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Intel ICH5R RAID array not recognized

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October 27, 2009 11:32:48 PM

Hi,

I was hoping someone can help me with this one. I am running an ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe. Everything was running well (why change what works right?) and I decided to re-format my c: drive and re-install everything. It had a been a few years and windows was getting really slow.

So I had a RAID 0 array setup on the Intel ports (ICH5R). It was working well. I have data on this array that I need. I figured the array would be fine after the install (was that a mistake?).

I went to the ASUS page and downloaded all the software from the site so I would be all set. So I re-formatted my c: drive and re-installed windows. I installed the Intel INF drivers. Then I installed my graphics, audio, and ethernet driver. All this time, I had unplugged my RAID array drives. So now I plugged them back in and installed the Intel RAID software that was on the ASUS site (Intel Application Accelerator RAID Edition 3.5R). But after I installed it, I realized that it wasn't what I had installed before. I had the Intel Matrix storage manager before. So that confused me. I couldn't seem to uninstall the Intel Accelerator software, so I started from the beginning again. This time around I installed the Matrix storage manager (iata55_cd).

So my problem is that the RAID array is not being recognized. When my computer boots up, I see the Intel BIOS RAID software and it says the array is online and ready (like it always has). But in the windows disk manager it lists one of the RAID drives as 128GB and the other as 1735GB and neither are formatted (according to windows). It used to be 2 drives around 900GB each.

So what's happening here? Did that Intel Accelerator kill my existing RAID array? Did it write over something somehow? Is there anyway I can get my array back and online? I never chose to delete the array or format anything (other than my c: drive). Which software should I use for my Intel RAID array? Do I need to install the Intel software during the windows install, or can I wait till after I finish (and after I update to Service Pack 3)?

Sorry.. but there is one more small problem. I have a single SATA drive plugged into the Promise SATA port. The drive is seen by the BIOS and the Promise startup software sees it, but windows does not. I am running XP Pro, service pack 3. Can anyone shed any light on these drive issues?

Thanks,
Peter
October 29, 2009 6:07:08 PM

sorry for the bump... can anybody help me on this issue? I just figured the array would be fine once I re-installed windows.
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October 30, 2009 4:19:22 AM

Please re-phrase your situation.

What kind of RAID arrays do you have, what kind of disk configuration, what is your system disk, what do the intel utilities say about your volume, etc.

You say your RAID0 array is recognised in the BIOS, but not in Windows, right? You also state:

Quote:
But in the windows disk manager it lists one of the RAID drives

There is a problem... windows should not see the physical disks; only the RAID array. Please post proper information including screenshots of disk management and virtually all information you can provide, and i'll have another look.

I'll be away for the weekend, so earliest response would be monday.

If its just a driver/software problem and the physical data on the disks is still intact, data recovery is still possible. Cheers, -sub
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October 30, 2009 8:10:10 PM

Thanks! I will try to clarify my issue.

As for the drives: My C: drive is a single PATA drive. As for the RAID, I have 2 1GB SATA drives that I setup as a RAID 0 array (with 2 partitions). It's hooked up to the Intel ICH5R controller.

That extra SATA drive is hooked up to the separate Promise controller (not in RAID mode). But actually I un-plugged it to make things simpler.

The intel matrix utility in windows says there is 1 array and 1 volume (which are both 1863GB). The Intel BIOS utility says the array is active and has the two SATA drives as a part of it. But in the Windows disk manager it lists 1 active drive which is RAW and 128GB. The 2nd disk is 1735GB and unallocated.

I wonder if somehow the array got resized to that 128GB? When I install Windows XP PRO my CD is the original version. I then have to install the Service pack 2 and 3 updates. What order should I install everything.

How frustrating.

-Peter
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November 1, 2009 11:55:51 PM

Did you install the RAID drivers for ICH5R inside Windows? If you did, you should never see the physical disks that are part of a RAID array. If you do it usually a sign of missing RAID drivers.

Be careful to touch your drives if you have the RAID drivers missing; if you click the 'initialize' function inside disk management, you effectively destroyed your array. So make sure not to alter anything with the drives as well; and make sure you use the proper Intel MatrixRAID drivers. If you do, you should only see one volume, of 1863GiB as you said.

Maybe you do have the Intel MatrixRAID utility software, but not the driver installed. Check Device Manager to make sure. If that doesn't fix it, try to include as much screenshots/data as possible.
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November 2, 2009 4:28:45 AM

Hi,

I did install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager (which I believe includes the RAID drivers). I am sure that I never selected format or initialize on any drive (except for my c: drive which I used to re-install windows onto).

Here is a screenshot of my device manager, and the disk manager, and the intel matrix software. Do you see anything that I can fix? (As a side issue I am having trouble getting the other SATA port on my MB (the promise controller) to work and see my non-RAID drive).

