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RAID ZERO PROBLEM, drives okay, but bios won't load Array

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February 17, 2007 3:22:23 AM

I'm desperate for help, thanks for your insight!

GOAL:
Get Raid Zero array working again (2 Sata WD 200GB drives in Raid Zero, RAID controller powered by PROMISE is on the motherboard) so I can load files on a blank 500GB drive and never use raid zero again. I have tested both drives in the raid and there isn't any drive failure (I attached them to an External SATA-to-USB on a different computer and that computer recognized each drive fine).

THE PROBLEM: When starting the computer, the BIOS says that "Array 1" (my two drives in RAID ZERO) is not working because of a problem and it flashes "Offline." When I hit CONTROL-F in the Bios, I get this RAID array menu, and it does see both of the drives, but the drives won't function. Vista doesn't see the two RAID ZERO drives either (though as I mentioned earlier, both were seen individually on a different computer via external USB connection).

WHAT I WAS DOING: I bought a WD 150GB Raptor, Vista 32bit Premium, a 520W Corsair Power Supply, and a 500GB SATA2 drive to upgrade my system (ASUS A8V Deluxe MOBO with AMD 64 3400+ . I wanted to put Vista and program files on the Raptor and all my personal files on the 500GB drive.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Vista installed on the new drive fine. Once loaded and working fine, I plugged in the two drives that were in the RAID ZERO ARRAY. At this point, I had four hard drives working great: the Raptor running Vista, the two in Raid Zero with XP and all my old files, and a blank 500GB drive.

WHAT WENT WRONG:
Several things happened almost at the same time, so I don't know what caused the Raid problem.
First, I don't think this is important, but I do faintly remember accessing the RAID drive to get to the old "MY DOCUMENTS" folder so I could start copying my old files. Vista said I wasn't authorized to access that folder. I remember the computer running slow, likely for a different reason, so I probably just shut down and rebooted, and didn't try to copy those files again.

I'm pretty sure that around that time I did a few windows updates and there was an update for the RAID driver which I installed. I'm guessing that that's what triggered the problem, though I didn't notice until a bit later.

Around this time, I also shut down the power and changed out my power supply. I love the new power supply, I went from a generic 350w to this nice modular Corsair 520W. Unfortunately, I don't think the main cable was seated on the mobo properly, and there must've been something wrong with one of the power connections to the Sound Blaster Audigy 2ZS 5.25" control panel, because it shot sparks, flames, and smoke the second I first powered up the computer. After calling myself an idiot Napolean Dynamite style, I immediately pulled the plug, and I really don't think anything is damaged. No hardware shows burn marks or anything, and everything seems to be working fine except that the RAID doesn't work.

My thought is that the cause of the problem is Vista and the driver update I did.

WHAT I'VE TRIED:
1) In Vista: Rolling back drivers, flashing the bios, reinstalling the drivers.
2) Reinstalling XP on a new drive, flashing the bios again, installing the original RAID drivers via CD, then updating those drivers... rebooting between each of these steps to try and get the BIOS and operating system to see the drives. Nothing thus far.

WHAT I WANT TO TRY NEXT BUT AM AFRAID TO BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT RAID:


When I boot the computer, I can hit CONTROL-F for a RAID menu: 1) Auto Setup, 2) View Drive Assignments, 3) Define Array, 4) Delete Array, 5) Rebuild Array.

I've messed with all of them except 4) Delete Array. When I try 5) Rebuild Array, it just says "Recovery is not applicable."

I want to try and delete the array, and then rebuild it from scratch. Maybe that would fix the problem. However, I just don't know enough about RAID to know what the consequences of doing so may be. It could be that by deleting the Array I'll lose all hope of syncing those drives up again to recover my files. Or, it could be no big deal - just simply delete the array and then create a new one with those same drives and it will work just fine. What should I do?

The only other thought I have is buying a PCI raid controller card (recommendations, anyone?), installing it, and attaching the drives to that and building a new RAID Zero array in the hopes that the drives will sync up fine and allow me to recover my files.

What do you think? Thanks for listening and helping--sorry this was so long!

The Perzdogg
February 17, 2007 4:26:59 AM

Assuming you have a second computer to attach the drives to, and the harddrives are in stable condition, it is possible to recover data using recovery tools. Try googling raid 0 recovery. I have personally managed to get all the data i needed off of a 2x raptor array that went bad in a similar fashion to yours using software from runtime.org. And yes, if you delete and recreate the array you will 'lose' all of your data. If you have already done this, it is still possible to recover data using the same software described above. If you are experiencing low-level issues with the drive (you can verify with mhdd using the scan command), it may be benefitial to try something like spinrite to recover bad sectors and make the array readable by the bios. As long as you dont 0-fill your drives or take a degausser to them, you will probably be able to get data off.
February 17, 2007 5:35:24 AM

Quote:
I'm desperate for help, thanks for your insight!

GOAL:
Get Raid Zero array working again (2 Sata WD 200GB drives in Raid Zero, RAID controller powered by PROMISE is on the motherboard) so I can load files on a blank 500GB drive and never use raid zero again. I have tested both drives in the raid and there isn't any drive failure (I attached them to an External SATA-to-USB on a different computer and that computer recognized each drive fine).

