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Reset up Raid Mirroring after one HD dies

Posted on 2011-10-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I fix PCs for a living; this is for a customer and I have limited info PLUS I am not very expert on RAID of any kind except at the highest level (need 2 HDs and one improves performance by parallel writes and the other Mirroring provides a backup if one of the 2 HDs dies).

RAID is implemented in the mobo not with a Add on PCI card. Mobo is

asus maximus formula special edition. Here is a link: http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_775/Maximus_Formula_Special_Edition/

PC is custom built by customer two years ago and he set up RAID mirroring at that time and can NOT NOW remember how he did it. And I have NEVER set up RAID of any kind. OS is Vista.

Two problems

(1) One of the mirror HDs dies. Customer replaces it with a new unformatted HD. Also ACCIDENTALLY he pushed BIOS reset button on mobo.

NOW PC will NOT BOOT (no sound, no video, nothing) when he pushes the external power button on the case., However if he pushes a "red Button" on the motherboard (which he thinks is a Reset button of some sort, NOT the BIOS reset) the PC boots and works fine (running off the single HD of course).

Note: at the link above to the ASUS mobo model, under the Specs tab there is this line
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Onboard Switches: Power / Reset / Cls CMOS (at rear)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I assume he pushes the Reset button in that spec line to get it to boot. Also at the link proper there is a red button shown on the left edge of the mobo photograph that may or may not be the Reset button.

Question 1: How can we get PC to boot from Power button on the case ?

Question 2: If Raid is implemented on the mobo (our situation) and you reset the BIOS as he did, does that DESTROY RAID and the PC boots from the remaining HD in non-raid config?


Customer has MANY non-standard programs on this PC for photography purposes (Photoshop, Lightbox, others, plus Office, AV SW,  others. He does have all his data files (including Outlook.pst) backed up to external HD.

Question 3: How can we format and add the new HD in as a mirrored RAID config WITHOUT WIPING OUT ALL THE DATA ON THE REMAINING HD ? i,e NOT starting from scratch as that will take many hours of time to do. Some SW he does not have install CDs for and we must use emails for SW purchased online to reinstall which is a pain. Plus restoring his data files and many many small things which occur when you reinstall Vista takes a lot of time.

HOWEVER, based on the above IF REFORMATTING and wiping out remaining HD and resetting up RAID mirroring is the ONLY way to go, then please SAY THAT.

Regards,
  Mike
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Question by:mgross333
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by:chakko
chakko earned 900 total points
ID: 37048943
My experience with onboard RAID is that you configure the RAID in the BIOS.  

Your BIOS may have the RAID settings in there, the setup options, or it just may have an enable feature.  Also, in the Boot sequence/order screen you may need to check if there is a setting for the RAID as a bootup device.

Then during the boot process you should see something about the RAID and can press a key to get into the setup and see if it is configured or empty.  If it is empty you can setup a new RAID1 mirrors.  Normally it will ask for two disks to be selected, The first disk it the MASTER - it has the data.
The second disk will be the Mirror - the copy

Mostly, those onboard RAID will copy from the 'Master' to the 2nd disk and preserve your data.  You already had the RAID setup in the computer so the driver should already be installed in the OS.

I would go through the mainboard manual and see what instructions are in there before doing anything and also confirm what options/features may be in the RAID feature that you have



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by:chakko
ID: 37048944
Also, make sure you know which disk was replaced.  Was the new disk on port 0 or 1?  This may be required when selecting the disks in the RAID to make sure you select the correct 'Master' disk
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by:chakko
ID: 37048999
Looks like that Mainboard has an Intel Raid.

