CJSAM1
1 Copper

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

Like many other uses in this forum I have been experiencing errors on my RAID 0 disk at start-up, with Intel Matrix Storage Console reporting that the volume is failing.  I haven’t suffered any freezes or anything that stops me using the PC.  The first time it happened, Dell got me to rebuild the array, re-install Vista, etc., which meant I lost a lot of time getting everything back to what it was.  Now the error has returned.

 

My impression from the different threads on this subject is that people have been getting different advice from Dell, that many of the technical support people are unsure what to advise and that people have been having different experiences of the ‘solutions’.

 

So, my questions are:

 

1. Since my previous solution from Dell (re-build the array, change the hard disk) involved a lot of work, re-installing everything, etc., and then didn’t work, is there a case for just letting the error remain and back-up regularly?

2. Does marking the faulty disk as ‘Normal’ in the Matrix Console make any difference? (and incidentally do you lose data doing this?)

3. As far as I can see, none the various ‘solutions’ – changing the hard disks, rebuilding the array, upgrading the Matrix Console, changing to RAID1  – offer a guaranteed answer, so is this currently a problem without a solution?

4. Is the solution just to wait in response to Dell-ChrisM’s post on 03-05-2008: “The new firmware (R180581.exe) to fix the raid errors is in testing. When we have validated the fix, we will post the file. I have no ETA on a release date.”?

 

My system is:

Dell XPS 420 – Intel Core Quad CPU 2.4GHz
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 32-Bit
3GB DDR2 SDRAM @ 800MHz
760MB NVdia GeoForce 8800 GTX
Intel Matrix ATA RAID 0
Dual Samsung 500GB Drives

Intel Matrix Manager v7.8

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Disco74
1 Copper

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

Well it has been 2 weeks since I got 1 of my hdd's swapped out and the intel matrix program taken off (but driver still on) and I have had no problems so far.
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MVick71
1 Copper

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

CJSam1:

Does marking the faulty disk as ‘Normal’ in the Matrix Console make any difference? (and incidentally do you lose data doing this?)

Nope, you don't lose data. I've done this 4 times now, all data etc is still available.

 

3. As far as I can see, none the various ‘solutions’ – changing the hard disks, rebuilding the array, upgrading the Matrix Console, changing to RAID1  – offer a guaranteed answer, so is this currently a problem without a solution?

This is indeed a problem without a current solution.

 

4. Is the solution just to wait in response to Dell-ChrisM’s post on 03-05-2008: “The new firmware (R180581.exe) to fix the raid errors is in testing. When we have validated the fix, we will post the file. I have no ETA on a release date.”?

It's certainly 'a' solution. Personally, I'm well miffed with my PC pooing its pants on a regular basis. This weekend I'm abandoning RAID1 and going with 2 single disks and un-installing the Intel Matrix software. If I get a problem after that, my XPS420 is going back and I'll do what I should have done in the first place and just built my own.

 

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Highlighted
Seajays
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

Has anybody seen any connection with having a CD mounted in the drive and the frequency of failures?

 

I often leave a CD in the drive (e.g. after playing games etc), and don't remove them.  I noticed that the RAID array was failing almost every day when I was leaving them in there, but now I've taken out the CD disk and it hasn't failed for a few days again.

 

Maybe just coincidence of course.

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grb697
1 Copper

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

Greetings all,

 

Guess I just joined the "XPS420 RAID bug" club!  Lucky me 😉

 

I own a number of Dells, and have actually had a good experience until now.  I bought a machine a few weeks ago:

 

     XPS420 quadcore 3ghz QX6850, 4GB RAM, dual 500gb WD had disks, Vista Pro

 

I starting having RAID1 volume failures right away.  I could always mark the drive healthy and rebuild, though I did have data loss issues.  The worst was when the software registry was corrupted and I had to restore to the factory image.

