RAID 0 problems and essential data recovery

By hatman3345
Jul 7, 2008
  1. Dear Techspot,

    after spending a fair old bit of coin on a computer a couple of years back it was to my dispare that I recently had to replace my motherboard (the thing really messed up; it wouldnt even get as far as keyboard initialisation so no BIOS control). So, Ive changed from a socket 939 MSI K8N SLI NForce 4 motherboard to a Socket 939 ASUS A8N Deluxe.

    Then comes the problem, the HDD's Raid config. I have 2 Western Digital 200Gb drives in Raid 0. After fitting the motherboard and stupidly not noting which drive was in which SATA RAID port originally, things only got worse. I plugged them in and couldn't get them to show up on the main bios page as "first SATA master" and "second SATA master" as I believe they should [by the way at any time in this thread I may be completely wrong]. My IDE drives show up fine but this is my first point of confusion.

    My NVIDIA controller on the advanced settings of my bios does not detect the HDDs at all but the "silicon raid controller" will detect the drives in the type shown on start up (not in the bios main page). After changing the settings with both of these controllers and changing the SATA RAID ports the HDDs were in (there are 4 available), bootup would always end in "Disk boot failure. Insert system disc".

    Then I really messed things up. I went to the silicon raid controller bios menu and created a raid array. This may or may not have accessed the drives and overwritten the original raid boot data.

    So now here I am. Im desperate to keep information that was on the HDDs. There is some recent data that I didnt get to back up. I heard if it's all gone a bit wrong I could get a seperate IDE HDD, install windows on there and use a raid repair application to gain access to the drives through My Computer.

    I hope I have provided enough info on this drawn out situation and that someone can shed light on things. I'm well over my head with this!
  2. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    I think they show up as one drive in 0.

    Have you set the Bios for raid operation?
  3. hatman3345

    hatman3345 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Sorry CCT, can you ellaborate on 'the show up as one' comment. If you're referring to the "first SATA master" on the main screen of the bios, all I get is NONE next to it.
  4. hatman3345

    hatman3345 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    My bios has been enabled in the sense that I have enabled the silicon raid controller and the nvidia controller independantly and at the same time.

    With the silicon raid controller I can press F4 on boot and come to the raid bios menu. Both HDDs show here with the port they are plugged into and the model names i.e


    (the X's are just numbers I cant remember to hand)

    It was in this screen that I stupidly created a new array upon everything else I tried failing!
  5. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

  6. hatman3345

    hatman3345 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    To Avoid Data Loss I...(?)

    Thanks for the post. Ive had a good look at that article and it does confirm where I was getting to if I wanted to delete data from my HDDs ie:

    1) Enable Raid
    2) Create Array
    3) Create Raid driver floppy
    4) Run XP disc and use 3rd party raid driver

    I am in the process of trying to keep my data and know the literature is against me. Is anyone experienced in this situation? As was posted in my original thread, is it possible to install XP on a seperate IDE drive that is not configured in raid so to get to the desktop and use a raid repair program? Will the drives show up at all on My Computer without the drivers in place?

    Thanks again
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,153   +598

    raid-0 is a nightmare.

    just to make the explanation simple, assume two drives A and B.

    Raid-0 operates by spreading records across the drives.
    Take a single file FILE1 and 10 records in it.
    Drive A will have all the EVEN numbered records, 0,2,4,6,8
    Drive B will have all the ODD numbered records, 1,3,5,7,9

    If you had stopped as soon as you knew you couldn't determine the order of
    the plugging, then this might have been a doable task -- by a pay for service

    Now that you've crossed your hands and created another raid-0,
    it's all trashed I'm afraid.

    Oh how painfull ! :dead:
  8. hatman3345

    hatman3345 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Any further recovery thoughts?

    And as clear as day as that post is Jo Im still looking for answers but that has been a very understandable post. Thank you!

    Im looking at a huge data loss right in the face then arent I. That seems almost certain but I would like to know what all these raid array repair packages are and what they do in cases like these. Are they not for RAID 0? Is it possible to repare any raid 0 array? Can corrupted raid 0 drives be detected through My Computer? Do recovery firms not handle RAID 0?
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,153   +598

    All options from your side have only made it more difficult. Some data recovery firm
    might be able to look at it, but I would call and describe fully what you have posted
    here -- I think you're up a creek without a paddle.

    IMO, home users should never use Raid and especially Raid-0. The risks are just too
    high as you have experienced.
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