Disk Health Monitoring for RAID

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Disk Health Monitoring for RAID

Postby GordonM » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:50 am

I have been looking around for a disk health monitoring tool for the individual disks in a RAID-1 array, which will work under Win XP. So far, I have found nothing that can do this, except for a few that can deal with specific RAID controllers, e.g. Intel. I am uncertain what my hardware RAID controller is. It may be nVidia (It looks like it from Device Manager), though I have seen reference to Promise in discussions about the motherboard (an old MSI K7N2).

Is anyone aware of any disk health monitors that can monitor the health of individual drives in a RAID array? CrystalDiskInfo and the free Acronis tool won't do it.

Thank you
GordonM
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Re: Disk Health Monitoring for RAID

Postby DrTeeth » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:00 am

Have you Googled "monitor the health of individual drives in a RAID array"? I got loads of hits that seemed to answer your question. I know next to nothing about RAID management so cannot judge if they are any good. This post is not meant to be cheeky :D !

DrT
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Re: Disk Health Monitoring for RAID

Postby GordonM » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:46 am

Yes, I Googled something similar and also received lots of hits, but none proved very useful. The problem seems to be that RAID controllers typically hide the S.M.A.R.T information. The in-built RAID firmware will give a warning when what is on the disks is not identical, but tis doesn't really provide the advanced warning that one can often get when monitoring S.M.A.R.T. It is possible to undo the RAID configuration and test the drives spearately, maybe as non-system drives on another machine, but this is a real pain to have to do on a regular basis.

Thank you
Gordon
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Re: Disk Health Monitoring for RAID

Postby DrTeeth » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:08 am

Hi Gordon,

Thanks for the clarification and explanation.
--

Cheers

DrT
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Re: Disk Health Monitoring for RAID

Postby TeraByte Support » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:23 am

have you tried the intel rapid storage software (used to be call matrix) -
which is basically includes the drivers and software that sits in your
system tray?

"GordonM" wrote in message news:2662@public.tech.misc...

I have been looking around for a disk health monitoring tool for the
individual disks in a RAID-1 array, which will work under Win XP. So far, I
have found nothing that can do this, except for a few that can deal with
specific RAID controllers, e.g. Intel. I am uncertain what my hardware RAID
controller is. It may be nVidia (It looks like it from Device Manager),
though I have seen reference to Promise in discussions about the motherboard
(an old MSI K7N2).

Is anyone aware of any disk health monitors that can monitor the health of
individual drives in a RAID array? CrystalDiskInfo and the free Acronis
tool won't do it.

Thank you
GordonM

TeraByte Support
 
Posts: 2281
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Re: Disk Health Monitoring for RAID

Postby GordonM » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:55 am

Thanks TBS. From what I have read, it is better to use hardware RAID, if one has it on the MB, and I do. I am presuming that Intel rapid stroage software is a totally software RAID solution. As I already have hardware RAID working, I suspect that it is probably best to stay with that. I have come across the nVidia Control Panel. This should be automatically installed when installing recent drivers. My drivers can't be up to date, as there is no sign of this Control Panel. I should do an update. Whether nVidia Control Panel is only concerned with nVidia video drivers, I don't know. Anyway, I'll do an update and see if it offers any help with nVidia's RAID implementation.

Gordon
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Re: Disk Health Monitoring for RAID

Postby TeraByte Support » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:17 pm

Most of the motherboards don't have hardware RAID they have firmware RAID.
The drivers for it hide the RAID as does the BIOS.


"GordonM" wrote in message news:2670@public.tech.misc...

Thanks TBS. From what I have read, it is better to use hardware RAID, if
one has it on the MB, and I do. I am presuming that Intel rapid stroage
software is a totally software RAID solution. As I already have hardware
RAID working, I suspect that it is probably best to stay with that. I have
come across the nVidia Control Panel. This should be automatically
installed when installing recent drivers. My drivers can't be up to date,
as there is no sign of this Control Panel. I should do an update. Whether
nVidia Control Panel is only concerned with nVidia video drivers, I don't
know. Anyway, I'll do an update and see if it offers any help with nVidia's
RAID implementation.

