For my DX58SO, I've kept up with BIOS updates, but this latest 5456 (8/30/10) is a bad one. It's also the first change in the RAID ROM in a while...the RAID ROM version hadn't changed from 22.214.171.1243 for quite a while, but here it jumped to 126.96.36.1994.
Presumably a contributing factor is my RAID configuration is slightly complicated. Presumably this works properly for a simpler RAID setup. If it blatantly failed for all RAIDs, then it probably wouldn't have been released.
Here's the allocation of my SATA ports:
0 and 1 are optical media.
2,3,4,5 are hard disks, all identical 1 gigabyte.
2 and 3 are paired for RAID 1 (mirror)
4 and 5 are paired for RAID 1 (mirror)
Boot structure is the 4/5 pair (which is the second structure in the "natural" order, following the 2/3 pair)
I'm running the latest Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver, but this isn't relevant, in that the failure is a BIOS problem.
This has worked perfectly with every new update installed, until I performed the 5456 update. Here's what happened:
When I attempted the reboot after the 5456 update, the boot structure went missing, and BIOS gave me an error reading the boot device (error state: 0xC000000E). I reset the system a couple of times, and it found the boot structure again, although it had marked it as "degraded". But at least it would now boot, and the Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver then went to work to restore the "degraded" structure. This took a couple hours, and it finally finished and said the system was normal. So I gave the command to restart to see whether the problem was gone -- and the reboot brought me right back to that "no boot" error 0xC000000E. I did the resets again, and got back to the BIOS informing me of the "degraded" boot structure. At this point, I re-installed the previous version of the BIOS, 5417 (7/27/10). I then rebooted, and again the system rebuilt the degraded structure. When the rebuild was finished, I once again rebooted, and now the reboot was fine. No more degraded structures.
My conclusion is that there is something about the 5456 BIOS that breaks my RAID 1 boot structure upon startup.
By the way, the non-boot RAID 1, with the disks on SATA ports 2 and 3, did not degrade.
So the BIOS downgrade has apparently solved my problem. And there's no pressing need for the upgrade, so I can presumably just leave this in place as my work-around. But it seems clear to me that something is seriously wrong with the new BIOS RAID ROM.
Has anybody else encountered any similar problems? Does Intel have any information about this?