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Help Request for Confusing Raid/Mobo Question

Last response: in Storage
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July 29, 2007 3:41:30 AM

Hello All,

I am a long time reader, first time poster. This is one of the most knowledgeable forums I have ever come across and I am hoping someone can help me.

Here is the situation: After working fine the previous day, I tried to boot it up the next day and I got a screen filled with ////// and \\\\\\ all over it. It just froze there and didn't move. So I rebooted and I got a black screen. The fans all were spinning, power light was lit on the mobo and the optical and HDD access lights all went on, however the system wouldn't post and despite the HDD access light going on, I couldn't hear it spin up. I assumed the problem was the PSU crapped out on me so I installed a new one...same as above: black screen, fans spinning, no post. I had a friend who is much more knowledgeable than I am come over and he confirmed my video card was OK. We both feel it is most likely my mobo. Here is where it gets a little weird and confusing...at least for me:

I have three drives, two are in a RAID 0 array and the other is just a regular HD used for data storage. I am an idiot...for multiple reasons but one of the biggest here is that I just never backed up anything, no windows flash image, etc. I have important data on the RAID array drives and I don't want/can't lose it.

Soooo, I was wondering, if I was to get the same exact mobo, do you think I would be able to connect everything to it and it would post/boot like normal? Or would it require drive formatting or some type of configuration to be done that would not allow me access to those two drives?

What if I got another mobo but not the same one (as the P4C800-E Dlx is not exactly all over the place), could I possibly do the same thing?

Is there another solution? I went to some PC repair shops around my way and they all scared me...two of them didn't really seem to care about my problem and just wanted to reformat the drives with no discussion of data recovery let alone my half-baked schemes above...and the third didn't want to talk about my solution (which is probably understandable) but was willing to look at my raid drives for a fee to see if they were possibly recoverable and then was talking upwards of $300 and possibly as much as $500 to recover the data (if possible).

Well, I am not sure what else I could say that would possibly help you help me so if you have any further questions regarding my setup or situation please let me know. Any and all help anyone could provide me would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thanks in advance!!


13Bravo
USHA!!!
a b G Storage
July 29, 2007 5:56:52 AM

Here is how things work as I understand it.

Every motherboard manufacturer uses their own way to talk to harddrives. Intel uses one way, while SiS uses something else. All (recent) Intel boards use the same basic method, same as Via, Nvidia, AMD, etc. This means that you shouldn't need the same board, but the same controller. I couldn't get the manual for your board from Asus, so I don't know what RAID controllers you have. What I did see is that it has the ICH5, not the ICH5R, which means that the RAID controller isn't attached to the southbridge. It is supposed to have a promise controller, but without the manual, I have no idea which one.

I wouldn't bother buying Ghost. Hit ebay and try to find a motherboard with your promise controller. Check with your friends to see if they one one. Go back to the stores and see if they have one they could sell you. This should work, all you need is the new board. (assuming of course that the problem is with the motherboard.)
July 29, 2007 3:03:32 PM

Hey Supremelaw,

Thanks for taking the time to respond, I really appreciate it. I have to tell you though, I am EXTREMELY wary of Norton GHOST as it came with a NIS purchase I made and it TOTALLY screwed up my PC. It wouldn't boot and I used Norton's workaround to disable/delete it but then I couldn't access my data drive. I had to buy some data recovery software and salvaged what I could. Here is where my idiocy comes in even more...what I managed to salvage is now on the RAID array..I never transferred it back to the data drive after re-formatting...sigh. The whole experience has me squeemish with GHOST.


Hey 4745454b,

I really appreciate your post as well. It gives me some hope! I do have the manual for my mobo and here is what it has listed as far as RAID controllers:

PROMISE PDC20378 Controller
INTEL ICH5R Controller

So according to the manual I do have an ICH5R controller. Now, with that being said, the RAID array is not set up via the promise controller. The promise is set to SATA and is managing the lone data drive. The Intel controller was used to setup the striped array.

So...does this change anything? Should I just look for another mobo using the ICH5R? Or do I still need one with the promise controller? Or possibly both? Since the RAID is setup via the Intel controller, if in fact I only technically need a mobo with the ICH5R, does that mean if it doesn't have the promise then I will have issues with my data drive then?

Thanks in advance!!

13BRAVO

USHA!
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a b G Storage
July 29, 2007 4:06:21 PM

ICH5R is the only one you need, assuming the drives are plugged into the southbridge SATA ports and not the Promise ports. If this is the case, all ICH5R motherboards should work. If you can find one cheap enough, I vote you give it a shot. I'm not sure you want to try the board you have, as the few places that do have it want about $200 for it. At that price you're better off buying a 4300 C2D and an $80 S775 motherboard and recreate the data that went by by.

See if anyone anyone near you has an ICH6R or 7R. Either of those should work also.
July 29, 2007 4:19:05 PM

Thanks! I will look around and see what I can find. Quick question: When you say "...recreate the data that went by by," what exactly do you mean? Do you mean to try data recovery? Or do you mean something else? Thanks in advance!

Oh, and one more quick thing: I am assuming it is the mobo as I already relpaced the PS and confirmed it wasn't the video card. Obviously it could also be the CPU...based on what I described above, what do you think the most likely cuplrits are? CPU and Mobo? Anything else? Also, is there a way I could test that the mobo is indeed fried? Thanks again!
a b G Storage
July 29, 2007 6:41:00 PM

I meant that if you have to spend $200 on this motherboard, you are better off buying a C2D 4200 and a motherboard. You could then recreate your files, not recover. (redownload what you downloaded, or retype what you typed.)

As for what could be wrong, you might have had some corruption and its the harddrives that are bad.
August 4, 2007 4:00:50 AM

Sorry about the late reply...real life intervened! I just wanted to thank you for your help!
August 4, 2007 5:33:28 AM

Too bad this didn't happen sooner I just sold a P4C800-E Deluxe a few months ago, I could've just sent it to you. Good luck with your problem, I bet you'll backup from now on. As the others said checkout E-Bay or Craigs List and try to find another, a lot of boards were made with that southbridge. From what I know though you won't be able to get into Windows without the same model board.
!