14 Replies Latest reply on Sep 2, 2012 5:22 AM by Carl Bailey

    IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk

    Carl Bailey

      I have a RAID 5 with three 1MB SATA disks. IRST is telling me that data may be at risk within the array. How can I check / scan individual disks within the array?

        • 1. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk



          You should be able to conduct some management via Intel® Matrix Storage Manager. If you have not already, I would suggest installing that software.



          • 2. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk

            As a possibly-relevant aside, I've noticed that the Intel SSD Toolbox will display the detailed SMART data for the individual hard drives of my RAID 5 array. I'd always wanted to see that, and wondered why IRST didn't show it (although the claim was that IRST monitors SMART data and will react appropriately). I had installed the SSD Toolbox because I've got an SSD as well as the RAID 5 disks. I wonder if you can install the SSD Toolbox even if you have no SSD? If so, that would be an Intel-supported way to view those details.


            I haven't tried this, but it's said that new versions of SpeedFan will report SMART data for the individual drives of an array. http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php


            These are general comments. Obviously you'll want to be guided by the specifics of your error/warning messages.

            • 3. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk
              Carl Bailey

              Thanks Jason.


              Simple enough when you know how!


              OK - next question. In a 3 disc Raid 5 array with one disk reporting possible failure, how do I go about replacing it? Just unplug and insert new disk?



              • 4. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk



                You should be able to replace the failing drive with a fresh drive and let the array rebuild. It may take some time for the process to complete. Assuming your system fully supports hot swapping, you can do this on the fly.





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                • 5. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk
                  Carl Bailey

                  Hi Jason,


                  Now I' ve opened my machine I see that there are three disks in the array labelled S0-SYS, S1-Data, S2-Data and S3-Data.


                  The Intel Matrix Storage Manager shows me, in Basic Mode, a diagram with only Port 1 and Port 2, with Port 2 showing a warning sign.



                  The Intel Matrix Storage Manager in Advanced Mode shows, in the RAID tree, all three raid drives with a warning sign (ports 1 to 3).


                  Considering there are 4 ports used on the mother board, 0 to 3, and all three RAID drives have a warning sign in the Advanced Mode how can I be sure that the Basic Mode warning of Port 2 is correct?


                  Is there another way to check each RAID drive individually?



                  • 6. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk



                    What board is this, by the way?


                    Can you clarify, are there four disks in your chassis? It looks like the OS is on a single drive and your data partition is on a 3 disk R5 array based on the Advanced Mode View you provided, along with your description. Just want to make sure I am keeping up.


                    I'd be interested to see what information you can see when you highlight one of the drives in the array, instead of volume. Can you post a screen shot of that?



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                    • 7. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk

                      Yes, it would certainly be interesting to see what detail selecting each off the three drives in turn brings up.


                      Another avenue of investigation might be to see that the Intel raid BIOSdisplays on system POST(*), and if any more information is available in the Intel Raid BIOS itself  (CTRL-I). Caution however that power cycling or rebooting the system might just bring on whatever failure SMART(I presume) was warning about.


                      In theory, your RAID5 array should withstand one drive loss, however as the Matrix Storage Manager is not being clear about the focus of the issue, I'd be a little more cautions in case the issue is controller related.


                      Might be worth doing a backup to a a USB drive just in case before rebooting.


                      [*] for me - the BIOS flashes past too quickly to fully digest all information displayed, so where I feel I have something to analyse or consider, I now video the boot!

                      • 8. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk



                        "...the BIOS flashes past too quickly to fully digest all information displayed"

                        You can press the Pause button at any time!



                        • 9. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk
                          Carl Bailey

                          Hi Jason and Steve,


                          I do have OS on the port 0 single drive and the three RAID drives hold data. I'm running a Gigabyte X58A-UDR3 with Intel i7 - 2.8GHz and Windows 7 Pro 64bit.


                          I installed the Intel SSD Toolbox but it only provides Used/Free space stats on non SSD disks.