Here is an older document I found which looks like it has instructions to setup the RAID.  It may help

http://support.ts.fujitsu.com/UKFAQ/ProfessionalPC/FAQ/Manuals/UG-matrix-storage-manager-eng.pdf

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by:nobus
nobus earned 600 total points
ID: 37049115
>>  However if he pushes a "red Button" on the motherboard (which he thinks is a Reset button of some sort, NOT the BIOS reset) the PC boots and works fine   <<  that is correct - it is the reset button

1-How can we get PC to boot from Power button on the case ?  --> check if the switch is still connected to mobo; you can aslo remove the 2 pin connector, and short the pins momentarily with a screwdriver to test if it is a bad swich (wire can be loose at connector, or at switch

2-If Raid is implemented on the mobo (our situation) and you reset the BIOS as he did, does that DESTROY RAID and the PC boots from the remaining HD in non-raid config? --> it should not, since mirrored disk can boot and work alone - and bios does not change anything on the disk

3-How can we format and add the new HD in as a mirrored RAID config WITHOUT WIPING OUT ALL THE DATA ON THE REMAINING HD ?  you must determine which disk is bad - then connect the GOOD one as first drive, and the other in the remaining connector. then at boot enter the RAID bios Utility - there is normally in the RAID bios a section to rebuild the array

find all info in the manual also raid setup) : http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/socket775/Maximus_Formula/e3374_maximus_formula.pdf

repairing raid software :  http://www.diskinternals.com/raid-recovery/
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 37050408
chakko,

Your answers are useful if I do a reformat install which I am trying to avoid. Please answer the numbered questions that exist in my question as nobus did. I concede that there is some use in your posts as that they confirm (or spell out in more detail) what nobus is saying but be clear I do NOT want to set up RAID mirroring on one new HD and one reformatted  original master HD and then reinstall Vista and all the programs and on and on for the reasons stated in my question.

nobus

(1) Your answer assumes an incredible co-incidence. That at the same time one HD fails, he replaces it and accidentally pushes the BIOS reset button that IT JUST HAPPENS that the connection between the power button on the case and the mobo goes bad. HOW LIKELY IS THAT? I have a different theory: When power button is pressed it does NOT go directly to the power supply; instead it takes a complex path THRU the mobo and then to the Power Supply causing it to send power to all the devices inside the PC. Hence if the mobo goes bad (or in this case something in that path is changed) then pushing the power button does not start the PC and nothing is wrong with the wired connection (as you believe).

We can throw some lite on this if we look at it this way: PC boots fine when Reset button on mobo is pushed. WHAT DOES THAT TELL US? Does that bypass the power button to mobo to power supply path and just go right to the power supply. ie nobus, do you know WHAT HAPPENS in a little detail when the reset button on the mobo is pushed ?

(2) I do not understand your answer. I believe you agree that RAID is set up in the BIOS. So if we reset the BIOS then there is NO RAID. Or are you agreeing with me when you say " it should not, since mirrored disk can boot and work alone - and bios does not change anything on the disk"
i.e the bad HD is the mirror HD and the PC now boots normally to the master with no RAID at al
l. Do you agree with that statement ?

(3) The crux of your answer is (3). First off, how confident are you in that answer? Very confident, mostly confident, not sure ? PLEASE reply.  Also have you ever faced this sitatuion and done that and had it work?

Because I have to give a bid to this customer and if your (3) is right my bid can be a lot lower than if Ihave to reinstall Vista etc etc.

Also the devil is in the details. Please look at my reply to your (2). Since the PC boots fine when the mobo reset button is pushed, does that CLEARLY IMPLY that the working HD MUST BE THE MASTER in the original Raid mirrored config SO THAT I do not need to move any HDs as the working HD is already in the right port. Do you agree or not ? And I just put the new replacement HD connected to the mobo just as the original now bad HD was connected. That would simplify my job. IS THAT CORRECT?

And now to the KEY question: You say "...at boot enter the RAID bios Utility - there is normally in the RAID bios a section to rebuild the array". The key question is when I tell the BIOS to rebuild the array does that mean REFORMAT the good HD as part of the rebuild? That is not something I can be guessing about.

Another question not handled by your answer: Do I FIRST have to reformat the new replacement HD before I tell the BIOS to rebuild the array OR does the BIOS reformat it. But if the BIOS reformats the new HD then it probably reformats the working HD.

I do not need EVERY detail here (I **HAVE** printed out the relevant RAID pages from your link to the mobo manual) BUT I do Need answers to the above questions here under (3).

