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Windows 7: win7 hangs when adding new HDD raid array


27 Apr 2011   #1

windows 7 64 bit pro
 
 
win7 hangs when adding new HDD raid array

First of all, thanks for the read, like the forum, tons of info here. Second, I tried to search and find my problem here, and just didn't see a thread that fits what I see... lots of problems, but so far nothing matches me. Finally, seems to be some very savvy PC guys here, so hopefully you can help.

background: Last year sometime, my install and all that went flawless, I put Windows 7 64 bit pro on a fresh drive, let it format and install as it wanted, zero problems. Boot drive was alone in the PC, its a WD black 320, I dont have the model or part number in front of me, but it seems to be a solid drive. The PC is a built clone, using Asus mobo and AMD dual core, spec's are in my profile if anyone needs to look that up, basically I don't see any of that mattering in my problem but there you go.

problem: added a promise RAID card last night, using an existing array from a previous build, and the system worked great and booted great once. I thought I was home free, but rebooted just to check since I have so little faith in PC's until they work twice, and sure enough I get hung at the glowing windows screen if this card is installed

I have read all I can here on this, and have been thru much troubleshooting... BIOS is fine, boot drive reads fine... the card and its fast track utility see the array fine... all those drives recognize just fine... the problem as I think today is, with the new array in place, windows can't figure out where to boot.

The old array was bootable years ago, so there is probably an MBR on it? I'm guessing a little at this point, but I used to boot to that array but went away from that years ago... since then, and I think I was on win2k back then, but adding an fresh hdd then, and since moving to XP, nothing ever cared... forward to today, Windows 7 does not like this array being in the mix, thus it hangs at the glowing window screen (the starting windows splash where the happy color balls form the win logo)

remember, this was all up and running once, so that should eliminate a bunch of trial and error on bad drives, bios issues, and driver stuff... i have been thru the ringer with promise, and they swear the driver is good and is WQHL certified and all that... pulling the RAID card out lets me boot normally, so the hang up is definitely with the presence of this array

the catch?? while my boot was C: to begin with, before i ever put the raid in, I put in another solo hdd... i backed up all my pictures to it.. and just before doing all this, noticed that while my C drive and E drive were all legit letter wise, looking in the disk manager, the E drive was listed as disk 0, and the C drive was disk 1... this wasn't a problem at that point, but makes me wonder why on earth the boot drive isn't device 0

ok, sorry for the mega post, hope all the info helps... if you would rather ask one item at a time, just post and i will gladly repeat anything line by line for simplicity

thank you in advance!!!!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Apr 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hello whatttupG, welcome to the forum

Try doing a startup repair Startup Repair
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2011   #3

windows 7 64 bit pro
 
 

thanks!!

well i did do that, but not 3 times... i guess the suggestion would be install the raid card again, then do the repair routine 3x

will try that tonight when i get home, its lunchtime at work here at the moment, thx for the reply, i'll read thru the tutorial as well
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Apr 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whatttupG View Post
thanks!!

well i did do that, but not 3 times... i guess the suggestion would be install the raid card again, then do the repair routine 3x

will try that tonight when i get home, its lunchtime at work here at the moment, thx for the reply, i'll read thru the tutorial as well
I think if you try the startup repair three times you might get it to work, but then again installing the RAID properly from scratch might also be a good idea, swings and roundabouts really.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2011   #5

windows 7 64 bit pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pooch View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whatttupG View Post
thanks!!

well i did do that, but not 3 times... i guess the suggestion would be install the raid card again, then do the repair routine 3x

will try that tonight when i get home, its lunchtime at work here at the moment, thx for the reply, i'll read thru the tutorial as well
I think if you try the startup repair three times you might get it to work, but then again installing the RAID properly from scratch might also be a good idea, swings and roundabouts really.

agreed, thing is that array was up and done right (in my opinion of course!! ) once already in the old system.. again yesterday, it was also up and running in the current system.. once

how it booted and worked the first time is also a small mystery, for which i'd probably blame the driver for.. except it worked.. so.. well...???? i guess this means the driver probably is ok.. i dunno, not a software guy here

anyways i'm grasping at straws with the boot or MBR ideas since i'm at a general loss here, but that aspect matches what i have read with many other posts regarding others stuck at the glowing logo... others have made major changes trying to add drives, or raids, or other hardware, and many are stuck where i am, so thats why i reasoned the way i did

a thought i've had today is to leave the RAID card installed, but unhitch all the drives, hoping to isolate the card itself vs. the volume of the drives (and if some MBR there is acting up)... i guess if boots fine with an empty card, i'll have added some clarity to all this

PC tech... ugh... fun, in an infuriatingly exhausting way
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2011   #6

windows 7 64 bit pro
 
 

welp, system boots just fine with the card in, and drives unhooked... must be the volume that is confusing Windows 7

any guesses on how i make an appearently bootable volume.. unbootable??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2011   #7

windows 7 64 bit pro
 
 

ok, success seems to have been had

i'm rebooting a few times just because, then i'll update this thread if anyone cares

by the way, Promise seems to have a lot of haters, are any of you among them?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2011   #8

windows 7 64 bit pro
 
 

