Suspected RAID corruption

Hi Guys,

Difficult one here, i own a Asus M2N32-SLi-DLX WiFi nForce 590 SLi (Socket AM2) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard and it's been giving me jip ever since i bought it. However i've not really been able to put my finger on it until now.

In short, it appears that the RAID is corrupting files. let me list the problems i have that lead me to this conclusion:

1) In Windows XP, i regularly (twice a month) get the warning screen on boot up that i should check my hard drives for errors. CHDSK
I2) n Vista, crashes after a fresh install until i provide a different driver for the RAID.
3) when dealing with large files (copying, moving) or using the hard drives a lot causes them to jam...and then an error message to appear from the RAID software telling me tha the RAID has failed, but then everything carries on as normal. If i remove the software, the disks still jam, but i dont get the error message.
4) When using winrar files, i find they corrupt. this is usually when patching games (i play a lot of games), most recently with Dawn of War, and Medieval 2

At the moment i have 4 250Gb Seagate drives. 1 is in a JBOD and is un-used. the other 3 are in striping. I have recently considered buying another motherboard and staying well away from Nvidia RAID, i have previously used Silicon controllers with no problems.

Any advise? or even better, any stress tests or ideas of how i can prove my motherboard is knackered?

Thanks
lukeledbrookAsked:
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astrosbsCommented:
Hi, what kind of RAID are you using, RAID 0, 1...
Apprently the nVidia chipset uses pair channel for SATA. I would only try tow drives for your RAID and see.
The others is to check if there is any BIOS update and drivers update for the nVidia controller:
http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&model=M2N32-SLI%20Deluxe&type=map&mapindex=5
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teptechCommented:
If enabled, try disabling the write caching on the drives/RAID. See if it improves...
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PUNKYCommented:
Get a raid pci card if you are still using that motherboard.
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lukeledbrookAuthor Commented:
I've decided to purchase an Adaptec card, it should be here tomorrow. However i think its worth mentioning something else.

I mentioned my problems to a game support forum and they have suggested that i check my voltage to make sure it not faulty. I have ordered one of these to do so:

https://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CB-001-AN

Tomorrow i'll be rebuilding my system and testing the power supply with the above product. Also, about a month ago my PC went through a stage of freezing, it would happen approx 10 mins after boot up. It would freeze at any moment, even at the desktop. this happened for two days and then simply went away...at that point i thought my motherboard was fried and began to prepare to get another one. However it all started working again so i left it as is.

Do you know of any tests i can do tomorrow to see if my motherboard is faulty? I have run 3D mark whilst monitoring my Nforce north bridge and GPU temp, they remained well under maximum temps so i have ruled out overheating. My CPU is cooled by a Zalman Heatsink and i have an Antec P180 case to reinforce the cooling.

Help please!
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PUNKYCommented:
You can test memory using memtest. Test hard drive using its utility tool that can be downloaded from website. You have run the 3D mark, and I think that is enough for now unless you found error or other issue.

Let install the adaptec card and please post back.
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astrosbsCommented:
Apply silver paste on the CPU, helps reducing the heat.
I would use memtest and hard drive manufacturer software as mentioned by PUNKY , good to find out if anything is wrong.
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teptechCommented:
I guess I should have elaborated. I had a similar issue with a Systemax Server with a Super Micro  motherboard with onboard Intel RAID controller. The system seemed fine till I put it into production and large amounts of data were being copied/accessed and I was seeing lots of corruption errors and constantly had to run diskchecks and repairs.

In device manager -> disk drives, go to the properties of your drives/volumes and in Policies uncheck write caching. Your RAID management software might also have this option, check in both. Once I turned this off it has been running flawlessly for months without any corruption. I'm sure your adaptec card will handle the raid much better but just thought I would explain my suggestion further...
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lukeledbrookAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your suggesstions so far.

I installed the Adaptec card last night into the PCI Express x1 port. I then used nlite to incorparoate the drivers into my Windows XP image. All working so far, however, been Velentines night and everything i couldnt get any further.

So tonight i'll be progressing with the drivers for my motherboard and seeing what happens. I'll also install UT 3 to see if this cures the un-expected crashing that i think is related to this problem, i opened this in another call on EE. either way i'm going to find out whether my motherboard is faulty or the onboard RAID

astrosbs: i am cooling my CPU with a Zalman CNPS9700 NT and Arctic Cooling Thermal Paste, i've checked the temp and my CPU is not overheating, nor is the GPU or northbridge
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astrosbsCommented:
Do a BIOS reset too if you can
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lukeledbrookAuthor Commented:
Hi Chaps,

Ok, finished the install. here goes on the results. first test was UT 3, it always crashed at the same point before this re-install. Now it makes it past that point, but still crashes after approx 10 mins play time.

Next test was Medieval 2, not the game, but the patches. This game has two 500 - 600Gb patches and it really hammers the drives. it peformed better than it used to, ie didnt corrupt any files, but got to approx 90% and then froze the system, or rather slowed it right down, if i pressed CAPS lock, it took about a second for the light to react on the keyboard.

I tested the power supply with the antec power supply tester and it passed with flying colours, no faults. I ran 3D mark 05 and it too passed no problems. Computer stays up in Windows XP for ages, no problems. I reset the BIOS and turned off onboard SATA and RAID, now only the adaptec is running.

Is this starting to sound like a faulty motherboard? or do you know of anything else i can test?

Thanks
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astrosbsCommented:
What was the result of the hard drive test (manufacturer's software)?
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lukeledbrookAuthor Commented:
It wont detect my hard drives, possibly because there attached to my adaptec card
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lukeledbrookAuthor Commented:
Got it working by plugging the drives into the onboard RAID. For some reason the utility from Samsung didnt like the Adaptec controller. basc tests passed. It scanned the surface now...
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lukeledbrookAuthor Commented:
I have replaced the motherboard and this seems to have cured the problem, must have been faulty. Thanks for all your help
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astrosbsCommented:
Thanks for the points!
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