To make it even more fun, the RAID 5 array was also the boot disk.
Step 1 for recovery, force the offline disk to online. With three disks in a RAID 5 array, two online should have all of the data and be OK. However, it was not to be. The drive was still not accessible.
I added a new disk and made a parallel install of Windows so I could see what was going on. The partition that should have had all the data was corrupted in some way with the partition type showing as RAW instead of NTFS.
I tried importing the foreign disk, but no such luck. Which makes sense as the RAID card thinks it is part of another virtual disk.
I did all of the data recovery stuff I could with software that scans the RAW data and attempts to recover files. All the while not modifying the corrupted volume. There was still one last hope.
My last hope was to recreate the virtual disk with the following steps:
- Document the configuration of the virtual disk (stripe size, etc) because we need it later.
- Delete the virtual disk. This does not destroy the data on the disk, it just removes the virtual disk from the PERC card configuration.
- Clear the foreign status of the 3rd disk. Again, this does not delete data, it just deletes RAID configuration information.
- Recreate the Virtual disk with the 3 drives, DO NOT INITIALIZE the disks, and use the settings recorded in Step 1. Initializing the disks would delete the data on the disks.
- Restart the server and chkdsk performs major repairs to the RAID volume (whoo hoo, it sees NTFS now)
The data from the repaired disk seems to be suspect. So, I don't think we'll have anything useful from it. For example, the Exchange databases were not able to be mounted.
My frustration was when looking at the RAID configuration that the documentation was very vague about what my options were. Hopefully the description of recreating the RAID volume gives someone else a little more confidence if he/she is going through the same process.