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When Your Hard Drive Fails

Don't kid yourself—hard drives do fail; it is just a question of when they will fail. To emulate a hard drive failure for purposes of tutelage, I physically disconnected one of my hard drives. A subsequent bootup shows you that your RAID setup is broken in the Adaptec BIOS Array Configuration Utility (see Figure 13). At this point, you can choose the Continue To Boot option or Power Off And Replace The Failed Drive. If you had another spare drive to replace the hard drive that just went under, you could replace the drive with another one (which is what the Power Off And Replace The Failed Drive option is for). On the other hand, if you don't have a hard drive to spare at this point, you can continue to use your other hard drive.

The Adaptec ATA Raid Management Software application in Windows also tells you when your RAID array is broken, as shown in Figure 14.

Of course, if your first hard drive fails and it is followed by a failure of your second hard drive before you replaced your downed drive, you will be out of data. Accordingly, if you have a hard disk drive fail in your array, it is a good idea to take a trip to your local electronics store to get the downed drive replaced as soon as possible. Lightning can strike twice in the same place when it comes to hard disk drive failure!

When you have another hard drive that can replace the downed drive, you can then add that drive to your RAID setup by using the Adaptec BIOS Array Configuration Utility. After that, you can use the configuration utility to duplicate the data from your drive that is alive to your new replacement drive, as shown in Figure 15.

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