Recovery Disks from a Sony Vaio at Raid 0

Hello everyone,
So my parents own a Sony Vaio VGN-AR770N. It is currently set up at Raid 0 with 160 GB Seagates each drive, totaling to 320 GB. I'm getting an error from the Intel Matrix Storage Console that gives me information about the intel RAID controller stating "A drive in the RAID 0 volume is failing", aka, one of the RAID 0 drives is bad (the volume status says its normal). I have backed up all necessary data on a nonraid drive. Pardon my lack of knowledge on RAIDs, I don't tend to use them nor like using them/see a true benefit for my own needs nor my parents, but this RAID 0 setup pretty much came with the computer.

I want to know two main things:
1) How can I tell which drive is bad? It just says status: error occurred on both drives, yet the intel Matrix Storage Console is saying "a drive" is bad. For whatever reason, SMART is not enabled on these drives, nor can I on the BIOS (stupid BIOS limitations on Sony Vaios ;-) ). I used SeaTools for windows and did the "short generic test", and the RAID volume tested as fine. There a way to individually test each drive without messing up the RAID 0 setup?

2) My next step after determining which drive is bad, is to either get rid of RAID 0 and not use RAID at all, OR, use RAID 1. I don't want to use a generic copy of Windows Vista Business, mainly because I don't have a disc/don't want to really download one from torrents. Rather, I want to make recovery disks from the recovery partition (aka not a clone of the drive). I was wondering if when I make the recovery disks, will the RAID 0 cause any issues? Aka, can I make recovery disks and still use them to restore the OS on a nonRAID setup?

Happy holidays everyone, no rush, let me know. I tried searching google but didn't find a clear cut answer.
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  1. You said:

    "Rather, I want to make recovery disks from the recovery partition (aka not a clone of the drive)."

    It implies that you did not have the recovery discs. If that is the case, and one of the hdd is bad, you will not be able to create the recovery discs since it requires to be in Windows.

    As to find out which drive is bad, and they are in RAID 0, it is best to replace both hdds. Most of diag software for hdd will not work on RAID 0 configuration. The drives need to be un-RAID.

    You can order the recovery discs from Sony. But there is a catch. If the computer is pre-configured as RAID 0, the recovery discs will work only for RAID 0 configuration. You might want to check with Sony tech support.

    You still can install Windows without buying or downloading a copy. On the bottom of the laptop there is a Microsoft sticker where it shows the Windows version (in this case is Vista Business or Home Premium) and also the key code. That key code is for your laptop. Just find a copy of the Windows shown on the sticker (from friends, borrow, etc) and install on the new drives. Use the key code printed on the sticker when the installation ask for it. After Windows is installed, download the drivers from Sony support website.

    Good Luck.
  2. Thank you for the reply. Looks like I'll be searching for a retail/oem version of Windows Vista Business. I was fully aware of the key code at the bottom (I wouldn't have otherwise suggested that option to myself), but thank you for the reminder. My main question was regarding the recovery disks/partition being in RAID 0, which isn't the case. I refuse to pay for recovery discs, as I can work with a retail/oem version of Windows Vista Business, or slipstream the drivers to a copy. I just really didn't want to resort to that, but looks like I must. My parents made a clone of the volume, and not recovery disks, which at this point is useless to me.

    Silly RAID 0 's.
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