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WHS 2011 Rebuild Raid 5


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I have a WHS 2011 with 5 drives

2 X 500gig drives, where the first drive is my C: drive and that is backed up to the second drive.

3 X 3000gig drives in a WHS (software) Raid 5 configuration and this was the machines effective D: drive.


one of the drives in the Raid died. In the process of replacing the broken drive. I have some how removed the D: drive (Server Manager > Disk Manager) and now have 2 of the drives showing as 'Unallocated'.  before I did this there were no files lost (So I believe the Raid 5 protected me from the disk loss)


I am hoping that the two remaining drives and a replacement, i can rebuild the RAID. The only option I can see is to create a new RAID and I am loathe to do this in case it formats the drives and looses everything.


Any Help would be much appreciated. sorry if this is covered somewhere else






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Yes, where are the backups?  I think if you put the drives back in and re-initialize them they should rebuild.  However, you tell us nothing about what is controlling the array.  Is this on a controller card, MOBO, or Windows based array?

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I am using the software RAID 5 from WHS. i have been unable to identify the damaged drive and it does not show up in anny searches for it, so I have added a 4th (but third registered drive). once I uahve the system back up, i iwll try identify and remove the drive.  (i am thinking i will by a RAID controller and go to RAID 6, also) but that is after i get the RAID rebuilt.


from what JMWills is saying, I Think i should just go create new drive from the 3 good drives and it should rebuild?

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To be brutally honest, I think you've lost your data completely - you did have it all backed up somewhere else didn't you?


From the description, and I'd probably need to know exactly what you did to be absolutely sure, it sounds like what happened was that you lost one of three disks in the Raid-5 array. Raid-5 being tolerant of a single disk failure just carried on working and so you didn't lose anything. Then when trying to replace the failed drive you accidentally deleted the array itself - the failed disk doesn't show up anywhere, but the other two appear in Disk Manager as individual drives, with no recognisable volumes on them (Unallocated). You no longer have an array at all and I suspect all of your data has gone with it, if you add another disk and try to recreate the array using it along with the two original disk, then I very much doubt Windows will recognise the old array details on the disk and will simply create a new empty disk array.


There are (apparently) some third-party utilities which supposedly can recover data from a broken disk set and/or there are always commercial data-recovery companies - but they aren't cheap!


Failing that then I don't suppose you have much to loose by putting another disk in and seeing what Windows makes of it if you try to recreate the array. I may well be wrong but I suspect you'll end up with a blank volume.


And just as an aside you'll need a minimum of four disks to do Raid-6, not all controllers support it, and those that do (I'm thinking HP's Smart Array controllers here) often need an additional licence key to enable the feature.



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One of my concerns is that Thombee_NZ says he can't identify the faulty disk. That's crucial to a successful rebuild of a degraded array. If you pull the wrong drive, you've basically created a 2 disk failure in a RAID5 array, and you can't recover from that. That's why I suggested putting the drive he pulled back in -- perhaps Windows will recognize it and bring the array back online. At any rate, it won't cause any harm.


I think a RAID6 array in a home setup really is getting into the realm of overkill. Much more important to have a rebust, tested, reliable backup strategy in place.

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