Problem getting Sony VGC-RC204 to See HDD in RAID 0

Sony Windows 7 PC.  Originally had 2 x 300Gb HDD.  One HDD completely pancaked so have replaced with a new 500Gb HDD.  When both drives are connected the 300GB doesn't appear to be recognised as a 300Gb HDD as a seperate entity.  BIOS sees it but the operating system only sees a total of 465GB of HD space.  When both disks are attached unde disk management it shows one 465Gb as RAID 0 and the new drive as STxxxxxx 465Gb.

My question I guess is what should I see in total HDD space and is this configured correctly as I thought I would see 2 seperate drives 1x500Gb and 1x300Gb.  My customer insisted that prior to the HDD crash he saw 2 drives both registering as 300Gb (a c: and d: drive).
redrockitAsked:
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DavidConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
Windows 7 DOES have software raid capability.  Here is info and screenshots.  Based on what you report, that is how it was originally configured.   You had a RAID0, split into 2 logical drives.

Look at screen shots, he saw 2 physical drives and 2 logical drives.

http://www.alanjlee.com/blog/a-few-notes-on-windows-7-software-raid/

You should "See" 2 physical disks and 2 logical disks.  I think the problem is that you were unaware that software RAID was a possibility and are confusing physical and logical disks.  No need for me to reinvent the wheel here, the article explains what you had before and tells you what you can do, should you want to continue with a RAID0 config (which IMHO would be a big mistake -- you already suffered 100% data loss after a single disk failure, why risk it again??)
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CallandorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you have two drives configured as a RAID-0 array, the OS should only "see" a single drive.  If two drives were visible to the OS, it indicates that the array is broken.  With RAID-0, the loss of any drive means the data is lost on both drives, so perhaps the array is not a RAID-0?
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redrockitAuthor Commented:
So will the array only see a total 500Gb as this is the larger hard drive?
Is there any way I can set it up to see the 300Gb HDD as a seperate entity?
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DavidConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
With RAID0, if you lose 1 disk, you have 100% data loss.   You lost 1 disk.  You have 100% data loss.
Sorry.


(The directory entries, or at least part of them, will still be visible, so you have a false sense of security, but I assure you, only a small part of your data is there.  It is not organized where you fill up the first disk, and then the 2nd disk kicks in.  Data goes back and forth between both disks at the same time)
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RunningGagConnect With a Mentor Commented:
"So will the array only see a total 500Gb as this is the larger hard drive?"

The smallest drive determines the size of the array.

"Is there any way I can set it up to see the 300Gb HDD as a seperate entity?"

Not if both drives are part of the array.  RAID 0 works by writing half the data on one drive, and writing the other half on the other drive.  That's how it achieves faster speeds.  And that's why you lose everything if one drive fails.

If you want to separate them now (and not use RAID), you'll have to go into the RAID utility (probably hardware based) and remove both drives from the array.
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redrockitAuthor Commented:
Losing the drive wasn't a problem everything was backed up.  It seems though that the current config is seeing the 500Gb drive as the main drive because it refernces 465Gb when viewing in Disk Management.

Any clues on stopping raid for both drives to be seen, I didn't see any software services for RAID only virual disk.  If it is as you say hardware based I guess disabling on the motherboard?
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DavidConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
Use the motherboard's BIOS to "remove" the disk drives, then add them back.  If there is option to initialize then do that.  This will generally force a media scan/verify and if there are any lurking bad blocks it will remap them before you kick off a restore.  Plus it will remap bad blocks in areas that would be left empty after a restore, so they won't come back to bite you later on.
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RunningGagConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Typically it is in a section separate from the BIOS.  The BIOS may have an option to enable or disable RAID functionality.

Reboot the computer and watch the startup messages.  Usually it will reference a hot key combination to enter the configuration utility.

