I have a Dell XPS computer with two 500 GB hard drives in a RAID 0. A few months ago (possibly 5-6 months actually) when I booted up the computer it listed that the first hard drive had an error so it was in Red on the boot screen. It still ran for quite awhile after that without having any issues that I noticed. Eventually it started acting up and certain programs just stopped working (such as Winamp) among other issues such as not being able to shut down the computer properly. If I shut the computer down, it would completely turn off and your could hear the fans winding down to a stop....and then the computer would suddenly turn itself back on. I ran virus scans and looked for any virus related issues but found none so I'm not sure what started causing that to happen. So anytime I shut it off I would just have to push the power button for 5 seconds to just turn it off. Then about a month ago when I booted it up the 2nd hard drive now was in Red on the boot screen saying it also had an error. Eventually it got to where every time I booted it up it would either only work for a minute or two before locking up, or it would run a CHKDSK which would take 20 minutes and it would orphan all kinds of files and do all sorts of odd things before finally booting up into Windows (where it would still lock up again most of the time).
Finally it seemed to really take hold as I booted up the computer probably 6-7 times and only got a minute or two of use out of it. So here's my questions :
a) What happened? Is this just the hard drives failing or is my motherboard doing something as well? Why did my computer suddenly start turning itself back on once I'd shut it down?
b) Almost more importantly...what do I do now? Thankfully I do have all my data backed up so I'm not too worried about losing everything on those drives. I just want to get the computer working. Do I need to buy a new hard drive and just start over? If so, do I have to buy 2 500 GB hard drives for the RAID 0 or can I just get one hard drive and forget the RAID 0? And is there somehow a way to do this without having to re-install Windows? I just realized that Dell did not give me any recovery discs with my computer so I don't even have a copy of Windows to install and I really don't want to spend $200 on that too!
Just for some more info and background if it'll possibly help...when I got that first error months back I of course looked into it and everything I found and everyone I talked to said the drives are basically done and they will fail eventually. Just can't believe it took this long to really reach that point. When Windows starts there is a pop-up saying "A data request to a drive in Raid 0 failed but a backup may be possible. Please back up your data immediately." and it's been saying that ever since that first error came up. Hence why I've been backing up all my data ever since.
After that day where I booted it up 6-7 times without it ever really working I let it sit for a week without turning it on until I'd have time to look into what I need to do. So today I booted it up just to make sure I've got everything off there and the first time I used it for 3-5 minutes before it locked up. Booted it up again and it's been running fine. Real Jekyll and Hyde. But again, there's obviously a problem and I want to know what I should do from here. Get a new hard drive? Or is there some other way of fixing this?
I'd really appreciate any advice or input you all may have! Thank you!