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Intel rapid storage tech shows 2HD's w/ RAID 1 but Device Mgr doesn't

Last response: in Storage
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March 20, 2011 11:16:48 PM

Hello All,

I just built a new computer..

i72600K
Windows 7
2 2TB Hard drives
MSI motherboard P67A-GD65
RAID 1 ? DON'T KNOW :( 


As is said in my thread title, I have what appears to be a contradiction. I THINK I setup RAID 1 successfully, but can't be sure.

Here's why...

Intel Rapid Storage Technology shows RAID 1 with both drives active, but both Device Manager and Disk Management show only 1 drive. Is this because I'm using hardware RAID?

If you know FOR SURE, my RAID is working, please confirm this and tell me WHY I'm only showing 1 hard drive in both Device Manager and Disk Management.

Thanks much :D 
March 21, 2011 2:52:52 PM

I am not entirely sure, but RAID would work by only presenting a single hard disk to the OS rather than many by abstraction. Since the OS is not managing the RAID, but an external system.
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March 21, 2011 3:04:15 PM

Thanks for the reply,

Yea I really wish I knew for sure.

I tend to think the same thing but I'm really thrown for a loop here because Intel Rapid Storage Technology IS software based and yet THAT shows 2 hard drives.

Maybe someone else can shed some light on this?
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a b G Storage
March 21, 2011 3:19:57 PM

Yes.
Device manager will see only ONE 2TB drive. How you check is by going into the RAID controller at boot (something like ctrl+S/I...) and looking at the configuration. It should show both drives in RAID 1 configuration.

to test this, disconnect a hard drive. Go into the raid manager utility at boot and it will show one drive as failed.

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a c 289 G Storage
March 21, 2011 3:20:30 PM

The genius is right. If RAID is set up at the BIOS level, then the BIOS presents a single drive to the OS.
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March 21, 2011 3:31:36 PM

Yes, I that's what I suspected as well, but what confuses me is that why is the "Intel Rapid Storage Technology" software able to show both hard drives and device manager/Disk Management are not? I just don't get that.

Thanks for everyone's help on this
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a c 289 G Storage
March 21, 2011 4:26:57 PM

DUUGG said:
Yes, I that's what I suspected as well, but what confuses me is that why is the "Intel Rapid Storage Technology" software able to show both hard drives and device manager/Disk Management are not? I just don't get that.

Thanks for everyone's help on this

One is RAID management and its job is to show you the setup of your RAID array(s).
The others are the OS and they are supposed to show you the available RAID volume.

Think of it as just being a convention.
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March 21, 2011 6:19:27 PM

So, it's because they are considered one volume is the reason why Device Manager/Disk Management are only showing one drive, because both hard drives are under the same volume?


Also,

What is the best way for me to check 1 file on both hard drives?

I would like to see if 1 file shows up on both. Once I do that, I'll know for sure it's working correctly. Is there any way to do this other than by unplugging each hard drive and testing each one while the other is not inactive?


Thanks
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a b G Storage
March 21, 2011 6:31:03 PM

No because the "virtual" disk is presented to the operating system as one logical disk. The best way is to unplug one of the disks, verify that the raid controller sees the failure.

This sounds like you are using raid 1 as a backup solution. Please keep in mind, this is not a backup solution. Raid 1 is best used for quick recovery from a failed drive.

This will not protect you from some hardware HDD failures, some failures of the raid controller, virus, file over-writes, deleted data, corrupt data, system failure due to shock, theft, ... IF you have critical data on these drives, burn it to CD/DVD, copy it to an external hard drive and store it properly, make a ghost image and keep it off site.

Edit: i saw you installed the software that can read the raid state. This should show you that the raid is functional, degraded ( one drive failed or removed ) or rebuilding. But again, you can't just open one or the other drives independently of each other.
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March 22, 2011 12:21:23 AM

CompTIA_rep, thanks for the reply.

Hmm, the fact that this isn't an all around backup solution does concern me. I thought that I would be completely safe.

Now I have some newbie questions...

1.
Quote:
This will not protect you from some hardware HDD failures

How can this be true? If one drive fails, isn't all the data still on the other drive? I mean, even if one of the drives fails, and the other drive doesn't have it's "necessary bootup files", wouldn't you be able to just view your personal files by plugging this into a SATA port through Windows Explorer?

2.
Quote:
File over writes

How could a file be overwritten on one hard drive but not another? Aren't both drives exact replicas of one another?

3.
Quote:
Corrupt data

If data is corrupt on one drive, isn't it corrupt on the other drive as well?

4.
Quote:
"Shock"

Wouldn't both drives have to be shocked for RAID 1 NOT to work?

