rebuilding the array (which wouldn't
    hurt anything anyway, as the two disks are supposed to be

    After the "Create Only" operation, you could also consider
    disconnecting one of the disks. When the system next POSTs,
    it will declare the array "critical", but one of the options
    should be to boot anyway. Then, if you wanted, you could
    copy the data from that single disk, to some other disk.
    Since you said, you think the two disks are not exactly
    identical, if a file-by-file copy from one disk is not
    looking good, unplug the single member of the array and
    plug in the other single member, and try the file-by-file
    copy from it.

    With your two brand new drives, you can also practice the
    "Create Only" sequence before doing the above procedure,
    to see whether the BIOS or the operating system attempt
    to build the array after it is done. With the two new disks,
    you could even try "Create", format in the OS, put a couple
    files on there, "Delete Array", then the "Create Only"
    sequence you plan to use on the real two disks, and see if
    the "Create Only" operation leaves the data intact. When
    your test sequence is complete, you can always "Delete Array"
    on the new disks, and then do the sector by sector copy
    from the old disks.

    A pair of new disks, matched in size to the old disks,
    will give you a world of possibilities.

    (User manual, starting at Page 50)

    Good luck,
    Paul, Nov 26, 2005
  4. phorner

    DaveW Guest

    It sounds like you, errantly, used non-identical disks and have ended up
    with a corrupted set of your OS and data. I believe you have probably lost
    your data at this point and may just have to reformat and do a clean install
    of the OS and install your back-up copy of your data (photos and music). You
    DO have a back up copy, right, on CD's or DVD's? If not, now you know why
    you should.
    DaveW, Nov 27, 2005
  5. Thanks for your response, but the data was stiil there. If interested, see
    my response to Paul.
    phorner via HWKB.com, Nov 27, 2005
  6. Thanks for your response, but the data was stiil there. If interested, see
    my response to Paul.
    phorner via HWKB.com, Nov 27, 2005
  7. Thank for your suggestions. I wasn't able to "find" those drives, but
    eventually went onto MSI tech asst site and downloaded their live update
    program. Then downloaded and installed all drivers, I downloaded, but
    chickened out on installing an upgraded BIOs. I turned the machine off (not
    restart) and checked Win Explorer and found intact, apparently identical
    data on my two sata drives.

    Thanks again for your help!

    phorner via HWKB.com, Nov 27, 2005
  8. phorner

    Mercury Guest

    With RAID 1, the drives are usable as normal non RAID discs out side of RAID
    as the RAID info is written to a reserved sector and the drives are
    otherwise identical. If you use a disc in such a manner outside of RAID you
    will have no choice but to resynch the array afterwards (if they are written
    to / booted from).
    Mercury, Nov 27, 2005
  9. phorner

    Paul Guest

    The important thing, is you got all the data back. And that is
    all that matters...

    Paul, Nov 27, 2005
  10. phorner

    Prune Guest

    Damn right. My old HD crashed after a power supply failure, and the data
    recovery company is charging me about a grand to recover my data.
    Prune, Nov 27, 2005
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