Hello Matt, It is important to mention that is possible to restore a RAID 1 by setting the disks to non raid and no information will be lost; however, I regret to say that on RAID 5 there is no way to restore the data if the structure fails.
Your RAID is giving you the status as “Failed”. That means that there is no structure available on it, so it will be necessary to create the array from scratch.
I would also recommend you contacting the computer manufacturer for them to provide any other option or tool from their side to save the information.
Wait, so when you click the "Mark drive as normal" link next to a failed drive in the Intel RSTe application, all of the array information is destroyed and it is immediately impossible to recover from the problem without leaving the failed drive in until the rebuild process completes? So having a drive that could just as well be blank and impossible to read or write information from/to in place for the rebuild process somehow makes it possible for the rebuild process to magically divine the information that used to be stored on the drives? Why shouldn't any blank drive of the same size be ok? What if I just put in a drive that has the same model and serial number (somehow)?
I have two of the original three drives in my computer in perfectly-working condition, which is all that you should need to rebuild a RAID5 array. If I had known that attempting to recover a failed drive would cause the Intel RSTe program to destroy my array configuration, I would have passed on the idea. That kind of option shouldn't even be allowed to exist! Why wouldn't marking a drive as normal, starting the rebuild process, simply consist of reading the stripes from the two good drives and attempting to reassemble the real or parity information on the third drive? Why would anything have to be destroyed on the two good drives?
Matt, if the RAID status appears as Failed, most likely it could not be recovered.
If the system is booting to the operating system using the other 2 hard drives, then the array is OK.
But in the other hand if the array appears as Failed in the RAID BIOS, means that the RAID structure/array has a problem and unfortunately there is no way to know if the rebuilt is going to work as expected. What we recommend in these cases is back up all the data.
Once you backed up all data, you can connect the new HDD and let the rebuild begins.
Usually, the storage controller initiates the rebuilt by itself. If it does not start, it will be necessary to go to Windows and choose rebuilt from the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology.
Would you please access the RAID BIOS in Ctrl+I and send me a picture of the screen?
Booting my computer today, resigned to the idea of wiping and building a new RAID5 and installing windows from scratch, I noticed that my array now appears as "Rebuilding".
Unfortunately, Windows 7 still fails to boot. A screen comes up just after the "Windows is starting" screen that gives me 30 seconds to choose between "Start Windows normally" or "Launch startup repair". "Start Windows normally" brings up a "Windows is loading files" progress bar along the bottom of the screen, then goes black and my computer proceeds to boot Ubuntu from my SSD. Choosing to launch the startup repair option gives me the same progress bar, then goes directly back to the same two options... "Start Windows normally" or "Launch startup repair".
So now I'm lost once again, and it appears to be less of an Intel issue and more of a Windows issue... though I would imagine that the cause of the problem is the RAID controller putting some information somewhere and losing track of it. When I boot into the Windows 7 Ultimate install disk and choose to "Repair your computer", I can load the IAStorA RAID drivers (I think?) and it will show me my C: drive, but will not show me that there is a Windows operating system on the drive that I can repair. I can, however, browse the whole drive, including loading drivers from the C:Windows/System32/DriverStor directory.
Nobox, if the operating system was installed into the RAID 5, this is a common behavior when a system file is missing or corrupted.
It will be necessary to set the SATA mode on RAID before trying to access Windows.
So please go to BIOS and make the SATA mode is on RAID before repairing the array.
Could you also access the RAID BIOS and send me a picture of the array please?
The SATA mode in my UEFI BIOS was already set to RAID (as it has been since I started using the Intel motherboard RAID). Since I couldn't get Windows 7 to boot from the array, I decided that I would either have to reinstall/in-place upgrade Windows 7 or give up on Windows and just use Linux (Ubuntu) from now on. It's just not worth the time to deal with trying to save or completely reinstall Windows 7, so I decided that it would be better to give up on the motherboard RAID and to just use Linux software RAID, which supposedly has better performance anyway.
So I've deleted the array, changed the SATA mode to AHCI, and built a RAID5 array using Linux's mdadm tool. I'll just run Windows 7 in a virtual machine (and only for things like iTunes and the Adobe and AutoDesk applications that don't yet have equals in the open source world) rather than the other way around.
BTW, I thought I would mention that I was able to bring the array up when I was in Ubuntu. I mounted the array volume and was able to access all the files I had saved on the array (I played a decent selection of music I had saved to the array), so it doesn't seem that there was any corruption... at least not to what I sampled of my music collection.
I had everything of any importance backed up to an external hard drive (music, movies, my graphics files, etc).