Thanks for your help... I would think this should have been easier. Format C:, re-install windows, plug in other drives and be back to where I was before.

-Peter



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November 2, 2009 5:07:52 AM

From your screenshots, i can gather this information:

1) PATA system drive 186.31GB with 2 partitions
2) RAID0 array using Intel ICHxR controller, 1863.02GB with 2 partitions
3) External drive on Promise controller, 298.09GB with 1 partition

Disk 1) has drive letter C:
Array 2) has drive letter F:
Disk 3) has drive letter E:

I can't see any problem with your RAID array; its detected as 1863GB which corresponds with 2 disks in RAID0, and it assigns the F: drive letter to the first partition, with the second partition being unassigned (no valid filesystem).

So.. what's the problem?

Can you access the F: partition? Does the partition layout (128GiB with 1735GiB being unused space) correspond with how you configured the RAID?

The RAID part is working without problems, if you cannot access your data on the RAID its a filesystem issue. As you know RAID cannot protect against filesystem damage, which happens especially if you have enabled the "Write Caching" option in the Intel RAID drivers.

Since its a RAID0, you need to use a backup in case of filesystem damage and re-create the partitions and restore the data from backup. If you have no backup, you can try to perform recovery to find lost partitions or recover NTFS filesystems with various utilities. As a tip for the future: never store valuable data without a backup.
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November 2, 2009 9:06:13 AM

So the problem is that if I try to access the 'F:' drive it says that the drive is not formatted and would I like to format it now? (I say no) I believe that the 128GB does not have a file system (since it was not split up that way before). Before, the RAID array would show up in the disk manager as 2 equal sized drives (or partitions). So I guess I just have to format them now? Will it give me only 128GB in the Array or will I get the full 1863GB?

I guess I am wondering why this happened? I did not reformat it, so why did I lose the Array? Is it impossible to re-install windows and keep the Array alive? Guess I'd like to know what I did wrong (or if there is no way to preserve the array) so I can avoid this in the future.

thanks,
Peter
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November 2, 2009 9:30:51 AM

I am assuming you had data located on your RAID array, and you wanted to recover this. This may still be possible, using data recovery programs. But at least some damage has been done, so you lost at least part of your data.

You can delete the 128GB partition and create a new one covering the entire array (1863GB). After you done this, any chance of recovering your data is lost so only do this if you accept your data previously located on the RAID to be gone.

As a side note, i do not recommend consumers use RAID unless they have good knowledge about how RAID works and have a good backup at all times, no matter if they use RAID1, RAID5 or RAID6. Especially on Windows the reliability of RAIDs is quite poor and alot of people lose data on RAID arrays even though the disks themselves are fine.

Without knowing exactly what you did, its not possible to know what happened to your array that caused your partitions to be messed up. Please do think about creating a proper backup situation for yourself so that in the future you never have to lose valuable data anymore.

If you wish to try data recovery, special applications exist that can recover RAIDs, like RAID reconstructor. But know that since your partitions are messed up, it might not restore all your data, or even nothing at all.
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November 2, 2009 4:48:18 PM

Thanks for your help... I do agree that RAID under windows does not seem all that reliable. I will start the rebuilding process.

-peter
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November 2, 2009 5:40:47 PM

usually it is not a problem...
If you didn't do any thing and only deleted the 128 gb partition you can recover the old one.
Most likely any way.
If you only deleted the 128gb partition (that inportant)...many programs will recover your partition in a sec....Arconis disk manager 4 example....or testdisk...
If you did more than that....recovery programs is the way, but don't keep your hopes up
Tell me if it relevant i will guide you mate.
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November 3, 2009 12:04:06 AM

arkadi said:
usually it is not a problem...
If you didn't do any thing and only deleted the 128 gb partition you can recover the old one.
Most likely any way.
If you only deleted the 128gb partition (that inportant)...many programs will recover your partition in a sec....Arconis disk manager 4 example....or testdisk...
If you did more than that....recovery programs is the way, but don't keep your hopes up
Tell me if it relevant i will guide you mate.



I would love some guidance on the recovery. Since I did not format or initialize the array I figured I could get it back somehow. Do I just run testdisk and it might find and re-create the array? I don't see disk manager on the Arconis website. Is it the same as Disk Director? It would be good to have a software package that would recover the partition and also do a disk image for the next time my windows install needs to be re-loaded.

Please advise...

-Peter
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November 9, 2009 5:14:07 PM

I would love some tips on how to attempt a recovery on my RAID array. I don't want to do anything that might make the recovery impossible (like deleting partitions) so I would really appreciate it if anyone could help me out.

thanks!
Peter
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!