I have an older Dell Studio 540 with two 500GB Western Digital drives using Intel Rapid Storage Technology to have a RAID1 array containing a C drive (OS) and D drive (data). I just performed a clean installation of Windows 10. Immediately prior to performing this, while it was still running Windows 8.1, I shut down the system and physically disconnected one of the drives, intentionally degrading the RAID array and preserving the state of the disconnected drive until the Windows 10 installation was complete. I booted the system with the degraded array and successfully installed Windows 10 a few days ago. Last night, I shut down the system, reattached the missing drive, and expected it would seamlessly rebuild the array and bring the missing drive up-to-date.
Unfortunately, Windows will not start. Some details:
Port 0 = good drive with Windows 10 installation
Port 1 = missing drive with old Windows 8.1 installation
I physically reconnect the missing drive and during boot time the RAID controller message shows the RAID1 array is in a "rebuilding" state and bootable = yes. It shows both drives as online and healthy members of that array. The boot continues and the blue Windows logo and dotted spinning circle appear, but, never gets past this. It eventually blue screens saying "inaccessible_boot_device" or attempts to reboot into a Windows Start Repair which does not help.
As a test, I disconnect port 1 again, the RAID controller says the array is "Degraded" and only shows the drive attached to port 0. Windows 10 loads successfully and the Intel Rapid Storage Technology software correctly shows a drive is missing. If I shutdown and reconnect port 1, I'm back to Windows not starting.
I've performed these actions (temporarily disconnected a drive) in past upgrades and don't recall running into this issue before. I've installed the most recent IRST software and drivers in Windows 10. And since Windows 10 can boot from the array when only port 0 is connected, I believe the RAID controller, software, driver, etc are working properly.
I've read several posts in this forum, notably  and  and believe I need to perform the following steps, but, am looking for confirmation or other suggestions before proceeding.
- With both drives connected, boot into the RAID BIOS using CTRL-I. Select the previously missing drive (port 1) and choose "reset disk to non-raid". It will throw a warning about data loss, but, this is a standard warning for all RAID types and because this is a RAID1 (mirrored) the data will remain in-tact on both drives after making that one drive non-raid.
- Ensure the BIOS SATA setting remains set to RAID (I have not touched this at all).
- Windows 10 should boot properly. The non-raid disk (port 1) should appear as online in Disk Management. The IRST software should now see this available drive and should allow me to modify the existing RAID1 array and re-add the non-raid disk to the array. It should then begin a rebuild and bring that disk up-to-date.
Hope I'm on the right track with this. Any confirmation or advice is greatly appreciated.