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I plan on creating a Windows software RAID 5 array but need to know when a drive goes bum. I don't plan on wanting to check the server every so often, so how can I have an email sent when a drive goes kapüt or otherwise has problems? Keying off the event log would be OK, but how does one set up notifications on it when the exact event ID(s) may not be known?

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5 Answers

Spend the extra few hundred dollars and get a hardware RAID controller. SW RAID on Windows is poo, and you can get a new RAID controller for a few hundred dollars and the same part or its immediate predecessor off ebay for maybe $100-200.

Most branded vendors of such kit (Adaptec, 3Ware, LSI etc.) ship a RAID management tool with the controller and these often have some sort of notification facility. Do your homework and find one that will do what you want. In addition, the controllers will do hot spares properly, run RAID 5/50 fairly quickly and offer a much wider feature set than the SW RAID functionality available on Windows.

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Problem with a few hundred RAID controller is that when the expansion card fails - you lose all your data. –  Ian Boyd Sep 26 '12 at 16:38
    
@IanBoyd - Most RAID cards can be bought off ebay fairly readily if you need a replacement. –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Nov 26 '12 at 1:07
    
Not when you're in Canada; there are a host of issues. It gets even worse if you're in other countries where people won't ship to. –  Ian Boyd Nov 26 '12 at 1:18
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The company I work for uses Proactive server monitoring support and has had great success you can look over what is offered here

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Good find for sure, but quite a bit out of my league for how much it costs. Not everyone uses this exact software, what else is used??? –  Wayne Hartman Jan 7 '10 at 0:25
    
I found a piece of software for $34 that should do the trick. It's called Intelli-SMART and you can try or purchase it here: intelli-smart.com/software/ismdetail.html –  Kythos Jan 7 '10 at 1:29
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Here is one option that will not require knowing all the codes. It requires running a simple vbscript to check drives.

http://www.eventsentry.com/blog/2012/02/how-to-make-the-windows-softwa.html

People should be aware that when a question is asked about getting notification for a failed windows 5 raid one is not asking for advice on going down to best buy and getting a cheap raid card.

As an example I have one system here with 130TB of raid 5 drives hooked up externally. I fill them up all the time. For 72 drives I am using EonStor units which have a system running on it. So technically it is using software RAID as well. There is a difference when you consider that windows is doing a lot of other stuff where the RAID unit is dedicated. Still not fool proof although you have backup battery units, three power supplies and a RAID array.

Some other Raid cabinets I have connected are LSI MegaRAID which I do not really trust as well for the onboard RAID configuration. These units are bad about booting up with configuration failures so I use them as JBOD and I built Arrays in Windows for those 48 disks.

As with anything you must back all of this up. Therefore always write to two arrays at the same time if you can. If not have a sync program running.

Before I had dual write for my data I used windows RAID to mirror two external RAID Arrays on separate units. Never had an issue.

I take my backup array out when not in use and store it off site. When it is full I store it and put in new drives for the backup array.

When you think you need to get something that is supposed to be better so it won't fail your fooling yourself. No matter what you have it can and will fail.

System.. https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/p480x480/1069414_623429457708570_1859727796_n.jpg

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Here's a simple batch file which can be setup via task scheduler, it will create an event in the system log with the failed array info; needs to be run elevated:

echo list volume | diskpart > c:\RAID_STATUS.TXT
FINDSTR "Failed" C:\RAID_STATUS.TXT
IF ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO OK
GOTO FAILED

:FAILED
SETLOCAL ENABLEEXTENSIONS ENABLEDELAYEDEXPANSION
FINDSTR "Failed" C:\RAID_STATUS.TXT > C:\FAILED_RAID.TXT
set eventtext=
for /f "delims=" %%l in (C:\FAILED_RAID.TXT) do set eventtext=!eventtext! %%l
eventcreate /ID 999 /L SYSTEM /T ERROR /SO SW_RAID /D "%eventtext%"
GOTO OK

:OK

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