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How to Troubleshoot a RAID Hard Drive Issue on a Dell Computer

Summary: This article provides information about how to identify and resolve issues with RAID on a Dell computer.

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Symptoms

Follow the instructions in this article if your computer is experiencing issues with RAID. Issues such as RAID error messages like:

  • RAID degraded
  • RAID failed
  • System configured with RAID is not booting into the operating system
  • Rebuilding the RAID array 
NOTE: If you are having trouble booting with a PCIe RAID card installed, ensure you are on the latest revision of your Dell BIOS. Boot issues with older BIOS revisions have been reported.

Table of Contents:

  1. How to Troubleshoot a RAID configuration issue on a Dell computer
  2. Initial Troubleshooting
  3. RAID Failed
  4. RAID Degraded
  5. Deleting RAID
  6. Resetting to NON-RAID

Cause

Issues with RAID could be due to:

  • RAID is not supported on your computer
  • The RAID configuration settings in the BIOS 
  • Potential hard disk failure
  • Settings on applications like Intel Matrix Storage Manager and so on.

Resolution

NOTE: This article deals with Intel RAID that is built into Dell desktop computers. Do you see a prompt to press the CTRL + I keys after the computer completes Power-On Self-Test (POST)? If you do not, then you do not have access to a RAID controller outside of the Operating System.
 

Initial Troubleshooting

 

  1. Do you have RAID configured on your Hard Drives?

    1. Yes, then go to the next step.

    2. No, then go to the guide below:

  2. Are you getting an error before the RAID screen loads?

    1. Are you getting a blank screen with a flashing cursor? Go to this guide:

    2. An on-screen Start-up error? Go to this guide:

    3. Is the computer failing to POST? Go to this guide:

    4. No, then go to the next step.

  3. Have you run the onboard diagnostics?

    1. They would not run, go to step 4.

    2. They ran and passed, go to step 5.

    3. They ran and failed with an error code, go to this guide:

  4. If the diagnostics do not run, then the computer is failing at a point before the RAID is in effect. Go to this guide for help with troubleshooting this issue:

NOTE: When troubleshooting a NO POST issue, you may be asked to remove the I/O Panel and CMOS battery as part of identifying the NO POST fault. When the No POST issue is resolved, you have lost your RAID array as a result of doing this step.
 
NOTE: Be aware resetting the BIOS to defaults can have the same effect.
 
  1. Are you having power issues and losing the date and time?

    1. Yes, you must troubleshoot the motherboard, the CMOS battery, and your Power socket. The type of RAID running on these computers does not have a dedicated RAID card to keep the RAID volume up when there are computer issues. If the motherboard or CMOS battery is failing, they take your RAID volume with them. I would advise contacting your Technical Support for further help with this.

    2. No, in this case go to the next step.

  2. What type of RAID issue are you experiencing?

    1. A RAID Failed error message after POST? Go to section 3

    2. A RAID Degraded error message after POST? Go to section 4

    3. Are you looking to Delete a RAID Volume? Go to section 5

    4. Are you looking to reset the Hard Drives to Non-RAID? Go to section 6


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RAID Failed

 

RAID 0 Failed

  1. If a RAID 0 Stripe volume fails, you get the error message shown below. The message gives the status of the volume and identifies any hard drive that the computer can see. The example shows that the only hard drive that is seen is on Port 0. That means you would troubleshoot the hard drive on Port 2. Knowing which port is faulty lets you know which drive inside the system is having the issue.

  • Intel Matrix Storage Manager option ROM v5.0.0.1032 ICHx Copyright 2003-05 Intel Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

  • RAID Volumes:
    ID Name Level Strip Size Status Bootable
    0 Volume0 RAID0(Stripe) 128KB 223.6GB Failed No
  • Physical Disks:
    Port Drive Model Serial # Size Type/Status(Vol ID)
    0 SAMSUNG HM120JI S09GJ10L209832 111.8.GB Member Disk(0)
  • Press CTRL + I to enter the Configuration Utility.

  1. If the Diagnostics are passing, it means one of two outcomes. Either the Hard Drive is not being detected to have the diagnostics run, or it is the controller and software on the drive that is faulty. I would recommend checking that the power and data cables are securely fitted to the drive inside the machine. Does this change what is reported?

    1. Yes, try booting and see if this has resolved your problem. If not you are looking at re-creating the RAID array from the beginning as above.

    2. No, then I am afraid you are going to have to re-create the RAID array from the beginning. You can find a guide below. If that does not resolve the issue, then you must contact your Technical Support for further help.

NOTE: Data cannot be recovered from a RAID 0 failure.
 


