I have a motherboard (ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe) with two RAID controllers (NVIDIA and Sil3114). I have had a bootable RAID 1 0 array with 4 disks (250GBs each) running fine on the Silicon Images controller for 8 months. Two days ago, I uninstalled some software in Windows XP Pro and it caused a problem, so I did a System Restore. The System Restore ran just fine, but when it rebooted, the BIOS reported that no bootable disk could be found. I went into the Sil3114 RAID configuration by pressing F4 during POST and sure-enough: It showed that while the RAID controller recognized all four of my drives just fine, it didn't see an array on them.
Here's what I tried to fix the problem:
After reading the Sil3114 user manual, I gathered that the "Resolve Conflicts" option in the configuration panel is Silicon Image's equivalent of "recover a damaged array". I tried the "Resolve Conflicts" option but it came back in about .0001 seconds and said "There are no conflicts to resolve", obviously because it doesn't recognize that an array is there at all.
I then tried resetting the CMOS in the hopes it would take a fresh look at the disks and find an array.
Then, I called ASUS tech support. All they had to say is: "It sounds like the RAID tables that record the location of stripes has been erased. So, there's nothing you can do." What?!!
I'm incredulous. As a computer scientist, that answer seems utterly ridiculous to me. All my disks are fine. All my data is still there (there wasn't enough time in the reboot to write over a terabyte of data). It seems to me that any RAID controller maker worth their salt would provide a utility to *rebuild* their array tables in the case that they get corrupted. I contacted Silicon Images but they just gave me a snooty response saying that they don't support products in which their chips are planted, so I called ASUS again. No luck, a different person in ASUS's Level 2 tech support told me no such utility exists as far as he knows and that no RAID maker provides a way to recover the RAID tables.
So, here are my questions:
1) Is there a way for me to get my RAID array back up and running again?
2) If not, would you recommend I try a de-striping utility (like Runtime's RAID Reconstructor) in order to get my data off the array?
3) IF I decide to go with a RAID again, is there a *responsible* RAID controller maker that you would recommend? (Corollary: What are your thoughts on going with a motherboard embedded RAID controller versus a card? I'll make that a key decision-point for future motherboard purchases.)