And remember I will not be paid a penny by this customer if I can not get the PC to boot from the power button on the case. Hence please read my reply to (1) and see what you can come up with. I concede your reply to (1) does have a diag test using a screwdriver BUT again that implies an incredible coincidence here that two things broke at the same time.

Mike
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by:chakko
chakko earned 900 total points
ID: 37050459
1. I don't have answers as to what that button does.  and if the power doesn't start from the Case Power button then I would check the wires that connect from the button to the mainboard.  Maybe they came out when someone was poking around inside the case

2.  Whether the system settings are still there or not I don't know.  You would have to look in the BIOS and check it out.  Those Intel on-board RAID is fairly simple.  It should have a setting in the BIOS to enable the RAID feature.  The settings for the RAID could be in the BIOS or it will show up during the Boot sequence (POST) and normally it should have something like press Control-M or F10 or some key to enter the configuration.  
 
3.  In my comment on the RAID I am not talking about any format process.  The basic idea is you put in a new hard drive and create a new RAID Mirror.  One disk is the original disk with data (I just call that master, no reference to anything else) and the new blank disk (replacement).
The RAID procedure will duplicate the original disk contents (which I call Master) onto the new 2nd blank disk.  End result is the RAID Mirror (redundant hard drive setup) with the original data on both disks. No format and no reinstall is needed.
As Nobus suggested, put the disk with data on the first SATA port and put the 2nd blank disk on port 2.  So when you go to create the RAID you know which disk has the data and which one is blank, if you get those reversed then you could end up with 2 blank disks.
I haven't setup up that RAID (intel on-board) for a while so I can't remember the exact options other than what I explained.  

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by:chakko
ID: 37050477
Also, if you can boot the system up now, I would guess that the RAID is working.  There is a Windows program for the Intel RAID that you can install and see the status of it.  If your RAID is intact still (the configuration in the Mainboard/BIOS) then you should be able to replace the bad disk and go into the RAID setup (either from Bios/Post or probably Windows program) and you should find a Rebuild or Repair command - or something to that effect. I have had to replace a disk with that RAID before but can't remember if it auto Rebuilt itself (meaning it detected the replacement disk automatically and start the rebuild) or if I had to manually initiate the rebuild.

The Windows program should be: Intel Matrix Storage Manager
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 37050617
nobus,

I would appreciate if you would reply to my reply to your post as well as comment on my questions below to chakko (as he agrees with much of what you said)

chakko

Thanks for your new posts which are more helpful. However we are NOT THERE YET. Please reply to (A), (B), (C) and (D) below.

(A) Regarding "if you can boot the system up now, I would guess that the RAID is working."

WHY SO? Customer says one HD went bad and he accidentally pushed the BIOS reset button and since your and nobus agree that the RAID is in the BIOS then THERE CAN BE NO RAID NOW as RAID is not the default in any mobo or BIOS out of the box.

i.e What is wrong with my theory that PC now boots from what was "master" HD (under raid mirroring) as a single HD boot?

Now I concede maybe the customer is wrong about pushing the BIOS reset button but I do not believe he is wrong about one HD being bad. Now if we still have RAID mirror set up (as you believe) and one HD goes bad DOES THE PC JUST WORK STILL IN RAID MODE even though it cannot write duplicates to the bad HD?  Or if replaced the bad HD with a new HD same problem because customer assures me the new HD is not yet formatted.

(B) I notice you tell me to run the Intel Matrix Storage Manager program to see the current RAID status. Can you please provide a link to download that program from (Vista compatible version).

(C) Re: "As Nobus suggested, put the disk with data on the first SATA port and put the 2nd blank disk on port 2."

Sorry for appearing "stupid" but how can I identify Port 1 and Port 2 on the specified ASUS mobo? To reply go to nobus link to the mobo manual.

http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/socket775/Maximus_Formula/e3374_maximus_formula.pdf

Now go to page p. 56 of 168 (also shown as page 30 in the box as it appears the number in the pdf menu box is the number relative to that chaper only). ZOOM IN A BIT.  Now scroll down. In the lower right corner it shows the SATA2 and SATA1 and SATA4 and so on CONNECTORS on the mobo. (Note we are seeing a diagram of the lower rght corner of the mobo from the entire mobo diagram to the left of the SATA connector diagram.)

