I suspect I know the answer to this (namely, that there is no hope whatsoever), but thought I'd take the liberty of asking the question in the unlikely event there may be some hope, however remote it may be.

I have a server with an old LSI 8888ELP hardware raid card. It is connected to two external drive arrays, each holding 16 drives, each of which was configured as a RAID6 array. While servicing the server, a tool slipped out of my hand, hitting the power cord on one of the enclosures and of course the power went out on the unit. I plugged it back in and powered up the enclosure again. For good measure I also rebooted the server.

Unfortunately, when I go into MegaRAID Storage Manager, it shows all slots/drives as RED, with status "(Foreign) Unconfigured Bad" Right clicking any of them only gives the options to start locating the drive, stop locating the drive, and change to unconfigured good.

I was wondering if there is any hope of recovering any data off the array, whether using MegaRAID Storage Manager or something else. I'd even be happy recovering just a part of the data.

As am aside, I do understand the importance of backups - one was running at the time but a large amount of data had recently been copied to the array and it looks like only 30% was backed up at the time this happened.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

  • I've seen this happen to a few hardware raids and is why I no longer trust them. When they screw the pooch, you're SOL. Better to have software raid so you can fix it when things go wrong.
    – psusi
    Apr 21, 2016 at 0:55
  • Completely agree. Currently looking at ZFS to replace...
    – user415851
    Apr 21, 2016 at 14:15
  • You may source the same controller and try to load it from another system, set the EXACT parameter (important when you create a RAID when you specify the stripe size). Since it involve tons of drive, so the safest ways is use unix DD to duplicate all the data and hope the new controller doesn't screw up. Hardware RAID is always a dark magic for data recovery.
    – mootmoot
    Apr 21, 2016 at 16:32
  • @mootmoot, from what I have seen, hardware raid controllers want to wipe out the boot track of the array any time you create it to ensure that no existing data is still recognized, even if you recreate the array exactly the same way as before. If that is all it wipes, then you may be able to carefully reconstruct it by hand though.
    – psusi
    Apr 21, 2016 at 22:58
  • @psusi Too bad, most RAID manufacturer doesn't give any "recovery kit" when their controller went bad. Perhaps the cloud storage is a good wake up call for them to enforce standard and recovery.
    – mootmoot
    Apr 22, 2016 at 7:07

1 Answer 1


Finally managed to find an answer so I thought I'd take the liberty of answering my own question in case it might be of help to others, with the caution that this worked for me, but it may not work for your particular situation, so use at your risk.

As it turns out, recovery is rather straightforward. Go into the web management interface for the card when it boots. Select the controller card and then you'll have the usual menu items. Go into Physical View. For me, all the drives were marked as Unconfigured Bad. Select each drive and at the bottom there will be an option to mark it Unconfigured Good then click the button (I think it says "Go") to commit. Do this with each such drive.

Once that is done, go back to the home screen and click Scan Drives. It will ask you if you want to import the foreign configurations. For me, it gave a choice between All Configurations and something like Configuration1. I chose All Configurations.

And then, like magic, everything was restored for me. No rebuild, no initialization, nothing. Everything just came back as green and the virtual drive was marked as Optimal.

For the life of me I can't figure out why the above wouldn't be in the documentation for the card. Or maybe it was and I just missed it. In any event, there are a few resources from others around the web that provide more detailed instructions - just Google LSI Megaraid Unconfigured Bad Foreign.

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