THE PROBLEM: When starting the computer, the BIOS says that "Array 1" (my two drives in RAID ZERO) is not working because of a problem and it flashes "Offline." When I hit CONTROL-F in the Bios, I get this RAID array menu, and it does see both of the drives, but the drives won't function. Vista doesn't see the two RAID ZERO drives either (though as I mentioned earlier, both were seen individually on a different computer via external USB connection).

WHAT I WAS DOING: I bought a WD 150GB Raptor, Vista 32bit Premium, a 520W Corsair Power Supply, and a 500GB SATA2 drive to upgrade my system (ASUS A8V Deluxe MOBO with AMD 64 3400+ . I wanted to put Vista and program files on the Raptor and all my personal files on the 500GB drive.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Vista installed on the new drive fine. Once loaded and working fine, I plugged in the two drives that were in the RAID ZERO ARRAY. At this point, I had four hard drives working great: the Raptor running Vista, the two in Raid Zero with XP and all my old files, and a blank 500GB drive.

WHAT WENT WRONG:
Several things happened almost at the same time, so I don't know what caused the Raid problem.
First, I don't think this is important, but I do faintly remember accessing the RAID drive to get to the old "MY DOCUMENTS" folder so I could start copying my old files. Vista said I wasn't authorized to access that folder. I remember the computer running slow, likely for a different reason, so I probably just shut down and rebooted, and didn't try to copy those files again.

I'm pretty sure that around that time I did a few windows updates and there was an update for the RAID driver which I installed. I'm guessing that that's what triggered the problem, though I didn't notice until a bit later.

Around this time, I also shut down the power and changed out my power supply. I love the new power supply, I went from a generic 350w to this nice modular Corsair 520W. Unfortunately, I don't think the main cable was seated on the mobo properly, and there must've been something wrong with one of the power connections to the Sound Blaster Audigy 2ZS 5.25" control panel, because it shot sparks, flames, and smoke the second I first powered up the computer. After calling myself an idiot Napolean Dynamite style, I immediately pulled the plug, and I really don't think anything is damaged. No hardware shows burn marks or anything, and everything seems to be working fine except that the RAID doesn't work.

My thought is that the cause of the problem is Vista and the driver update I did.

WHAT I'VE TRIED:
1) In Vista: Rolling back drivers, flashing the bios, reinstalling the drivers.
2) Reinstalling XP on a new drive, flashing the bios again, installing the original RAID drivers via CD, then updating those drivers... rebooting between each of these steps to try and get the BIOS and operating system to see the drives. Nothing thus far.

WHAT I WANT TO TRY NEXT BUT AM AFRAID TO BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT RAID:


When I boot the computer, I can hit CONTROL-F for a RAID menu: 1) Auto Setup, 2) View Drive Assignments, 3) Define Array, 4) Delete Array, 5) Rebuild Array.

I've messed with all of them except 4) Delete Array. When I try 5) Rebuild Array, it just says "Recovery is not applicable."

I want to try and delete the array, and then rebuild it from scratch. Maybe that would fix the problem. However, I just don't know enough about RAID to know what the consequences of doing so may be. It could be that by deleting the Array I'll lose all hope of syncing those drives up again to recover my files. Or, it could be no big deal - just simply delete the array and then create a new one with those same drives and it will work just fine. What should I do?

The only other thought I have is buying a PCI raid controller card (recommendations, anyone?), installing it, and attaching the drives to that and building a new RAID Zero array in the hopes that the drives will sync up fine and allow me to recover my files.

What do you think? Thanks for listening and helping--sorry this was so long!

The Perzdogg

What about loading 2 instances of XP then doing an "upgrade" to Vista on one? Then you'd have the RAID driver already loaded.
Related resources
February 17, 2007 1:02:41 PM

I agree with bob1029.

I would recover the RAID with Runtime.org's RAID Reconstructor and GetDataBack for NTFS.

As to why it went bad -- could be the driver (I never install drivers from Windows update. Use the manufacturer's posted drivers on the manufacturer's web site.) I would assume if that was the case, the new driver wrote something to the drives that the RAID chip on the motherboard doesn't understand. If that's the case, there's an outside chance that a BIOS update on your motherboard would update the RAID BIOS and may recognize the drives again. OTOH, it could be that your power-induced spark show damaged the motherboard in such a way that the RAID chip isn't working properly.

Only way to tell would be to recover your data, and then blank both drives and try to set the RAID up again just to see if it works.
February 23, 2007 3:04:18 AM

SomJoe and Bob - I can't thank you enough. Got all my data back (390 GB). The software from www.runtime.org did the trick, though I spent many, many hours getting it all figured out. I used the RAID Reconstructer and then the Get Data Back--these programs worked like a charm.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my post--I don't know that I would've figured it out without your help.
a b G Storage
February 23, 2007 9:54:35 PM

I was using raid 0. Got rid of it. Started having too much important stuff on it. Now I have a 500 gig WD external for backup and 2 seperate 250 drives. Havent really seen much drop in load times, not that it really matters anymore to me.
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