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I'm trying to setup a raid 1 array for my storage drives but I'm having BSOD problems. They system works fine until I enable "RAID" mode in the bios. After that windows can no longer boot.

System:

  • MOBO, MSI P55-GD80.
  • CPU, i7 860
  • HDDs, 1 SSD and 2x Magnetic (the magnetics are the ones I'm trying to RAID). The SSD houses the OS.

Loading fail-safe defaults and changing to RAID mode hasn't helped either. I've also downloaded and installed the MOBO's the latest BIOS (v1.5).

Any thoughts on how to troubleshoot this?

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Do you perhaps have a partition table or master boot record on one of the magnetic drives? –  Jim Deville Dec 1 '09 at 19:16

6 Answers 6

up vote 1 down vote accepted

It's very possible that you don't have compatible drivers installed for your RAID controller. Check with the manufacturer for Windows 7 support.

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I would guess that Windows 7 supports the controller but doesn't have it installed. This is a common problem when switching hard disk controllers. –  Jason R. Coombs Dec 1 '09 at 22:36
1  
It was a driver issue. The Intel RAID was also giving me a hard time installing AFTER the OS was already installed in IDE mode. A fresh install fixed it (fortunately i was in a position to do this). Note to others, enable RAID BEFORE installing the OS. Life will be easier. –  TheDeeno Dec 1 '09 at 23:30
    
Glad you got it worked out:) @Jason Yeah, I should have been clearer. I meant that the drivers may not be installed, rather than that they don't exist. –  phoebus Dec 1 '09 at 23:36

This is a common problem when switching hard disk controllers. Because Windows doesn't have the driver for the new controller already installed, it can't boot. Your controller probably requires different drivers for RAID versus non-RAID mode.

If possible, you may be able to switch the BIOS back to the non-RAID mode, find the appropriate driver for the RAID-mode controller, and install it manually. Thereafter, you may be able to switch it to RAID mode and boot successfully.

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An incompatible RAID controller can cause this.

Load up BlueScreenView (with RAID off obviously, so you can boot) and check out what the STOP error was.

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Apparently i don't have a minidump folder. It is possible it wasn't a bsod then? I swore I saw a blue flash. Cool utility. –  TheDeeno Dec 1 '09 at 19:51

There's various things you can try:

  • Make sure you have all the the RAID drivers/utilities installed in windows before you set it to raid mode in BIOS.

  • I think this board has 2 raid controllers. If so, try using the other controller for your drives.

  • Use software RAID in Windows to create the volume (you can do so in Computer Management > Disk Management). Since the raid volume won't be a system drive, software raid should suit your purposes fine.

  • This is more of a longshot, but SSD's have been known to have issues playing nice different bios/controller configurations. Maybe look into its history with raid. A longshot would be to clone the drive image into a spare HDD and boot it to see if it can boot with the RAID enabled.

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The BSOD probably says STOP 0x0000007B: INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE, which usually indicates that your hard disk controller needs a different driver than the one that was used to install Windows.

Usually, the easiest way to resolve this is by performing an in-place upgrade (which is a Windows re-installation that attempts to preserve your files and settings). The recovery options on the Windows 7 DVD might help as well.

Another option might be to switch to the old controller (non-RAID mode), use Sysprep to reseal the image, and then switch to the new controller (RAID mode), but I haven't used this approach.

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It was a driver issue. The Intel RAID was also giving me a hard time installing AFTER the OS was already installed in IDE mode. A fresh install fixed it (fortunately i was in a position to do this). Note to others, enable RAID BEFORE installing the OS. Life will be easier. –  TheDeeno Dec 1 '09 at 23:30

Windows 7 also has an automated boot repair function. Before attempting an in-place upgrade, try running the startup repair.

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