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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I have been using my system for almost a year now, which includes the P4C800-E Deluxe board, and a pair of SATA Segate 200GB Barracuda drives (ST3200822AS) in a RAID1 configuration.
Recently, one of the drives reported a SMART error, so I got a new HD and replaced the drive with errors. However the BIOS would not boot off of the 'good' drive, it would only give an error to 'insert media with a bootable OS'.

I had version 1016 of the BIOS, and thought that may be the problem, as later versions mention a 'patch for SATA HDD detection', so I upgraded the BIOS to version 1023.

I was able to set the boot sequence such that the valid drive could boot (in hindsight, this may have been available in version 1016, but I did not see it at the time). Windows XP came up, and the Intel RAID driver detected the second drive as not valid, and began the restore procedure.
Since the drive was 200GB, it was taking a long time to finish, so at around 15% I left it on for the night.

The next day I found that the computer is in a continuous re-booting sequence, where it would reset, flash the ASUS BIOS splash screen for about 2 seconds, then reboot! It would not get to the RAID bios info screen during boot. I could not hit <DEL> to enter BIOS settings or any other key to stop the rebooting. Once I unplugged the HD's the BIOS setup could be loaded normally. No amount of parameter changing allowed for the drives to boot. Also, putting in any of the 3 drives I had (1 original, 1 original with smart errors, and the new drive) in various combinations would all cause the came re-booting sequence.
I finally disabled the Intel RAID controller, so that the BIOS saw the 2 drives as individual drives, and that allowed windows to boot from the 'good' drive. but of course there is no RAID mirror.

I even tried backing the BIOS version back to the original 1016, but it has the same effect of not getting past the ASUS BIOS splash screen, and the RAID not working.

It seems that there is something that changed in the Intel RAID controller itself. Has anybody experienced something similar? or know if this is a RAID controller failure? busted southbridge??

also after more investigation, it seems that the Intel Gigabit ethernet controller is down as well. dunno if that ties into the southbridge or not..


Thanks for any suggestions,

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the link... however I am not having problems installing a RAID, but rather my RAID has failed. The RAID1 was doing good for a year now, but when replacing one of the HD's it seems to have gone downhill. The issues with rebooting before the BIOS is finished makes me think that it is an actual controller issue.

david
 

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@ dmarten
ksteiger's #5 post in that link discusses failed RAID arrays and offers some help.
 

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Please explain what method you used to update your bios ?????? many people have been using the live update method without reading that you must download an install the "newer" version of live update and DONT use ez-bios past version 1019 ?????

so >> how did you perform your bios updates ?????



regards

joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had used the updated version of the bois utility from Asus to upgrade to 1019, it would not suggest 1021 as a download option. So I did use EZ-bios to up to 1021, but have not messed with it after that.

More investigation turned up something else.. I can still boot off of the single HD if I turn off the RAID controller and just use it as a standard sata drive, everything seems good. But when enabling the RAID is when I have the repeating boot problem *when the drive is connected*.

So I took my drive only to a friends that had a fairly new system similar to mine, using a P4P800-E Deluxe, and the same problem happens there!! I connect the sata drive, enable RAID, and get a infinite loop of resets before the bios finishes its startup.! (it never shows the intel RAID bios screen) what is going on there?

so it seems like its not bios related, not southbridge related, but somehow drive related. In single sata mode it boots, but enable raid, reset.
What could be on the drive to cause the bios to reset if RAID is enabled??

thanks,
david
 

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I am not all that familiar with raid so bare with me until one of our raid guru's jumps in here; but isnt this what the warnign about a raid set-up means: when you lose one of the drives in the raid set-up / you lose the raid set-up ?????? unless its the mirrored raid set-up ?????

I think you will find (guessing now !!) you will need to back-up your data on the older remaining drive / erase the drive with a drive eraser and start over ??????

anyone ?????


regards

joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had it configured as a RAID 1, which is a mirror.. so the data is not lost.. I can still boot from that drive, just not when the RAID controller is 'enabled'.

dm
 

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@ dmarten
After re-reading your original post, I think I see a bit more clearly your problem. You did try to repair the RAID1 array, the process just failed overnight when you weren't looking so you don't know quite where it failed. Then you tried several things which didn't help and may have made things worse, tho the board/BIOS seems to be uncooperative and non-user-friendly.
I am not sure you followed the repair procedure described by ksteiger
After replacing a failed RAID 1 drive, the PC would not boot to Windows (where I expected the Intel RAID Accelerator Utility to rebuild the array). The Intel RAID BIOS options are few:

1. Create RAID volume
2. Delete RAID volume
3. Reset Disks to Non-RAID
4. Exit

Long story short, the option to select is "3. Reset Disks to Non-RAID." Although there is a vague warning following this selection, Intel says it is safe to continue if you are in RAID 1 -- of course breaking a RAID 0 array would result in the loss of all data. Once the disks have been set to Non-RAID, you can then build the array anew without data loss.
as even he said it is not intuitive, but I think you may have lost the potential to repair easily thru those instructions. I would have a look at clintfan's other excellent tutorial Asus P4P800-P4C800 Series: "RAID-Ready" Setup on Intel ICH5R to see if you can glean any info that would be useful...sorry I am not of more help and keep us informed of your progress
 

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One thing that I would do here is IMMEDIATELY do an image backup of the good data before you do much more. If all else fails, you can then simply wipe everything and rebuild the RAID array from scratch and restore your drive image.

I use external drives for my RAID images. I run RAID-0 for performance, but the technique would be pretty much the same.

It's also possible, though I'm not sure how, that the RAID drivers have somehow become corrupted. AFTER you make the image, you might try reloading them and then see if it'll rebuild. I still favor the clean start approach.
 
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