I have a server with a RAID 1 config. The data on the RAID is in a critical state, how is that different that a rebuild state?

The OS is booting up fine and I can sort of read the machines data without error, it is when I start to copy the data that the copy fails.

Are there any good software tools on the web for RAID analysis?

The error I get is from a windows prompt: "Windows - Delay Write Failed" "Windows was unable to save all the data on the file .... The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere."

Any other suggestions as well?

(The RAID drives are about 2 years old so from what I hear, they may totally fail at the same time.)


A "critical" RAID element is an element which reports a physical, unrecoverable malfunction, and must be replaced as soon as possible.

Since you're running RAID 1, you should be able to run the array degraded and swap your drive out for a new one, if your server must be online all the time.

However, you must also consider the possibility that it's your RAID controller card (if you have one) that is malfunctioning. Though this is much less likely, it's still something to keep in mind when rebuilding your array.

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    +1 - definately swap in a 2nd, good, healthy hdd as soon as you can so that whatever is there is mirrored onto a good drive before the other drive fails. Thats the problem with having two disks of the same age in a mirror, they're both likely to fail at the same time. – Mark Henderson Jun 7 '09 at 6:50
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    +1 good explanation. – David Pashley Jun 7 '09 at 7:16

Backup your system NOW to external media. Buy new hard drives because it sounds like one failed and the other may not be far behind.

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  • Yup, that is what I am doing now. – Daniel Jun 7 '09 at 4:58

Make sure to make a copy before you start a rebuild. A rebuild might find errors on the remaining drive, which "might" not happen during a copy, causing your remainging drive to fail as well.

Can you tell us if it is a software-raid or a hardware-raid? In case of software-raid, is it set up in windows drive manager, or with the mainboard bios, or some other way?

By your answer, I suppose you used the mainboard raid component.

Unless you put in a physical raid card, it very probably is a software raid. The Mainboard has what is called a raid controller, but isnt. In fact, most of the time it is a software raid, setup by mainboard bios and driver.

This combination has a worse probability of doing The Right Thing (TM) when you try to repair, as compared to a proper raid controller. Beware - there are cheap IDE or SATA raid controller cards that do exactly the same thing.

But then, if your data recovery works, the mirroring did its job: you lost a drive, but not the data. If the server is not particularly important, set it up the same way, and go on for another few years. But if the data has any kind of value, go for a proper solution, and a professional to set it up, including backup.

P.S. Data Recovery is not backup

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  • It is a hardware RAID. I loaded a RAID driver into a windows machine years ago. – Daniel Jun 7 '09 at 7:14

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