Intel Matrix Storage Hard Drive Missing and RAID1 Volume Degraded on XPS420

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Intel Matrix Storage Hard Drive Missing and RAID1 Volume Degraded on XPS420

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From the beginning...

This XPS420 computer has basically become my wife's computer as I now use a laptop and tablet. Who knows what she does on it. She let the antivirus software expire without renewing it. Then she calls me into the home office because the computer wouldn't boot. She said Windows did an update and the computer re booted. It ran these weird "1 of 3" tests that I've never seen before, going through files this and that. The end result is that it couldn't boot up because it couldn't find a hard drive.

I knew enough to shut it down and reboot with a configuration interception and I restored to the factory settings. Shut it down again and rebooted it and this time it went through all the processes normally and viola! My desktop screen!

New problem however...my little Intel Matrix Storage box comes up and tells me the hard drive is missing and RAID1 volume is degraded. I see the computer is still functional, but obviously something is wrong. And I'm afraid that if one of these is degraded, it is only a matter of time before the other one is corrupt and the whole system turns to <ADMIN NOTE: Profanity removed as per TOU> .

I have searched and searched online for a QUICK and EASY solution that doesn't have me taking the tower apart and removing things and installing new things that I know nothing about using jargon that would repeatedly send me to Wiki finding out what it means . Or taking it to Geek Squad or a computer shop and paying a chunk of change nearly to the point I where should just buy a new PC instead of wasting money having someone fix this (been there, done that).

No, warranty is also expired. That's why I'm here.

So I don't know what to do. Currently I am staring at the Intel Matrix Storage Manager screen after hitting CTRL+I during the system boot and am afraid of all the options presented to me:

1. Create RAID Volume
2. Delete RAID Volume
3. Reset Disks to Non-RAID
4. Exit (not really afraid of this one).

BTW, I did renew the antivirus software, did a system scan, removed programs that weren't needed on the computer, backed-up MOST of my computer and did a system restore before reaching this point (the screen mentioned above).

What do I do? 1, 2 or 3? Should I even be in here? I know that these options will essentially delete all data from the hard drive. Is that bad? Will it fix the issue? Is there another solution to this problem that I can UNDERSTAND and won't cost me as much as a NEW computer?

Any/all help would be greatly appreciated! 

All Replies
  • Sounds like one of the pair of drives has failed.  Open the case and reseat both the data and power cables.  Then reboot and see if the drive is found - if it is, the array should rebuild itself.  If it's not, the drive is toast and needs to be replaced with one of the same or larger capacity.

    You CAN simply disable the RAID volume - with a loss of redundancy, of course.

  • Very unlikely that reseating the failed drive will do much of anything in my experience.  One of your drives has failed and that's why the volume is degraded instead of in a state of redundancy.  I'd recommend buying an external USB drive and backing all your critical data up first.   Then get out the owners manual or download the PDF that will show you how to open the casing and replace the drive.   Look at the BIOS or the RAID BIOS to determine the S/N of the drive you are still seeing.   Obviously the one with the S/N that is "missing" is the bad one.  Replace it with a new drive with the same capacity (or larger capacity if you can't find one with the exact same size).  Then when you reboot the RAID controller may auto-rebuild to restore redundancy or it may present you with the rebuild option.