I had a RAID 5 array (of size 890GB) consisting of 4 320GB disks that was controlled by "Intel Matrix Storage" RAID on my motherboard. I think this is probably the biggest mistake I have ever made in configuring a PC - to rely on a chipset RAID 5.
The RAID 5 configuration got lost for some reason (read at the end of this post if you are curious how). Now, I see 4 separate disks as "Non-raid Disks". I used iRecover to create a virtual RAID 5 disk and added all the 4 disks. Thankfully, iRecover was able to recreate the virtual image for the RAID 5 and I am able to recover the data to an external 750GB hard drive. I think all the 4 disks are OK and they did not fail.
The problem is that the data recovery is extremely slow. iRecover shows 0.5 MB/sec with 2 or 3 seeks/sec. Is this normal or very slow? At this rate, it will take me 16 days to recover the 700GB of data. The read and write cache both are 512MB. I have total of 3GB RAM on the machine with iRecover as the only application running. CPU (Pentium 4 3.2GHz) usage is 5% or less. What can I do to get a speedy recovery of the data?
HOW I LOST MY DATA:
Here is a tidbit of how I lost my data. It was not because of a disk suddenly failing. Here are the sequence of events that led to RAID volume configuration getting lost.
- I got 2GB memory to upgrade my PC's 1GB memory to 3GB.
- I shut the Windows PC down normally. I opened the PC case and installed the new 2GB memory. Closed the PC case and booted.
- I got a message from Intel Matrix Storage Console software (the worst RAID software in the world IMHO) that one of the disks had failed.
- I had got similar messages with disk failing for different disks most of the time I opened the case and closed it. I usually mark the failed disk as normal and then RAID array parity is built and the array works fine for weeks or moths.
- I did the same again. I marked the failed hard drive as normal. This time, the parity build did not begin.
- I rebooted the machine. There was no parity being built. Also, all the 4 drives were reported as "Offline Members" in the initial BIOS boot screen.
- I got a message saying that I must mark the disks as not part of array in order to use it. I clicked Yes on that. Now, I realize that I should not have done that .
- After rebooting, all 4 disks are reported as Non-raid drives. Windows sees them as 4 separate disks. 2 of these disks are mounted as logical drives (D: and E:). And the other 2 are not.
- At this point, I got iRecover after some web search. Thankfully, it recreated the virtual RAID 5 array and I can retrieve data. But, it is tooo slow.
- I wonder is there any way to "force" Intel Matrix Storage Console to reconfigure these 4 disks as the RAID 5 array - considering that all the data is still intact.
Sorry for a lengthy post. But, I would really appreciate your help.