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CRASHED! A topic for SEVERE and immediate Hardware and Operating System FAILURES. We will try to get you up again. NOT for Optimization questions!


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 3rd March, 2006, 03:40 AM
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750gb Raid 5 Array Gone!?!?!?

Hello All-

I recently reinstalled windows XP and upon reinstallation, my raid 5 array is not visible. I am using Silicon Image software raid 5. (mistake #1) I have a sil 3114 PCI card that is flashed to the raid 5 bois. Im using 4 7k250 Hitachi Sata drives. My array was working fine in my old XP installation but when I reinstalled XP and reloaded the latest raid card drivers and management software i get an error message. XP sees the raid 5 card fine. THe management software sees all 4 drives too. The error I get from within the management console is "incorrect metadata version 1.2" What does this mean? Is my 700 gig array SOL?

Anyone with a simelar experience?
Any suggestions?
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Old 3rd March, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Incorrect metadata will probably mean that the info about your array is inconsistent. Maybe a few drives are not correctly plugged in or don't get enough power? Did you take out or disconnect any of the drives in the array? I'd try to check 'em all for bad cable connections and/or molex connections. A RAID5 config should be rather hard to lose so I don't think you have lost your data.
Maybe you need a seperate driver to make windows see the array?
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Old 3rd March, 2006, 11:02 AM
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The "Metadata" is the information the describes how the array is set up, so that the RAID driver knows how things are set up. It sounds like the newer driver/management software does not fully understand the older metadata. If you can, try going back to the old driver/management software you were using when you originally set up the RAID array.

I'd guess that "Incorrect metadata version 1.2" should probably be translated as "Incorrect metadata version - version 1.2 found". This would mean that the new RAID driver/management software is designed for a newer version of the metadata than 1.2.
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Old 3rd March, 2006, 07:10 PM
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Shouldn't a RAID array be easier to set up? Who is dropping the ball? The drive makers, software builders or Controller or OS manufacturers? Is it possible that because RAID was exclusively SCSI for so long, that it's still a foreign subject in the IDE/SATA world?
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Old 3rd March, 2006, 07:18 PM
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How much do you want to pay for RAID? Even low end RAID in the world of SCSI costs a lot of $$$. RAID in the IDE world comes free.

Besides, the RAID array was already set up.
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Old 3rd March, 2006, 07:26 PM
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So i've found an older driver for my card and got a simelar message pertaining to incorrect metadata. Ive confimed that all 4 drives are healthy and tried using different SATA cables in a different order. Still a no go. I think im hosed. Im going to look for a hardware raid solution in a couple of days if i cant figure this out. Word to the wise, Silicon Image software raid 5 is flakey. Worked for me for about 6 months or so while i built up my 700 gig collection of stuff but now im missing tons of stuff. Thanks for the help guys. Keep em coming! im gonna try a couple more things to see if i can get this back online. I still have a ghost image of my previous installation, so ill try and revert back to it. I looked through it tho and saw that I was usiing the same drivers as i am trying today. Doesnt look good.
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Old 4th March, 2006, 12:47 PM
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Just to check - you did install the RAID drivers prior to the main Windows install ?
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Old 4th March, 2006, 04:25 PM
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Figured it out...

Once again, thank you all for your support on this one. I am hoping that I will be able to help all o fyou out at one point. That said, i've managed to retrieve my data. As some of you had said, none of the data was missing, it was just a matter of accesssing it. I reverted to my old windows installation and to my shock, my array was detected and working fine. How is this possible? Im pretty sure that I had accidentally converted my raid5 volume to silicon images "Legacy Mode" which allows the array to be used to boot from. There is little info on this mode in the vague pdfs that Silicon Image supplys. It seems that this "Legacy" mode is specific to a peticular XP installation allowing access to it from 1 intsall only. Sounds studpid but how else could you explain this? I have copied all of my data off of this "legacy" crap and moved it to some spare drives I had laying around. I think i will use this software raid5 again but stay clear of this "Legacy Mode" For those of you considering using this Silicon Image 3114 chipset, be weary that its not the greatest. The 3114 is found as a pci solution as well as an integrated feature on many upscale Nforce 4 motherboards. Once working its OK, i guess. I got 109MB/s read averages with it but write speeds about a quarter of that due to software raid. If any of you out there are considering using it, there is learning curve to it and there is hardly any support for it from Silicon Image as well as the PCI card manufacturer, Syba. It has been about 2 weeks now and I have sent about 4 support emails to both Syba and Silicon Image and had no response whatsoever. This shows poorly on each of them in my optinion. I would have been happier had they sent me a message saying that they couldnt help me. Well, once again, thanks for the support guys. Hopefully, Ill be on the helping end of this forum next time I post.

-Bacon
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Old 9th March, 2006, 06:47 AM
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Here's the thing with RAID - it's always a trade off. you can get speed at the expense of reliability. Size at the expense of reliability. Use Parity drives or mirroring and you get back reliability but loose speed. Just glad to hear you got your data back.
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Old 9th March, 2006, 08:49 PM
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I'd disagree. RAID can provide speed and reliability at the same time, but you need to be aware that different RAID set ups provide different levels of performance depending on the application.
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Old 10th March, 2006, 03:38 AM
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Yeah raid 5 is definately the way to go if you can afford it. You can get some really slick PCI-X SATA raid cards with onboard CPUS that really smoke. Depending on the drives you use, you can see 150-200 MB/s average read speeds. Not burst, average. You just have to fork over around $500 for the card. Most of us would rather buy an opeteron 185 or an X1900XTX tho

http://3ware.com/products/serial_ata2-9000.asp
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Old 10th March, 2006, 03:40 AM
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No wait. 800 MB/s Reads and 350MB/s writes. Show me a raid 0 array with that kind of performance.
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Old 10th March, 2006, 10:58 AM
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It's possible to run RAID 0 at that level too, but you need more than two disks.
The different RAID levels suit different applications better, so the RAID level you choose will depends on the applications you will be running.

A well implemented RAID0 will outperform a well implemented RAID5 for write operations. A well implemented RAID1 solution will outperform a well implemented RAID5 solution when there's a disk failure.
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