Setting up RAID 01 ?

  fpg 22:17 06 Oct 07

After an unfortunate HDD crash in an old XP machine I decided to have a new Vista PC with 3 HDD.
SATA Slot 4 is the boot drive with the Vista O/S. SATA slots 1&2 have identical 500gb HDDs setup as RAID 01 (Mirror)

The bios says the RAID is "Healthy" but the RAID drives are not recognised in (My) "Computer".

I realise that Mirror will only show 1 drive but both are invisible.

MB is Asus P5N-E SLI with NVidia Raid. I have downloaded board updates.

Any RAID experts about to make the RAID Mirror visible?

  PO79 12:17 07 Oct 07

OK I'm not 100% sure about this so don't act on it until it's confirmed by someone more knowledgeable, but I think you may have to convert your RAID 0 disks to Dynamic as opposed to basic, and then it will be seen in my computer.

As stated not entirely sure, so wait for confirmation.

  I am Spartacus 15:17 07 Oct 07

On my Asus (P5W DH) motherboard I had to run the JMicron RAID Configurer tool to create my array.

However 2 of my disks were IDE using the JMicron controller so you may have to run a similar tool for Nvidia to create the array.

  fpg 23:01 07 Oct 07

During the past WEEK every day I have expored and tried to install mirror raid. I downloaded a manual from NVIDIA (XP only available but it could suit) it is 18 pages in landscape. It starts with installing drivers on a FLOPPY !. This is now 2007 and Floppy drives are not in modern vista PCs. So I tried using a USB drive and this caused the blue screen of death with Vista H P.

It is so frustrating - you end up wondering if every computer expert employed is matched with two bloody idiots who design the RAID installation mechanisms.

Or is it just me?

  UncleP 02:59 08 Oct 07

My present computer has two 230Gb disks organised as a RAID1 array for the system disk (C:). It was set up by the supplier so I didn't have your problem of recognition. The array was later degraded by a repair firm, so I had to spend some time working out how to rebuild it. So I can provide a few random comments which might provide some assistance. And yes, the NVRaid drivers came on a floppy - but fortunately I had specified a floppy drive as I have a lot of old stuff which I'm gradually transferring to CD/DVD.

(a) the best place to look for the array is not in My Computer, but in the Disk Management page. It should appear as a single entry in the list at the bottom of the RHS as 'Disk n', where n is an integer and 'Disk 0' is the system disk. If it is there, the entry should give useful information about its present status, and there are two menus which enable you to make it active, format it, apply or change the drive letter etc.

(b) on my computer you could check the status of the array and its component disks either by pressing F10 when invited so to do when booting, or by running the NvRaid utility installed (I think) in one of the Windows sub-directories.

(c) although NvRaid contained an option to rebuild the array, this did not work - it did nothing, no error messages or anything helpful. I eventually found that there was an alternative utility, NVidia RAID Manager, on one of the CDs supplied by the motherboard manufacturer (ABIT) which worked fine. I don't recall whether there were other functions available within this utility.

I'm writing this from memory - never advisable, but it's late and I should go to bed. I will check the details tomorrow. If you need more info, post back and I'll try to find it.

  fpg 16:34 08 Oct 07

It is good of you to give several clues arising from your experience with NVRAID. I have printed out your notes and will use them in another session with the recalcitrant computer.

  Azamat 10:32 14 Oct 07

Hi I have a problem...

I used to have an asus motherboard but it blew up, I had 2 identical Sata hardrives raided together it was raid 0+2.

(Software or hardware raid I duno I think it was probably software the motherboard was asus A8n deluxe)

Anyway the board blew up / shorted out much to my annoyance. I now have a new motherboard and plugged one of the drives in, it said that the disk cannot be booted so I formatted it and it worked (I’m in desperate need to have my pc working as I’m at Uni so I formatted 1 of the drives just to work with) that leaves the other disk with the mirrored image / exact duplicate of my old data on right? I desperately need to get data off of this old hard drive (I hope I’m right in saying that the drive is Mirrored and not striped)

What should I do to get the data off, I don’t fancy raiding these 2 drives together again as I’m only a novice when it comes to raid and only know the theory (I don’t want to accidentally delete the Info off of it)

I am familiar with setting master and slave drives shall I just link my old hard drive as a Slave drive so in windows I can at least se the files on the drive and copy them across. (Haven’t done it yet because I’m very cautious)

To put the situation another way virtually imagine one of my drives has failed (formatted) leaving the other drive how can I now boot this single drive or access its directory at least.