SO HERE IS THE QUESTION. Is the SATA1 connector in that diagram what you and nobus call Port 1. And is the SATA2 connector (to left of SATA1 connector) what you and Nobus refer to as Port 2.
PLEASE REPLY.

Since you yourself say "... if you get those reversed then you could end up with 2 blank disks." well that implies I need to be 100% (or close) sure about what is port 1 and what is port 2.

(D) Do I have to format the new HD (and format it as what ???) before I boot and have the BIOS or whatever set up RAID mirroring again (or if it already set up, then choose some sort of Repair option)
OR
does the RAID set up (or the Repair) automatically format the new HD and does not even ask me about that OR it asks me if I want to format. The key things is do **I** need to format the new HD **FIRST** before setting up RAID.  Regarding this question your remark ""... if you get those reversed then you could end up with 2 blank disks." " implies that the Raid set up DOES format the mirror Port 2 HD first (reverse logic) . Please reply on this issue.

For the rest, as I said above I have printed out the pages of the mobo manual that tell tells me how to set up Raid mirroring from within the BIOS.

Mike
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by:chakko
ID: 37050693
A.  in the manual it looks like the RAID setup is probably not in the BIOS. You activate the RAID feature in the BIOS, but it says to press Control-I during the Post.
The BIOS may be set to Non-Raid and it is booting from the normal Sata mode disk.  I never tried it so I can't comment if it will still boot, but my guess on the simple RAID that it will boot.
If the RAID is working then 1 of the disks is good and the system will boot.  That is the purpose of the RAID1 mirror - 1 hard drive can fail and everything still works.

B.  In the Sata section.  it says driver, but the file is too big so probably contains the windows program also
http://support.asus.com/download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=Maximus%20Formula&p=1&s=22&os=24&hashedid=SUtOxkjNA4ODENtN

C.  yes, looks like SATA1 is port1, connect your disk with data to there

D. you don't need to format the new disk.  The RAID process will do everything, just put in the new hard disk and proceed.

I would suggest you install the RAID program and do everything inside of it / windows.  The interface is much better than the BIOS/Post interface.  Also, it should immediately become apparent if that disk is in the RAID setup already or not.
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by:chakko
ID: 37050710
You need to make sure you know which disk is the one with data.  If the new disk is a different brand then it is easy and it will appear with a different name.  If it is identical to the original disk with data then they will look the same.
If you are not sure, then I would disconnect 1 disk and see if the system boots.  Then you know which disk is the one with data.

Point is if the disks are already connected to SATA1 and SATA2, which disk did the person really replace - do they know where the SATA cable was connected?  Better to check for yourself, since either disk SATA1 or SATA2 could have failed and the system will still work because of the RAID.
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by:
chakko earned 900 total points
ID: 37050726
after reviewing the windows program for the RAID you choose the Rebuild to another disk command.  the 'another disk' will be the new disk

So, I would not change the drive connections around.  Just find which disk has the data and which one is the new disk and then use the Windows program to proceed.  If the disks are different brands then it should make it easier to determine which is the data disk.

http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-029023.htm
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 37050786
chakko,

Thanks for your latest posts.

Regarding NOT using the instructions in the mobo manual for setting up Raid (i.e turn it on in BIOS and then CTRL-I at boot etc, )then you INSTEAD want me to use the link in your last post  

http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-029023.htm 

Where here do I get the Intel Rapid Storage Technology program from OR is it already installed (FOR SURE !!) if Raid Mirroring was working in the past OR is it installed when I install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager from the link to the Asus site you provided.

I have other questions too but I will hold off until I review the manual for the Intel Rapid Storage Technology program  that is also at your link as the manual may answer all of them.

