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Windows 7 is reporting "a drive in a RAID0 is failing

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March 9, 2010 11:09:18 PM

Folks,
Not sure if it is related to upgrading my Windows7 RC to retail today, but one of the two HDs in an internal SATA RAID0 array is being reported as "failing" by Windows7.....and the drive has "error reported" in the BIOS. So far all the files I've tried reading from the drive work fine - it is full of HD video files - so I am not sure if this is a fluke or should be acted upon.
Your thoughts?
Is there a tool that could really test the health of the drive? Windows7 checked it for errors and says it is fine, but still reports it as failing every time I reboot.

For what it is worth, they are Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F1 drives and are less than a year old. They are 0% fragmented and only 1/4 full.

Thanks!
Jim
a b $ Windows 7
a c 357 G Storage
March 10, 2010 3:12:35 PM

BACK UP YOUR WHOLE DRIVE ASAP!

My guess is that the SMART system has been tripped and reports one or more errors on one of the units in your RAID0. It is common for Windows to be set to monitor SMART error messages and flag them for attention. When you get a message like this, pay attention and find the problem and fix it.

Now, the major risk in RAID0 is that an error in one HDD unit means that entire file is useless. If you are lucky (yes, seems you are so far) there is only one error and only one file is affected, and you may not have tried to use it. But if more errors appear and one of them happens to be in a key area like a directory or allocation table, you could lose ALL of your data! So, back up NOW completely, then go looking for the source of the problem and decide whether to fix it and continue using the drive (with associated risks). Or, replace it and rebuild your array, then restore all data from your backup.

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March 12, 2010 2:34:16 PM

Thank!
I returned the drive under warranty and popped a spare in and rebuilt the array. (already had a full back-up) Everything seems fine.

I'd appreciate any recommendations as far as diagnostic/repair software that Ishould have around next time to analyze the drive and try to fix it.

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Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
a c 357 G Storage
March 12, 2010 2:48:01 PM

A good and free set of diagnostic utilities probably is available for download from the maker of you HDD. for example, Seagate has Seatools, WD has Data Lifegard. Get the package from your HDD maker - they are somewhat customized. In each case I prefer the version you use to burn your own CD-R disk. You boot from this optical disk and it loads a mini-DOS into RAM so you can run all its tests completely independent of Windows or any OS. These tools will tell you what they find, help you fix a few problems, and give you clues what else you can do. If the HDD is faulty and subject to warranty replacement, most Tech Support Depts. want to know the results of these tests before they will authorize the exchange.
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March 22, 2010 2:21:11 PM

Best answer selected by jdwilkin.
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