On 17 Oct 2006 14:13:59 -0700, email@example.com
>I have several 400GB SATA drives that were connected to a SATA
>Controller card. The computer has long since gone and I want to use
>these drives on a DIfferent SATA controller card. When i configure
>them to a raid 5 and try to initialize the drives it fails. Do the
>drives have some kind of information on them from the old controller
>card like SCSI does? If it does is there a way that i can remove that
>information and re-use these drives?
RAID arrays are controller-specific. In theory it's
possible another controller from the same manufacturer might
use the same metadata to identify members of an array
(information generally written to the last sector(s) on
each) but it is to be expected that you cannot transfer an
existing array to another controller (chip, though if you
had a motherboard integrated discrete controller previously,
and then tried to use same array on a PCI card with the same
or very similar (same manufacturer's) controller chip on it,
it will work providing similar enough bios version used-
with the presumption no related changes were made in
different bios versions).
So you can move the drives to a non-compatible different
controller and set them up in a new RAID5 array, which you
can create, partition and format then use - losing the data.
Without a compatible chip to recognize the array you cannot
read the data off the (previously) existing array, the
drives will have to be moved to a compatible controller to
do that, read the data off before being moved back to the
new controller to create a new array, then copy the data
back if desired.
This is one of the reasons I hesitate to use motherboard
integral RAID1 or 5 controllers as in motherboard
chipsets/southbridges, not wanting to have to find another
compatible board to read the data off in case of a problem-
and you can never find a separate PCI card that would have
the motherboard chipset on it, only if the motherboard had
the discrete raid chip like those from Silicon Image,
Promise, Highpoint, etc.