RAID 5 problems

I'm using Intel's Matrix Storage Console 6.1 with 3 320 gb Seagat Barracudas. Everytime the computer crashes, regardless of the reason, the system starts the verification and repair of the volume when the computer is rebooted up.

The problem is that even when the verification and repair process is completed with no errors found, any attempt to start a program causes the system to crash again, which leads to the same process over again. The last time this happened, it took approximately 5 reboots and 5 passes through the verification and repair process before everything returned to normal. Each repair process takes approximately 2 hours, so it ties up the computer for a while.

Certain programs, such as acrobat, installers, office programs, and most non-game prgrams don't cause the re-crash. Intel support hasn't been able to help.

I'm running xp pro with 2gb ram and the storage console is the latest version.

Thanks in advance.
4 answers Last reply
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  1. When you say "crash", what do you mean by that? A normal (but somehow automatically initiated) Windows shutdown? A freeze/lock-up requiring the reset button to be pressed? A blue screen error? A spontaneous restart (no indication except the next thing you see is the POST screen)?

    What is the "verification and repair of the volume"? Is this part of the computer's BIOS (i.e. looks like it's doing this in DOS/text mode before the OS loads)? Is this a standard Windows chkdsk that runs at the pre-GUI stage? Does this run in a normal Windows application window after the OS is running and you're logged on?

    The first thing I would do is verify the operation of all hardware. I'd start with memtest86 to test all RAM, then move on to test each hard drive in the array with SpinRite or some other program. Finally, I'd test processor/cooling with Prime95 or some other burn-in test. The problem sounds like hardware to me, and one of those tests will find it.
  2. The crash is locku-up/freeze that stops the entire system. The verification and repair process is initiated by the Intel Storage Console Program. When I check the RAID setup in the BIOS, it show that everything is ok.

    The verification and repair runs in the background unless I specifically stop it (which doesn't appear to have any effect on the lock-ups).

    The system was assembled brand new 3 months ago with all new parts.
  3. It sounds to me as if some of the software on the computer is either buggy (Windows Update up-to-date?), or there was a corruption during the write-to-disk phase.

    You mentioned that several programs work fine, and some games do not. You also mentioned that the crash effect is a hang - which means it might be caused by a GPU crash. For that, check your graphics driver and make sure it's up to date, and check the GPU temps during stress.

    Another thing you might try is Remote Desktop. If you have another computer you can use, try RD'ing in to your stricken computer when it hangs. If the CPU is still running, you may be able to access the machine this way even though the main console is dead. Then you could perform a more graceful shut-down, and avoid the RAID rebuild.

    One more thing. If you have write-back-cache enabled, that can increase the likelihood of a rebuild substantially. Disabling that (using the Matrix Storage Mgr GUI) will reduce your write speed substantially, but will only cause a rebuild if the array was writing at the time of shutdown.
  4. Something is causing you to crash, and it likely isn't Matrix Raid.

    How 'bout reinstalling windows? When you get to the question when you can either install a new copy of windows or repair the old one, repair the old one.
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