Raid 5 Gone After a Power Failure

Just now in my office when we were working, the file server was disconnected as well as the exchange server. I thought it was just a common power failure which we experience in the past all the time and had no problem. So I went back to the server room and found out that UPS was not on (power cut off). Nothing else usual was found, so I turned it on and then the server.

So I waited and waited and the Remote Desktop Connection could not be established after 15 minutes. So I got a monitor and connected it, the strange thing was the screen prompted “DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESSURE ENTER.” My instinct told me the BIOS setting was changed, specifically the Boot Priority. So I got in BIOS setting by hitting Delete. It was actually the booting disk was missing. By the way, I have RAID 5 built in a Silicate 3124 PCI-X external card. Now the Raid was shown on BIOS setting, what do I do? I was asking myself.

I then rebooted the server and when it came to the PCI BIOS screen, I saw that it showed “Invalid Raid Drive.” Something must be wrong with the Raid Configuration. I pressed Crtl+S and went to the RAID setting page.  I could not do anything because it was my first time hands on RAID things. I was worried the data may be damaged just because of my wrong doings. (In fact, I suspected the data have already gone when I saw “Invalid Raid Drive”.)

I Googled of course, first “raid 5 configuration is gone after power failure”, the result actually came out not that of optimistic. Then “silicate invalid raid drive raid 5”, fortunately I was offered restore method in one post here that had the same problem description. Thank god.  So I did what ESI4000 said:

1. When you boot up go in to the RAID BIOS by pressing F4 og CTRL+S
2. Delete the RAID SET
3. Create it again in the same way and in the same size as you had it in.

However, there was a problem, I forgot the originally setting. What I could possibly remember was I did not set it with automatic size setting. But I already deleted the broken raid and created it again with automatic setting before I could recall my memory. Anyway, I rebooted it and it prompted “Error loading system”. Oh my god, I just did something so stupid.

Now that things had been done, I told myself just go ahead and delete the raid again and create it again with the size number that I remembered. Once, twice, each time with a different number. Not 128, not 64, not 32 again, the last time I just went with 8. I hit “Y” key and rebooted it, I waited anxiously. The POST screen flashed, built-in RAID BIO screen’s gone, PCI RAID BIOS flashed. Oh man, finally Windows 2003 Rolling Progress Bar appeared. Sigh! The server now is restoring the redundancy. The first thing I will do next is backup all the data.

So always remember your RAID settings right. Perform the above procedures carefully. Read important information before you continue blindly. Oh, and always have a backup power source ready and back up all important data.

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