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Windows 7: Troubleshooting RAID1(mirror) problem after windows 7 failure to start

13 Jan 2015   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
Troubleshooting RAID1(mirror) problem after windows 7 failure to start

Hi there,

So I'm not super technically inclined, so please bear with me as I try to describe my issue.

I have a Dell Inspiron 546 with Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

The problems started a couple weeks ago. I had it set to be in sleep mode, and typically when I sit down to the computer I click the mouse and it powers up. This time, it started to power up but stopped and shut down completely. The power button on the desktop stopped working as well. I pulled the power and usb, waited a minute and hooked everything back up.

It booted to the normal login screen but the mouse and keyboard didn't work, so I was unable to login.

I powered it down and started it again and I received the black screen telling me windows had failed to shut down properly and I chose the system repair option. The computer froze on the windows loading files screen and never attempted the system repair. I was never able to get to the System Recovery menu.

I attempted to do the system repair multiple times and it kept hanging up at windows loading file screen.

I attempted to start windows normally and it would hang up at Starting Windows, but the logo never appeared.

After reading troubleshooting forums on the problem, I tried unhooking everything and holding down the power button for a minute and trying again. This worked, and I was able to start up my computer.

But that only lasted a day or two. It went right back into the Windows failure to boot problems I was having.

I started following the steps found here: Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Boot

I unhooked and reseated all the power cords, memory, and ram etc
I replaced the CMOS battery
I could not get the computer to start in safe mode with networking or safe mode
I could not get the computer to load windows defender offline from a cd or a flash stick.

I decided to remove the hard drive and install it in another computer that was also running Windows 7

I scanned the hard drive with Malwarebytes and it did not detect any problems

I was able to back up most of my data, but now I have a new problem. The morning following backing everything up, the computer had shut down and restarted to the black screen telling me windows had failed to shut down properly.

I attempted to do the system repair 3 times as advised but it was unable to fix the problem.

I received the following error message in the summary

"Root cause found: unspecified damages to system configuration might have caused the problem"

"Repair action: System Restore. Failed. Error code= 0x490. Time elapsed. 0ms"
"Repair action: System files integrity check and repair. Failed. Error code= 0x490. Time elapsed 901171ms

I didn't understand at the time, but I believe that these problems were with the second computer and I attempted to do the system repair on it, not my original hard drive.

I then attempted to do a system restore to the oldest restore point.

I received the following error message:

"System Restore did not complete successfully.
System Restore failed to extract the file
Restore point damaged or was deleted during the restore"

I then attempted a System Restore to the only other option. This was successful, and I believe this was the source of my current problem.

The computer I am using to try and recover my data has a RAID1 mirror and my hard drive appeared in the Intel manager as a non member disk before I did the system restore.

Now it appears as a rebuilt member disk in the initial Intel storage manager screen with 596gb, but when the computer is on it doesn't show up at all.

So this is the heart of the issue. I didn't know what a RAID was or that the computer was using one. Apparently the system restore cause the computer to think that my hard drive was the other one I removed.

In the Intel Matrix Storage Manager I have three options
1. create RAID Volume
2. Reset disks to non-RAID
3. Exit

I've attempted to reset the disks to non-RAID but the two drives are grayed out and hitting enter doesn't do anything.

So, very long story short, these are my questions:

How can I take my hard drive out of the RAID1 (mirror)?
Is the data recoverable on it?
Do I need to just give up and work on a clean install of windows? Is that even possible when its part of the RAID?

Perhaps another issue entirely, but when I put my original hard drive back in my computer, the power button doesn't do any thing. So this makes me think that a) my computer has some kind of power supply issue that may have been the source of the original windows failure to boot issues and/or b) my office has some kind of wiring problem that caused or exacerbated a). I live in a 100 y/o house that was remodeled in the 50' & 80's, so who knows what the quality or status of the wiring is.

I'm really just trying to get my computer working again, but I'm not sure how to proceed. Any help is GREATLY appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time. Please let me know if I need to clarify anything I've done to this point, and forgive my ignorance. I'm a good farmer, but not such a good computer technician. I can google things but my knowledge beyond that is basically zero.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2015   #2
Microsoft MVP


What do you mean "it's" part of a RAID? With RAID there are two or more hard drives which are interdependent upon each other, old technology that isn't needed or wanted at all by Win7. It isn't even redundant - it's first name! - because if you lose one drive you almost always lose everything. So we see nothing here but problems with it.

At least you were able to get your data. So what I would do is plug in the fastest HD to do a Clean Reinstall Windows 7.

Everything is provided in the blue link to get and keep a perfect install, and has been used by over a million consumer without a single complaint or return here with problems if they stick with the tools and methods given.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2015   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Hi Greg,

Thanks for the reply. I'll see if I can explain it.

The computer I'm using to try and recover my data is older, and I believe windows 7 is its second operating system, (not sure cause its belongs to my mom). It had the RAID with two Seagate 160 gb drives. I removed one of the hard drives and replaced it with the Samsung HD from my computer that I was having issues with.

After a system restore, the computer now thinks that my Samsung HD is part of the RAID. Is there a way to access the data from it still? I got most of the data off of it, but I realized later that there were some things that I would still like to retrieve.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Jan 2015   #4
Microsoft MVP


If you busted the RAID then you'll need specialized help to recreate it. I don't deal with RAID at all except to advise against it based on cases like this we see every week here since beta. So I'll ask for RAID help in our lounge.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2015   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Awesome. Everything I've read about RAID makes it seem like a headache. If its possible to recover the data, I will be so grateful for the help. Thank you!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2015   #6
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64

It sounds to me like the Seagate drive was mirrored to the Samsung drive, thereby "copying" the Seagate content to, and overwriting, the Samsung's original content - exactly what a RAID1 is designed to do.

The procedure you should have followed, is to firstly change from RAID to AHCI controller mode in the BIOS, then replace the Seagate with the Samsung. Unfortunately thats too late now - I think this may be a lost cause.

Try the following:
1. In the BIOS, change from RAID to AHCI controller.
2. Reboot.
3. In Windows Explorer, take a screen capture image of the drives that appear, and post here.
4. is the content between the 2 drives exactly the same?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2015   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Hi Golden,

Thanks for the response. That's kind of what I was worried about. I guess my lack of knowledge has come back to bite me. I'll try to follow the steps you've laid out.

I'm not exactly sure how to change the bios from RAID to AHCI. Can you walk me through it? I've googled it and its just making me more confused.

Thanks for your patience!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2015   #8
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64

It depends on what make of BIOS is running. Do you know how to boot to the BIOS?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2015   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Hi Golden,

I know how to get into the BIOS, here's a screenshot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2015   #10
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64

Click on each of the items, and then upload a photo of each please.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Troubleshooting RAID1(mirror) problem after windows 7 failure to start

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