RAID 5 on Intel Rapid Storage RAID missing a drive

I have a Windows 2008R2 server with an Intel Rapid Storage RAID setup. It is a RAID 5 volume. Of the four 300 GB Western Digital Raptor drives configured, one suddenly disappeared from the array (the first drive). The server won't boot into Windows, and there is no visible or audible indication that the drive is missing (like an alert due to drive failure). It just does not appear in the configuration, and the server won't boot.

Under recovery in the configuration of the raid, there are two options, "Enable Only Recovery Disk", and "Enable Only Master Disk". The config says that either action "will result in a change from continuous update to on-request".

What do these two options entail, and if I do either will I change the configuration and lose the array?

Any other comments will be appreciated.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

That's strange, the recovery disk / master disk option should not be valid for RAID 5, only RAID1. It's there to decide which disk of a mirror to boot from if the two are out of sync. Normal selection is to enable master disk, then boot the OS and look in the Intel RST software to see what's happening.

Screenshots would help although you'll probably need a camera for that.
hbcitAuthor Commented:
Two screenshots provided from my phone.
IMG_1216 shows the initial screen with three of four drives.
IMG_1215 shows the second screen, after selecting option #4 - "Recovery Volume Options".
That's even odder, it doesn't show a missing disk and the three disks shown match the 558.9GB volume size. It's as if someone's created a 3 disk RAID 5 on top of your original 4 disk RAID 5.

If you have a backup I would gamble and select the "Enable Only Master Disk" option, if no backup then it may be data recovery time using something like RAIDreconstructor from

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
hbcitAuthor Commented:
I found someone else who had a similar experience to me on the Intel community support forum, and also found this story there concerning this annoying issue with Intel RAID, in particular the last post:

So I gave the server to some restore/recovery experts in the end, as the procedure appeared daunting.

I will definitely get the software you suggested, certainly a good option to have.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Storage Hardware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.