Regards,
  Mike
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 37050812
chakko and nobus

Regarding "So, I would not change the drive connections around.  Just find which disk has the data and which one is the new disk and then use the Windows program to proceed.  "

Will that work if the master under raid mirroring (connected to Port 1) is the BAD HD and now replaced by a new empty HD and the good HD was the mirror drive connected to Port 1?
Because that is the opposite of what you and nobus said earlier.

Or are you assuming that since the PC boots that the data is still on the HD connected to Port 1 as it cannot boot from Port 2 (without Bios mods).?

Or does it not matter to the Intel Rapid Storage Technology manager, it just works regardless of what is connected to port 1 and 2 ?

Mike
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 37050825
IMPORTANT Correction to above post immediately above this one:

change in the 2nd paragraph
"...the good HD was the mirror drive connected to Port 1?
"
TO
"...the good HD was the mirror drive connected to Port 2 ?" Port 2 and not port 1 in that phrase.

Mike
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by:chakko
ID: 37050881
I posted the link for the driver, and the program should be included in that download file.

In general I think it's not a good idea to move disks around when they are in a RAID.  With the Intel raid I don't know if that applies also, but safer to not move the drive positions (connections).

The manual says you choose 'Rebuild to another drive', so it should just be a matter of choosing the correct drive - the blank drive as the rebuild target.

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by:nobus
nobus earned 600 total points
ID: 37051986
>>  (1) Your answer assumes an incredible co-incidence. That at the same time one HD fails, he replaces it and accidentally pushes the BIOS reset button that IT JUST HAPPENS that the connection between the power button on the case and the mobo goes bad. HOW LIKELY IS THAT   <<   i cannot know all the guy did - if he pushes the reset button by accident - what else happened by accident?  he can dislodge or discennect cards and cables as well

2-yes i agree
3-the answer depends on what EXACTLY was done -which i don't know - only from your post
4-i never tried to rebiuild such a raid, but what should be done imo is
a-setup raid again in bios
b-the raid rebuild itself  : http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/raid/levels/singleLevel1-c.html

the problem is when setting up the raid in bios : will it destroy the data on the good disk?
i don't know, it may even depend on the raid controller - so i suggest - IF YOU WANT TO ABSOLUTELY SURE - to test it first: setup windows with some data on a spare disk - then setup the array in the bios (just like you would do it for real)

i hope this answers most of your questions
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 37053545
nobus,

Thanks for posting again. What I really need is your OK on Chakko's solution (see (3) below) But first some comments on your answers here.

(1) I do not agree with your answer to (3)
> the answer depends on what EXACTLY was done -which i don't know - only from your post

 What was done is that ONE HD failed (either the master or mirror drive we do not know which but that the PC boots and works from the mobo reset button may tell you something about which HD failed. AND the mobo Bios reset button (NIOT the same as the mobo reset button) was pressed. THAT is it.
Given that I would think I could get an answer of confidence or not vs you saying you cannot answer. If my description of what was done is WRONG then I will not hold your answer to be right . But note that my description is got from the customer on the phone but remember this customer is computer savvy enough to have BUILT this PC including RAID from scratch from parts so he is probably reliable.)

(2) Regardiing
< to test it first: setup windows with some data on a spare disk - then setup the array in the bios (just like you would do it for real)

I do this for a living and TIME IS MONEY and I am NOT going to do that. And we do have ALL data files backed up so in the worst case if the good HD is wiped out we do the entire thing from scatch like a new PC which means resinstalling the many programs BUT I do have a BACKUP plan.

THE POINT HERE IS THAT YOU AND CHAKKO ARE EXPERTS AND I WOULD THINK GIVEN THAT I HAVE TOLD YOU WHAT HAPPENED YOU COULD COME UP WITH A SOLUTION THAT MAKES IT VERY UNLIKELY THAT THE GOOD HD IS WIPED OUT.

