Raid Problems/Question

I have an MSI Ne0-2 FIS2R motherboard, which has the onboard promise raid controller (30278). Originally I set up my system with two SATA hard disks in Raid 0 configuration and using Windows XP home. Everything worked fine for a while then one day I booted the machine and during the detection phase it showed the array was offline, so essentially I could not boot the machine. Using the in-built diagnostic I tried to find out what happened. It appeared that the promise controller no longer recognised one of the disks as part off the array. Reading through the promise support, I think that the reserved sector on one of the drives became corrupted. Unfortunately there seems to be no fix for this, so essentially you have to rebuild the array, loosing all the data in the process. I did this, and once again the system worked fine for a while and then the same problem occurred. I have now stopped using the drives in RAID configuration until I can understand why this is so unstable.
Is this a common issue in general, or particular to this mobo, raid controller etc.? The system was moderately over clocked, could this be part of the problem? Looking for enlightenment.
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  1. Well, that's the problem with raid 0, it makes you extremely vulnerable.

    First, the standard questions apply: are your drivers current, is your BIOS recent, did you check viruses, did you do anything which may have caused the problem, etc

    Second, if you redefine the array in the Promise Bios (with exactly the same parameters, like stripe size) you need not lose your data, although you do risk so (you take that risk anyway by running RAID 0).

    Third, OCing the system may render it unstable; an unstable system can do anything. But it seems unlikely to me that OCing the system destabilizes the system in such a way that it corrupts the reserverd sector twice (and only that).

    Fourth, I would have tried to swap the drives. The promise controller keeps track of the drives in an array by reading the reserved sector; it might recreate the array by itself.

    Fifth, there is no such thing as a stable computer. Every OS, driver, application, Bios, but also the hardware components like HDD, controller, CPU, PSU, memory may fail.

    Last: don't use raid 0 if you dont need it. If you do need it make sure you understand the risk you're taking, and take appropriate actions.
  2. Thanks, for such a thorough reply. Drivers and BIOS should have been up to date. I do the live update procedure on a regular basis.
    Still ultimately I think you are right, in that you should only use raid 0 if you really need it. Fortunately because this is a relatively new computer there was very liitle lost that could not be put back. Now the system is non raid configuration though, I do notice the difference in speed with applications loading so there is some performance loss. Better safe than sorry though!
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