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flopcat98
flopcat98, Consultant
Category: Software
Satisfied Customers: 8752
Experience:  Consultant 30 years in nyc computer industry working with PC and networks banks brokerage legal etc.
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Question Sr. Computer Support Expert re: RAID

Customer Question

Question for James Sr. Computer Support Expert re: RAID array with SSDs and OS installation (Win 10 - but don't believe it is a Win 10 issue, has been working fine). Can't find drives....
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Software
Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer.com, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to assist you. To start with, I would like to ask if you want to continue waiting for James, or if you want to proceed now?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Dustin, thank you for your reply.
I posted for James because JA showed him as available at the time, which he was not, and his bio says computer hardware and operating systems expert, description Computer Support Expert, which is my problem.
2 questions - are you confident you know what you are doing re: RAID arrays, hardware, BIOS, OS installation etc? No offence intended, only because your description is Software technician. Secondly, are you available to work on it 'live' until resolved? I ask, because I don't want to have rely/wait an hour for response/reply/wait half a day for a response etc. I will give you a list of everything I have done and relevant background. Reason I ask is JA says typically get a response in average 10 minutes - not my experience, and I had a web-background guy accept, ask one low level question then disappear for 36hrs for 4th July.
So don't be offended, but what do you think? I strongly suspect it is BIOS-related and/or RAID array/driver related but I've tried everything I can find on the net about it to no avail. I have a lot of consumer experience, built barebones up systems etc, but hit a wall here. Of course, it is knowing or figuring out what to do. My experience 'should' make it easier for you to help me
Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.
Ill do my best to respond in a Timely manner. To be honest though in the 2 hours it took you to get back to me I have picked up a few additional support requests.
And I understand your concern, the reason why you seen me as a software technician , is because this question landed in the software category, instead of hardware. We all have separate profiles for each field we are approved to work in.
As far as the current issue. You mentioned simply that " Cant find the drives"
What cant find the drives?
Windows ? Disk management? The Bios ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, good on Profile for hardware, whatever.
Here goes.....
PC I built, no problems 2 years. Recently upgraded to Windows 10 having done so on a different machine without problems.
Few days ago started to get a few errors then crashed and wouldn't reboot.
Tried to Repair, Recover, Reset to no avail, using Windows Recovery and Macrium ReflectPE. Could not find partition. Followed various repair MBR etc without success.
Bought 2 new SSDs to use in RAID1. Followed Motherboard manufacturer's instructions for RAID (Biostar board with onboard controller). Set Sata to RAID in MB BIOS then set up RAID array in RAID BIOS. RAID array displays on start up with 118gb (2 x 120gb SSDs) Logical Drive*****s) are not visible in MB BIOS. Windows clean install fails reporting cannot find drives. I then found the need for RAID Array drivers to be loaded. Downloaded from Biostar site, there are more than one - for 'RAID' and for 'ACHI & RAID'. I loaded them both successfully but Windows still fails to install, failing to find drives. Now I can't get into RAID BIOS on start up. I believe I need to partition the Array, but can't figure how I can do this if drives can't be found by Windows install, even though the drivers loaded successfully. Above my pay grade. I have a laptop for communication - Skype preferred.
I think that is all I know, or can remember at least.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
oh and I've seen something about need to enable RID array to be bootable, but couldn't find that option in either BIOS. But can't find drive let alone boot from it. And may be this is only on some BIOS/Controllers or old and not a requirement any more.
Expert:  flopcat98 replied 1 year ago.
Hi I am Rob. I have done some raid stuff. I won't swear I am an expert on this one. I usually put them on servers. But if you like we can make an appointment and I can give you a solid hour or so on Skype where I can look at the screen you are seeing if you have it on a tablet or phone that can pick it upHave you got another drive? What I think I would like to do is set up the raid through the bios or its own software of it has any make sure the bios can see itThen load windows on another drive and see if windows can see the raid drive. If so you can eitherA. Leave it like that which I have found to be a faster more stable designOrB. Try to load a copy of windows on the raid and see if we can pick it up as either a dual boot or make it the primary and then if needed we can remove the stand alone drive If that sounds good to you please accept my additional service offer or if not just let me know and I will opt outThanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Robert,
Thank you for responding and your suggestions.
Firstly to say I am now going on holiday, and won't be back until 27th July. I don't want to start and not finish, so I'll leave it for now. I don't know how this works but if it is possible to pick up when I return let me know. The Skype offer is very attractive. This needs direct interaction not email after email. I started trying to use JA for this several days ago.
Re: your suggestions I haven't explained what I was doing, the reason for RAID(1) is hardware redundancy for the OS using SSDs for speed, not a server data access setup. I do have a spare IDE drive. I had: SSD on which OS resided, IDE for weekly system image copy and backup. That gave me SSD speed for OS, start up. I believe the SDD failed, although I haven't confirmed not OS corruption but all Windows repair attempts failed due to not finding drive. Objective of RAID1 on 2xSSD is SSD speed for OS with RAID hardware redundancy. So I have to get the two SSDs working as RAID1 and the OS on it, otherwise simply formatting one of the SSDs and installing the OS on it with the IDD for backup would give me what I had before and be better than OS on slow IDE and two (small capacity) SDs only used for system and data backup where speed isn't important and neither is hardware redundancy because backed up to a NAS also. Hope this clarifies and makes sense as a strategy
Expert:  flopcat98 replied 1 year ago.
i have never been a fan of raid 1mirror drives tend to pick up the error on the first drive more often than not. I would go with raid 0 for speed or raid 5 for redundancy where you can hot swap any drive that fails and not lose data. But i do think i understand where you are coming from. As long as you have a NAS we can put it in any way you like though i would personally opt for the raid 0 for the speed rather than the 1 for extra redundancy. From your description of the problem however i would really wonder if there is a hardware problem on the mother board that caused the original problem as well as the failed installs. anyway get back to me when you get back and accept the offer and we can go over it in more detail over the phone or skype. the question should remain open if you just log into it and make a post. the site will probably send you a bunch of reminder emails before that. I have no control over that and you can just ignore them till you are back talk to you then :)