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Thread: A Story of Woe and Disaster (Not really a help query - more of a moan)

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    A Story of Woe and Disaster (Not really a help query - more of a moan)

    Let me set the scene -
    You know the most important thing about your computer is it's data, so you take great care to keep
    your data safe. You also like to get the best performance possible from your rig.
    How to do this? How about a Raid 0+1 setup.
    Ok, it means you're using 4 HDD's but only getting the storage space of 2, BUT your data is safe from a failed disk drive, and the performance of your hard disks should be slightly faster than from a single.
    With this in mind, when I last rebuilt my computer, I got a 680i nVidia motherboard, and 4 Western
    Digital RE 500GB hard disks, and set up a 0+1 Array.
    For a while I was happy, then I started losing one of the HDD's from the Array. Didn't matter too much, I just used the nVidia software to rebuild the Array, then all was well again. A little worrying that this was happening on a regular basis... but however...
    Then the rebuild became impossible. It would re-create the Array up to 100%, then start again and
    invariably crash, but the data was still there. Even so, you can laugh in the face of adversity, cos
    you're doing regular backups to an external hard disk drive. In fact, you have 6 of these external
    drives for backing up your data, because processing video takes up a LOT of space. Five 400GB external hard disk drives for your video data, one for your computer settings/personal data.
    Then after a little research you find there is a "known problem" with the WD RE500 hard disks in a Raid Array. Bit of a shock seeing as "RE" is meant to stand for "Raid Enhanced". The cure is to upgrade the hard disk firmware. Western Digital provide a DOS utility for just this, but it means opening your computer to disconnect 3 of the 4 drives and flashing one at a time.
    Ok, if it stops the problems I'll do it. And while I'm in DOS mode I'll flash the motherboard BIOS from
    P23 to P28 (am I dumb or what?).
    First back up all my personal data to external HDD #5, you know - Firefox bookmarks, Thunderbird mails, all those little txt files with passwords/reminders/serial numbers on, programs and updates ready to be installed etc.
    Then set about the software upgrade.
    Four hard disks successfully upgraded, BIOS flashed from P23 to P28, now let's rebuild the Raid array, and do a fresh install of Windows XP Pro SP2.
    Boot from CD drive - WinXP CD install - Hit F6 to load Raid drivers from floppy - Raid 0+1 built
    successfully - BUT XP doesn't see 1 big 1000Gb hard drive, it sees 4 x 500GB drives, 2 of which are
    unusable.
    Looks like the BIOS flash from P23 to P28 (hopefully) was the cause, cos it worked ok with P23. No matter, I can install just 1 hard drive temporarily to get the computer up and running, get the old P23 BIOS from External HDD #5 onto a floppy, and roll back to the old setup (Ha!)
    WinXP seems to install ok, then I load the nVidia motherboard drivers.
    Plug in External HDD #5, hear the usual "bing bong" sound, new hardware found loading etc.
    Open "My Computer" and there's only C drive showing - no 400GB USB hard disk. Plug in External Drive #6, shows up fine, same for all the other USB hard disks. The only one I can't access is the one I need!
    Ok, stay calm... Disassemble the USB drive, take the Samsung hard drive out, and plug it directly
    into the IDE channel of the motherboard. BIOS sees it (Samsung HD400LD), but no drive letter is assigned to it. Disk Manager in XP sees it as 372GB of unallocated space - which cos it's unallocated means you can't just re-assign a drive letter to it.
    Go online, I'm sure there's a simple fix..
    Plug computer into router to get online access - no internet.
    Check Control Panel/Device Manager, everythings working.. EXCEPT the LAN connection which is what's needed for me to connect to the internet. "Cannot find enough resources to install LAN" or something is being reported.
    Disable/remove modem, second LAN port, serial port etc. to free up resources - reboot - same message
    "Cannot find enough resourses to intall LAN.." GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
    Then the computer shuts itself down.
    Turn on, runs for about 30 seconds, then shuts itself down again.
    The water pump on my cooling system has decided that now is a good time to break.
    (sensitive folk can weep now)
    Plug laptop into Router - instant Internet access.
    Google gives no answers (except allocate a drive letter through Disk Manager - right click select... DUH) - which won't work if Windows don't see a viable partition.

