RAID 1 Array won't boot into Windows XP Pro (Clean Install)

Posted on 2009-03-28
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Dear Experts,

I've become quite angered at what has turned into a 10+ hour project.  I'm working on a machine that had a very poor Windows XP Pro installation on it, requiring a reformat.  After inserting the WinXP disc and pressing F6 to install the drivers for my raid card - the RAID 1 array was recognized and Windows XP Professional successfully installed itself.  The problem starts after the first reboot.  With the boot device set to Sil Mirrored, the machine boots up to a black screen saying:

"Windows could not start becuase of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from selected hard disk. Check boot path and disk hardware. Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information."

Thinking it was a faulty raid controller (even tho prior to this the machine booted to Windows XP using the same two disks in an identical RAID 1/Mirrored setup) I replaced the card with another RAID card, a SIIG UltraATA 133 PCI RAID (The first one was a Promise raid card). Same exact thing happened... I then tried booting into the WinXP recovery console and adding a custom entry to the Boot.ini to no avail as that would bring it to an OS selection screen and send it into a reboot loop.  Any help would be appreciated.

Also, the two discs being used are 160GB IDE Seagate 7,200 RPM drives (identical) and the motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-7VRX.
Question by:techno_guy
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Expert Comment

ID: 24011722
have you tried resetting the bios to factory defaults?
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 24011739
This is a very classic situation on XP when booting to a non-IDE drive (AHCI, RAID)

Sometimes (and it happened to me on a K8N-DL dual opteron mb), you have to create a custom installation CD integrating the RAID/AHCI drivers to allow for a stable XP

A good example of a custom installation CD using nLite can be seen here

Author Comment

ID: 24011794
Shayneg: I have reset the CMOS numerous times.

BigSchmuh: When I boot to the XP disc (which I slipstreamed SP3 onto), I hit F6 and install the drivers required for the RAID array to function properly.  Do you think actually including those drivers in the slipstream as well would make that much of a difference?

And for the record, I've tried the install with an SP2 non-slipstreamed disk, same deal.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 24012734
YES I had the same kind of boot problem on my K8N-DL (RAID) and I SOLVED those by including the drivers in the slipstream

Author Comment

ID: 24013726
I'll try that and get back to you.

Author Comment

ID: 24013932
No go... same deal.

Accepted Solution

techno_guy earned 0 total points
ID: 24015139
I'm going to try and go another route with it, as it seems Windows cannot access the RAID array (due to a driver issue?).  I'm going to try and go ahead and install Windows on a single drive, then shut down the machine.  Install the RAID card and fire it back up again.  Install all the drivers/utilities and shut it down.  Hook up the drives, and see what happens...

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