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Windows 7: RAID1 split drives, now can't see erased HDD

26 Jun 2012   #1

Win 7 64 bit, service pack 1
RAID1 split drives, now can't see erased HDD

I'm running RAID1 with two 1tb drives. My RAID went critical and split the drives. One drive was listed as LD 2 -1. The other is listed as <single disk>. I was able to unplug either individually and boot into windows. I decided to erase one of them and planned to rebuid the array afterwards.
At this point, I can see the erased HDD in BIOS and in RAID setup, but it will not boot to Windows with the erased drive connected. It starts to boot into Windows, then gives a brief flash of BSOD, then reboots itself. It will make it to the windows recovery screen. Using Startup Repair it finds "partition table does not have a valid system partition".
I once got it to load to windows with the erased disk plugged in (not sure what I did different) but the disk did not show up on Disk Management or Device Manager.
How do I get this recently erased disk to be recognized so I can rebuild with RAIDxpert?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

I am not familiar with RAID because I avoid setting one up myself. RAID was originally designed with servers in mind and not for the home user because of problems it causes like what you are experiencing. If you really want help getting yours set up again, I can see about finding someone who can help you. Before I do, though, I would recommend you read Why RAID is (usually) a Terrible Idea - Puget Custom Computers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2012   #3

Win 7 64 bit, service pack 1

At this point, I would be happy to give up on RAID. I still need to get my erased HDD to function though. I could schedule regular backups on it and be fine. How do I get my erased HDD to be seen / function? How do I get rid of the RAID that is "critical" without erasing data on the functioning HDD?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Jun 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Are you running a hardware RAID or software RAID? Please give details on your RAID configuration.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jul 2012   #5

Win 7 64 bit, service pack 1

I'm using a software RAID. I access it during bootup or after in windows by RAIDXpert. I've been running a RAID1 configuration with the thought of having a constant backup in case a harddrive goes down. It has been lots of trouble though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

You need to put the drives in the original RAID configuration and boot into the RAID setup (prior to Windows booting) and see how the drives show up. It sounds like the RAID wasn't split correctly, because normally when running RAID 1 you can remove a drive and install a blank drive, and the array will rebuild itself. Once you put things back and check the RAID settings, post your results. I don't have any experience with the AMD RAID setup, but I'm sure we can figure this out.

BTW - RAID is not a backup and shouldn't be treated as such. If you want a backup of your OS, you need to make a real backup and store it offsite/in a secure location, so you can restore it if the OS becomes corrupted.

FWIW, I wouldn't run RAID 1 on a regular computer, because I don't think it's necessary at all. Unless you have a critical system (server, workstation, etc), it's not really worth the hassle of maintaining a RAID configuration for the operating system.

Also, have you read the RAIDXpert documentation? Removing and adding drives to an array should be covered in it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Assuming that's AMD's RAIDXpert you've got, I've got to say the times in the past that I've searched for info on it I've found AMD's documentation to be rather lacking. But maybe I needed to dig a little deeper.

Agree with the comments about RAID though. More trouble than it's worth, to me anyway, for how I use machines and how I see most others use them. And RAID1 only protects against a drive failure (as you mentioned in one of your posts). Not a valid OS or data backup. Whatever happens to one drive happens to the other (software wise). Malware, accidental deletions, etc., all propogated to the other drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2012   #8

Win 7 64 bit, service pack 1

Now, if I have the recently erased drive plugged in, it is shown in BIOS and in the RAID setup on booting. RAID setup lists it as <single drive> and not in the RAID array. Windows will not boot when the drive is plugged in. Windows loads to the point where the four colored blocks come together over "Windows", then I get a flash of the BSOD (too fast to read), and system reboots. When it reboots, I have run Windows startup repair. Startup repair finds the root cause as "partition table does not have a valid system partition". When it reboots after repair, gets same problem (BSOD flash then reboots). I let it cycle through startup repair 3 times in a row (aways says same root cause). Still does the same. Windows will boot and run fine with the newly erased drive unplugged. The BIOS boot order has the first boot priority as RAID1 and the other disk is listed as 4th (behind other disks). Any thoughts?

At this point I would be happy just to get the erased disk working and leave the RAID as is (lt still boots and runs, but justs lists the RAID as criitical).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2012   #9

Win7 Ultimate X64

Just a few thoughts

Have you considered that the drive may be faulty? theres probably a reason the raid went critical in the first place

Have you tried booting to command prompt from recovery disk with suspect drive connected and using diskpart to analyse/modify the disk
Also could try running bootable HDD diagnostic software to check the disk

Also you mentioned BSOD, you could check windows\minidump files for any further info although we can pretty much guess whats it going to say
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Do you have to press Ctrl+F during the boot process to get into the RAID setup?

What does the Raid setup config screen show about the SMART status of your troublesome drive?

Is it shown as "RAID Ready"?

Maybe some screenshots would help us...

Any non-RAID ports you can try it in?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 RAID1 split drives, now can't see erased HDD

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