4. Let's say I create a file named RAIDTest.txt, If I unplug hard drive A, will RAIDTest.txt automatically show up on hard drive B, likewise, If I unplug hard drive B, will RAIDTest.text show up on hard drive A?

The theft I understand

Sorry for the newbie questions, I just really want to make sure/understand that my data is protected.


Thanks for all the help

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a b G Storage
March 22, 2011 1:05:59 PM

So starting with 4.) Yes, files are duplicated as they should be.
1.) If the HDD's cache controller goes bad, it starts writing garbage to the hard drive. The raid controller will duplicate this garbage and corrupt affected files.

2.) If you overwrite a file or folder on accident, they are overwritten on both hard drives - you have no backup.

3.) If you, a virus, malware, program... corrupts data on your drive, both drives have the corrupt data.

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March 22, 2011 7:15:35 PM

Thanks for the reply

HDD cache controller -

So, if my HDD cache controller goes bad and starts writing garbage to the drive...

1. Will I know it's happening?
2. Will it stop doing this on it's own? If so, when?
3. How many files will it write garbage to, all the files in the cache? Does it stop writing garbage at that point?
4. Is there some software that I can obtain that will monitor this?
5. In terms of HDD failures in general, where does a HDD cache controller rank?
6. How likely is this to happen compared to other HDD failures?
7. Does it keep writing garbage until I stop it? If yes, how can it be stopped, only a new HDD?

Your recommended backup...

If I purchase an external HDD, what is your best recommended way for me use it as a backup? I want this to be a "set and forget" solution. I don't want to have to worry "oh, did I do that backup yesterday?"


AND LASTLY...

Let's say I create a file named "grape.txt". Shouldn't I be able to take either HDD, plug it into even someone elses computer through a SATA port and view the "grape.txt" file through Windows Explorer? I'm hoping this is the case.

Because this is a RAID setup, there's no special "RAID boot up" that, if that, if corrupt, the files can't be viewed in Windows Explorer is there?


Thanks for all the help with this.
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a b G Storage
March 22, 2011 7:41:37 PM

Again starting at your last question. Yes. Each hard drive can be taken out and used independently of the other. Grape.txt will be there. Nothing special needed.

My failure examples were just examples. There are other things that can go wrong, but what I want you to take from it is that RAID is not a backup solution. It is a quick recovery solution that will save some trouble from a failed drive.

Also, if your data is important, there is no set and forget solution available to the corporate market or you and I. Things happen and it is diligence in checking these systems that give you the guaranty. If your looking for an easy to manage solution, try a Maxtor MyBook. It comes with basic backup software that is "set and forget". You can also set up windows backup tool, very easy, just launch it and read the setup instructions.

And for points 2 - 4, It won't stop on it's own, files will become corrupted until windows fails to boot, there is nothing to monitor. When it happens it happens and you will see something quite wrong, and lastly, its not high on the failure rate, but it happens.
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March 24, 2011 2:10:18 AM

CompTIA_rep,

Thanks so much for all the insight and replies. Because of your advice, I am definetely going to get a Maxtor MyBook (or something very similiar). I would really hate to lose all my pictures, like holiday, family, etc.

Here's what I've done since my last post...

I did try the "unplug each hard drive independently and boot up with just one HDD" test to check for grape.txt and they were on both HDD's. After successfully trying both HDD's seperately, I figured I'd try doing it one more time right away.

So...I then tried HDD1 alone, it booted and had grape.txt

I then tried HDD2 alone and it wouldn't boot at all.

I then plugged HDD1 back in while also leaving HDD2 plugged in. I then successfully booted.

With both drives now plugged in, I took a look at the Intel Rapid Storage Technology software and noticed that it's status was "rebuilding". I'm assuming that it's rebuilding HDD2 and, once it's done rebuilding, I will then be able to once again unplug HDD1 and get a good boot from HDD2 alone with grapes.txt intact.

I am wondering however, why it's taking so long to rebuild. I literally have 1 text file named grape.txt and some web browsing software history, not much else. Is it rebuilding the ENTIRE drive on HDD2 from scratch as opposed to simply updating any changes since it's last fail?

Thanks
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a b G Storage
March 24, 2011 12:36:06 PM

It does have to rebuild the entire drive from scratch to ensure a 1:1. Some controllers are smart enough to rebuild changes, but I am glad it worked for you.
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March 24, 2011 2:54:22 PM

Erggg, if I only knew that, I might have gotten a different motherboard. Oh well, hopefully it's a feature I'll never be using!

Thread solved.


Again,

Thanks for all your help.
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Best solution

a b G Storage
March 24, 2011 3:51:40 PM

You would be looking at an expensive hardware raid solution rather then another motherboard.

Also, if you dont mind for other readers, could you select the best answer. Thanks
Share
March 31, 2011 3:23:57 AM

Best answer selected by duugg.
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