RAID 1 array restored!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by steve, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. steve

    steve Guest

    I was able to restore the 160 GB SATA RAID 1 array on my WIN XP PRO
    machine this evening in 1 hour and 15 minutes from the time the restore
    started. Thanks to an extremely nice person who had an identical MAXTOR
    drive fail in his RAID 1 system, I was able to get detailed
    instructions. The Intel ICH5R RAID controller manual provided no
    information on how to accomplish the rebuild, and Intel offered no
    online assistance. However this kind person somehow 'beat' the process
    out of Intel and posted the information to a computer BBS.

    The steps to rebuild the array included twice ignoring warnings that all
    data on the RAID would be lost if I proceeded. If I wasn't sure that it
    had been done successfully before I would have been sure it was crazy to
    try it. Of course I had a complete system backup before I attempted it.

    Lessons learned:

    1. The MAXTOR 160 GB 6Y160 hard drive appears (based upon a small sample
    size) to have questionable reliability. Both my drive and the fellow who
    assisted me had identical new drives fail in well under a year from the
    time we purchased the drives. In my case it was 8 months. Neither one of
    us had experienced a drive failure this soon after putting a new drive
    into service.

    2. MAXTOR's warranty service was speedy. I give them an A+ for
    turn-around time. I received a replacement drive less than 48 hours
    after I placed the call to their warranty folks, although I had to
    'secure' the instant drive shipment by giving them a credit card number.

    3. MAXTOR does not guarantee that a warrantied drive will be replaced
    with a new unit, and I received a refurbished drive. Although this
    satisfies the MAXTOR warranty requirements to the letter, I am not a
    happy camper, and would have preferred a new drive. I give then a C on this.

    4. Having a RAID 1 configuration allowed a speedy and complete recovery
    from a single drive failure once I learned the 'secret' process. I
    didn't even have to partition or format the new drive -- Intel's
    hardware and software handled everything. Had I opted for a RAID 0 my
    data would have been toast without a backup, even if a RAID 0 may
    provide nearly double the data rates when it is working. Live fast and
    die gloriously. Isn't that the Klingon way?

    4. After this experience I will never build a PC without a mass storage
    system that utilizes RAID 1 or higher. Having to re-load the OS and
    backup software and then PRAY that I can successfully restore everything
    is a fairly painful process, and there is simply NO WAY I could have
    accomplished this in 1 Hour and 15 Minutes. And I am pretty handy with
    computers. Most people would be completely screwed.

    5. Having a RAID 1 allowed my computer to remain operational even after
    a complete failure of one drive. It didn't miss a beat. Very nifty.

    Folks, motherboards with built in RAID support, and expansion card RAID
    controllers are very reasonably priced. So are hard drives. We all know
    that we should backup our data, but even so, the convenience and speed
    with which a RAID 1 or higher mass storage system can be rebuilt
    convinces me that anyone with lots of data (i.e. photos) should STRONGLY
    consider utilizing this technology in addition to having a 'doomsday'
    backup -- preferably stored off site.

    Thanks to all who offered advice and moral support, you helped out big time.

    And a HUGE KISS to those wonderful people at Intel who created the ICH5R
    RAID controller and Intel Application Accelerator RAID Edition software.
    Where have you been all my life?

    Steve
     
    steve, Jun 30, 2004
    #1
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  2. steve

    Tumbleweed Guest

    "steve" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I was able to restore the 160 GB SATA RAID 1 array on my WIN XP PRO
    > machine this evening in 1 hour and 15 minutes from the time the restore
    > started. Thanks to an extremely nice person who had an identical MAXTOR
    > drive fail in his RAID 1 system, I was able to get detailed
    > instructions. The Intel ICH5R RAID controller manual provided no
    > information on how to accomplish the rebuild, and Intel offered no
    > online assistance. However this kind person somehow 'beat' the process
    > out of Intel and posted the information to a computer BBS.
    >
    > The steps to rebuild the array included twice ignoring warnings that all
    > data on the RAID would be lost if I proceeded. If I wasn't sure that it
    > had been done successfully before I would have been sure it was crazy to
    > try it. Of course I had a complete system backup before I attempted it.
    >
    > Lessons learned:
    >
    > 1. The MAXTOR 160 GB 6Y160 hard drive appears (based upon a small sample
    > size) to have questionable reliability. Both my drive and the fellow who
    > assisted me had identical new drives fail in well under a year from the
    > time we purchased the drives. In my case it was 8 months. Neither one of
    > us had experienced a drive failure this soon after putting a new drive
    > into service.
    >
    > 2. MAXTOR's warranty service was speedy. I give them an A+ for
    > turn-around time. I received a replacement drive less than 48 hours
    > after I placed the call to their warranty folks, although I had to
    > 'secure' the instant drive shipment by giving them a credit card number.
    >
    > 3. MAXTOR does not guarantee that a warrantied drive will be replaced
    > with a new unit, and I received a refurbished drive. Although this
    > satisfies the MAXTOR warranty requirements to the letter, I am not a
    > happy camper, and would have preferred a new drive. I give then a C on

