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Status Update 01/17/22:
After 2 months I still have not figured out how to access the storage space from Linux. The kind people over at Superuser didn't seem to know either. There may be a way to do it but I haven't figured it out. I have since removed the storage space drives, backuped and formatted my windows half, and shelved this project. I may try again at some point or if someone has another idea, so by all means if you have an idea please suggest it! Until then, I will just enjoy my Linux machine!

> THE POST

I'm pretty new to Linux so please be gentle! I have been searching online for a couple days now for some way to do this but I am throwing in the towel before I delete all the data on there or something.

I am a long time Windows user and have 2 1TB drives that I have configured in a software raid using the Windows File Explorer. I did it the default way of doing it with the setup wizard and such. This is where I stored games, a lot of media, ect...

I decided I wanted to switch to a mostly Linux machine but leave some space for a Windows dual boot if I needed it for college. With Steam claiming to be making their entire library playable on Linux and PopOS having NVidia drivers packaged in; I saw no reason to stay on Windows. I made the swap to the Ubuntu based PopOS 21.04 21.10.

The Fantastic twist is that somehow I deleted my Windows boot partition (the small EFI one) and now I can no longer boot to windows. Honestly there may not have even been a EFI partition... Either way, I can no longer boot into windows but I do have access to the windows install on my NVMe. All the methods to fix the boot issue have failed.. I'll probably make another post on this when I give up searching. I am trapped in Linux (probably for the better) and can no longer access 2TB of HDD space on my PC.


SOME INFO

When looking at these drives with lsblk I see that sda and sdb have two partitions each. Both of these partitions are listed as an unknown format. sda(b)1 are 128MB partitions and sda(b)2 are the large storage partitions. Screenshot below.

NAME        MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda           8:0    0 931.5G  0 disk 
├─sda1        8:1    0   128M  0 part 
└─sda2        8:2    0 931.4G  0 part 
sdb           8:16   0 931.5G  0 disk 
├─sdb1        8:17   0   128M  0 part 
└─sdb2        8:18   0 931.4G  0 part 
sdc           8:32   0 931.5G  0 disk 
├─sdc1        8:33   0   100M  0 part 
├─sdc2        8:34   0    16M  0 part 
└─sdc3        8:35   0 931.4G  0 part /media/faarie/487C2C9D7C2C87B0
nvme0n1     259:0    0 953.9G  0 disk 
├─nvme0n1p1 259:1    0    50M  0 part 
├─nvme0n1p2 259:2    0   483G  0 part 
├─nvme0n1p3 259:3    0   200M  0 part 
├─nvme0n1p4 259:4    0   128M  0 part 
├─nvme0n1p5 259:5    0   100M  0 part 
├─nvme0n1p6 259:6    0   100M  0 part 
├─nvme0n1p7 259:7    0 468.9G  0 part /
├─nvme0n1p8 259:8    0   500M  0 part /boot/efi
└─nvme0n1p9 259:9    0   499M  0 part

nvme0n1 is my split boot drive between Windows and Linux. p2 is the windows file system, p3 p4 p5 and p9 are my horrible executions at fixes and creating an EFI partition... sda and sdb are my software raid drives. sdc is my single 1TB drive that I used on Windows which mounts fine.


ATTEMPTED SOLUTIONS

I tried ldmtool --create all and got "[]" in the console. I tried this solution from this post and I also tried the ldmtool solution there as I mentioned earlier.

I tried mdadm --assemble --scan and got this as my output

mdadm: No arrays found in config file or automatically

One more thing. I have access to is a Windows 10 installation media on a usb drive. I tried installing Windows 10 on sdc after I moved the files off to see if maybe I could get into windows there and do something but it keeps failing to install.

I don't know if maybe I could dismantle the RAID from CMD in the installation media without losing data and then boot into Linux and mount each drive? I could also maybe backup the data while I'm in the installation media and dismantle the RAID if the data cannot be saved. I would just need some instruction on how to do that.


A LITTLE MORE INFO

Anyways, this is what my fdisk -l prints out in case it'll help:

root@pop-os:/home/faarie# fdisk -l
Disk /dev/nvme0n1: 953.87 GiB, 1024209543168 bytes, 2000409264 sectors
Disk model: INTEL SSDPEKNW010T8                     
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: DB39829D-3C32-11EC-BA97-5CF3708894B3

