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Author Topic: RAID monitoring utility (Win)?  (Read 8473 times)
Nill Toulme
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« on: December 09, 2006, 04:23:25 PM »
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I'm running a 1.1TB internal SATA RAID5 array off my Asus mobo's onboard RAID controller. There's a screen at power on that reports on the RAID's integrity, but nothing that I know of to alert me to problems realtime while Windows is running.

This comes to mind now because last time I rebooted (which is not very often), it told me that one of my four 400GB SATA drives is dead.

Is there a Win utility that can monitor my RAID realtime and tell me when problems are approaching or upon me?

Nill
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RonBoyd
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2006, 07:15:14 PM »
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Is there a Win utility that can monitor my RAID realtime and tell me when problems are approaching or upon me?
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Try "Active SMART" found at [a href=\"http://www.ariolic.com/activesmart/?About]http://www.ariolic.com/activesmart/?About[/url]

If you have a newer model hard drives, they should be S.M.A.R.T. enabled (well, if set in the BIOS).

Download the "Free Evaluation Version" to try it for thirty days but, to be honest, the $24 cost is minimal.

Ron
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2006, 07:26:39 PM »
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Thanks Ron, I will try it.  I have a SMART monitor already (Drive Monitor, or something like that) but it doesn't see the RAID drives.

Nill
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David White
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2006, 07:30:06 PM »
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Is there a Win utility that can monitor my RAID realtime and tell me when problems are approaching or upon me?
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Nill,

You may want to check the utility disk that came with your motherboard.  Depending upon the model there should be a utility to do what you are asking.  

My Giga-Byte motherboard came with RAID utiliities on the driver disk for both the onboard Silicon Image and Nvidia RAID controllers.  They weren't installed automatically.
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David White
Nill Toulme
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2006, 07:48:15 PM »
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Good thought... thanks.

Nill
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Greg_E
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2006, 07:59:41 PM »
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You may want to step up to a hardware card like one of the ones from 3ware, they have exactly what you are looking for in software. Also you might not really have a bad drive, it might have just become lost, that happens some times, all you need to do is rebuild the array. There shouldn't be any data loss when you rebuild it.
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2006, 08:56:58 PM »
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That's understandable; I get lost sometimes myself.  I'll try the rebuild, thanks.

I plan to move up to a hardware card sometime in the future, probably when I need more capacity, but this has been doing the job for me OK for now.

Nill
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Greg_E
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2006, 09:55:31 PM »
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Software RAID has worked well for me too, saved an entire semester at work once, and was fast enough that no one knew there was anything different. Threw something together after a mainboard died and used 4 SCSI drives in external enclosures and an old ATTO SCSI card with Windows doing all the RAID for me. Seemed to be as fast as the Adaptec hardware RAID controller on the dead board, and I never ran out of processor, so again no complaints there.
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2006, 09:10:23 AM »
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It wouldn't rebuild.  I'll replace the drive and see what happens.

Nill
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Greg_E
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2006, 02:17:47 PM »
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It wouldn't rebuild.  I'll replace the drive and see what happens.

Nill
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Must be dead. Do you have fans on each drive? I've fried a couple of drives doing this without fans.
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2006, 03:28:59 PM »
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No, but the drives are mounted in the bottom of the case and there's one separate fan for them.

I wish the SMART utilities could see the drives in the RAID, but they don't.  But my Raptor boot drive is right down there next to them and it runs cool enough.

Nill
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jani
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2006, 04:20:05 PM »
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You may want to step up to a hardware card like one of the ones from 3ware, they have exactly what you are looking for in software.
Not only that, but they also provide a web interface.

Well, on Linux, anyway, I can't vouch for Windows, but it should work since it's a feature in the card's firmware.
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Jan
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2006, 04:29:32 PM »
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I've used 3Ware cards, and recommend them. The web interface works under Windows as well and is pretty easy to use.
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Greg_E
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2006, 04:31:51 PM »
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Not only that, but they also provide a web interface.

Well, on Linux, anyway, I can't vouch for Windows, but it should work since it's a feature in the card's firmware.
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It does unless you are trying to run a 3com Broadcom gigabit ethernet card, then the 3ware software knocks your NIC down to 100mbps. It seems to work fine with the Alactitech NIC in our Avid Lanshare.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2006, 04:40:53 PM »
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The server I built with the 3Ware RAID cards had Intel gigabit NiCs and there were no conflicts. It runs Windows 2000.
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jani
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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2006, 04:45:23 PM »
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It does unless you are trying to run a 3com Broadcom gigabit ethernet card, then the 3ware software knocks your NIC down to 100mbps. It seems to work fine with the Alactitech NIC in our Avid Lanshare.
While I have no direct experience with Broadcom network cards myself, other people whom I've successfully relied upon for technical advise have, and they recommend that I stay away from those products.

That doesn't mean that the fault for this problem is with Broadcom, though.

The problem could be in Windows, it could be an IRQ or DMA line conflict, PCI problem, ...
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Jan
Greg_E
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« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2006, 07:33:49 PM »
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The Broadcom cards that we use are fantastic, it's just some kind of conflict with the 3ware utility in win2000, I haven't tried it with win2003. I forget the specific card we have but the are the accelerated type where all the checksums and other overhead are computed on the NIC to save the main processors from overload. Also even after an uninstall of the 3ware utility the Broadcom cards are done, you need to unistall them too, and then maybe you can get them back to full speed. It's also been about 2 years since I tried this, so it's possible that it has been fixed. I just go in during boot to do anything I might need to do.
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2006, 07:38:19 PM »
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For the simple option just open event viewer in Windows 2K/XP/... and check the System log file - it should explicate what is happening and warn of any pending or past issues.

To get to the Event Viewer right click My Computer, select manage, click on event viewer, click on System.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
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« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2006, 03:29:22 PM »
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If your MB install disc doesn't have the utility on it (look through windows explorer, not auto run for extras), you can download the software monitor package for your controller from their website.
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