    this.
    >
    > 4. Having a RAID 1 configuration allowed a speedy and complete recovery
    > from a single drive failure once I learned the 'secret' process. I
    > didn't even have to partition or format the new drive -- Intel's
    > hardware and software handled everything. Had I opted for a RAID 0 my
    > data would have been toast without a backup, even if a RAID 0 may
    > provide nearly double the data rates when it is working. Live fast and
    > die gloriously. Isn't that the Klingon way?
    >
    > 4. After this experience I will never build a PC without a mass storage
    > system that utilizes RAID 1 or higher. Having to re-load the OS and
    > backup software and then PRAY that I can successfully restore everything
    > is a fairly painful process, and there is simply NO WAY I could have
    > accomplished this in 1 Hour and 15 Minutes. And I am pretty handy with
    > computers. Most people would be completely screwed.
    >
    > 5. Having a RAID 1 allowed my computer to remain operational even after
    > a complete failure of one drive. It didn't miss a beat. Very nifty.
    >
    > Folks, motherboards with built in RAID support, and expansion card RAID
    > controllers are very reasonably priced. So are hard drives. We all know
    > that we should backup our data, but even so, the convenience and speed
    > with which a RAID 1 or higher mass storage system can be rebuilt
    > convinces me that anyone with lots of data (i.e. photos) should STRONGLY
    > consider utilizing this technology in addition to having a 'doomsday'
    > backup -- preferably stored off site.
    >
    > Thanks to all who offered advice and moral support, you helped out big

    time.
    >
    > And a HUGE KISS to those wonderful people at Intel who created the ICH5R
    > RAID controller and Intel Application Accelerator RAID Edition software.
    > Where have you been all my life?
    >
    > Steve
    >



    I use RAID -1*. Two disks, partitioned a few times, & image the C partition
    to the second drive every now and again. Needs some assistance if the first
    drive fails but also doesn't waste 50% of the available disk space, more
    like 10%. Also, if something unpleasant like a virus or just some corruption
    nukes the C partition or the disk its on, I can effectively 'go back in
    time' to the last image, which wont have been affected. With RAID 1 any
    corruption or virus (much more likely than a disk crash IME) will be
    replicated faithfully and almost instantly to both disks.

    --
    Tumbleweed

    *TM

    Remove my socks for email address
     
    Tumbleweed, Jun 30, 2004
    #2
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  3. steve

    JC Guest

    On Tue, 29 Jun 2004 22:46:01 -0700, steve <> wrote:

    > I was able to restore the 160 GB SATA RAID 1 array on my WIN XP PRO
    > machine this evening in 1 hour and 15 minutes from the time the restore
    > started.


    I am glad to see that you were able to recover successfully from a drive failure.

    However, you may wish to re-visit the RAID-1 setup you are using.

    > 5. Having a RAID 1 allowed my computer to remain operational even after
    > a complete failure of one drive. It didn't miss a beat. Very nifty.


    This is a big factor but I suspect that drive failure is less likely than other corruptions - virus,
    spyware etc.

    I have separate C (executables) and D (data) drives in the machine and identical sized drives
    connected as SATA external drives. I use Norton Ghost to write images of the working drives to the
    external drives. The process used is:-
    a) switch on external drive
    b) use Ghost to put image on external drive
    c) switch off external drive.

    Restoration of a Ghost image takes around 20 minutes. If the drive fails you have to add
    formatting time for the new drive to that time - boot up using the XP CD-ROM to do this.

    This covers all eventualities but, I admit, you will be off air for a period of time if the drive
    fails rather than it being corrupted. If you wish to also cover drive failure then use RAID-1 for
    the working drives but make sure that you still backup to external drives to cover other problem
    modes.


    Cheers . . . JC
     
    JC, Jul 1, 2004
    #3
  4. On Tue, 29 Jun 2004 22:46:01 -0700, steve
    <> wrote:

    >I was able to restore the 160 GB SATA RAID 1 array on my WIN XP PRO
    >machine this evening in 1 hour and 15 minutes from the time the restore


    Glad it all worked out fine :)

    It might be worth noting a couple of things....

    using a major, then incremental backups is a good idea (if you have
    enough back up medium) as it a rotating backup system... week day's,
    then 4 weekly re-cycled (ie on week 5 you re-use week ones tape) then
    monthy backups, which in theory are never replaced, or rotated on a 13
    month cycle, and finally yearly backups.

    None of which I use, but I did work in IT lol.

    I tend to shoot, transfer, backup raw files to CD, work on raws to
    tiffs/jpegs, delete raws, backup tiffs/jpegs to CD, and finally delete
    the tiffs after a period of time.

    There is another factor to concider with any form of raid and large
    number of disks (not really relivent with 2 drives) The more drives
    that are used, the higher the statistical chance they are that one of
    them will fail.....

    If a drive is say rated at 5 mean/average (can never remember which)
    years, and you have 20 of them then its more likely that one of them
    will pop closer to every 2-4 years.

    Another thing to remember is that if a drive is on 24-7 and has to be
    shut down for a period of time, thats the most likely time it will
    fail, also if never de-fragged for say 3 years, then de-fragged that
    is a likely fail time... power on/off regularaly and also de-fragg
    regularaly and they tend not to fail as often. (on/offs are because
    the heads stick, de-frags because they do a total work out that they
    have not become acustomed to... all anecdotal ofcause)


    --
    Jonathan Wilson.
    www.somethingerotic.com
     
    Jonathan Wilson, Jul 1, 2004
    #4
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