Hi, I want to preface my question with some background, so hopefully you don't mind some light reading. I really appreciate your interest in helping me, and I want to give as much context as possible. That being said, let's get started...
I wanted to build a RAID 1 array for my Windows 7 64bit pc using two 2TB drives for data storage, but not for my main boot disc. I bought one of the cheaper hardware raid controllers I could find, but it's main software is from Silicon Image, and I think they're fairly common. Anyway, after I first built the array and loaded the appropriate drivers in Windows, I had to use some hardware management software I had to format the array to NTFS and assign it a drive letter. Everything was working just fine for a few weeks and then I starting to hear a clicking from one of the drives. I RMA'd the drive with WD and got them to send me a replacement in advance before I returned the clicking one. This is where my confusion starts.
First off, I wasn't sure how it would rebuild the array with a fresh, unformatted drive. Would it be able to format it to NTFS and then rebuild it? Or would it somehow magically turn to NTFS when all the data was copied over? Anyway, I yanked the failing drive and booted it up just to see what would happen if the array thought a drive had failed. It continued to work, but it would show during the boot sequence that there was only one drive in the logical array instead of two. Not quite as flashy a warning as I had expected, but it knew that it was missing a drive, so that was good. Anyway, Windows still saw the drive, so nothing bad had happened, aside from the array being unprotected, of course. I turned off the machine, added the brand new replacement drive, and booted into the RAID bios. I tried to rebuild the array and it said I couldn't. I tried to format the drive in that bios, but it didn't really give me any options as to what format I watnted, and it just started doing something. It was taking forever so I cancelled it, went into Windows, and formatted the new drive myself (quick format, like I had done to the array originally). When going back into the controller bios, it still didn't want to rebuild the array. I decided I would just delete the array and create a new one manually, telling it to copy the data off the original good drive onto the replacement drive. About 12 hours later (!), it was finally done, but it won't show up in Windows in any form. My hard drive software doesn't see it, and it doesn't show up in Windows Disc Management either.
So that's where I'm at right now. I've tried rebooting, and the controller thinks everything is great, but that's clearly not the case. If anyone has any ideas about how to get this fixed, I would greatly appreciate it. And, less immediately, if anyone knows why it wouldn't rebuild itself when I tried initially, that would be great to know, too. If it just worked as expected, this would all be much easier. Of course, I've never worked with a hardware RAID before, and the controller came with sh*t for documentation, so it could be user error.
Anyway, thanks so much again for any insight you may have.