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ONE Gigabyte non-raid boot invalidates array??!?!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DouglasWmSmith, Aug 22, 2009.

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  1. DouglasWmSmith

    DouglasWmSmith Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
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    Problem: motherboard (Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3P (rev. 3.3)) raid controllers are each recognising first HDD in respective 2-HDD raid array as having 'nonraid' configuration.

    Both raid 2-HDD arrays have been running without problems FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS. It is clear that all HDD's must still be in good condition. Read below: it must be only Gigabyte's controller that is mistaken.

    Consistent problem behavior:
    PC posts normally. Upon starting each raid controller, the first HDD is listed as nonraid configuration and the second is recognised as raid.

    As the the Gigabyte raid array is the virtual BOOT disk, a disk read error occurs, the system fails to load and booting stops.

    How it happened:
    The system has been booting perfectly for two years. At POST, it always recognised NO HDDs (because they were all being handled by Raid controllers). After post, each raid controller would start and show each had two HDDs in a valid matrix (see configuration below).

    However, in the past months the system would 'hang' when running some programs in Windows XP.

    To try to fix this problem I inspected the BIOS settings over several weeks. I reset various BIOS values and the sytem continued rebooting after every change.

    The hang problem persisted, so in BIOS I selected 'Fail safe defauls' in BIOS and rebooted.

    Unfortunately, the 'Fail safe' configuration does not include RAID support, so at Post BIOS DID recognise the separate HDDs.

    Of course, the system could not load without the raid controllers switched 'on' (the data on either stripe HDD were meaningless without RAID controller).

    Such mis-boots aren't a problem with my other PC (ASUS MB) and I did not think this was a fatal error on the Gigabyte system: I just restarted and selected RAID support for both controllers in BIOS; however, upon rebooting at Post suddenly the HDDs WERE recognised (and noted at being 'controlled by Raid controller') - this was different to what Post displayed before.

    When the raid controllers now load (after the initial post screen), each recognises the first HDD in each array at having nonraid Configuration. When the system tries to boot from the Gigabyte RAID array, a disk read error occurs, the system fails to load and booting stops.

    How I have tried to fix it:
    I flashed gigabyte's newest available BIOS version (F7) (no change in behavior)

    I do not know how to flash new RAID controllers and assume this was included in F7.

    I unplugged the SATA cables from the HDDs and restarted the MB with no HDDs attached and no RAID support in BIOS. This was an attempt to make the MB 'forget' it had ever looked at these HDDs before.

    I then reenaabled Raid Support and rebooted and turned off the machine.

    I then reattached the SATA cables and restarted the PC, hoping that the MB would look at the HDDs as new RAID drives.

    Nothing has helped!

    Note THE HDDS WERE WORKING PERFECTLY UNTIL I DID ONE START UP WITHOUT RAID SUPPORT. THE DATA ON THE HDDS COULD HARDLY HAVE BEEN MADE CORRUPT IN THIS ONE STARTUP. Has the MB written something to the first HDD in each matrix to deconfigure it during that one startup? Or is the MB simply confused?

    Here is my RAID configuration:

    Overview:
    Gigabyte RAID array holds two HDDs in 'Sripe' confiration
    - the Gigabyte array is the virtual BOOT disk
    Intel RAID array holds two HDDs in 'Mirror' configuraiton.
    - this is a virtual disk for archives and is not a boot disk

    Details:
    Gigabyte PCIE-to-SATAII/IDE Raid Controller BIOS v 1.06.59
    Type:Stripe
    HDD Drive Size Status
    0 WDC WD2500KS-00MJB0 250GB Non-RAID*
    1 WDC WD2500KS-00MJB0 250GB Raid Inside

    Intel(R) Matrix Storage Manager option ROM v 6.0.0.1022 ICH8RwRAID5
    Type:Mirror
    Port HDD Size Status
    0 Hitachi72101 931.5GB Non-Raid Disk*
    1 Hitachi72101 931.5GB Member Disk(0)**

    *These are the disks that had normal RAID status until I booted ONCE without RAID support
    **This status of this drive says RAID(0) but it is a RAID 1 Matrix. I think it is numbered '0' because it is the first recognised RAID drive in the matrix.

    I have found 'RAID recovery' utilities but am concerned they will not work on these particular RAID controllers and may even damage the HDDs permanently if I try to use them. If you can't help, pls recommend a good 3rd party utility to me!

    = Douglas Smith
    [email protected]
     
  2. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    39,203
    Have you attempted to rebuild the array?

    I assume you have a backup image of the arrary since raid of any type is NOT a backup plan. Have you attempted to recreate the array and restore your backup image?

    It does you little good now however this is one of the many reasons I never recommend onboard raid. If someone really must have raid, then buy a real raid card like a promise or highpoint raid controller.
     
  3. DouglasWmSmith

    DouglasWmSmith Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Yoiks - what kind of loser takes the time to even post such unhelpfull drivel?
     
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    39,203
    Gee you did not answer if you attempted to rebuild the array and restore your image. If you run raid without doing an image, who is the loser???

    Raid of any type is NOT a backup plan.
     
  5. Pookie

    Pookie

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    198
    Do you have another drive like is in your array? IF so try and clone the drive (acronis or ghost or whatever you have) that is recognized in as in the raid array and replace the one that is not recognized as part of an array w/ it. This should put 2 drives in the array and might fix your problem.
     
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