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SATA Raid-1 on Intel ICH - Drive possibly failing?

SATA Raid-1 on Intel ICH - Drive possibly failing?

SATA Raid-1 on Intel ICH - Drive possibly failing?

(OP)
I have a Dell Studio XPS (Intel i7) PC with two 1TB Western Digital Caviar drives in a RAID-1 mirror.  I have Server 2008 x64 installed and am using this as a Hyper-V server with various guests for testing/development at home.
It has been working fine for about 5-months, however over the last couple of weeks one of the drives has been misbehaving.  In the Windows Event Viewer under System I have been getting a message from source 'iaStor' that says 'The device, \Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period.'.  At the same time in the Application Events I get four events from 'IAANTmon' saying that the RAID volume is degraded and that the hard drive in position 0 has been removed, then re-added and then the volume goes to rebuilding.  Just less than 4-hours later the rebuilding completes and it's back to normal, until the next time.
This seems to be happening almost daily and at odd times when it obviously isn't doing much.  I believe that one of the drives is faulty and since this is still under warranty with Dell I have emailed them (hoping they will send a spare drive.....).
I have a spare Samsung Spinpoint 1TB drive but wasn't sure whether this would work OK as the existing pair are identical WD drives?  If I can use this (or if Dell send me a replacement?) what are the procedures for replacing this without losing any data?

Any help would be appreciated...

Andy

RE: SATA Raid-1 on Intel ICH - Drive possibly failing?

Sounds like you've got a RAID 1 setup (Mirror).  If that's the case, and Dell just sends you the replacement drive, then:
1. Make sure you know which hard drive is which before taking any out.  If you remove the wrong hard drive, it could cause more headaches.
2. Remove the correct drive from your system.
3. Install the new drive into the failed drive's installed location.
4. Boot your machine.
5. Your RAID handler - BIOS or within Windows should begin taking effect, and will rebuild the array.
6. During this time, I'd suggest not carrying out any intensive PC applications, so as to reduce possibilities of errors, plus it will likely affect system performance at least a little.

Then I'd take the "failed" drive, and test it in the same machine as just a spare, on a different connection, or else in another machine altogether... test with some various hard drive testing tools (manufacturer tools, those on Ultimate Boot CD, etc)... or just format and send to Dell if you are required to do so.  That is, format, if you can..

As far as the hard drive actually being dead, the reason I mention the other options for dealing with the old drive is b/c it's at least possible for a drive to show as failed in a RAID array, but check out okay after uninstalling it from RAID.

--

"If to err is human, then I must be some kind of human!" -Me

RE: SATA Raid-1 on Intel ICH - Drive possibly failing?

(OP)
Dell have replied with a 'holding' email saying they will respond within 24-hours.  They better get back to me soon as the drive has now failed completely - or at least Intel Matrix Storage Manager says it has....
Can I use a different manufacturers drive?  The two that are currently installed are Western Digital Caviar drives but I have a spare Samsung Spinpoint drive of the same size (1TB)?

Andy

RE: SATA Raid-1 on Intel ICH - Drive possibly failing?

I believe what drives you can use depends upon how sensitive the RAID controller is to differences in hardware.

Generally, it seems from my experience, and what I've read, that the drives have to match in size, speed, cache size, etc... basically no "technical" differences.  Having same model from same manufacturer will work with all or practically all.  And for those which will work with different mfg drives, using the same brand/model can usually simplify things.

What you could try in the mean time, to see if it's the drive for sure, is to hook it up to another computer, or else connect it to another SATA port on the same computer, if you've got one not using the same Intel chipset - quite often, you'll have at least 2 different RAID controllers - one Intel, and one by say J-Micron.  Then you use a bootable CD or something to test the drive.  The Ultimate Boot Cd, for instance, has several manufacturer tests, etc, installed in their bootable CD, so you could run those and some others as well.

 

--

"If to err is human, then I must be some kind of human!" -Me

RE: SATA Raid-1 on Intel ICH - Drive possibly failing?

(OP)
As far as the hardware and Windows (via the Intel Matrix Storage Manager) are concerned the drive has failed and must be replaced - or at least that is what it is telling me.  I have managed to archive off all the data so should a complete rebuild need to happen I should be OK, but I'd rather not....
As far as I can see I need to shut the PC down, replace the drive connected to the SATA port 0 with another 1TB drive (whether this is identical to the failed one or an equivalent 1TB drive I am still unsure?), restart and then let the SATA BIOS rebuild the array?

I am feeling a bit insecure with only a single drive at the moment.....

I am just hoping Dell will supply a replacement drive as I really don't want to send the whole machine back as it has had the memory upgraded and will be an ar$e to sort out...

Andy

RE: SATA Raid-1 on Intel ICH - Drive possibly failing?

Well, the worst that would happen if you try and rebuild with a drive that doesn't "work" with the array is that the array bios will not recognize the drive to be added into the array, and will not allow you to goof it up - at least that's what I've seen myself, and read of others.

Basically... you've already archived all the data.  You still have one good drive in the array.  More than likely, you should be safe to try your other hard drive if you would like to do that, so as to not have to worry about whether/when Dell will send a replacement.

If it works, you're fine for now.  If it doesn't work, you've not really changed anything - your one good drive will still be operating.

--

"If to err is human, then I must be some kind of human!" -Me

RE: SATA Raid-1 on Intel ICH - Drive possibly failing?

Just to add...
The replacement drive has to be at least the same formatted size or larger, (it can not be a .0001 Gig smaller), cache and speed  could be different, but avoid it.
Once you get the replacement drive from Dell you should be fine, even if it is not the same make/model, as Dell tests the compatibility. Personally I would call Dell support  instead of waiting for an email reply. I would wait for the Dell replacement disk.
Check the Dell support site for any firmware/drivers for your machine. especially anything to do will the raid, drive firmware, and  machine bios, after you get the raid mirror in place again. Run chkdsk after the drives synchronize.
 

........................................
Chernobyl disaster..a must see pictorial
http://www.kiddofspeed.com/default.htm

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