SOLUTION BELOW... read or skip now:

OK, keywords for those who might search in.. once upon a time, my AMD system used to boot to primary partion located on a Promise RAID card Fastrack SX150-SM4 attached to 4 SATA disk drives. This card was obsoleted by the maker (read they make no money on individual low end users) so the only choice I had was to have it replaced with a newer (I guess) Fastrack TX4310, also a 4 port SATA card. Basically, the operating system upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 made this a non choice, because I was not willing to wipe or format my array. Because the system I built in '05 was an AMD 64 bit based computer, the O/S was upgraded to windows 7 x64 professional and that is where I am today.

XP did not have an issue with the SX150 but Windows 7 did, Promise stopped supporting this card so I was left hanging with a RAID 5 array housing .75 Tb worth of my stuff. I spoke at length with Promise tech support twice regarding this, and the short story there is that, while their support does leave a lot to be desired sometimes, and for sure the friendly factor for hardware, drivers and compatibility of our PC's is about zero for us users, someone finally endorced my move to the TX4310 with the assurance that I would not sorry for making this choice etc...

Well this thread is proof enough of that assurance... LOL... and lucky for me I seem to have solved my own problem. Really, this is because I seem to be the only one that gives a rats arse about the 6 years of data I packed into a RAID 5 for the very reason of compatibility and portability, that are hallmarks (allegedly) of Promise technologies.

Anyways, for anyone in my boat, or considering a RAID card and the peace of mind that RAID 5 is supposed to bring, here is your roadmap courtesy of me.

PROBLEM:

Windows 7 and Promise RAID do not seem to be to be as plug and play as one might think. I had the minimum possible drama with my situation, and the install was still a disaster from the get go. Given my array and drives were already formatted and running, my volume was portable and literally should have been the essence of plug and play.

SOLUTION:

Windows 7 will not recognize the SX150 whatsoever, and neither Microsoft or Promise will support a driver to change this. Both however support the TX4310, so anyone wanting a 4-port SATA card should move straight to this model or better. The card and array would not operate for me, and it is not fully clear why, but my suspicion is that the array was once bootable, and that confuses Windows 7 just enough to leave you hung or frozen at the glowing logo start screen.

I removed the card, rebooted the PC, and found that windows update suddely wanted to perform several updates. Maybe this was coincidence I dont know, but 11 updates later, I was able to reboot clean. Then and only then did I install the card, with no drives attached. This was the trick. Once the card was in, but no volume was present, my boot up went flawless. Straight to the login, right to the desktop, and a trip straight to the device manager confirmed the RAID controller was present and looked to be installed correctly.

The second trick might be this. The CD that shipped with the TX4310 has a lot of 2007 file dates on it, and I am no eScholar, but I am not even sure Windows 7 was a beta at that time. So old a$$ card, and outdated driver disk, meant windows put its own driver in and called it a day. Well the trick was to go to the Promise website, download the latest driver http://www.promise.com/support/downl...5&region=en-US that actually says Windows 7 on it. LOL at the CD that comes with the card, it has x64 and i386 folders to choose from... WTF?? Anyways the trick was to install the card, let it take whatever driver so it would appear in the device manager, then spoon feed it the current driver, manually picking the device and choosing 'update driver' and browsing your way to the Windows 7 cab file you already downloaded. Finally at this point, its a cake walk!!

Cliffnotes: Remove all HDD until you have one drive to boot to, that contains the OS, then go online and use windows update over and over until no more updates exist. Once you're there, go to Promise and download the Windows 7 driver. Do all that, then shutdown and physically install the raid card, but do not connect the drives. Reboot, let windows put any driver in, and confirm you can find the card in the device manager (right click 'my computer' and pick 'manage'). Find the card under the device manager, then under storage controllers. Right click the card and choose 'update driver software' but do not pick the 'search automaticaly' choice, instead choose to browse your computer the old way, and navigate to the folder with your downloaded driver. For me this was the amd64 folder in my download, I did not need to pick the file itself. After install, I just shutdown from there, plugged in all the SATA cables for my existing array and viola... finally... my beloved volume back in action.

Thus after much pain, drama, and little on target tech support, I had a 'new' card, the new driver, and my old array back intact. No BIOS changes, no jumper issues, no cable problems, no formatting, no wiping, no virus, and no more drama!!

(ok.. this was total drama, but I emerged victorious )

sorry for the mega post, but i felt obligated to contribute my story, in case some poor ******* out there feels like me, with everyone whining to just fdisk the drives and get over it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2011   #9

windows 7 64 bit pro
 
 

this issue is not solved, although the thread is correct in how to unearth a promise based array from the dead

i'm starting a new thread, Windows 7 definitely has a bug with adding drives that used to boot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 win7 hangs when adding new HDD raid array




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