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Old 04-05-2007, 08:08 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2005
Posts: 6

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RAID 5, Reiserfs has failed

Hi, I have a three disk RAID 5 array on SuSE 10.1:

/dev/sda4 /dev/sdb4 /dev/sdc4 -> /dev/md3

mdadm won't assemble the whole thing because:

"superblock on /dev/sdc4 doesn't match others - assembly aborted"

Assembling just /dev/sda4 and /dev/sdb4 works, except:

"raid array is not clean -- starting background reconstruction"
"cannot start dirty degraded array for md3"
"failed to run raid set md3"
"pers->run() failed ..."
"failed to RUN_ARRAY /dev/md3: Input/output error"

fsck.reiser says that I need to rebuild my superblock and when I try that, it asks me what version of Reiser I'm using (3.6.x) and asks for my block size, to which I answer 4096. After that, the utility quits without anymore messages. dmesg and /var/log/messages don't contain anything useful either.

I'm not too eager to save my array. I've been thinking about disassembling it for some time. If someone could please, please, please just give me a little insight as to how to get access to my data for one last time, I would be enternally grateful. I'd also like to know if anyone has any idea why fsck would quit without giving me a message.

Thanks in advance!
Old 04-05-2007, 02:29 PM   #2
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: germany
Distribution: suse, opensuse, debian, others for testing
Posts: 307

Rep: Reputation: 32
so what does

cat /proc/mdstat
show ?

if the raid5 itself is mentally sound it should show which device has failed or is missing.
so lets assume that you get something like:

cat /proc/mdstat

Personalities : [raid5]

md0 : raid5 sda4[2] sdb4[1]
      136448 blocks [2/3] [UU_]
[UU_] would indicate that the third member of /dev/md0 had failed and needs to be replaced manually for the rebuild to start. what is strange though is that your raid5 won't come up as it should survive one failed disk.... hmmm... take a look at /proc/mdstat !

some helpful stuff:

make <device> fail: mdadm --manage --fail <raid device> <device>
remove <failed device>: mdadm --manage --remove <raid device> <failed device>
add <replacement device>: mdadm --manage --add <raid device> <replacement device>
Old 04-05-2007, 08:26 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2005
Posts: 6

Original Poster
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Thanks for the info Spitz, but I started mucking around with it on my own before I saw your reply. One thing to add to what you said is that the drive didn't fail (at least not completely yet). That same drive has three other partitions that are part of three other RAID 5 arrays, all of which were unaffected.

Okay, maybe this will help somebody else. I looked at my last backup and it wasn't that long ago, so I went ahead and tried to fix the problem without really understanding what I was doing. There's no better way to learn than to experiment, right?

Anyway, I recreated the RAID using mdadm and that seemed to get rid of the mdadm error messages I was getting before. Reiserfsck still complained about the missing superblock, but the --superblock-rb switch worked this time. I ran into some problems with the journal options, and I ended up rebuilding the journal as well. After that, reiserfsck reported that I needed to rebuild the tree. The first time I ran it, it worked for about an hour and then stopped (no drive access for 15-20 minutes). So I killed it and tried again, this time it did work (took close to two hours to complete - maybe it was working the first time and I killed it prematurely).

The tree rebuilding showed TONS of errors, so I knew my data was probably toast. But afterward, I could mount the drive! And some of my files were intact. A large number were moved (and generically renamed) to the lost+found directory. But the total size of the recovered data looks to be about half of the original size.

Anyway, I'm sure there was a better way to handle this, but I needed my computer back and like I said, I did have a somewhat recent backup. Let this be a warning to others - RAID 5 is NOT a suitable replacement for a regular backup.


raid, raid5, reiser, reiserfs, reiserfsck

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