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RAID Gone Wrong?

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June 29, 2011 8:41:18 PM

I built a system about 6 months ago and until recently everything was running smoothly. Last week - when I was attempting to boot up, I kept getting a "Unable to locate Operating System" error. I went into the BIOS and discovered that for some odd reason, the boot order was changed. I corrected the order - and everything booted up as normal.

However, I was now getting these very weird noises thru my speakers every time I was was doing a keyboard action or playing an audio file (sort of a very low squeal). Then - this morning I went to a striped RAID 0 drive to place some video files on to, but go a "need to format drive" message. The good news is that there's no data on the RAID 0 drive that I haven't backed up. I use the RAID 0 drive to host large HD video files that render back to another no RAID drive.

I'm using a Rampage III Extreme Mother board. A Western Digital Boot drive (holding the operating system and programs) and two Western Digital HD striped in RAID 0. What type of trouble shooting can I do to identify the problem. This was the first RAID setup I did, so I apologize for not being as fluent as I should, but before wiping out the drives and rebuilding (which was an ordeal when I did it the first time) I'm wondering if something else was at work here (ie, the noises and the BIOS changing the Boot order).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Marlen

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a c 104 G Storage
June 29, 2011 10:32:29 PM

Hi Marlen,

I would guess the 'noises' were from one of the HDD's that was reading or writing when you were active on the keyboard or playing the audio file.
The BIOS is a separate issue. You probably alread F10 the BIOS to Save and exit, which refreshes your CMOS settings. You might also F12 or equiv in the BIOS which Saves your CMOS settings under a 'name' for retrieval later if needed.

First thing to do for the HDD's is go to Disk Management, and in the lower graphical area, review and list what the Disk 1 and Disk 2 rows say, under both the Disk Status column and the Volume Status column where you should have a Cadet Blue band above them. That should indicate if there is a problem with one or both of the disks.
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June 29, 2011 10:53:04 PM

Maybe the PSU is getting bad. Go into the BIOS and check the voltage. Post back your configuration and what voltage you have.

You can also unplug any unnecessary drive in the system, like optical drive, as well as any USB devices the take current from the port. leave only the boot drive and the array, if it worksm then maybe the PSU is failling.

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a b G Storage
June 30, 2011 1:29:55 AM

Your CMOS battery dieing could cause a loss of BIOS settings, like boot order, and possibly how your RAID is configured (though I'd think that would be non-volatile, I don't know for sure on that one). It's probably something common like a CR3032, which should cost $3-$4 to replace.
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June 30, 2011 1:31:19 PM

John_VanKirk said:
Hi Marlen,

I would guess the 'noises' were from one of the HDD's that was reading or writing when you were active on the keyboard or playing the audio file.
The BIOS is a separate issue. You probably alread F10 the BIOS to Save and exit, which refreshes your CMOS settings. You might also F12 or equiv in the BIOS which Saves your CMOS settings under a 'name' for retrieval later if needed.

First thing to do for the HDD's is go to Disk Management, and in the lower graphical area, review and list what the Disk 1 and Disk 2 rows say, under both the Disk Status column and the Volume Status column where you should have a Cadet Blue band above them. That should indicate if there is a problem with one or both of the disks.


Thanks John - I'm going to start diagnosing this weekend (hopefully can get to it sooner). I substituted an external G-Raid drive to keep my work moving, but really want to determine what went wrong with my internal RAID. I'll start with your suggestions.

Thanks for the info and I'll report back.....
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June 30, 2011 1:35:54 PM

pat said:
Maybe the PSU is getting bad. Go into the BIOS and check the voltage. Post back your configuration and what voltage you have.

You can also unplug any unnecessary drive in the system, like optical drive, as well as any USB devices the take current from the port. leave only the boot drive and the array, if it worksm then maybe the PSU is failling.



Thanks Pat - I hope it's not the PSU (only 6 months old). I just replaced a PSU on my other machine which was dying after being on for a few hours. I thought it was my CPU over heating, but that was okay. I changed out the power supply and everything was back to normal. I'll give the PSU a check - and troubleshoot the unnecessary drives and let you know.

Thanks for the help...
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June 30, 2011 1:43:25 PM

Onus said:
Your CMOS battery dieing could cause a loss of BIOS settings, like boot order, and possibly how your RAID is configured (though I'd think that would be non-volatile, I don't know for sure on that one). It's probably something common like a CR3032, which should cost $3-$4 to replace.


I mentioned in my post to Pat that I recently changed out the PSU on another machine, but prior to doing that, I did change the CMOS battery. I thought that was the problem as when I tried to start the machine in the morning it would not turn on. I had to "unplug" the power - and then plug it back in to get it to start. I though I was "jolting" the CMOS enough to get it started. Turned out to be the PSU, but now I've got a fresh CMOS installed as well.

Thanks for the help. I'll check it out....