IE.  "Press <Shift-S> to enter NVRAID"
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CallandorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I am guessing the RAID was broken, because you saw two separate drives and one of them is suspiciously close to the size of the new drive.  You haven't mentioned what RAID controller was used, but typically, the RAID controller has its own BIOS which you can boot into and configure any arrays, including deleting existing ones.  You should be able to see it when booting the system.
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redrockitAuthor Commented:
Thx for all your suggestions, I am seeing this machine again on Thursday morning.  Will check out all of your ideas, hopefully I can get this to work.  One question re initializing the drives (dlethe) will this affect the drive that has the operating system sitting on it?
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DavidConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
Yes, it will blow it away completely.
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RunningGagConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Likely It will reinitialize the drive and set up a new MBR.  Or at least remove the current MBR.
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redrockitAuthor Commented:
Can I swear on here?
Can I stop RAID completely and then hope that everything will work nicely?
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DavidPresidentCommented:
not sure of what you mean. Please be exact and very specific on what you are asking.
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RunningGagConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If the BIOS supports it, you can turn RAID off.  HOWEVER, it may stop booting to the OS.

It would be best if you were to back up the drive first.  Remember that if you take an image it will pull the drivers, configuration, etc. as well so it will put you back in the same position.  

The only real option is to pull the data you need, break the array, and reinstall the OS.
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DavidConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
Some BIOS's steal a few KB from the beginning of each disk drive to store metadata.  Sometimes they take from the end of the disk.  Sometimes both.  So if you just turn BIOS on or off, you run risk of data shifting over or getting blown away.  net result is loss of data or it won't boot.   Rarely do manuals mention metadata specifications so always best to do a full backup before mucking with such a setting.
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redrockitAuthor Commented:
Thx all for your input....I will report back on Thursday afternoon.
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RunningGagCommented:
Just checking back through my queue.  How did this go?
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redrockitAuthor Commented:
Ok bios does not have any raid options but it does see both disks. Once the os boots in it only sees the 500gb drive. Disk management sees no 300gb drive. My client insists prior to rebuild both 300gb drives were visible as separate entities therefore there was no raid in affect?
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redrockitAuthor Commented:
The 300gb drive has been reformatted, just in case you wondered.
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RunningGagConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If both were visable there couldn't be a RAID.

Just to clarify, were you able to see the 300GB HDD outside of Windows? Just not inside now that Windows has been rebuilt?
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DavidConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
So if BIOS does not have RAID, then that means you set up 2 disks in dynamic mode, and created a software RAID0.  Since customer then said he saw a C & D drive, then the 2 disks were further partitioned into a C & D drive.  This is possible, and about as dumb as one can imagine.  Since 1 disk failed, there is 100% data loss. All of it is gone, by reformatting the 300GB then you have even made a professional recovery impossible.

So just format both drives separately, and create a c & d drive, but don't  use any RAID0.


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RunningGagConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yes, sorry, I forgot this was RAID 0.  There could have been two 300GB drives listed.  It does seem like a silly thing to do though (partitioning them into 300 GB volumes).

I can't imagine that anyone was silly enough to use RAID 0 on a business computer.  It just doesn't make any sense.
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redrockitAuthor Commented:
Ok let's recap. Originally 2 x 300gb hdd. One went pop, nit worried about data loss as all is backed up. Replacement 500gb hdd purchased and configured alongside 300gb drive. So now 1x300gb 1x500gb. The op system (windows 7) is installed to the 500gb hdd. Both drives are visible in bios but not when the operating system is running..... There is no raid option in bios or in the operating system....
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redrockitAuthor Commented:
Just looking at my Sony Vaio Laptop with 2x250GB HDD in RAID 0 on a Vista OS.  I don't get any RAID settings on the PC at all, even through disk management.  I have taken a look at the link for creating RAID 0 etc but still have drawn a blank.
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DavidConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
You won't "get" any RAID settings until you set it up.  Personally, you should leave well-enough alone and NOT do RAID0 and split it into logical drives.There is no upside to doing this, only down side.  Heck, it will even adversely affect performance, unless you use your machine exclusively for throughput benchmarks.

Tell client RAID0 was a bad idea to begin with, and it should be left as-is.
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redrockitAuthor Commented:
Ok, i think I know what may have happened. 300gb hdd pops, I replace with 500gb but only installed windows 7 with the 500gb hdd installed. I later added the 300@gb hdd which was then picked up by the system as being raid0 which is why it isn't being recognised at all as a seperate entity. I have since formatted the 300gb hdd which has made no difference. Question, if I format both hdd and install windows 7 fresh will it see both hdd as seperate drives I.e  physical  500gb and 300gb drives?
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Yes.
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