RAID-5 Problems
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Thread: RAID-5 Problems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    250

    RAID-5 Problems

    Guys, I will try to be brief as possible

    The system in issue is a Dell PowerEdge 4600 Server with Expandable RAID Controller PERC 3/Di BIOS v2.7-1 [Build 3170]
    3xSCSI hot swappable 33.9GB hard drives in a 67.8GB Virtual Disk RAID-5 configuration.

    It appears the problem started with a blinking ‘Drive failure’ Indicator on the 3rd SCSI hard disk drive on the RAID-5 array. The system was still running but it didn’t perform as usual. So I attempted a system reboot. While being rebooted it seemed to hang where, the RAID controller is trying to initialize or recognize the disk array. (At this point the ‘Drive Online’ indicators are on in all 3 Drives.)
    The Message on screen:

    Code:
    Waiting for Array Controller #0 to start..
    Then after about 5 minutes this message appears:

    Code:
    Fatal Error: Controller Monitor Failed.
    Array Controller not Started
    When <CTRL-A> is pressed for the RAID controllers configuration utility, the only menus that appear are for configuring the RAID controller and SCSI device utilities. There was no option to view/configure or to rebuild the container. The container appears missing..

    I then removed the 3rd SCSI hard drive which I thought was the culprit. But after powering on the system the same message appeared..

    Code:
    Waiting for Array Controller #0 to start..
    Fatal Error: Controller Monitor Failed.
    Array Controller not Started
    Then I started to remove drives one by one. When I removed both 2nd and 3rd drives the system got passed the Waiting for Array Controller #0 to start..
    message followed with a:
    No Logical Drives found.
    BIOS not installed.

    As before Doing a <CTRL-A> didn’t show the container..

    Then we started adding drives. First we installed the 2nd drive. And got the same messages:
    Code:
    Waiting for Array Controller #0 to start..
    No Logical Drives found.
    BIOS not installed.
    When all 3 drives are present, the error message turnd back to:
    Code:
    Fatal Error: Controller Monitor Failed.
    Array Controller not Started
    As a last resort we pulled all the hard drives and inserted them in the RAID controllers 2nd channel. Upon reboot the controller seemed to identify the container:
    The Message on screen:
    Code:
    Following containers have missing members and are degraded.
    Container #0 RAID-5
    Following containers have missing required members and cannot be configured.
    Container #0 RAID-5
    
    No Logical Drives found.
    BIOS not installed.
    Doing a <CTRL-A> brought up the container edit/view option along with the usual configuring the RAID controller and SCSI devices menus.
    When I selected container edit/view option it displayed this message:

    Code:
    Configuration change has been detected in the system. 
    If you reject the configuration change, you will not be able to modify 
    current configuration. 
    If you accept it will be updated to the current configuration.
    When I selected ’Reject’ and ‘Manage Containers’ it displayed the virtual disk and size etc and listed one hard disk as present. But the other 2 disks are marked as Missing Members. (At this point the ‘Drive Online’ indicators are on in all 3 Drives.)

    Code:
    00 	Virtual Disk 	RAID5 	67.8GB
    
    0:02:0 <Drive Name>  33.9GB
    Missing Member
    Missing Member
    Also I performed ‘Scan drives for media defects’ using SCSI device utilities, on all 3 drives. SCSI HDD 02 and 03 checked out fine. But SCSI Disk 01 reports unknown SCSI errors.

    Then again I reinstalled the drives back to its original configuration on RAID channel 1.
    But I get the same error messages:

    Code:
    Following containers have missing members and are degraded.
    Container #0 RAID-5
    Following containers have missing required members and cannot be configured.
    Container #0 RAID-5
    
    No Logical Drives found.
    BIOS not installed.
    Doing a <CTRL-A> displayed this message again:

    Code:
    Configuration change has been detected in the system. 
    If you reject the configuration change, you will not be able to modify 
    current configuration. 
    If you accept it will be updated to the current configuration.
    When I selected ’Reject’ and ‘Manage Containers’ it displayed the virtual disk and size etc and listed one hard disk as present. But the other 2 disks are still marked as Missing Members. (At this point the ‘Drive Online’ indicators are on in all 3 Drives.)

    Code:
    00 	Virtual Disk 	RAID5 	67.8GB
    
    0:02:0 <Drive Name>  33.9GB
    Missing Member
    Missing Member
    The only thing left to do is to perform a <CTRL-R> to attempt a recovery and get at least Drive 3 online.. Im affraid to do that cuz I've heard that this might loose data. Even if I get the 3rd drive online will I be able to rebuild the container?

    Your quick response is much appreciated..
    Thx
    Main Rig: Intel Pentium D820, Intel DG965RY, Kingston 1.5GB DDR2 @667, Sapphire X850XT 558/600, Samsung 80GB SATAII, ASUS 18X DVD-RW LightScribe SATA, 19" ViewSonic LCD, Wi-Fi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Arkham Asylum, Cell 13
    Posts
    3,373
    That is a lot to absorb.

    I probably wouldn't have rebooted if the system was up. The system can run in degraded mode, while you get the replacement drive. Hot swap the drive and allow the array to resync. Oh well.

    You need to isolate and replace the bad drive first. Trying to rebuild an array with a known bad drive is suicidal. If the third drive is corrupt, you'll be passing corrupt data to all 3 drives.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    250
    thanx for the response. But why do I get the Missing Member alert for two drives? Doesnt that mean two drives are already bad, and the container is lost?

    Code:
    00 	Virtual Disk 	RAID5 	67.8GB
    
    0:02:0 <Drive Name>  33.9GB
    Missing Member
    Missing Member
    Doing a <CTRL-R> didnt do anything. Even though its listed in the menu..
    Last edited by Wreckles; August 13th, 2008 at 12:18 AM.
    Main Rig: Intel Pentium D820, Intel DG965RY, Kingston 1.5GB DDR2 @667, Sapphire X850XT 558/600, Samsung 80GB SATAII, ASUS 18X DVD-RW LightScribe SATA, 19" ViewSonic LCD, Wi-Fi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    in a cardboard box
    Posts
    64
    This may sound like a silly question, but have you checked the event logs for warnings/errors?
    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.

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