Be it because of the BIOS update to a beta or because of my drives but my RAID10 keeps failing. I documented before how to repair such a broken array but I didn’t want to go ahead with it too many times as data corruption is only one step away. Knowing that at least one of the disks has some minor issues (mdadm kicked it out some time ago when the disks were running under linux) I decided to check smart details and only keep only two of the disks in RAID1. I was curious if one can read SMART details when the disks are still members of the Intel RST array. Since I had all the data off the disks it was safe to test.
I found out thet the Intel SSD Toolbox shows SMART data for all disks in a system, not only SSDs and not only Intel. Look at Other Drives and scroll to the right as under Intel Solid-State Drives it shows the RAID volumes.
So, having nothing better to do and for no good reason I decided to update my workstation’s BIOS to the latest version released by Gigabyte. Since ignoring the “If it works don’t fix it” mantra is always a good idea. Beautiful, after update two of my disks from a four disk RAID10 array were showing as Non-RAID Disk. I had backups but shuffling 2TB+ of data is never fun.
Initial reports were all grim, the Intel RST BIOS does not allow repairing. Thankfully a good soul had always found the answer, source thread herethank-you adamsap.
Usual disclaimer: this worked for me, I have no guarantee it will work for you, and the method is not advertised as working and/or suported by Intel
Reset the volume (all disks) as non-member from the Intel BIOS. Ignore the warning that all data will be lost. The utility only touches the metadata related to RAID membership.
Create a new array with the all same disks and be sure to use the same settings related to strip size, RAID type, etc. I was in luck since my array was still visible since some disks still were attached.
Download TestDisk from http://www.cgsecurity.org. I used the Windows version since my Windows install was on a different disk. I never heard of this utility but seems to be really, really useful at data recovery.
Run TestDisk after reading the steps on their site. Be sure to read the documentation there to know what you are doing. In brief (so I’m sure you read the original docs) you have to: search for your partition(s) on the raid volume – if everything was recreated with the same settings it should find it quickly in a few seconds – and save the partition table.
After the partition table is saved reboot.
The array should be back with all the data.
I compared checksums for some of the data against backups and it turns out everything is back.