mtempelm
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

I think I already know the answer but thought I'd make sure.

 

My system came equipped with the RAID0 configuration and I would prefer to have RAID1 enabled instead for the added reliability.  Certainly willing to sacrifice the 500GB for the added piece of mind.

 

A couple weekends ago I disabled/broke and then re-enabled the RAID0 in an attempt to resolve the random system shutdowns, etc.  As I was doing that I noticed that there was no option for RAID1, just RAID0.  So I suspect that the Intel Matrix Storage controller card I have installed only supports RAID0?

 

Thanks,

Mike

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Tony4052
1 Copper

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

Had my new hard drives fitted today...just puting everything back on....Smiley Happy
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nigelwill
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

It does support Mirrors, I am just installing the new disks from Dell, so decided to make a 50GB mirrored partition (of the 320GB). If you have new drives, just select Ctrl-I during boot and create a new Volume - here you can select Stripe or Mirror and a size.

Vista is installing now, so I'll post back later when it's done..... assuming it works!
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Seajays
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

I'm having this problem two - both (RAID1) drives have failed once since I got the machine six weeks ago.  Marked them as OK in the Matrix Console and they rebuilt.

Have also logged a support call with Dell today after reading this - see if it makes any difference.  Mine has the Samsung drives fitted at the moment.  If they do decide to replace the drives, I hope they can replace them one at a time and do a rebuild, so I don't have to do a complete re-install.  It's just taken me six weeks to get everything set-up and working the way I want it!
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Tony4052
1 Copper

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

The Service Guy that fitted my new drives said he wouldnt replace one drive at a time as it would take him to long. I had already backed everything I needed so he just fitted the new drives and installed Vista again...he left the rest to me....
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Seajays
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

I think if they send someone round to replace them, I might have to argue with them about that...  The whole point of opting for Datasafe and the RAID1 mirror, was so that all the backup options are covered (other than off-site of course!).

I do not have any other external backup, therefore simply removing both my drives would mean I lose all my data - not acceptable...  They could always leave the drives and I'd do it myself, then send the old ones back...  How did some people on here manage to get them sent 'DIY', instead of an engineer install?
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nigelwill
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

If you're willing to do the installation of the drives yourself, ask Dell to leave them with you. I had 2 x Seagates delivered yesterday and they left me to do the install myself. That way, if you have mirrored drives you can do the re-build 1 drive at a time. Dell are going to collect the old Samsung drives from me later this week.

Installation is fairly easy, just pop open the case and the 2 drives are at the bottom. Unplug the power and data cables then slide them out. Undo the 4 screws holding the drive in the caddy and install the new one. Slide it back into the case and re-connect the power/data cables. 10 minute job.

I now have the 320GB drives setup with 2 x RAID 1 mirrors. A 50GB partition for the System disk, and the remainder as a Data disk. The fresh Vista install from the Dell disk is much cleaner, it doesn't have all the usual rubbish included, just Vista. You will need the Dell drivers disk also for the network adapter drivers.

Seems to be behaving so far, but the failures have been somewhat un-predictable so far.
Message Edited by nigelwill on 02-10-2008 03:01 PM
Message Edited by nigelwill on 02-10-2008 03:02 PM
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nigelwill
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

Mine was running fine all yesterday after the rebuild, but just powered it up this morning and was replying to a gmail when the screen went black and there was a lot of disk activity. I let it finish (ie till the disk light went out) but had to power off as it was un-responsive.

On the third attempt, it finally booted into Vista, and the Intel Matrix is now saying Initialising.... which I presume means it is re-building the mirror.

So basically, it looks like the problem is not solved by swapping out the Samsung disks for Seagate ones. Vista simply does not work with the Intel Matrix controller, at least not in the Dell XPS 420.
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rupert_hollom
1 Copper

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

That's not good news at all, since the drives where replaced in our machine (just over a week ago) it has not had any drive failures - although saying that is tempting fate rather.  Keep us posted, although the fact that it is saying Initialising is a bit worrying, when we lost one of the drives, Intel Matrix said Rebuilding, sounds moer like it has lost the array all together, or thinks it is a new array.
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Highlighted
yann.r
1 Copper

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

Hello!

 

No posts from me since several weeks now... I had the same RAID/HDD related issue but my XPS420 was running quite ok, until this week. Almost 4 weeks without any problem...

 

I'm trying to determine what could have been the key factor (as, obviously, forums posts regarding Hard Disks replaced are not so optimistic...).

I'm still with exactly the same hardware (no HDD changed) so, basically, I'm focusing on software :

As written above, I had 4 weeks without any glitches on the Storage Raid sub-system. I have been announcing on this post the fact that, following Dell's advice, I installed Service Pack 1 RC1 on my Vista. Then, few days later, SP1 RC1 Refresh...

 

But beginning of this week, I had to re-install from scratch my Vista. Somewhat time-consuming process so, basically, I had to do it over several evenings... (OS, Drivers, Applications, Personal data,...)

I had 4 weeks without crash... But during the day I left my XPS420 running, with Vista installed BUT without any Service Pack 1,... It crashed!!

 

Now, I once again re-installed SP1 (so called SP1 RC1 Refresh 2, supposingly the Final one, downloaded with official WU process anyway). That was 2 days ago. No crash since then.

 

Rather difficult to have any firm conclusion here... But from my personal experience, I tend to believe SP1 is contributing to stabilize the RAID issue seen on XPS420...

 

What is your own experience on this one ?

 

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