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I have a server that has a Raid 5 configuration.  5 hard drives.

2 hard drives failed and were replaced.

windows is showing no second partition.  just a drive that has been unconfigured.

the array seems to be doing some "background parity initalization"  not sure what that means.  I couldn't find a "rebuild" in my Raid card configuration...

is all data lost?  

asked 11/29/2011 03:50

lefty431's gravatar image

lefty431 ♦♦


14 Answers:
How long has it been since the drives were replaced?  What type of server is it?  You should be able to use the software RAID utils to monitor the status of the rebuild.  
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answered

mattvmotas's gravatar image

mattvmotas

it has been about 2 hours..  it is an HP Proliant
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answered 2011-11-29 at 11:51:48

lefty431's gravatar image

lefty431

Make sure you have the SmartArray software installed, and it should be able to show you what is going on.
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answered 2011-11-29 at 11:52:38

mattvmotas's gravatar image

mattvmotas

the only thing HP has is the Array Coniguration Utility..  there is no % or anything...  
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answered 2011-11-29 at 11:53:32

lefty431's gravatar image

lefty431

do you know where I would find that?  on HP download site?
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answered 2011-11-29 at 11:54:05

lefty431's gravatar image

lefty431

Did both drives fail at the same time?

Raid 5 can recover from a single drive failure, but it cannot recover from 2 drives failing simultaneously.

See here for more information about how raid 5 works:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels

If you've had 2 drives failed simultaneously, it's not possible to rebuild the raid, you would need to have at least 4 of the original 5 drives in working condition in order to rebuild/recover from this.

Bartender_1
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answered 2011-11-29 at 11:58:47

Bartender_1's gravatar image

Bartender_1

one failed and then the other failed a few days later.  the company that was supposed to montior the server didn't notice the 1st failure..
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answered 2011-11-29 at 12:00:13

lefty431's gravatar image

lefty431

As mentioned by bartender already, if 2 drives failed you have lost your data. It doesn't really matter whether those 2 drives failed at the same time or not, as long as the first failure hasn't already been fully rebuilt before the 2nd disk failed you will have to restore from your backups.
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answered 2011-11-29 at 12:02:41

rindi's gravatar image

rindi

Bartender and rindi are sadly right.  I had the very same thing happen to me.  One drive fails, you're A-OK.  Two drives fail, you are just out of luck.  And I tried EVERYTHING....

I hope you have backups.  I did not!
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answered 2011-11-29 at 12:08:32

dougp23's gravatar image

dougp23

if I take out one of the new drives that I put in and tried one of the old drives that was failed.  if the drive was able to come back online, would it show any data?  I remember a few times that I have had a drive in a RAID that fell out of sync, I pulled in put it back in and it would come up again..  

I dont know if these guys have a good back up and I am just looking for some other options..
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answered 2011-11-29 at 12:10:59

lefty431's gravatar image

lefty431

To recover data you'd need to send all original raid drives to a data recovery center.
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answered 2011-11-29 at 12:12:37

jamietoner's gravatar image

jamietoner

That wouldn't work. Your option is restore from backup.
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answered 2011-11-29 at 12:13:22

rindi's gravatar image

rindi

If you send out your original disks (including both failed drives) it is potentially possible to recover the data. This option is not cheap! There are ways to examine and potentially recover data from a failed disk, and depending on how bad the failure is, could be quite costly.  As an example this is a company that does recovery of failed disks: http://gillware.com/RAID-Data-Recovery.php If they have to remove the platters from the drive to get data from them, the cost can climb quickly.

If this is critically important data, this may be your only option. If you have a recent backup, you could restore from that backup.

Bartender_1
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answered 2011-11-29 at 12:19:58

Bartender_1's gravatar image

Bartender_1

>the array seems to be doing some "background parity initalization"  not sure what that means

Means it's building a new array rather than repairing the old one. Quite likely overwriting what might have been recovered by fixing the electronics of the second failing drive (or giving it a good shake) and then de-striping the data with something like raid reconstructor.
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answered 2011-11-29 at 12:54:00

andyalder's gravatar image

andyalder

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Asked: 11/29/2011 03:50

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Last updated: 12/15/2011 11:52