I have an ASUS P7P55D-E LX board with the P55 chipset and 4 2TB drives in a RAID 5 with FreeNAS running on a separate drive. Upon reboot one day all 4 RAID drives were 'Offline Members' and RAID was 'Failed'. After unplugging/replugging all but one were marked 'Online Members' and the RAID was set to 'Degraded'.
I assumed the drive died but plugging it into my computer was able to initialize and format (was going to wipe data for RMA so I figured what the hell - the RAID can just be rebuilt anyway, right?). Figured since it was clean it would be good to rebuild the array but it still says it's an 'Offline Member'. I've not had to rebuild an array before using the Intel Matrix Manager but I'm surprised there is no 'Rebuild Array' option and I'm not sure why this drive is seen as an "Offline Member" even though it is functioning.
Is there a way to 'reset' this drive so it's seen like a new drive and the RAID will rebuild automatically? Or do I have to use the Windows tool to do all of this? I really don't want to have to install windows on a new drive just to rebuild the array and then go back to FreeNAS (FreeBSD Linux variant).
Is there a boot disk ISO to manage the RAID? Why would all of my drives go 'Offline' in the first place considering they all appear functional?
When a Hard Drive appears offline not necessarily is defective or bad. Sometimes the issue is that the RAID structure of the Hard Drive got corrupted. You can access the RAID BIOS of the motherboard, from the RAID BIOS you can set only that Hard Drive as non member disk so; that will delete the RAID structure from the Hard Drive. After that the Hard Drive will be clean, and then in Windows from the Intel Matrix Storage Manager software you can rebuild the RAID 5 volume using that Hard Drive again.
I figured it out on my own - or with the help of Google and some luck. I saw that "Reset Disks to Non-RAID" actually should read, "Reset Disk(s) to Non-RAID". The menu option gives no indication that you can reset just ONE disk - which is kind of a bummer.
The second problem is that the RAID apparently won't rebuild outside Windows and Matrix Storage Manager application... My OS is FreeNAS (Linux) so I can't use that. My only option was to borrow an old hard drive from work and install Windows 7 on that, then install the Storage Manager application and wait for the RAID to rebuild. (2 days later it's at 95% of 5.5TB... lol)
So hopefully I can let the RAID get sorted, then shut down, change hard drives back to FreeNAS and go from there.
I guess the lesson learned here is to get a real RAID controller card. I've always used Intel's on-board solution but haven't had a RAID failure until now. It's just not robust enough - at least if you aren't running Windows.