P.S. Years ago I was befuddled for weeks trying to figure out why my Mac was not booting. There were no forums like this (at least that I knew of) and I ended up going to a local college to get some help. Turned out to be the CMOS battery - of which at the time I never even knew existed....who would of thunk that a $4 battery was messing up my whole system...good learning though.
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a c 104 G Storage
June 30, 2011 3:37:47 PM

Hi Marlen,

Diagnosing and then repairing a computer is always fun and rewarding when it goes well. Problem with electronics, is that chasing invisible 'electrons' around is done by impeccable logic, ruling things 'out', and sometimes with troubleshooting tools, like a dvvm, or even an applet that measures performance.

One way to check out the CMOS battery function, is to go into your BIOS, and look at the time. If it correct and chugging off the seconds, it's OK. If it's setting at 1/1/2000 you need a new battery. Nice troubleshooting tool. You could remove it to check the voltage, but it's not necessary. If it working, don't fix it.

One way to check out your PSU voltages, is to use a DVVM and measure them directly on the board. Easier way is again in your BIOS, on the MIT or initial page, or even PC Health Page, it will give you the voltages of all 3 rales. So the DVVM is built in. The one problem with PSU's that have several separate rales for the 12v line, is that you can inadvertantly draw more current from one rale than it's spec'd for, and drop the voltage under load. But this is not a problem seen under load only.

Those are easy to measure, & I don't think that's the problem here. But check um out, rule them out, and if not, on to the 'other' disease symptoms the computer is displaying.
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a c 379 G Storage
June 30, 2011 4:09:04 PM

John_VanKirk said:
Very nice education article! Thanks Hawkeye


No problem. We are all here to learn.

I had a couple WD 250G's (WD2500KS) in raid 1 that used to drop out approximately every 6 months. I'd just pop the drive and reinsert it and have the controller rebuild the array. When it worked, it worked great, but when it would drop a drive, it was time consuming. I eventually converted the raid 1 into two single drives.
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July 9, 2011 11:10:14 PM

John_VanKirk said:
Hi Marlen,

I would guess the 'noises' were from one of the HDD's that was reading or writing when you were active on the keyboard or playing the audio file.
The BIOS is a separate issue. You probably alread F10 the BIOS to Save and exit, which refreshes your CMOS settings. You might also F12 or equiv in the BIOS which Saves your CMOS settings under a 'name' for retrieval later if needed.

First thing to do for the HDD's is go to Disk Management, and in the lower graphical area, review and list what the Disk 1 and Disk 2 rows say, under both the Disk Status column and the Volume Status column where you should have a Cadet Blue band above them. That should indicate if there is a problem with one or both of the disks.


Sorry about the delay in getting back to the group. I was able to work with my system without the RAID ) setup and am now getting back to diagnosing the problem.

First, let me mention that I' using the ASUS Rampage Extreme III MB. It has a "glowing circular arrow" on the rear panle of the MB next to the USB inputs for the mouse and keyboard. When I was having trouble a KVM switch - I pressed that button thinking I could reset the USB functionality and get the KVM to work (even thoug I had no idea what that glowing arrow did).

I went to the manual and found out that the arrow actually reset the CMOS - which was also mentioned here as a possible problem. Seeing that my issues started after that - I bring it up to see if that was the problem.

I did go into DISK Management and this is what I found:

DISK 1: Blue Cadet (NTFS Healthy Boot Disk)
DISK 2: Blue Cadet (RAW - Healthy Primary Partition - although I can't access it and I believe it was the one of the disks of my RAID 0 setup)

DISK 3: NTFS Healthy Partition (This is an external USB drive that is working properly)

CR-ROM - DVD Player

Now - above "DISK 1" I have "DISK 0". I believe this is the 2nd drive of my original RAID 0 setup. It has a black bar and is referred to as "Unknown, Un-allocated, and Not initialized)

Given this information - is the original RAID 0 setup "salvageable"? I don't need any of the data that is on those drives, but am still curious as to what happened and what would be the best way to move forward. Given Hawkeye22's article on WD Drives and RAID setups, I may be inclined to not run RAID.....

Does this info help in shedding any light?

Again - any help is greatly appreciated....

Marlen
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a c 104 G Storage
July 10, 2011 7:35:20 PM

Hi Marlen,

Well, when you reset the CMOS with the computer on, that may have corrupted your RAID 0 volume. As you know when you lose a RAID 0 drive, or have corrupted data, you can't get it back since the data is striped one drive to the other.

The DISK 0 with the black band above it means it is Unallocated space, and not initialized means it has no disk signature on it.
You might try the Aeseus Data Recovery Wzard (free edition) to see if it can recover any data from the Disk2/Disk0 volume, but I am not very optimistic.
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July 21, 2011 4:07:56 PM

Best answer selected by marlen_30.
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