I was recently forced to flash the bios on an a7n8x mb to fix a baffling array of mysterious problems with all aspects of the pc including the built-in sil 3112A sata-raid controler from silicon image.
While it seems to be working fine now I can no longer access a raid 1 set which was accessable before but I was unable to back up for months due to the problems the pc was having.
Both drives are recognised but the pc makes no apparent attempt to load the raid set. No error message is displayed, it just races through the normal boot process as if the drives were not part of any raid set.
Within windows, or any other os for that matter, the drives are invisible. Even the raid utility downloaded from the silicon image website is unable to see the raid set.
However, if I enter the built-in raid configuration utility during boot, the drives are listed under "set0 invalid raid set." This seems odd as a failure to load a raid set normaly displays a flashing error message during boot but in this case the only place where there is any hint at all that there is a raid set is inside this utility.
The "rebuilt raid set" and "resolve conflicts" options in this utility do not help here as dispite the listing of set0, it is adamant that there are no mirrored sets present, and dispite the 'invalidity' of this set, it is adamant that there are no conflicts.
I had hoped that by deleting the raid metadata on one of the drives it would recognise as a normal sata drive and I could copy the data. So I used the "delete raid set" option in this built-in raid utlility (making sure only one drive was plugged in at the time so that if it didn't work, I would still have one drive which SHOULD be all I need to recover all the data). well now that drive is visible to the os but appears empty and unpartitioned.
The only option left within the built-in raid utility (the only place that recognises the existance of this raid set) is "create new raid set". I have seen some suggestion that simply creating a new raid set might fix the problem, but I worry that it might leave the data unrecoverable.
I have also considered that flashing the bios back to an older version might be necessary but it was a miracle that I was able to get this mb to boot and flash the bios in the state it was in before, I don't want to risk experimenting with flashing to various versions of the bios unneccessarily.
So, can anyone confirm wether the newer bios versions for the a7n8x deluxe (rev 1.04) are compatable with older raid sets?
and does anyone have any advice on a safe way to recover the data from this drive?
I've been scouring google for weeks now and have been unable to find any useful info on this problem. and am now reduced to pleading for help anywhere where I see someone talking on a vaguely related topic. Please help.
Most RAID 1 controllers write the data/metadata in a format that shows up as a standard drive when connected to a standard controller.
Try taking one of the drives and connecting it to a standard SATA controller, and then boot a DOS utility that can show you the partitions on the drive (something like Partition Magic or GParted). If the partitions appear intact, boot into Windows on a different drive and see if you can copy data off of it.
Don't boot into Windows with the drive connected until you're sure you can see the partitions. You don't want Windows to write to the drive, because that will make the RAID array out of sync, which could be a problem if this doesn't work and you have to go back to trying getting the RAID set recognized.
Another way to recover the data would be to use a dedicated data recovery utility like GetDataBack for NTFS (www.runtime.org).