I have a RAID volume on my main WHS2011 box that was getting pretty full - five 2TB drives in a RAID5 array with a sixth drive as a hot spare. I was down to around 300GB free space and debated whether I should move some stuff off or expand the array. I'm using a RockeRaid 2680 and have used OCE several times before to add drives as I moved chunks of stuff off of my EX490. So I thought, why not? I'll add another drive. I still have two unused ports on the 2680, might as well.
I had another 2TB drive that I had pulled out of the TR5M that used to be plugged into the EX490 but I wanted to be sure it was clean so I fired up Seatools for DOS on an old beater box and ran diagnostics and performed a full erase on the disk just to be on the safe side. Then I popped the drive into an open bay in the Icy Dock MB974SP-B (gotta love those catchy names Icy Dock comes up with). I started the OCE process through the GUI and after seeing it settle around 16 hours left to complete the expansion I left it to its own devices and hit the hay.
The next day I didn't remember to check the expansion progress before I took off for work. So when I got home I was surprised to find that, not only was the process not complete but that I couldn't connect to the 2680 controller through the GUI. WHS was ticked off because one of its volumes wasn't where it should be (obviously) but was still up and running since the OS is on a standalone drive using the controller on the motherboard. I could still access the two arrays on the other RAID controller in the system - a RocketRaid 622 - but I couldn't access the 622 through the GUI either. So, thinking I was taking the safe approach, I left things as is overnight to make sure the rebuild had time to finish on the off chance the 2680 was still working on the expansion.
Unfortunately, things weren't any better the next day and I decided I should go ahead and shut down / restart. When I brought things back up the 2680 claimed it was still in the process of rebuilding the array. I had a pretty good idea where things were going at this point as Windows after the restart claimed I had an 8GB partition of type RAW with a total disk size of 10TB. I went ahead and let the HighPoint finish doing what it thought needed to be done and noticed that the system seemed glitchy - becoming unresponsive at times to keyboard or mouse. After the rebuild of my 10 terrabytes of nothing finished, I checked the drives. The Seagate green drive I had added was in a funky state. The 2680 claimed the status was "normal" but when I tried to view SMART info through the RAID Management Console it returned an error.
Gee, thanks. How helpful.
E 5/9/2012 7:31:33 PM An error occured on the disk at 'ST32000542AS-9XW0ADE5' at Controller1-Channel2.
For the record, of the 28 drives currently on my spreadsheet (500 SATA or larger) only two have failed and both were 2TB Seagate Barracuda LP's. In fact, now that I think about it, this may be the warranty replacement for the other failed Barracuda LP. hmmm.
Anyway, the only thing I thought I could do that made any sense was to pull the "new" drive and have the controller use the existing hot spare drive to rebuild the array. After waiting another eternity for that to complete I have been left with a very large, and apparently unformatted, RAID volume. Which brings me to where I am now.
For context, this is all running virtual on a Server 2008 R2 Hyper-v host, Core i5-750 on a Gigabyte P55-USB3 motherboard with 16 GB RAM. The RAID volume was being used as a pass-through physical disk inside the WHS 2011 VM just for data. The VM OSes are hosted on a RAID5 array on the RocketRaid 622 along with another RAID5 array that I have set up as an iSCSI target (long story). The WHS 2011 is (was) the main purpose of the hardware but I was running it virtual so I could bring up other OSes when needed and not install a bunch of crap on the WHS OS. The system itself has been stable and behaving well for quite a while (since WHS 2011 was beta) and I generally have had no complaints about the hardware. I'll also mention that all of our digital photos and documents are safe on another drive so what I'm missing is primarily my movies, tv shows, kids videos, anime, ebooks. It sucks that it's not on the drives but it's not the end of the world (we still have half a year before December 21st rolls around.)
Is there anything I could have (should have) done differently? and, any suggestions on what to do now? i'm tempted to call the 7.5 TB of stuff gone and take the hardware out in the woods for target practise with an assault rifle...