Can't erase informations of a former RAID 5 array


T

Toto

I've 4 Maxtor SATA HDs once used in a RAID 5 array (with the SIL 3114
controller of a Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe MB ).

I'm trying to re-use some of these HDs on the SIL controller for a new RAID
5 array. Perhaps it was a mistake, but I've reformated the Maxtor HDs
(high, then low level from the SIL controller Bios), but now the RAID Bios
utility doesn't let me build a RAID5 bunch again : it says the disks are
'RESERVED' and I can't build anything with it. And of course, Windows
doesn't see the Disks anymore. It seems that even with a Lowlevel
formatting, the disks still keep an information that prevents their use for
building a RAID5 bunch...

Someone on another group suggested to clean the MBR of these HDs, what I
did with MBRtools. But they still appear as 'RESERVED', even Lowlevel
formatted and MBR cleaned...

Any idea of a solution (or at least an explanation...) ?
 
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A

Arno Wagner

Previously Toto said:
I've 4 Maxtor SATA HDs once used in a RAID 5 array (with the SIL 3114
controller of a Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe MB ).
I'm trying to re-use some of these HDs on the SIL controller for a new RAID
5 array. Perhaps it was a mistake, but I've reformated the Maxtor HDs
(high, then low level from the SIL controller Bios), but now the RAID Bios
utility doesn't let me build a RAID5 bunch again : it says the disks are
'RESERVED' and I can't build anything with it. And of course, Windows
doesn't see the Disks anymore. It seems that even with a Lowlevel
formatting, the disks still keep an information that prevents their use for
building a RAID5 bunch...
Someone on another group suggested to clean the MBR of these HDs, what I
did with MBRtools. But they still appear as 'RESERVED', even Lowlevel
formatted and MBR cleaned...
Any idea of a solution (or at least an explanation...) ?

The problem might be that the SIL controller hides some sectors of the
disks in order to store a RAID descriptor there. These blocks might
not be cleared when doing the blanking connected to the SIL controller.

Advice: Connect the disk to a different controller (preferrably
non-RAID) and blank there. You can use e.g. a Knoppix boot CD
for this. The advantage is that you can disconnect all other
disks and will not blank the wroing disk accidentally.
If you connect the disk to be blanked as first IDE disk the
disk will be /dev/hda in Knoppix.

Procedure:

- Get and burn Knoppix immage (-> google for source)
- Boot from Knoppix CD
- Go to commandline (you are not root in the GUI) by pressing
CTRL-ALT-F2
- Set DMA access: "hdparm -d 1 /dev/hda"
- Start blanking "dd_rescue -w /dev/zero /dev/hda"
- Let run until finished. dd_rescue gives you a progress indicator.

After that the disk should be as empty as it came when new.

Arno
 
T

Toto

The problem might be that the SIL controller hides some sectors of the
disks in order to store a RAID descriptor there. These blocks might
not be cleared when doing the blanking connected to the SIL
controller.

Advice: Connect the disk to a different controller (preferrably
non-RAID) and blank there. You can use e.g. a Knoppix boot CD
for this. The advantage is that you can disconnect all other
disks and will not blank the wroing disk accidentally.
If you connect the disk to be blanked as first IDE disk the
disk will be /dev/hda in Knoppix.

Procedure:

- Get and burn Knoppix immage (-> google for source)
- Boot from Knoppix CD
- Go to commandline (you are not root in the GUI) by pressing
CTRL-ALT-F2
- Set DMA access: "hdparm -d 1 /dev/hda"
- Start blanking "dd_rescue -w /dev/zero /dev/hda"
- Let run until finished. dd_rescue gives you a progress indicator.

After that the disk should be as empty as it came when new.

Arno


Thanks, Arno, I agree with your diagnostic as well as with your
suggestion... I'll give it a try as soon as I can. Even if I'm not familiar
with any Linux version, I think you tell everything I'll have to do...
 
A

Arno Wagner

Previously Toto said:
Thanks, Arno, I agree with your diagnostic as well as with your
suggestion... I'll give it a try as soon as I can. Even if I'm not familiar
with any Linux version, I think you tell everything I'll have to do...

I hope so. And Knoppix ist by far the least painful way to get to know
Linux, since it does not install anything to disk at all. If you run
into problems, just ask again.

Arno
 
F

Folkert Rienstra

Arno Wagner said:
I hope so. And Knoppix ist by far the least painful way to get to know
Linux, since it does not install anything to disk at all. If you run
into problems, just ask again.

,, and Arnie the missionary.
 
F

Folkert Rienstra

Arno Wagner said:
The problem might be that the SIL controller hides some sectors of the
disks in order to store a RAID descriptor there. These blocks might
not be cleared when doing the blanking connected to the SIL controller.

Advice:

Arnie the advisor ...
Connect the disk to a different controller
(preferrably non-RAID) and blank there.
You can use e.g. a Knoppix boot CD for this.
The advantage is that you can disconnect all other
disks and will not blank the wroing disk accidentally.
If you connect the disk to be blanked as first IDE disk the
disk will be /dev/hda in Knoppix.

Procedure:

- Get and burn Knoppix immage (-> google for source)
- Boot from Knoppix CD
- Go to commandline (you are not root in the GUI) by pressing
CTRL-ALT-F2
- Set DMA access: "hdparm -d 1 /dev/hda"
- Start blanking "dd_rescue -w /dev/zero /dev/hda"
- Let run until finished. dd_rescue gives you a progress indicator.

And such simple advice it is.
 
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