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RAID0 Fail (Intel Storage)

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Anonymous
a b G Storage
July 1, 2010 12:53:48 PM

Hi guys,

I have a fairly new machine with two Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ HDDs on a GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard. I put the two HDDs in RAID. At first I wasn't able to install anything, because the RAID would fail, and the installation/operation that was currently on would end. If i tried anything, Port1 always failed. About 1-2 weeks ago, I fixed this by reinstalling the RAID. Until now, everything worked fine, however since about 2 days ago, I am unable to do anything, not even extract a WinRar - the RAID just fails near the middle of the extraction and it gives an "... is corrupted" error. I wanted to ask if there is any specific cause for this - whether if it is a faulty HDD or simply RAID is unreliable or something. Also, if it is possible, maybe you could tell me whether a RAID would make a serious difference (except for the ~double HDD speed etc) especially for gaming, since that is what this machine is primarily used for, since I am seriously getting tired from this because I just finished installing all my games and software :(  . (And also a bit offtopic here - should I OC my processor? Is it a bottleneck, and will I also gain some noticeable performance by OCing?)

I checked the cables, they are fine. I checked for dust, and the HDDs are clean.

Here is a screen shot of the Intel Rapid Storage thingy - http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/8525/capturels.jpg

System Specs:
CPU Intel Core i7 930 (S1366, 2.80GHz)
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R (S1366, DDR3, X58)
Memory Corsair 6GB DDR3-1600 Ram (PC3 12800, 8-8-8-24
Graphics Card 2 x GTX 480 (PCI-Express, GDDR5, 1536 MB)
Hard Drive 2 x Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ
Sound Card Xonar DX
Power Supply CoolerMaster Silent Pro M1000 1000W
Case CoolerMaster HAF 932
CPU cooling Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
OS Windows 7 Ultimate 64
Monitor Acer GD245HQ

Anyone knows the cause, and/or (even better) the fix for this problem? If you need more information, tell me.

Quick Update while I was writing this post - now port1 started failing randomly... It just... fails by itself...
a c 116 G Storage
July 1, 2010 11:18:01 PM

It appears that one disk is bad in the RAID0 - in RAID0, if you lose one disk, all data on both disks is lost. RAID1 (mirroring) is safer for data. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID

Check both disks for errors.

I suggest RAID1 over RAID0.

Yes, your i7-930 will overclock well and you will see a performance increase in gaming, as well as in other programs. When you decide to OC, please read the excellent guides at this site (and other sites) by various authors, before you start OC.
a c 82 G Storage
July 2, 2010 3:24:58 AM

What version of Intel Rapid Storage? The latest one?
Related resources
a b G Storage
July 2, 2010 3:50:03 AM

It appears from Samsung's website that your HD103SJ
does not support what Western Digital calls
Time-Limited Error Recovery ("TLER").

http://www.samsung.com/global/business/hdd/productmodel...

I read that Samsung calls it "CCTL".


A "quick and dirty" fix is to buy 2 x Western Digital
RAID Edition ("RE") HDDs, because they support TLER
in all RAID modes; and then demote your 2 x Samsungs
to dedicated data partitions; or, you could also try
formatting them as "dynamic disks" and enabling
an OS software RAID 0, which doesn't seem to need
support for Time-Limited Error Recovery (not that I
know of, that is :)  But, you can't boot from such
an OS software RAID.

Two of the WD2503ABYX would be nice for your RAID 0 system partition,
because this RE4 HDD uses PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording):

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=831


Here's what I would do, if I were you:

First, determine if each HDD is OK or not,
by installing each as non-RAID aka JBOD
(Just a Bunch Of Disks).

Be sure your BIOS is set to AHCI mode,
because you want to do all testing in this mode.

Install your OS on a single JBOD HDD, install the second
HDD also as a JBOD, and run a thorough disk check
on every sector on both HDDs.

Since each HDD has a capacity of 1TB,
size your C: system partition at ~50 GB
on one of those drives.

Later, if you can get RAID 0 working,
you can keep that 50 GB C: partition,
and in RAID 0 mode it will only use 25 GB
of the outermost tracks on each of
those 2 HDDs (read "short-stroked").

But, first you must determine if either
of those drives is defective.

If they are both AOK, the problem is most likely
a lack of TLER-like support in RAID 0 mode,
called "CCTL" in Samsung's nomenclature.


MRFS
a b G Storage
July 2, 2010 4:03:59 AM

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/8525/capturels.jpg

See, on the right, under "Array_0000", one of your HDDs
has "dropped out" -- at the red "X".

In RAID 0 mode, this is fatal, because files are "striped"
i.e. sequential sectors alternate from one to the other,
back and forth.


See also this thread here re: latest version of RST:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/259814-32-choose-hard...


... RST 9.6 appears to be the latest: confirm at Intel's website:

http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/highlights/chpsts/...


MRFS
!