Gordon

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Re: Disk Health Monitoring for RAID

Postby GordonM » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:57 pm

Thanks again, TBS. I think you are right, it is firmware RAID.

However, I have now hit a much more serious problem. I decided to install IFW on this machine ... I had it installed before I changed the system disk configuration to RAID-1. After IFW installation a re-boot was requested and this I did. However, I can no longer boot into WinXP. When looking at the BIOS, the two RAID drives are just not there any more. If I re-set the CMOS, the drives re-appear and then I also have to enable RAID again as the CMOS re-set disabled it. On re-booting again, the drives have again disappeard from the BIOS. If I don't look at the BIOS but let the machine boot, the process gets as far as asking whether I want to boot into Safe-Mode, last Windows settings that worked, start Windows normally etc. Whatever I select, the boot process seems to continue but never gets to the Windows Welcome screen, the machine just re-boots from the start again.

Any thoughts on this? At the moment, I can't see where to go other than to re-install Windows from scratch. I have checked the CMOS battery, by the way, and that is showing just over 3 volts.

Thank you
Gordon

P.S. A further thought on this. I can't remember now whether, when the RAID array is set up, the individual disks showed up on the first (Phoenix BIOS) BIOS screen. I have a feeling that they don't. The RAID array is indicated as healthy so, maybe, it's just a question of Windows needing to be repaired (not sure why it would break). Anyway, I have copied the critical mail server application from one of the RAID drives to another computer and that's now running fine, with no loss of mail. Fortunately, the mail server app (Mercury) is portable and it just needs its folder to be copied to work.
GordonM
 
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Re: Disk Health Monitoring for RAID

Postby TeraByte Support » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:37 am

You can try booting last known good configuration. Otherwise disable
automatic reboot so you can see what the BSOD is.

"GordonM" wrote in message news:2675@public.tech.misc...

Thanks again, TBS. I think you are right, it is firmware RAID.

However, I have now hit a much more serious problem. I decided to install
IFW on this machine ... I had it installed before I changed the system disk
configuration to RAID-1. After IFW installation a re-boot was requested and
this I did. However, I can no longer boot into WinXP. When looking at the
BIOS, the two RAID drives are just not there any more. If I re-set the
CMOS, the drives re-appear and then I also have to enable RAID again as the
CMOS re-set disabled it. On re-booting again, the drives have again
disappeard from the BIOS. If I don't look at the BIOS but let the machine
boot, the process gets as far as asking whether I want to boot into
Safe-Mode, last Windows settings that worked, start Windows normally etc.
Whatever I select, the boot process seems to continue but never gets to the
Windows Welcome screen, the machine just re-boots from the start again.

Any thoughts on this? At the moment, I can't see where to go other than to
re-install Windows from scratch. I have checked the CMOS battery, by the
way, and that is showing just over 3 volts.

Thank you
Gordon

P.S. A further thought on this. I can't remember now whether, when the RAID
array is set up, the individual disks showed up on the first (Phoenix BIOS)
BIOS screen. I have a feeling that they don't. The RAID array is indicated
as healthy so, maybe, it's just a question of Windows needing to be repaired
(not sure why it would break). Anyway, I have copied the critical mail
server application from one of the RAID drives to another computer and
that's now running fine, with no loss of mail. Fortunately, the mail server
app (Mercury) is portable and it just needs its folder to be copied to work.

TeraByte Support
 
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Re: Disk Health Monitoring for RAID

Postby GordonM » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:28 am

Unfortunately, "last known good configuaration" is no better than the other options (they all behave in the same way). The boot process doesn't get as far as the Welcome screen and just goes back to the beginning. I am going to try a "repair". I hope this works with a RAID confguaration, I don't see why it shouldn't.

Is there any history of IFW causing this sort of thing (I had just installed 2.62)? I suspect that this was a coincidence.

Gordon
GordonM
 
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