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l : 8 April 2008 • 12:34PM -0400

Re-assembling a software RAID in which device names have changed.
by Sean H.


To preface, I'm a fairly new Linux user, and have little experience
with RAID. I've taken this question several places and have yet to get
an answer which solves my problem, so I figured I'd come to the

I have a five-disk RAID 5, and one of the disks is failing. Every few
days it'll start buzzing, and will continue buzzing until the drive is
forced to spin down and back up, by either a restart or suspending to

Now, today, I wanted to determine which disk was failing, so I
unmounted my array and unplugged drives - Specifically, three. The
third was the culprit, and I plugged the drives back in and rebooted.

The gift, or in this case, curse of my motherboard is that it
supports hot-swapping of SATA drives. So the drives didn't just
disappear inside the OS and reappear after a reboot. They disappeared
and re-appeared in the OS with incorrect /dev/sd* locations, and then
I rebooted.

I was unable to boot until I removed the line detailing the array
from my fstab. Now, when I manually 'mdadm --assemble /dev/md0' mdadm
finds the two untouched drives, then stops and tells me that they're
not enough to start the array.

So... How can I reassemble the array without knowing what order the
drives are in?
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