I expected that when a raid array (especially mirrored) is damaged (or one disk is taken out) you just leave the other disk in and the other drive will seamlessly take over. But that seems not to be the case.

Any help would be most grateful =D

  UncleP 14:35 14 Oct 07

It would have been better for you to have started a new thread. This one appears moribund - members may not bother to read it - and you will not be notified by e-mail if you do get a reply. That said, it's not a major breach of etiquette, but apologies are due to fpg if he wants to take issue.

Concerning your problem, there are only two RAID configurations which use two HDs - RAID0 (striped) and RAID1 (mirrored). The bad news is that RAID0 is not a genuine RAID system - it has no redundancy - it's just a way of getting a slightly better performance from the HDs. As the data is striped across both disks, if one is damaged you cannot rebuild the system or recover your data from the one remaining.

The slightly better news is that, if you were indeed running a RAID1 system, the OS and data is copied onto both HDs and may be available for recovery. I say 'may be' because the redundancy protects against faults or failure of one of the HDs, not against a motherboard crash. It is not unusual for such a crash to corrupt the contents of the HD(s), which might explain why the system would not boot. (I assume that the new motherboard is identical to the original.)

If, as you are considering, you mount the remaining disk as a slave in an operating computer, there are three possibilities. Make sure, by the way, that you don't run anything that will try to write to this disk - it can only complicate matters.

(a) the OS recognises the HD and can read its contents. Copy off everything you can to a reliable HD eg the system disk or an external drive. You may find that some data files have been corrupted; it might be possible to recover some of these, but it's not easy and depends on the type and level of corruption.

(b) the OS cannot read the HD. Look at the list of drives labelled Diskn (n is an integer) at the bottom right of the Disk Management page. If it is there, make a note of the status diagnostics for that entry and at the top of the page. Generally you will require a data recovery program to access your files. The best (and most expensive) do a low-level sector-by-sector read of the HD and make a copy elsewhere to be used for analysis. Again, best to avoid those which write to the suspect disk.

(c) if you can find no trace of the HD, and all the connections are sound, it's a sign that something is seriously wrong with it, and it's a job for the professionals. Costs a bomb, but may be worth it if the files are sufficiently important. I think it unlikely that this will prove to be the case, especially as the other HD is still functioning normally.

Good Luck!

fpg: sorry about all this, but quicker and easier than getting Azamat to transfer to a new thread. Did you solve your problem in the end? I'd be interested to know how it all panned out.

  fpg 16:11 14 Oct 07

We appreciate the good helper (yes, another thread).
I solved the "invisible" part by rechecking the bios settings a) enabled RAID with SATA slots 1& 2 and b) then on reboot in bios F10 to set the array of 2 disks.
1 disk then showed in My Computer as expected with the mirror arrangement. I should have left it there but I decided to test that both mirror disks were in data parallel. Whatever I did upset Vista and broke the mirror. Bad luck!
I am now starting again and have formatted the 2 HDD for a fresh mirror and will report back.

  UncleP 21:18 14 Oct 07

Thanks for the report. Call them RAID1 rather than mirror disks and you'll avoid the sound of tinkling glass and the accompanying seven years of bad luck!

  fpg 18:21 06 Nov 07

Just to close this thread - thanks to advisors re RAID. It is hard to say which steps, and in which order finally solved it. The key is to start in the bios after you have 2 formatted HDDs.
Search the bios menus for a RAID config setup. I also downloaded vista software for the motherboard (ASUS).
All is now working with only a 5% doubt because with RAID you only see one drive (mirror) and have to accept all is OK on both drives when it says "HEALTHY MIRROR" in the bios.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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