the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur

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Drive not found

My first hint of a problem was when I tried to save an image to Rarity and Windows politely informed me that the drive did not exist. Yes, my various drives are named after ponies.

I noticed that while Explorer showed the drive and all of its folders, all the files were missing. This has happened before, and I was pretty sure that the drive would disappear entirely after a reboot. It did, but after the reboot I also noticed that my RAID mirror had fallen apart. Its component drives were listed under separate letters again, and one had more free space than the other.

The size difference was not especially large, so I don't think the RAID degraded that long ago. I suspect it happened when I installed the last Windows update. There's been some issues with some of the later updates, though this is the first time I've been affected -- assuming it was the update. It's possible the RAID has been broken for longer than that; I don't pay that much attention to my drive letters.

I took my computer apart, blew out the dust, checked all of the cords inside and moved the missing drive over to a different plug. I'm hoping that it was just a loose plug, and that the controller itself is not going because that never ends well for anyone. Once I had it all reassembled, I did some searching for how to non-destructively rebuilt a RAID in Windows 10. It's surprising how tricky it was to find the answer. Search after search would yield results like:

Q: How do I rebuild my RAID in Windows 10 if I have to replace one of the drives?
A: Windows 10 does not support RAID.
Q: What do you mean? I had a RAID before it degraded on me...

Q: How do I rebuild a RAID in Windows 10?
A: Select the Add Mirror... option.
Q: What if I can't select that because it's ghosted on the menu?
A: Windows 10 does not support RAID.

I knew it could be done because we'd had to do it on [personal profile] atara's machine back in the summer. I knew that it was just a matter of telling it to add a mirror, but I needed to know the steps that would make that option available. Eventually dismounting and remounting the drive, and a few other bits of sorcery opened up that option, and I started the long process of rebuilding the mirror.

It took hours. I started the process at around 16:00, and by the time I went to bed it had finally cracked 90% complete. When I got up this morning Pinkie Pie was properly mirrored again and ready to go back to work.

Other than a scare when I re-flashed my BIOS last year, this machine has been very reliable, and has been performing very well. As much as I envy [personal profile] atara for having a machine that can run circles around mine, I'm not feeling constrained enough by its performance to want to endure the headache of rebuilding it all again from scratch.
Tags: broken, computer
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