Like everyone else in this digital age, my PC is full of stuff which, if I lost, would be beside myself. Pictures of my kids and all of those memories have a special place set aside on my RAID 5 array. A special place I had intended to backup but kept forgetting to setup.
And then comes my lesson. I dissected my PC over the weekend to tidy up some cables and change my cooling fans around on my Corsair H80 radiator. In doing so, I removed both of my GTX680 video cards, and re-installed them again. As they are different models, I had no issues remembering which one was in which slot, so everything went back the way it was, and I proceeded on my merry little way.
Something strange happened here, and I spent a good deal of time taking them out, putting them back in, and trying to figure out why my top graphics card had suddenly escalated from 80degC GPU temperatures, to almost 100degC! Cue BIOS settings change to max out all the fans in my case, and you start to see that I ventured too far. The overclocking settings on my ASUS Sabertooth x79 motherboard are bizarre. At some point I reset everything to defaults and continued.
Tonight I get home, and for some reason, those overclock settings (which I set to default) have died. So I hit F1, and reset the BIOS to defaults and go to load up Windows. CRAP BSOD!! The NTFS drive caused a stop issue. I jump back to the BIOS and remember to change my SATA config to RAID mode. Windows boots, I log in. And am presented with numerous applications complaining of my data drive missing. Oh god…
This is now bed time for my children. That moment where you realise you have lost all of your data on these drives, and the frustration of children at bed time is not a good mix. Thankfully, they survived the wrath of Daddy Pig.
I jump straight into the Intel Rapid Storage Matrix software and find that two of my RAID5 disks are in a failed state. Windows disk management shows these two disks as standalone disks, with the matching partition structure of my RAID5 array. That can’t be good. I quickly buy in to a product by EASEUS called Partition Manager, but find that the Server Edition is required to recover RAID 5 arrays. It doesn’t work with hardware RAID…
I pulled out most of my hair by this point, and decide to check out if anyone else has had the same issue. Google: “intel raid failed after reboot”. Wow. 1st result is a post from two days ago…
And so it seems, there is a God!
With that, I proceed to blow away one of my USB sticks, 5 times (because 4 times it didn’t work), and load Ubuntu onto the disk. From here, I booted up and followed “Zyprexa”‘s instructions, which I have summarised below. Massive thanks to this Zyprexa fellow. You have saved my life!
- Verify disks of the array. Note 2 of my 4 disks showed more info, including expected array members.
- mdadm –examine /dev/sda
- mdadm –examine /dev/sdb
- mdadm –examine /dev/sdc
- mdadm –examine /dev/sdd
- Allow the dirty array to be mounted:
echo 1 > /sys/module/md_mod/parameters/start_dirty_degraded
- Re-create the IMSM container:
mdadm -C /dev/md/imsm -e imsm -n 4 /dev/sda /dev/sdb /dev/sdc /dev/sdd
- Re-create the RAID 5 contained inside the IMSM container:
mdadm -C /dev/md0 -l5 -n6 -c 64 /dev/sda /dev/sdb /dev/sdc /dev/sdd /dev/sde /dev/sdf
- View status of the disk rebuild process by running:
watch -d cat /proc/mdstat
- When 100% complete:
mdadm –stop /dev/md0
- Reboot to Windows.
Steps 3 and 4 will prompt you to overwrite the existing array or some such. Just press Y. I take no responsibility for your data loss, but it worked for me. And it worked for others.
When the RAID 5 container was created, I was instantly presented with the partitions on my RAID array in Ubuntu, despite the disks rebuilding. Success
TLDR; I have backups turned on and running now
EDIT: The ASUS Sabretooth X79 uses the C600 series Intel RAID controller. Same instructions probably work for most Intel consumer grade RAID controllers built in to your motherboard.