My Dell Studio XPS with 2 500GB drives in a pre-configured RAID1 array setup (Intel Matrix Storage Manager v188.8.131.520) has failed just now in a bit of a bizarre way. Any insights or DOs/DONTs would be much appreciated.
A year plus back one of the drives had stopped working and the RAID1 status was DEGRADED but still bootable. Got the typical "Error Occurred(0)" for one of the member disks, the other being fine. I'll admit I was lazy and had alternative backup solutions so didn't fix the problem. Then of course the second disk apparently developed issues.
Yesterday the whole system failed to boot, but only once. I power cycled the desktop and this time it did successfully boot into Win7. But bizarrely enough, my entire file system only had the files stored up to April 2012, a year plus back. I've rebooted several times and tried to sniff around in the CTRL-I BIOS manager for Intel Matrix Storage, but not wanting to mess with anything haven't tinkered too deeply.
My data was backed up except for the last two months, and I use sugarsync for most important files so those are secure. But unfortunately I had my iphone fail last week too so before getting a replacement I downloaded the last six months worth of pictures to the desktop before getting the phone replaced, and this temporary storage folder wasn't synced/backedup. This is the only missing data but is precious so I want to try and recover these pictures if I can.
Clearly this recent data is not visible on the current drive of the desktop. I wonder if this is because of some failure of the metadata, and the data is in fact there. Or alternatively if there's been some freak occurrence where the second, originally good disk where all the recent data had been written to failed, but in the process the first degraded disk started working again and I was able to boot into that drive -- but because that drive had been errored out for some time, it didn't have a copy of the more recent data. THis is all uninformed speculation.
Can anyone recommend how I might be able to try solving the issue here? I see there are options in the BIOS array manager to "Reset Disks to Non-RAID". Would that be recommended, and then try to find the files individually within those drives? Or is doing this potentially putting the recent data at risk?
Any other steps you can recommend? Your advice is greatly appreciated.