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Old 12-06-2008, 12:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Mind Boggling Raid Problems

Hey all! I was looking for a good forum related to computers and I figured I would try this one out, so first, a hello to everyone here.

Second, the mind boggling problem.
Please read carefully. This is weird.

I previously had a nForce4 T-Series mobo by Biostar. This mobo was awesome. No problems at all. Very stable. I just needed a motherboard to handle the newer video cards, hard drives and processors.

So I upgraded to a Biostar T-Series TF8200 and this is where the trouble began.
I put in my new motherboard and processor and then set up my RAID (2 Western digital Caviars 80 gb each). Things were ok.... for a few weeks.

A few weeks later, Windows begins reporting in the lower right corner:
"Critical Raid Access error! Critical Raid Access error! Critical Raid Access Error!"

I ignored the errors for a few days. Next thing I know, my OS won't even load. I dual boot, so I tried both OS. Vista64 and XPi386 pro. Neither would boot. After a few attempts, MediaShield/Bios says: Raid Striping error! And wouldn't even prompt me for my operating systems. Numberous hard restarts proved wasteful. So I opened my case. Replaced my SATA cables. Restart. Viola! All well!.... for a few days.

A weeks later. "Critical Raid Access Error! Critical Raid Access Error!" Once again, I ignored them and the process repeated. 2 days later, OS no boot. A few restars later, MediaShield in Bios fails to initialize my RAID array.

I open case. Undo my SATA cables. Switch differen SATA ports. Reboot. Viola! All well!.... for a few days.

A few weeks later, same thing. I open case. Switch sata cables around. Viola!... for a few days. Same process.

It seems that every 2 weeks, I have to open my case, switch sata ports, and things work great. For a few days.


Disc checks and diagnostics show NO errors on HDs. I do have one other hard drive that I use for music, videos and other storage purposes that is NOT on a Raid array and it reports NO errors. It's only my 2 HDs on the stripe.

What in the world is going on here???

My conclusion is that there's something wrong with this motherboard. It worked fine before I got it. Since I get errors during Bios testing, this tells me it's not windows. I'm leaning away from the hard drives because diagnostics report no errors. But I don't know. I'm hoping I won't have to return this motherboard because well, I don't want to be several weeks without a computer. So, what do you all think? What's going on here? Mobo? But just switching the cables around... why would that solve the problem temporarily? this is weird

AMD 64x2 6000+ 3.0ghz
OCZ 512mb DDR800 x 4
Biostar TF8200
80gig Western Digital Caviar x 2 (Stripe Raid)
320gig Hitachi (Independent, no raid)
GeForce 8800gts 320mb
600w Ultra PSU

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Old 12-06-2008, 01:14 PM   #2 (permalink)

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Default Re: Mind Boggling Raid Problems

Did you replace the cables with new ones or just switch them around? It sounds like there's a connection problem somewhere.


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Old 12-06-2008, 01:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mind Boggling Raid Problems

Hi Baez. I actually did both. Replaced them at first. Then started switching them around. Right now, I'm getting an error on serial port 1.5. After I switch my cables around, it will be a different port issuing the error. Perhaps i do have a few bad cables, even after replacing them. Question. Are there differences between cables for sata I and sata II? I've heard they are all in the same but.... hmmm.
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Old 12-06-2008, 01:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mind Boggling Raid Problems

I would wager to guess that there is a intermitten issue with the mobo. Cause it seems that every few days it goes bonkers till it gets reset.

So that would lead me to guess maybe a grounding issue? Bad Solder joint? Something that is no easily seen has to be wrong. Could be something like a Resistor or Transistor blown on the mobo.

But i would agree with you saying that the mobo is the culprit.
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Re: Mind Boggling Raid Problems

Thanks for the help all. I just took out the cable on SATA port 1.5 (the one currently giving me the trouble) and replaced it with an older cable I had in storage. My cables are new, but i guess it's possible that even after replacing with new cables I ended up with a bad one. I'll see how it goes this next week. This will try the connection issue.

As for the mobo, it may very well be, as there are alot of people having trouble with the nVidia MediaShield. MS is the onboard RAID controlling software in bios and good ol google says lots of people have trouble with it. But yes, it seems once the RAID array is reset (switching cables and ports makes the mobo think there's new hardware) it works well and then starts to decline until it doesn't work at all.

Oh yeah, this IS a brand new motherboard btw so who knows.
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mind Boggling Raid Problems

You could always buy a RAID controller card. They're pretty cheap, like $20.

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Old 12-06-2008, 07:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mind Boggling Raid Problems

Hmm. Raid controller card. It's an idea. I can take out the pci fan if I have to. hmm. I guess I could try that as a last resort, but if it IS the motherboard which is bad, I'm not going to really want to bypass the problem. I'm going to want to return the faulty mobo. Afterall, it is brand new and cost me over 80 bucks.

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