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[Complex] Broken RAID 1 - Drives display to OS seperately

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July 1, 2012 7:11:37 AM

I have a NON-BOOTABLE (just data) RAID 1 (2x1TB HDD) drive which was 'broken' when the IntelICH10 controller on the motherboard died.

I purchased the exact same motherboard revision, and flashed the BIOS to the one I had before.

After installing Win7 and the Intel Rapid Storage program (I used to use Matrix, but installed this as Intel claims its the newer version of Matrix and is the same...)

It recognizes the RAID 1 during boot, and claims that the drives are "Normal". However it subsequently runs ChkDsk and finds tons of corrupted files, etc, and terminates with some sort of error. Windows then boots.

When I look in Intel Rapid Storage Manager, it even displays the name I assigned to the RAID 1 Drive (MediaAndStuff), and tells me the drives are "Normal".

The OS however, does not see the RAID 1 as a single virtual drive - it sees 2 separate drives.

One of them is a 1TB drive with a few seemingly random files on it which I think are Windows system files (bizarre because I never installed Windows on this drive).

The other array member is called "System Reserved" and is 100MB; basically it looks like the partition that the OS reserves for itself.


This is doubly bizarre to me:

1. I never installed Windows on this array, but it seems to have some files from Windows, and a recovery partition, nothing else.

2. The RAID array is clearly broken, the drives present separately, with one being the full 1TB partition with a few random files, and the other just a 100MB partition, missing the entire rest of the drive.

I'm not expecting to be able to retrieve any data off of this (it was just some media stuff that I'm not concerned about), but I'm really confused as to how this happened.

(I know RAID is just for uptime) but this really discredits RAID 1 in my view, clearly the drive was corrupted somehow - I've always considered it a fairly robust option in terms of disk redundancy.


I looked around online, no one seems to have presented this kind of problem yet... I was wondering if anyone here was familiar with it?

a c 322 G Storage
July 1, 2012 2:05:19 PM

If the drives were attached when you installed WIndows 7 to the OS drive, it is very possible that the SRP went somewhere other than the OS drive, which is why I (and most others here) recommend doing the Windows install with no other HDD or SSDs attached other than the OS drive.

The easiest fix would be to back up the data and either rebuild the bios controlled RAID, or just use windows disk management to mirror them, which is not as subject to the whims of the bios and hardware breaking.
a b G Storage
July 1, 2012 2:28:21 PM

you can also probably recover most of the files with recuva, or easeus programs, if you care
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July 1, 2012 9:48:22 PM

Ah RealBeast - an excellent point - this was actually more than a year ago (didn't have time to work on it since then) and I can't actually recall if the drives were attached during the first install back then, but it certainly explains how Windows got onto the drives without ever having been installed formally.

I'll look at some of the recovery programs, but I have backups, so it was more just out of curiosity.

Thanks!
a b G Storage
July 1, 2012 10:13:22 PM

agreed with RealBeast best solution back up your data and scrub the drives and remake the RAID1 array.

that 100mb system reserved patition is normal (boot information partition) just windows has assigned a drive letter for some reason it happens
!