                          When entering the Intel Bios config utility on start-up (CTRL+I) I can see that the three drives are showing "Smart Event (O)" in yellow.


                          Screen shots of the highlighted drives and integrated control card/chipset follow:

                          Capture 1.JPG

                          Capture 2.JPG

                          Capture 3.JPG

                          Capture Chipset.JPG

                          A few questions:

                          1. Right clicking the Volume > DATA shows option to 'verify' or 'verify and repair'. I wonder if either of these are possible options?
                          2. Perhaps I could just reset the three disks status to 'normal' and see if SMART reports a disc status change/warning again at next start-up?
                          3. Is it the raid control card/chipset which is causing the issue?


                          We are shutting down and re-starting the pc quite often since these disk event notifications. Perhaps not a good strategy, but with a busy family it needs to be done!


                          Maybe I should try HD Tune website or something similar? Other forums seem to suggest replacing the disks, but I can't fathom how all three in the array could have an issue at the same time.



                          • 10. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk

                            Carl Bailey wrote:


                            ...I installed the Intel SSD Toolbox but it only provides Used/Free space stats on non SSD disks...


                            Using the SSD Toolbox, I can select any of the 3 component hard drives (WD Green drives) in my RAID 5 array, and there are two buttons available: "Drive Details" and "SMART Details". The latter button displays the SMART information. But it doesn't show used/free space for the component drives, which wouldn't be meaningful. The logical drive structure can also be selected, and this only displays Used/Free space, with the "Driver Details" and "SMART Details" buttons grayed out. Perhaps you didn't notice the little right-arrow on the right edge of the drive list; you may need to click that to scroll over to the component drives.

                            • 11. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk
                              Carl Bailey

                              Hi Dogwood,


                              Thanks for that. The little arrows are not very prominent!


                              From this I now get green 'Ready for Use' on all attributes for all drives in SMART Details. I'm assuming this is a good thing.


                              Is there anything in the 'Drive Details' I should be aware of as some kind of early warning or fault with the disc?



                              • 12. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk
                                Carl Bailey

                                A HD Tune Pro error scan shows no damaged blocks on any of the four drives. This utility does not however perform a health check on the array.

                                • 13. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk



                                  I would say Verify and Repair are not a bad idea, have a look here for clarity. Backing up any critical data should be done first just in case.


                                  Resetting the SMART status and seeing if the status changes back to warning state is a simple way to see if the issue is persistent.


                                  As far as the source of the issue, it's still not clear - I wouldn't rule out anything yet, nor would I replace drives until you are sure that's the issue.


                                  I'm not familiar with HD Tune, and they don't have a nice little "About" page that describes the mission or service that (they) the software really provides. Why do I need to tune my HDD, what can the app really do? I don't get it. You're choice though.


                                  As mentioned before, using the low level RAID configuration interface (RAID BIOS, CTRL+I) is probably the safest way to verify the heath of the array if you can't run such a check via the Windows GUI. It sounds like you can though, via the Verify and Repair options you describe.


                                  Next you might look into the Event View >  Windows logs > System. If Windows is detecting a problem, it should be logged in there. I would be very surprised if there wasn't a log entry in there.


                                  It doesn't seem like your data is in great jeopardy though, which is nice. Backing up your data is never a bad idea, however! ;-)




                                  P.S. if you want to scare yourself about drive failures, you can read Google's paper on SMART errors, Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population. Pretty interesting stuff actually.

                                  • 14. Re: IRST - RAID 5 - Data at Risk
                                    Carl Bailey

                                    Hi Jason,


                                    Well....I added a NAS with 2TB Raid 1 and moved a copy of all the important stuff to that.


                                    I ran the Intel Matrix Storage and Control verify and repair and got nothing. What I mean is just that....no reports, no status update....nothing!


                                    I ran through the Windows event viewer but could not track any warning in either system or application which related to disk status change/warning.


                                    I have reset the disk status on all three discs to normal and will now monitor them with Hard Disk Sentinel Pro as that identifies RAID volumes.


                                    Thanks for your help.


                                    Carl - Sydney Australia