Hello. I was running a RAID1 with two 500GB SATA Western Digital drives on an EVGA mobo using the latest NVidia Raid hardware drivers. I started getting messages from the raid controller that the array was broken. I went to BIOS to reset the array and when it said "Clear Drive?" I said yes. Then I made the array bootable and tried to boot. It didn't work.
I checked boot order and eventually turned off the raid and only installed one of the drives. Still wouldn't boot. The drive is recognized by BIOS.
I put in my Vista install disk and tried the repair option. It won't see SATA drives so I used my other computer and went to the EVGA site to get the SATA drivers. I tried the Vista repair again and tried to install the drivers. Still won't see the drives. I decided to sacrifice one of the two drives and do a fresh install of Vista.
After installing vista on drive 1 I plugged drive 2 back in. Now Vista doesn't recognize it and wants me to initialize drive 2 from the device management screen. This will lose all of the data so I didn't do that.
Can I somehow repair the boot sector on my 2nd drive and make it bootable again? I know I can probably recover the data with GetData but I would lose so many installed programs. I've seen ideas on the windows site using the command prompt but that assumes you can see the drive from the command prompt which I can't. How can I fix something if I can't see it? Thanks for any ideas!!
LOL! Is this a joke post? I'm no expert, but when you "went to BIOS to reset the array and when it said "Clear Drive?" I said yes.", your data was probably gone. You then went on and installed windows on a single drive, so the contents of this drive are no longer mirrored on the second one. You can't boot from this one and image the data from the second drive to the first drive, as windows is running on it now.
Sorry buddy, but I think you broke it. You didn't say why the array was broken, so I don't know what you should have done. I *thought* with an RAID1 array, if one of the disks failed you could just boot from one of the disks. If the array failed, the proper thing to do would be to remove the dead one, and boot from the good one. I don't think I would have formatted/installed either one of them.
Good luck, I hope someone who uses RAID1 more then I can give you better news.
Clear/reset array = losing the MBR, file systems and signatures written on the disk by the controllers. And installing vista on the drives meant that at least one of the disks has had its data overwritten, so its gone.
Vista won't recognize drive 2,as RAID controllers use their own proprietary signatures and writing/data distributing methods.
Also, as the RAID controller may use its own proprietary writing method, software file recovery utilities may not recognize the disk contents. Your best bet is to take BOTH disks to a data recovery specialist, if the data is very important to you. otherwise, cut your losses and start afresh...
To be absolutely frank, if you've made a mistake like that, I'd stay away from RAID if I were you.
If you really need data redundancy, use synchronising software to mirror the drives in windows, or use disk imaging software such as Acronis True Image of Norton Ghost.
I was able to repair the MBR and make my drive bootable again. Here's How:
To recap my problem. I had two mirrored drives that became unbootable. The Vista recovery on the install disk would not fix my disk. In fact it wouldn't even find my Vista install and installing the SATA drivers didn't help either.
1) I reinstalled Vista on one disk so I had an operating system to work within. My goal was to repair the 2nd disk, make it bootable and then make it my primary harddrive. After installing Vista on the 1st drive, I noticed the 2nd disk had no letter assigned to it. Within disk management windows wanted me to "initialize" the disk which would have been the kiss of death.
2) I installed RecoverMyFiles from GetData.com and it had no problem accessing my 2nd disk an backing up all my files to the drive with the fresh Vista install.
3) I installed tried a free program called TestDisk from http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Download This software improved things. My 2nd disk now had a drive letter visible in Vista and the install was visible in Vista repair but it still wouldn't boot and Vista repair still wouldn't fix it.
4) I installed a free program called EasyBCD from http://neosmart.net This program did the trick. I told it my Vista install was on the 2nd disk (my F drive) and it repaired the boot areas. It has a tool to allow you to boot to different drives and partitions from within its software. I did that and my 2nd disk booted right up. I did a shutdown, powered off the computer and physically installed only the 2nd disk.
5) The disk still wouldn't boot by itself. I ran Vista repair from the install disk and it quickly found the problem, fixed it and rebooted my computer. PROBLEM SOLVED
I'm not going back to a Raid 1 setup. When you try to do a bunch of music, photos and movies and such on the same drive as your operating system, you are asking for trouble. I also suspect that a Nvidia raid driver upgrade that I did a few months after building my computer started my troubles. That's when my raid started giving me degrading errors. I later came across the procedure to repair the raid. Don't know if it works but it said for an Nvidia board you push F10 when booting to get to the Nvidia raid setup. You delete the array. You create a new one and select the two drives. When you exit it asks you if you want to clear data. You say "No" (my mistake) and then it asks if you want to make the drive bootable and you say "No" again (I don't follow that logic but that's what it said to do). Then you reboot your computer and it will rebuild your array.
If you read the Nvidia RAID instructions (download from their site if you've lost the mobo install disk) they tell you clearly that "broken raid" means that only ONE of the two mirrored drives has a problem, and the system already has defaulted to running from the remianing good drive. Then they further show you exactly how to identify the one with a problem, and how to restore it from the good drive. You definitely do NOT clear the Raid array!
I encountered also a same kind of this problem at the time I upgraded my Nvidea disk/controller driver in Vista64 environment. I use 4 disk in two read1 sets. C: drive is my operation environment D: as my back-up environment. So, D: contains the back-ups of my important files that are used on C:. Additional C: and D: have each a shaddow (how save can one get?). My disks were working fine, no problems.
At the time I upgraded the Nvidia driver, both raidsets were broken-up and noticed themself as degraded. After reboot the Nvidia controller software was able to get the C:-set in working order again. It left the D:-set however unchanged and..."unvisible to Vista". Using the Nvidia control software I was able to rebuild the D:-set from the two broken-up drives and after that it told me that the set was healthy. The set was however still not visible under Vista, no matter what I tried. The Device Manager of Vista was able to see the set, but noticed that it was not initialized. I used the tip of tttbone1 and downloaded the Disktest application at http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Download. After I selected the set and told it to test and make it a primary partition, it restored/wrote the partiontable. After reboot it was as D: drive visible again under Vista and no data was lost... great thanks to the tip of tttbone1