(3) BOTTOM LINE HERE; Since you last posed, Chakko has done MANY MANY posts and appears to me to be an expert and HE has told me to do this
------------------------------------------------------------
after reviewing the windows program for the RAID you choose the Rebuild to another disk command.  the 'another disk' will be the new disk

So, I would not change the drive connections around.  Just find which disk has the data and which one is the new disk and then use the Windows program to proceed.  If the disks are different brands then it should make it easier to determine which is the data disk.

http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-029023.htm 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
AND ALSO THIS
------------------------------------------------------------
I posted the link for the driver, and the program should be included in that download file.

In general I think it's not a good idea to move disks around when they are in a RAID.  With the Intel raid I don't know if that applies also, but safer to not move the drive positions (connections).

The manual says you choose 'Rebuild to another drive', so it should just be a matter of choosing the correct drive - the blank drive as the rebuild target.

------------------------------------------------------

The driver Chakko is referring to is the Intel Matrix Storage manager driver. The program he refers to is at the link, the Intel Rapid Storage Technology program that is run with Windows booted and running from the good HD connected to whatever port it is and was connected to when RAID was working.

KEY THINGS HERE IS Chakko CLEARLY says that IF the good HD is connected to Port 2 and the Replacement for the Bad HD is connected to Port 1, then do **NOT** reverse the port connections (contrary to what you told me to do) and also do NOT set up RAID in the BIOS (again not your solution). Instead he says (per the link) to run the Intel Rapid Storage Technology program (with windows booted using the mobo reset button OR after I fix the case power button use it) and then tell the program to Rebuild another drive and point it to the Replacement for the bad HD.

i.e chakko is saying that program is a Wizard that makes it easy to reset up Raid mirroring for someone like me that is NOT very expert in Raid and Intel paid some engineers to write such a "Wizard" type programs that handles ALL difficulties regardless of port numberts ie. IT JUST WORKS.

So nobus, the way you could move things forward here is to think about Chakko's solution (which I plan to use) and tell me if you think it will work or not. To help you answer, the link to the manual for the program is

http://download.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/irst_user_guide.pdf


I have not reviewed that manual yet as I will not be doing the job till Weds. Nov.2, 2011.

Regards,
  Mike
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 37054217
chakko and nobus,

I have found that Intel Rapid Storage Techology is the replacement for the older Intel Matrix Storage Manager. I have found an install file on the Intel site. Problem is Intel describes it as a DRIVER, not a program which does not agree with Chakko's instructions even though his link clearly implies that it is a program.

I will read the user guide and try to figure this out BUT a driver and a program are two different things and now I am concerned.

Mike
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by:chakko
ID: 37054916
Did you download the file link I posted above?  It over 20mb in size so it looks like it has the program included.  That is from the ASUS site for the mainboard.

In the Intel program, it is not a wizard, but a GUI windows program which should be easier to work with.
I suggest you install it and take a look and then it should be easier to proceed.

you could also rebuild ('recover') the RAID in the BIOS/POST interface but I think the Windows GUI will be easier to work with.  

here is the link again, in the SATA section.  It's 23.61 mb

http://support.asus.com/download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=Maximus%20Formula&p=1&s=22&os=24&hashedid=SUtOxkjNA4ODENtN
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 37062892
chakko and nobus,

Customer has changed mind and will get new PC.

I was onsite yesterday working mostly or other jobs but while there found

(1) Power button cable not connected to mobo as you two suspcted. Button on mobo he pushed to boot was marred Pwr_SW, not reset. Button he accidentally hit was CLR cmos which probably wiped out RAID.

IMPORTANT: Raid drives were G: and Unallocated (new HD) connected to ports 4 and 6. C: was not mirrored hence no programs could have been wiped out. And he had G: (good HD) backed up so RAID miroring is not necessarily that important.

At some point he screwed around with PC after I got there and it would not boot or failed after boot. Thru a combo of last Known Good Config and Vista Startup Repair, I got it to work again. But he felt PC was now unstable PLUS specs were no longer state of art so he decided to get a new PC vs implementing RAID.

Points assigned to you for future use of info.

Mike
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Author Closing Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 37062944
Grades assigned above reflect the fact that customer decided to not have me set up RAID (see my last post) so I was unable to test any of the chosen solutions.  Also neither nobus or chakko spelled out a complete step by step solution with details.
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