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RAID Degraded

 

RAID 1 Degraded

Visible from the Matrix ROM Option

  1. If a RAID 1 Mirror volume has a degraded status, it shows the error message in the picture below. The computer does not detect one of the two Hard Drives, and it may have failed. The computer boots normally on the remaining drive after that screen closes.

    1. If the onboard diagnostics passed, you want to troubleshoot how the RAID sees the degraded drive. Go to step 2

    2. If they failed and you have the new Hard Drive, you want to go to Rebuilding RAID 1.

  • Intel(R) Matrix Storage Manager option ROM v5.0.0.1032 ICHx Copyright(C) 2003-05 Intel Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

  • RAID Volumes:
    ID Name Level Strip Size Status Bootable
    0 Volume0 RAID1(Mirror) 128KB 223.6GB Degraded No
  • Physical Disks:
    Port Drive Model Serial # Size Type/Status(Vol ID)
    0 SAMSUNG HM120JI S09GJ10L209832 111.8.GB Member Disk(0)
  • Press CTRL + I to enter the Configuration Utility.

 
NOTE: In a RAID 1 configuration, the computer can continue to operate on the remaining drive. However, no redundancy is in place and any further data loss cannot be recovered until the array is rebuilt.
 
  1. The example in the picture above shows the only Hard Drive seen is on Port 0. That means we would look to troubleshoot the hard drive on Port 2. I would check that the Power and data cable are fully seated does that resolve the issue?

    1. Yes, go to Rebuilding RAID 1 in the next tab (Using the Intel Matrix Manager in the operating system).

    2. No, continue to next step.

  2. Disconnect the degraded Hard Drive and turn the computer on with it removed. Once the computer boots, shut it down normally and reconnect the Hard Drive. Boot the computer and go to Rebuilding RAID 1 in the next tab (Using the Intel Matrix Manager in the operating system). Did this work?

    1. Yes, your issue is resolved.

    2. Update the Intel Matrix Software and try again, if it still does not work, contact your Technical Support for further help. You may look to substitute a known good working Hard Drive into the computer. This is to confirm that the issue is not with the cables or the port on the Motherboard.

NOTE: If the hard drive is passing the diagnostics, but has failed in the configuration utility? Identify which port that the bad hard drive is connected on to your Technical Support.
 

Using the Intel Matrix Manager in the Operating System

Rebuilding RAID 1

  1. You can manually rebuild the computer's redundancy mirror to the Hard Drive by Clicking the Start button.

  2. Go to All Programs\Intel Matrix Storage Manager\Intel Matrix Storage Console to launch the Intel Storage Console.

  3. Right-click the available hard drive on which to rebuild the RAID 1 volume and click Rebuild to this Disk.

  4. The computer can be used normally while it is rebuilding the RAID 1 volume.


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Deleting RAID

 

Deleting a RAID Volume

Using Optional Matrix ROM

NOTE: All data on the RAID drives is lost by performing this operation.
 
NOTE: For RAID 0 only: If the computer boots to RAID and the RAID volume is deleted in the Intel RAID Option ROM utility, the computer becomes unbootable.
 
  1. Press the Ctrl + I keys together when prompted to enter the Intel RAID Option ROM utility.

  2. Select Delete RAID Volume and press ENTER.

  3. Select the RAID volume to be deleted and press Delete.

  4. Press the y key to confirm the deletion of the RAID volume.

  5. Press the Esc key to exit the Intel RAID Option ROM utility.

Using Intel Matrix Storage Manager

NOTE: This procedure deletes the RAID 1 volume and splits the volume into two NON-RAID Hard Drives with a partition. This process leaves any existing data intact.
 
  1. Click the Start button and go to All Programs\Intel Matrix Storage Manager\Intel Matrix Storage Console to launch the Intel Storage Console.

  2. Right-click the Volume icon of the RAID volume to be deleted and select Delete Volume.

  3. On the Delete RAID Volume Wizard screen, click Next.

  4. Select the RAID volume to be deleted in the Available box.

  5. Click the right-arrow cursor/key to move the chosen RAID volume into the Selected box and Click Next.

  6. Click Finish to delete the volume.


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Resetting to NON-RAID

 

Reset the RAID Disks to NON-RAID.

NOTE: All data on the RAID drives is lost when performing this operation.
  1. Press the Ctrl + i keys when prompted to enter the Intel RAID Option ROM utility.

  2. Select Reset Disks to Non-RAID and press the ENTER key.

  3. Select the RAID volume to be reset and press the Space key to select the disks.

  4. Press the ENTER key to complete the selection.

  5. Press the y key to confirm the reset.


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If you require further assistance, contact technical Support.
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Article Properties


Affected Product

Desktops & All-in-Ones, Fixed Workstations

Last Published Date

02 Nov 2023

Version

11

Article Type

Solution