Sudden Boot Problem with RAID 1 array

By sakhurst
Mar 24, 2009
  1. The problem: PC with single boot HD and 2 disk RAID 1 array (data) is stable for over a year, then suddenly develops boot problem. Weird part is, it boots just fine if I unplug the drives in RAID array, and continues to work fine if I plug them in while Windows is running. The array rebuilds itself, but is otherwise normal (data accessible, etc.).

    If I reboot with all drives plugged in the boot process hangs after POST, with the error message "boot drive not found". If I try to boot from the Windows disk to repair, I get a BSOD once the loading process is finished. If I turn the PC off, unplug the RAID 1 array and reboot, the system boots right into windows.

    I don't know why this problem suddenly appeared (no new installs, etc.), or how to fix it. Any ideas?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,525

  3. sakhurst

    sakhurst TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Neither. Chkdsk reports no problems with any of the three disks. No Malware either.

    The one development is the error message has changed when one or both of the RAID array disks are plugged in during boot. It now spits out the following gibberish (at least to me):

    Trap 00000000D=============General Protection Fault================
    tr=0028 cr0=00000011 cr2=00000000 cr3=00000000
    gdt limit=03FF base=00017000 idt limit=07FF base=00017400
    cs:eip=0008:0031A66C ss:esp=0010:00061FE8 errcode=000C
    flags=00010086 ebx=003013B1 ecx=00001618 edx=53400030 ds=0010 es=0010
    edi=0037164F esi=00051D68 ebp=00061FC8 cr0=00000011 fs=0030 gs=0000
  4. sakhurst

    sakhurst TS Rookie Topic Starter

    To reiterate:

    When I try to boot with the RAID array plugged in, the error message above (Trap 00000000D etc) appears
    When I try to boot with the Windows CD, the error message above (Trap 00000000D etc) appears - doesn't even start to load the CD. This also happens if I unplug all HDs and only try to boot from the CD
    Only when I pull out the Windows CD, disconnect the RAID array and boot from the single drive does Windows boot up as normal. Once booted up, I can plug in the RAID array and/or load the Windows CD and the system functions as normal.

    I've scanned for malware and disk errors - all tests are clean. I even went as far as reflashing the BIOS. Nothing works. I'm thinking this has to be at a hardware level, since the Windows CD won't even try to load if all HDs are disconnected.

    Any ideas how to fix this? I would even consider reformatting and reinstalling...but I wouldn't be able to do that since the Windows CD won't load.
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,525

    If you have already backed up your data you may want to install clean (remove the partitions)
    This could easily be a Virus infection, or even a faulty drive (another reason to have backups completed)
  6. sakhurst

    sakhurst TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have backed up my data, but I can't reinstall won't load the disk at startup.
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,525

    Remove the Partitions

    Now that response will likely get you upset. So I'll elaborate
    Plug in one drive only, download Gparted Live Boot CD, and remove the Partition (do not create a new Partition, and do not format)
    Then do the other drive the same

    Then plug them both in again
    Set Raid up again
    Install Windows

    You know what took me the time was getting the exact link to Gparted ;)
  8. sakhurst

    sakhurst TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the help kimsland...but there are no partitions. There are three physical hard is the boot drive with the system on it. The other two are connected in a RAID 1 array. This configuration shows up as two drives total in Windows.

    I don't think the RAID array is the problem either, considering I cannot boot to CD even through both drives in the array are disconnected. I think the problem lays elsewhere.
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,525

    Wouldn't it be sad if all it is, is a faulty CD Drive itself :rolleyes:

    By the way, all hard drives have at least a single Partition (across the entire drive) to allow data to be put on it
  10. sakhurst

    sakhurst TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm now fairly certain this is a hardware problem. I left the computer off during the night to see if it might be related to cooling, but now the computer won't even POST. It turns on, but there's no beeps, nor any signal to the monitor.

    Any guesses on what part is most likely failing? I'm guessing it's probably the power supply, but I thought I'd get a second opinion before going out and buying something I can't return.
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,525

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