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Mount a HDD which is a member in Intel Raid to back up data
Friday - Jul 8th 2011 - by - (0 comments)

Previously I wrote about USB3 problems I had with Windows 7 and my motherboard Asus P8H67-M EVO. In the post I didn't mention that I also tried to use a newer BIOS version to see if this would fix the issue. But now to a new problem:

Since I upgraded my BIOS to the latest version, I noticed that the Intel RST (Intel Rapid Storage Technology) icon didn't have the green check anymore. By sliding over it, a message appeared:

Intel RST service is not running

In some forum posts I found hints, that the service needs to be changed to be started "Automatic" instead of "Automatic (delayed)" but this didn't help in my case (Note: This will help on a new install of Win7 though!).
I restarted several times, installed the latest Intel Raid drivers and tools but no change. By curiosity I went into the BIOS settings and saw that my SATA settings were set to default again, which means that my SATA disks were now running in mode IDE instead of RAID. No wonder the service was not started in Windows (since no RAID was detected)! Easy, I thought, and changed it back to RAID and rebooted. Big mistake!

Now Windows 7 came up and detected problems in the disk and offered to repair the disk. This operation took about 30mins (which makes sense, since it could be a re-initilization of the RAID group - at least that's what I thought) and then the assistant restarted the machine. As soon as Windows wanted to boot from the HDD the computer crashed and rebooted again - always at the point when you see the 4 colored dots appearing (which would in the end create the Windows logo).

After the 5th reboot like this I've had enough and decided to completely reinstall Windows 7. The system was just a couple of days old so this didn't bug me a lot. I just wanted to save the data which I saved all on a second partition (D:). I booted Knoppix and plugged my external SATA disk in. This was detected fine, and I could mount the filesystem with ntfs-3g. But as soon as I wanted to mount an internal disk (of the RAID group) the following error message appeared:

# mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/data
mount failed: Device or resource busy

Huh?! I checked all existing mount points, as Knoppix sometimes auto-mounts detected harddisks, but this wasn't the case. I checked open processes but nothing showed up. I went back into the BIOS, changed back to IDE but the same problem: Device or resource busy when trying to mount either hard disk.
Then I found this page which explained, that hard disks, which are members of a raid group, must first remove the raid entries - otherwise they will not allow to be mounted. This can be done like this:

# disable the raid setup
dmraid -an
dmraid -si

# remove the metadata
dmraid -E -r

I didn't worry that this would break the raid entries, as I just wanted to access the data to back it up and then re-create the raid and format the disk for a new installation. As soon as I launched the commands above, the hard disk could be mounted and I could access data.

By the way: The command dmraid -n shows, if raid entries exist on the hard disks. One will be surprised how much information is written into the headers of a disk...

 

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