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Old 11-11-2008, 06:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Asus M3A78-T Raid 5 Rebuild Issue

Thanks for reading, first off, as I cannot seem to find much help anywhere on the net for this issue. I've had to resort to posting on forums for help.

I have an Asus M3A78-T, with 3 1TB drives set up into a RAID 5 array. It had two partitions, a 100gb OS and a 1.9tb Datastore. Worked fine for 3 months. The drives occupy SATA ports 1-3. Then one day, #2 decides to take a nose dive. It was dropped from the array during normal OS usage. Reboots still left the array in a Critical/Degraded status.

I could boot into windows, and use AMD's RaidXpert to see the degraded array. However, no matter what I did, the Rebuild tab was ALWAYS greyed out and unselectable. Even when I set the #2 drive as free or even as a spare, I could not rebuild the array.

I ended up adding a fourth drive to the system, a 500gb, and copied my windows partition to it (from the array---talk about hard as balls) and set it all up. I thought that maybe the RAID array could not be rebuilt if an OS was running from it. Anyway, the new copied OS works perfectly fine. Regardless, RaidXpert still greys out the Rebuild tab.

I have no clue what to do. To make matters worse, I know there is a newer version of RaidXpert out there to install, but when I make the attempt, it says I have to uninstall the old version... Which I can't find in Add/Remove programs.

I need some serious lovin =[

***EDIT: Forgot to mention I used both the latest firefox and internet explorer to see if it was a browser issue. Both grey out the Rebuild tab. BIOS is up to date.

Here are two links to .jpg's to help you understand the issue. Notice the rebuild tab is greyed out.

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Old 11-11-2008, 07:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asus M3A78-T Raid 5 Rebuild Issue

Has the drive #2 ever had any tests run on it or replaced with a new 1TB drive?

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Old 11-11-2008, 07:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, I've run numerous SMART tests on it as well as a bad sector check. Its fine. I've read elsewhere that one person had a similar issue, and he "solved" it by adding a fourth free drive, identical to the others, to the system. This, for some reason, made the Rebuild tab selectable.

To me that makes no sense. So, I'm considering doing a few things later today when I have time:

Try to find the actual web pages stored on the hard drive for RaidXpert to dissect them and find out what must be set in order for the Rebuild tab to be selectable (no luck so far, I've done some prelim searching in the Programs\AMD\RaidXpert folder and its pretty messy...)

The other thing is, to take the #2 drive and simply zero that thing out entirely. If I did that, assuming no mechanical, electrical, or firmware failure, it should be identical to a new drive. Maybe the residual information on it from the array is causing some issues.

***EDIT: Kurt, forgot to mention, I have not replaced it with a new drive yet. No money for that unfortunately. Although as I said, the drive seems entirely functional in all read, write, and smart tests.

Interesting results! I managed to install the newer RAIDXpert (v xxxxxxx.11) version, and now the rebuild tab is there! Oddly enough, upon reboot after install, the 1tb #2 that dropped is also now a separate entity in the RAID ROM's bootup listing. Cool!

So, I try to rebuild the array.... and the webpage frame doesn't load =/ nor does it appear to do it automatically since the controller is set to auto rebuilds. All the drives show an "Idle" background status...

So, I set a scheduled rebuild for about 10 minutes in the future and waited. 10 rolls around and I don't get notifications or anything... the drive is still shown as free. Sucks. Except now when I go back to the Logical Drive View, I can no longer access Rebuild.

I noticed that if I set the free drive, *after* starting a rebuild, to a Spare, then delete the Spare, I get the rebuild tab back. The result is the same when I try to start it though; the frame goes white and doesnt load a progress bar or anything.

Very very odd.
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asus M3A78-T Raid 5 Rebuild Issue

Just a wild guess. Try zeroing out the drive to make appear as a new drive to RAIDXpert. It may have marked as bad to prevent the array from rebuilt.
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asus M3A78-T Raid 5 Rebuild Issue

Well, halfway through another SMART test, the thing just kaputs. Every reboot the BIOS would hang for a bit while it tried to contact the drive, then continue on. Didn't even show up in HD lists for system tests. Guess it was just on it's dying breathes. I hate the fact Seagates have a 5 year warranty but have to be shipped off =/
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