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I had my 2003 Server loaded to a RAID-5 Array of 3-320gb WD Drives

All was well until I had a drive begin to fail. Didn't tell me which drive but started to lock up and blue screen. Listening to the drives one was definitely beginning to crack. After a few reboots it would power up and begin the software rebuild inside the OS.

Then fail again within a few hours. This box hosted several Virtual machines via VMware Server.

When I went to replace the drive (now I know I pulled the incorrect drive) It wouldn't boot.

Replaced the drive still no boot. Bios showed degraded and when I added the spare 320 it went into fail or at least it ended up that way after my mess.

now I know which 2 drives are still good. however when I try to rebuild the raid array it cannot boot and just goes to a blank screen trying to access the drives. when I put the board into standard IDE mode it can see the drives.

Has anyone had similar mistakes and know a good rebuild. I didn't have a clean backup of my VMDK's because I was on a RAID-5 but I have since done some raid recovery via GetDataBacks Raid Tool. however it only recovered one of my VMDK's for email but the other it got one VMDK the old SERVER OS Drive but not the storage and web drive. Instead the recovery saw that VMDK as a file system and has it all jacked up. files all over the place in there.

Anyone know of a good way to recover the drives ... like rebuild the array and just start it?

with 2 good disks I should be in degraded mode and should be able to kick it up and then rebuild again. but the MBR of the raid array is lost as far as I can tell.

let me know what options you guys have found useful. Thx

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have you try'd going in to the recovery console via your MS CD and trying to repair your MBR or run chkdsk

How to Use the Microsoft Windows Recovery Console
The Recovery Console is a command-line tool that you can use to repair Windows if the computer does not start properly. You can start the Recovery Console from the Windows Server 2003 CD or at startup if the Recovery Console was previously installed to your computer.

Use the Recovery Console if you used the Last Known Good Configuration startup option and it was not successful and you cannot start the computer in Safe mode. Microsoft recommends that you use the Recovery Console method only if you are an advanced user who can use basic commands to identify and locate problem drivers and files.

To use Recovery Console, follow these steps:
1. Insert the Windows Server 2003 installation CD in your CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.
2. When you are prompted during text-mode setup, press R to start the Recovery Console.
You can use the Recovery Console to:
• Access the drives on your computer.
• Enable or disable device drivers or services.
• Copy files from the Windows Server 2003 installation CD or copy files from other removable media. For example, you can copy a file that you need that was deleted.
• Create a new boot sector and a new master boot record (MBR). You might have to do this if there are problems starting from the existing boot sector.
To Confirm That Your Hard Disk or File System Is Not Damaged
To confirm that your hard disk or file system is not damaged, start your computer from the Windows Server 2003 CD, start the Recovery Console, and then use the Chkdsk command-line utility. This may solve your problem.

IMPORTANT Microsoft recommends that only advanced users or administrators use the Recovery Console. You have to know the password for the Administrator account to use the Recovery Console.

For additional information about how to test and repair a damaged hard disk by using Chkdsk, see the "Using the Recovery Console and Using the Recovery Console Command Prompt" sections in the following article:
307654 ( How to install and use the Recovery Console in Windows XP
Note If Chkdsk reports that it cannot access your hard disk, you may have a hardware failure. Examine all cable connections and any jumper settings on your drive. Contact a computer repair professional, or the manufacturer of your computer for more assistance.

If Chkdsk reports that it cannot fix all hard disk problems, your file system or MBR may be damaged or no longer accessible. Try using the appropriate Recovery Console commands, such as Fixmbr and Fixboot, contact a data recovery service, or repartition and then reformat your hard disk.
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