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How To Access and Mount MD RAID Using Ubuntu Live CD

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In this article, we will guide you through the process of accessing and mounting an MD RAID using an Ubuntu Live CD. This process is particularly useful when you need to recover data from a RAID array on a system that is not bootable.

Quick Answer

To access and mount an MD RAID using an Ubuntu Live CD, you need to boot from the Live CD, install the mdadm package, recognize the RAID arrays, identify the disks, manually assemble the RAID array, and finally mount the partitions. This process allows you to recover data from a RAID array on a system that is not bootable.

Prerequisites

Before we start, ensure you have the following:

  • An Ubuntu Live CD or USB stick.
  • A system with a RAID array configured.
  • Basic knowledge of Linux commands and RAID configurations.

Step 1: Booting from the Ubuntu Live CD

First, insert the Ubuntu Live CD or USB stick into the system and reboot. Make sure your BIOS is set to boot from the CD or USB stick. Once the system boots, select the option to “Try Ubuntu without installing”.

Step 2: Installing the mdadm package

Once you’re in the Ubuntu Live environment, open a terminal. The first step is to install the mdadm package. mdadm is a Linux utility used to manage and monitor software RAID devices.

To install mdadm, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install mdadm

Step 3: Recognizing the RAID arrays

After installing mdadm, you can try to automatically recognize the RAID arrays by running the following command:

sudo mdadm --assemble --scan

The --assemble option tells mdadm to assemble the RAID array, and the --scan option tells it to scan for all arrays in the system.

Step 4: Identifying the disks

If the automatic scan doesn’t work, you can use the -Q option to query the status of the disks:

sudo mdadm -Q /dev/sd[a-f][1-9]

This command provides information about whether software RAID is being used on each disk.

Step 5: Manually assembling the RAID array

After identifying the disks, you can manually assemble the RAID array. The command to do this is:

sudo mdadm --assemble /dev/md0 /dev/sda1 ...

In this command, replace /dev/md0 with the appropriate RAID device name and /dev/sda1 with the component partitions.

Step 6: Mounting the partitions

Once the RAID array is assembled, you should be able to mount the partitions and access the data. You can use a file manager like Nautilus to browse the RAID array or use the mount command to mount the RAID device to a directory:

mkdir /mnt/raid
mount /dev/md0 /mnt/raid

In this command, /mnt/raid is the directory where the RAID device will be mounted, and /dev/md0 is the RAID device.

Conclusion

In this article, we have covered how to access and mount an MD RAID using an Ubuntu Live CD. This procedure is especially useful in data recovery scenarios. Always remember to handle RAID arrays with care, as improper handling can lead to data loss. For more information on mdadm, you can check out its man page.

Can I use any Ubuntu Live CD or USB stick for this process?

Yes, you can use any version of Ubuntu Live CD or USB stick as long as it is compatible with your system.

What if my system doesn’t automatically recognize the RAID arrays?

If the automatic scan doesn’t work, you can use the -Q option with mdadm to query the status of the disks and identify the RAID arrays manually.

How do I know which disks are part of the RAID array?

You can use the -Q option with mdadm to query the status of the disks and find out if software RAID is being used on each disk.

Can I assemble the RAID array manually if the automatic recognition doesn’t work?

Yes, you can manually assemble the RAID array using the mdadm command and specifying the appropriate RAID device name and component partitions.

How do I mount the RAID partitions and access the data?

Once the RAID array is assembled, you can use a file manager like Nautilus to browse the RAID array or use the mount command to mount the RAID device to a directory.

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