Repair of a degraded RAID1 HD array

  UncleP 00:54 16 Feb 2006

I have a relatively new Athlon 64 computer running Windows XP/SP2 Home with a dual 230 Gb RAID1 (mirror) array. Recently the CD/DVD reader had mechanical problems - it didn't unload the disks cleanly, and eventually swallowed one completely. I obtained an identical replacement from the supplier, and gave it to a small local firm to install.

I (and they) did not expect any problems from a direct replacement. However, when I collected the machine, they said that they had had problems with detecting the new drive, apparently as a result of the drive letters being reassigned at some stage. This had been sorted out and the CD/DVD reader was ok, but there had been an error message concerning the RAID array.

It all seemed to work well when I checked it out at home. But after an hour or so there was an error message (which I didn't catch) followed by what I assumed was a rebuilding of the mirror array. However, on booting up the next day, the array was reported as 'degraded'.

nvRaid reports that the primary and secondary drives, C: and F: respectively, are healthy, but that the RAID1 system is degraded. Although the system appears to be functioning normally, I assume that it is effectively running from the C: disk and that no mirroring is taking place.

My apologies for this long-winded approach but, to get to the point, how do I rebuild the array when I don't know whether C: or F: (or both) contain corrupted files? I have some ideas on things to try, but I don't want to get into a situation from which recovery might be difficult if not impossible.

Comments and assistance would be gratefully received!

  UncleP 17:18 16 Feb 2006

I had assumed that, since RAID arrays were not uncommon these days, someone else would have come across (and solved!) this problem. However, a Yahoo search of the Web today using words in this thread title came up with only one hit. That involved an American who was happy to experiment with his system and eventually replaced the hard disks. I'm not in that position, and the evidence is that both of my disks are ok.

Even broadening the search to the repair of all RAID arrays only found around six references, mostly involving large RAID5 Unix systems.

  ^wave^ 17:34 16 Feb 2006

raid 1 is a mirror copy so i would suspect that they are out of sync what you need to to do is check both drives for errors and then see if you have a utility for sync them

  UncleP 18:47 17 Feb 2006

Yes, although both disks were considered 'healthy', the number of bytes used was slightly different. I didn't find any errors on either disk with the usual utilities. The problem was that the rebuild button in the RAID manager obtained by pressing F10 while booting didn't do anything, and although the nvRaid window had a HotSync command, that didn't appear to do anything either. I couldn't find any relevant instruction or ReadMe files.

The solution was provided by the Technical Support people at Cube (should have gone there sooner!). Apparently there was a rebuild utility on the nVidia Fatality driver disk (a cheerfully ominous name) supplied with the computer which needed to be installed first. The Cube rep talked me through the whole procedure - for which much thanks - and the array was restored without difficulty over the next two hours or so.

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