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Failed RAID1 Set-up: Drive no longer recognized to boot

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January 23, 2009 3:57:36 PM

I have been trying to set up Raid 1 array with 2 WD 500MB SATA HD's, one of which had data I wished to save. After Setting the desired drives during BIOS and switching to RAID from native IDE also in BIOS, I began Windows XP set-up. I loaded the Raid controller drivers when prompted after pushing F6. I then exited Set-up; apparently not the right thing to do, but I thought since Windows was allready on the HD I wouldn't need to proceed. Unfortunately this disk was no longer recognized either in the RAID mode or after I switched bact to native IDE in the BIOS. I then loaded Win XP on the second drive and after booting up the 1st drive is recognized in BIOS and in Devices in Control Panal but not in My Computer. Suggestions about what I might be messing up greatly appreciated.

ASUS M2R32-MVP
MSI N9800GT
Corsair 4GB RAM
WD 500MB Blue Cavalier WD5000AAKS HD x2
a b G Storage
January 23, 2009 4:42:16 PM

You can't take an existing drive (with data on it) and make it part of a bootable RAID array, the OS would need to be installed onto the Array.

By making the drive part of an Array, the RAID bios probably deleted the existing partition table.
To (try and) get the data back, you'll need data recovery software like GetDataBack, there are also various free recovery packages available, the only one I have personally used is TestDisk (included with PartedMagic), it works well but you need to know what you are doing with it.
a b G Storage
January 24, 2009 12:25:38 PM

First thing you have to do is build the array from within the RAID bios.
Simply enabling the RAID controller does not do anything. You have to actually build the array and set it as active. There are several steps to doing this.

After you set the controller to RAID (and specifically the type of RAID you want), there is another setting in your BIOS....."Use RAID as storage", or "RAID as bootable". You have to set that.
Then, you have to set the RAID array in your boot order, if it is to be a bootable array.
THEN....when you boot, about 2/3 of the way through your POST screen you will notice a line that says something like "Press ctrl-8" or "Press F6" or something like that to enter the RAID BIOS.
Then you enter the RAID BIOS, and build the array you want from there.
Building the array can be complicated if you have never done it, so get your manual out and read it carefully.
After you have the array built in the RAID BIOS, THEN you reboot and start loading Windows. You will know if it set correctly because just after you see the line to enter the RAID bios during post, now you will see another screen of information that lists the drives in your array, and it will say something like:
SIL RAID SET...blah blah blah.......

WD 500 GB blah blah blah
WD 500 GB blah blah blah

RAID MIRROR SET AS DRIVE 0 ON CONTROLLER blah blah blah.....

Every controller displays this info a little differently, but you get the idea, you will see the info displayed that lets you know the array is intact and functional as far as the BIOS goes.

Be sure you install the correct RAID driver. There will be several of them, and if you do not choose the correct driver for the array you have built, Windows will not find the array.
If you are not experienced at this, save all your important data to an external drive. I guarentee you that you will be sorry if you don't.

Last but not least, if you are setting up RAID 1 as a sort of "backup", it is a bad idea. RAID 1 is for redundacy in case of a drive failure, the system can stay up until another drive is installed. It does NOT protect you from data loss, as a lot of people would believe.
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