Dear list,

Something happened that I don't think should be possible. I "lost" all three
disks in my RAID 5 array simultaneously after approx. two years without any
problem. And I fear I will never see my data again. But I really hope some
of you clever persons can give me some hints. My system is:
FreeBSD 7.0-Release
Intel D975XBX2 motherboard (Intel Matrix Storage Technology)
3 WD Raptor 74 GB in a RAID 5 array
1 WD Raptor 150 GB as a standalone disk
/ and /var mounted on the standalone,, /usr on the RAID 5
I believe what happened was that one of the disks didn't respond for such a
long time, that is was marked "bad". And afterwards the same thing happened
for the other disks. When I try to boot the system, all three disks are
marked "Offline".
The BIOS utility for the host controller has no option to force the disks
back online.
I have another machine with a S5000XVN board and Intel Embedded Server RAID
Technology II. The BIOS configuration utility on this board has the option
to force offline drives back online.
I am very desperate not to lose my data, so I don't know if I dare moving
the drives to the other machine and try to make them online again. Do you
think I should try?
In general, are there any procedures I can try to recover my RAID array? Or
is the offline status definitive – and all data definitely lost? I guess
some specialized companies have the expertise to recover lost data from a
broken RAID array, but I don't know. And I don't know the price of such a
I would really, really appreciate any kind of help.
I have backups of most user data, but not of the system configuration (and
maybe even not the databases).  This is of course pretty stupid. In the
future, I will not rely on RAID 5 as a foolproof solution…

*Jon Theil Nielsen*
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