 

I also experienced great frustration with Dell Support.  I got on a 2 1/2 hour chat yesterday.  First off, they don't know that this is a know issue.  Second, I spent the first two hours going through a pointless troubleshooting exercise where all we did was reset the BIOS to default settings and reflash the BIOS back to the same version.  Since I have never changed the BIOS and there were no POST errors I don't know what they thought we were accomplishing!

 

I explained that the obvious suspect component was the RAID controller, as both drives have had this issue.  Either both drives are bad or the one controller is bad.  More likely the controller, yes?

 

First, they wanted me to wait two days to see if I had another recurrence.  I explained that I had already seen this problem several times and waiting was pointless.  They wanted to capture error messages and run diagnostics then admitted there are no error messages other than the volume error and no diagnostics to run.  Finally, a manager agreed to replace the motherboard (since the RAID controller is integrated).  But seeing these posts I doubt that will fix it.

 

I'm an IT professional and I have reasonable patience for addressing bugs.  But the service I received and the fact that Dell Support doesn't even know this is a problem is unacceptable.

 

Dell, better get with the program here.  Other companies have been on top and assumed they were invincible, only to be proven wrong. 

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nigelwill
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

It's astonishing that Dell still maintain this is an unknown issue when on their own Dell Forums there are many people reporting the problem since December 2007! I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceburg as not many people will bother to register and post to the forum either. I have given up with support, they are quite clearly hopeless and it costs you money to listen to them!

 

I am still getting 3 or more failures a week on my mirrored setup, some worse than others. Yesterday it "failed" and decided to re-build the array.

 

A moderator did post that someone in Dell was aware and that a fix has been promised..... but no news yet.

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MVick71
1 Copper

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

I'm utterly stunned that they are still selling XPS420's with the option of having RAIDed disks when it clearly doesn't work.

 

I'm convinced that that can not be legal. They are knowingly selling goods that can't do what they are bought for.

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PSYCHOOO
1 Copper

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

Hi everyone!

 

Same problem here with xps420 with 2x500gb samsung. of course marking disks as working normal in matrix settings help a bit but still 9 out of ten reboots I just have to reboot computer again - gets stuck on every level of startup. Interesting post by Chris M from Dell as I just have one question: how Dell would contact us all with the fix, if I can't even start the bloo** thing? I could understand there's big problem in software etc. and it's been followed by Dell, but HOW and WHEN I'll be sure it's going to be fixed? I have to take that msg from another computer - gave up on rebooting that pile of junk.

 

Will they ring us or anything?

 

Just rethorical I guess. Better start looking for someone to buy that junk XPS from me. From posts of others one thing is clear: dont be bothered by Dell customer service, if they aren't aware of the problem.

 

Gregg B 

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Onyx_08
1 Copper

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

This is just swell, my last post got edited out of the forum by the DELL admins, for being abusive or not in line with DELL message board policies!?

 

First the good! Guess they are reading this message board!

 

Secondly I would love to know what was wrong with my message? I was asking people with the same problem as I have to e-mail/post a question to DELL demanding an official statement acknowledging the problems with the RAID and XPS420 - as it seams it is not even flagged as "a known issue" with the support and we are getting no answers from this board or from DELL customer service or tech support.

 

You might even ask yourself why don't you just contact customer services in Norway and sort this out there? Guess what - I have - and the only answers were: Don't call us - we do not support XPS systems and we do not have anybody either on tech support or customer services that can speak to you regarding your problems. Call the international support line for XPS "click" and they hanged up. I have spent hours with the XPS support -as they are not in my country and are not aware of consumer rights laws in Norway or speak my language I guess there is not much they can help me with, as being proven with the RAID problems.

 

I just want a statement from DELL acknowledging the problem and what they will be doing with it - not just a "be patient" or "we are working on a fix" answer - for some of us the wait has been several months without any improvements.  

 

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Moderator
Moderator

Re: XPS 420 SATA RAID and drive failing

Onyx_08,

All we can say is that this is still under investigation. Your other post was removed due to solicitation of a legal manner.
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