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Help Diagnose RAID 1 Frequent Drive failure GA-P35-DS3P

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March 17, 2011 1:44:37 PM

All: about 3.5 years ago I built a PC using a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P MOBO with a built in RAID controller. I set this up as RAID 1, using Western Digitial WD3200YS drives and XP. For the first year, all went really well. Then I started having issues where the drives would go out of sync.

I rebuilt, successfully, for a while and then realized this was a sign of imminent drive failure. So I swapped out the drives and patted myself on the back for being smart enough to save myself from a total system failure by using a RAID array. Now,I feel less smart. In the last the 3 years I've replaced drives because of this probably 3 more times.

Recently, XP 'broke' so I changed the system over to Win 7, and all worked well for a week. Now 'the problem' is back. Whatever this problem is, Win 7 manifests it differently. XP would manifest it as the drives going out of sync with the subsequent message both in the bootstrapping screen and in the GB RAID controller utility. In Win 7, the 'problem' manifests differently: the 'bad' hd just churns and churns bringing the system to a complete standstill.

In both cases, the solution is the same: turning off one drive 'solves' the problem until I can swap in and rebuild a new drive and then everything works fine. For example, the PC was 'broke' until I shut it down, turned off one drive, and rebooted. Now it works great and I'm off to Best Buy to get another drive to swap in.

NOTE THAT in every case I've tried it, the 'bad' drive works fine BY ITSELF but not in the RAID.

But here's the deal: there is no way in hell I should be losing a drive every 5 or 6 months. Any clues on what could be going on and how to fix it? Preferably without swapping out the MOBO or some similar 'nuclear' option?

As a side note: I use both imaging (Macrium) and RAID as methods of redudancy and data recovery. I travel a lot, and my wife is not very PC literate. One year we lost all the family photos because of a drive failure while I was out of town. My (apparently insufficient) guidance on recovery on the phone caused here to format the internal back up drive. During the 'recovery' I dropped the removable hard drive and thus lost all the back up. That was damn near a divorce. The current setup at least has the virtue of us never having lost data despite other catastrophic hardware failures, two natural disasters, and a virus.
a b G Storage
March 17, 2011 3:26:24 PM

I have had the same experience on my DFI-LP-X48- T2RSB+ board using RE and RE-3 WDs. I believe it is caused either a bad board or a bad Intel Northbridge chip because I've formatted and re-installed each "failed" HDD and run WD's Diagnostics on them, and every time, they report green checkmarks. I finally just broke the RAID in the BIOS and kept the HDD that had not broken from the RAID volume. Of course I now backup every day to another HDD.
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