    Ask on Hexus!
    Hopefully I'm on the right track now, but at the moment I'm still lost
    Bloody computers

  2. #2
    I shall never tire... BEANFro Elite's Avatar
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    • BEANFro Elite's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus MAXIMUS IV EXTREME Rev.3.0
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 2600K Sandy Bridge
      • Memory:
      • Corsair Memory Vengeance 8GB DDR3
      • Storage:
      • 240Gb RevoDrive 3 X2, 1x 1TB Maxter DiamondMax 11
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire ATi HD5970 3GB
      • PSU:
      • Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold 1000W Modular
      • Case:
      • Coolermater Cosmos Pure Black
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2209WA
      • Internet:
      • TalkTalk
    Reminds me of the infamous "Battle of the Barton" incident I was dragged through about two years ago, ended up going through two motherboards and a CPU and almost lost the Barton as well, hence the battle, LOL

    I must say though, you really seem to have taken it VERY well, just like when my girlfriend spilled a full glass of orange juice on my PC...but thats another story...

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    Stupid Q, I'm sure you've already tried this, but... Have you connected the external HDD#5 to your laptop, is it recognised?

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    Senior Member GSte's Avatar
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    • GSte's system
      • Motherboard:
      • P6T Deluxe
      • CPU:
      • i7 920 @ 4.2GHz / TRUE
      • Memory:
      • 6GB GSkill 1600MHz cas6
      • Storage:
      • 250GB Barracuda, 2 x WD 500GB AAKS, 1TB Caviar Black
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GTX470
      • PSU:
      • NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W
      • Case:
      • X-Clio Windtunnel
      • Operating System:
      • XP Home, Vista Home Premium X64, Win7 Home X64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung 245B
      • Internet:
      • Be Not So Happy
    That's the saddest thing I've ever read

  5. #5
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    Thank you all for your sympathy.
    Thanks to the sage advise of funnelhead I've got Disk 5 back - all data intact.
    Now my backup is backed up.
    Yeah I tried the external drive in the laptop vinnyT. No good - #1 #2 #3 #4 & #6 all worked ok though. I've had to use this laptop for all the data recovery too. I can't be arsed to install a new water pump into my desktop yet.

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    • 803hart's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASUS P5B Standard i965 Core 2
      • CPU:
      • Intel Pentium-D 805 2.6GHz
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Gecube HD 3850 512MB
      • Monitor(s):
      • 19" Widescreen
    I feel your pain...

  7. #7
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    • FInalD's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus M2N32-SLi Deluxe
      • CPU:
      • AMD AM2 4600+ 2.0GHz
      • Memory:
      • Corsair XMS2 2GB Matched Pair
      • Storage:
      • 3x Seagate Baracuda 7200.10 320GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • PowerColor X1950 XT
      • PSU:
      • Hiper 580 Type-R
      • Case:
      • LianLi PC7 Plus II
      • Monitor(s):
      • ViewSonic VX922
      • Internet:
      • 2.2MB DSL
    May I direct you here, The free one that runs it's little DOS window (not the one that runs from boot), fixed mine. It could well be that disc #5 has lost it's boot sector thingy.
    Worth a try if nothing else.

    As for the RAID array...funky.

  8. #8
    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
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    it just goes to show, that the only way to truly back up your data, is to inscribe the binary numbers in stone

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    Edit; sorry just re-read your post, note to self, don't post until read thread twice.
    Last edited by vinnyT; 27-06-2007 at 01:03 PM.

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    Thanks FinalD - I tried the free software after funnelhead directed me to it in another thread, but the free program couldn't find any partitions, even after the second "deeper" scan (which took hours). The "shareware but won't work unless you pay for it" one found HDD5 after it's second more thorough scan - which I let run overnight, and I bought the sofware and it worked fine.
    Luckily, I backed up all the essential data to another external drive, cos HDD5 got disappeared again the next time I plugged it in.
    Then to crown a ferkin' crappy week for me, my 14 year old dog died last night.
    At least I never got flooded, but Hey! it's early days yet
    Last edited by KBeee; 28-06-2007 at 09:29 PM. Reason: Confused posters names

  11. #11
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    Sorry about your dog.

    Buy some lottery tickets this weekend, you're dur some good luck.

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