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RAID suddenly split and degraded !!

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October 14, 2007 5:07:57 PM

Hi Guys,

I have just installed a new machine with 3 hard drives on a nForce 680i Motherboard (Win XP Pro, SP2).

Drive 1: (single drive "spanned" in raid setup, seemed the only way XP would see it for install)
WD Raptor, split in 2 partitions (C: boot & D: boot2)

Drive 2 & 3: (mirrored)
WD RAID 1, split into 2 partitions (E: data & F: backup).

Everything was fine, and the drives had synchronized, it's an optin the the nTune Control Panel, and everything reported healthy.

I have copied large amounts of data to the 'data' partition successfully.

I tried running Acronis True Image Backup for the first time, and after about 25%
my system tray raid icon popped up, with a critical error on one of the disks.

The motherboard is also poorly labeled, and the SATA connectors dont seem to be in any order, so I don't know which disk is on what controller.
(4 sockets on the motherboard in a row, plus 2 on the edge of the motherboard)
I connected to 3 all side by side, the end one empty,
yet the BIOS reports drives connected to channels (3,4 & 6) ??
nTune does not seem to offer anykind of repair feature now.
(before I had synchronize, rebuild, and delete)
Now it just reports a delete array option.

It (nTune) now reports 2 x (degraded) mirrored arrays
(drives E: data & F: backup, AND now also drives I: data & J: backup)
So I see in 'My Computer' 2x DATA drives, and 2x BACKUP drives ... !!!

The bios now reports in flashing red, degraded raid at boot time, but going into raid setup now reports the same thing.
It says there are also TWO mirrored arrays, (also degraded), but has a repair option, this does nothing.

So what happened, how has it split, and how do I get it back.
As I say 'My Computer' now reports 2 extra drives with identical contents, that I can access.
So the data is still there.
It just appears like the drives have seperated from each other on the array, but see to be working ..

Not sure if this is making sense, sure it does to a RAID expert, I've never had problems with server raids before, although that was always true SCSI and hardware controllers.

I just don't know enough about motherboard (bios) based controllers, and SATA drives.

HELP .. I really want to get this array back and STABLE without data loss
October 14, 2007 5:32:18 PM

I guess the manual should have the correct label for connector...
October 14, 2007 5:49:16 PM

Hi,

It may appear there is meant to be a NVidia Raid service, launching from the Programs/StartUp folder, but there is nothing in it.

I just found that on another forum, and I am back on my laptop now.

I am not confident replacing or reinstalling the nVidia stuff with fix this, or prevent it again.

I really don't want to change the Mobo as it got a good rating, although the RAID controller seems to suck.

I may end up going back to non-raid, and sync the drives manually, or 3rd party software etc etc.

Now the question is, unless someone knows what my original problem is.
How do dump the RAID, and revert the drives back just to standard SATA without data loss, or reinstalling ?

Note: The motherboard (BFG Tech 680i) has the latest BIOIS (P30) and a hot-fix applied to fix (SATA issues lol)

Can I just turn the ENABLE RAID options off in the BIOS, and the drives will be redetected.
Or do I have to actually delete the array in the BIOS, which I think will warn me I am going to lose data.
Related resources
October 14, 2007 7:19:38 PM

OK , Back again.

I updated the BIOS to P31, just released this week or so.
I deleted one of the split arrays, and just rebooted, everything looks ok.

nTune is in the process now of rebuilding the array, and fingers crossed.

Now I don't really want to go through this again, and nTune reports the SATA channels a little odd.

I have reviewed my motherboard manual, and I have 6 SATA sockets.
1, 2, 3, & 4 together on the board, and 5, & 6 a little away from the others.
Now I know my WD Raptor is in SKT 2, which seems cool, as nTune reports it as Channel 2.1
Which makes sense as I guess SKT 1 would be channel 2.0

I say that makes sense, however I would expect it to be Channel 1.0 & 1.1

Then the other 2 WD drives (the mirror) are connected to SKTs 3 & 4,
BUT nTune reports this as Channel 2.0 & 3.1 ????

Confused yet ?

What the hell is going on, does SATA actually have like a primary and secondary like IDE does.
I would guess that x.0 is primary, and x.1 is secondary (where 'x' is the Channel)

I would expect the following config right ?
SKT1 - SATA 1 - Channel 1.0
SKT2 - SATA 2 - Channel 1.1
SKT3 - SATA 3 - Channel 2.0
SKT4 - SATA 4 - Channel 2.1
SKT5 - SATA 5 - Channel 3.0
SKT6 - SATA 6 - Channel 3.1

Correct me if I'm wrong here please.

So if that IS correct, where would I connect my drives.
1 x WD Raptor (boot) (SINGLE DRIVE RAID SPANNED)
2 x WD Cavier (data) (RAID MIRROR)
October 14, 2007 7:57:53 PM

Alllrighty then ...


I finally found a reference to the SATA connections on the EVGA website.

I heard EVGA and BFG are the same company, or at least the same production line.

Anyway, the manuals are wrong and the board labelling.

Here is an update to the SATA connections, and I'll break down the sockets and matching channels too.



SKT1 - SATA 1 - Channel 1.0
SKT2 - SATA 2 - Channel 1.1
SKT3 - SATA 3 - Channel 2.0
SKT4 - SATA 4 - Channel 2.1
SKT5 - SATA 5 - Channel 3.0
SKT6 - SATA 6 - Channel 3.1

This as assumed before IS correct.

However the socket numbers are totally screwed, as you can see from the picture above.

I am about to try moving the cables around, as a couple of other forums, suggest that they have no problems, if the drives are all on primary controllers.

A few also said the SATA cables MUST NOT be bundled together, as most of us would tidy cables to make things easy, and improve air flow.

Any other ideas, or suggestions please advice.

The 680i RAID issue seems to be a really big problem, I would love to find a positive solution for everyone
August 19, 2008 3:39:04 PM

I don't know if you've ever resolved this or are even still paying attention to this thread. I have the EXACT same problem with a different motherboard but with the same 680i chipset (Gigabyte board). It's driving me nuts because RAID functionality was one of the 3 key deciding factors for me in picking that board. I'm pretty sure it's NOT a driver issue. Because the message happens during the BIOS post, I believe it can't be fixed because whatever it is is inherent in the chipset. Perhaps a new BIOS from the board maker might fix it. But no Windows driver stands a chance.

Let me know if you ever fixed this thing, or if you just gave up. I'm thinking about sending mine back as an RMA. But getting a replacement of the same board I think is futile.
August 19, 2008 3:56:14 PM

Yes this fixed my issue.

The motherboard and manual are labelled wrong.

I was follwing the manual and this led me to connect the raid to the wrong channels.

If you check your nTune application, this should thell you where your drives are currently connected.
August 19, 2008 8:21:44 PM

I had a similar problem with the raid on my MSI p6n diamond in my case i needed to delete all the arrays from both the raid bios and raid utility in windows. i then had to re-create the arrays in the bios and storage manager in windows, i was then able to get it to work. i've since moved on to a PCI-E raid controller (3ware)
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
a b G Storage
April 10, 2009 12:42:08 PM

I am having this same issue, unfortunatly your picture is missing now. Are you saying that the drives were plugged into the wrong ports?
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