Device              Start        End    Sectors   Size Type
/dev/nvme0n1p1       2048     104447     102400    50M Microsoft basic data
/dev/nvme0n1p2     104448 1013065727 1012961280   483G Microsoft basic data
/dev/nvme0n1p3 1013065728 1013475327     409600   200M EFI System
/dev/nvme0n1p4 1013475328 1013737471     262144   128M Microsoft reserved
/dev/nvme0n1p5 1013737472 1013942271     204800   100M EFI System
/dev/nvme0n1p6 1013942272 1014147071     204800   100M EFI System
/dev/nvme0n1p7 1014908928 1998358526  983449599 468.9G Linux filesystem
/dev/nvme0n1p8 1998358528 1999382526    1023999   500M EFI System
/dev/nvme0n1p9 1999382528 2000404479    1021952   499M Windows recovery environment


Disk /dev/sda: 931.51 GiB, 1000204886016 bytes, 1953525168 sectors
Disk model: Hitachi HDS72101
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: 7E9C3F37-421E-11EB-BA75-5CF3708894B3

Device      Start        End    Sectors   Size Type
/dev/sda1    2048     264191     262144   128M Microsoft reserved
/dev/sda2  264192 1953523711 1953259520 931.4G Microsoft Storage Spaces


Disk /dev/sdb: 931.51 GiB, 1000204886016 bytes, 1953525168 sectors
Disk model: Hitachi HDS72101
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: 7E9C3F2F-421E-11EB-BA75-5CF3708894B3

Device      Start        End    Sectors   Size Type
/dev/sdb1    2048     264191     262144   128M Microsoft reserved
/dev/sdb2  264192 1953523711 1953259520 931.4G Microsoft Storage Spaces


Disk /dev/sdc: 931.51 GiB, 1000204886016 bytes, 1953525168 sectors
Disk model: Hitachi HDS72101
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: 0897C9BD-80E3-488A-925F-6774096DC888

Device      Start        End    Sectors   Size Type
/dev/sdc1    2048     206847     204800   100M EFI System
/dev/sdc2  206848     239615      32768    16M Microsoft reserved
/dev/sdc3  239616 1953523711 1953284096 931.4G Microsoft basic data

I'm at a loss for what to do. Being trapped in Linux honestly has been great. Ironically my games run better and it has been a great experience so far. I am actually considering moving my windows from my NVMe to sdc so I can give Linux my entire NVMe.

I don't really care too much how I get into the RAID, be that backing up all the data and reformatting, accessing it as an intact RAID, or doing some sort of conversion. I just can't lose the data one there. I have learned that Linux is EXTREMELY powerful so I am hoping there is a solution. Please help!



Edits
Changed "Software RAID" in title to "Windows Storage Spaces in title
Added Storage tag

5
  • Did you try forcing NTFS in a mount via mount -t ntfs /dev/sda2 /mnt? What happens if you do so?
    – FelixJN
    Nov 10, 2021 at 9:38
  • I tried this and it returned The device '/dev/sda2' doesn't seem to have a valid NTFS.. Wouldn't let me do anything passed this. I assume the data wouldn't be readable anyways as RAID normally is striped or structured weirdly in small pieces of data to try and split the load on both drives evenly right?
    – Faaire
    Nov 11, 2021 at 2:09
  • Well, depends on the RAID. If you made a RAID0, it is evenly distributed as you say, a RAID1 is two exactly mirrored disks as failsafe. I (obviously wrongfully) assumed the latter as you mentioned the importance of the data to you. I strongly suggest you try reinstalling Windows intermediately for restoring the data.
    – FelixJN
    Nov 11, 2021 at 6:39
  • Yeah I think it's RAID0 as I have 2 1TB drives and the volume was 2TB on Windows. Not going to lie, I didn't really know what I was doing when I made it all that time ago. On another note, I just discovered that I have a spare HDD with a copy of windows on it so I'll try plugging that in and taking the raid partition apart from the windows side. Hopefully all goes well!
    – Faaire
    Nov 11, 2021 at 16:27
  • 1
    Hi @FelixJN I have since created a post on SuperUser for accessing the Storage Space on another Windows install as I decided to try that as an alternate route too. Turns out that has it's own slew of issues so hopefully they can help with that potential avenue. If anyone here has any ideas I'd be happy to hear them!
    – Faaire
    Nov 19, 2021 at 1:20

1 Answer 1

1

Looks like the Windows RAID is actually a technology called Windows Storage Spaces which is proprietary and not supported in Linux. I found this answer on AskUbuntu which claims that it's build on ReFS (another MS proprietary storage technology) which can be accessed on Linux using the ReFS Paragon driver. But this is commercial software and probably not a good choice if you only want to rescue some data. I would recommend trying to rescue to Windows installation using Windows Recovery Drive (or something similar from the Windows world) and disabling the RAID feature which should make the data readable from Linux ("normal" NTFS is supported).

1
  • Do you (or anyone else reading this) know of a good way to try and save it? From what I ready there doesn't seem to be any options from CMD in the installation media. I also tried installing windows 10 on a free HDD to no avail.
    – Faaire
    Nov 11, 2021 at 2:41

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